When it comes to grassroots football nutrition, Emmy Campbell is an expert. An SENR-qualified sports nutritionist, she works with football players from grassroots levels right up to professional players to help them improve all aspects of their game.
There’s nothing better than those early season fixtures and lining up with your mates on a sunny day. You’ve nailed your pre-match nutrition, got plenty of fuel in the tank and are ready for kick-off. Easy.
But, what about on a cold and rainy night in Stoke? What should you be eating to fuel those tough midwinter fixtures and can nutrition help to keep you healthy on and off the pitch?
With chilly days and long dark nights, eating well can be more challenging. You probably find yourself reaching for the comfort foods more regularly and focusing a little less on what you’re eating, especially when it comes to your training or match day nutrition. But eating well through the winter months is not only key to performing well on the pitch, but also to keeping you healthy, too. And while you don’t need to make drastic changes to how you eat in the winter, there are certainly some key areas that might need a little more attention.
Eat Before & After
Eating before and after football is not only essential to fuelling and refuelling, but it can also help to warm the body, too. When food is digested it produces heat, so besides being key to performance, your pre- and post-match nutrition can help to keep you warm.
Even when the temperatures are sub-zero and it’s raining sideways, your body will still sweat and lose fluids. You’re less likely to feel thirsty during those cold and wet training sessions and drinking icy water is often the last thing you want. This is why it’s really important to pay more attention to what and how much you drink. Keep your drink in an insulated bottle to stop it from getting too cold and make sure to sip on it regularly throughout the game.
Vitamins & Minerals
The immune system needs lots of different vitamins and minerals to ensure it can function properly and to keep you healthy. Getting in your five-a-day is even more important in winter to help fight off colds and other illnesses. As well as that, vitamins and minerals will also help your football performance, too, impacting everything from how strong your bones are to how efficiently your body can produce energy. So, make sure to eat the rainbow to play well and stay healthy!
Whether you’re looking to get in better shape, need help with fuelling your ninety minutes or just want to take your game to the next level, Emmy can help. Find her on social media @nutritionemmy for support with your performance nutrition.