Diet & Recovery Before, During & After a Football Match

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

A football match requires a high amount of energy from a wide range of muscle groups. To be sure you are adequately prepared to play a game of football, you should use the same steps you would before a moderate to high intensity workout, which includes proper fueling and hydration of your body.


Before playing football, you should be properly hydrated. Water flushes toxins from your body and carries nutrients to your cells and tissues. If you are dehydrated, you will not be able to physically perform close to your maximum level. Bring a water bottle with you to your game and gradually drink before, during and after it.

Snacks Before the Game

Your muscles require a quick, accessible energy source before moderate to high-intensity workouts. A snack will subdue feelings of hunger and maintain blood sugar levels. You should eat around an hour before your game. Healthy snack options include energy bars and drinks, shakes, fruit, yogurt and whole grain breads.

Recovery Foods

You will most likely sweat a lot during your game and should therefore drink water gradually as soon as it's over to replenish fluids and prevent dehydration. Eat no more than two hours after your game if possible. Have a meal with a good amount of protein and carbohydrates. Smart choices include yogurt, nuts, a bagel and fruits.

Milk for Recovery

Recent studies presented to the American College of Sports Medicine show evidence that chocolate milk is an excellent post-workout drink that can greatly assists is muscle repair. Athletes in the study who drank chocolate milk after running showed greater signs of protein repair compared to those who drank standard carbohydrate drinks. Try a glass of chocolate milk after your game.