Learn about the diet of footballers

Learn about the diet of footballers
The importance of the footballers' diet. PHOTO: Movement Get active

Essential factors to take into account in the diet of any athlete

Nutrition is an essential factor when practicing any sport without putting our health at risk. Having a correct diet is one of the essential pillars of elite athletes such as footballers. The diets of the professionals are studied to the millimeter to achieve the desired results.

But, How are they different from the diets of ordinary people? The foods to be consumed by anyone should maximize performance without neglecting health, that's why the athletes follow the same guidelines of nutrition than any individual alone that are adjusted to the particular needs of each one.

Although there is no consensus among sports nutrition experts on the number of meals that should be eaten daily, they do agree on some issues such as: the importance of consuming plant-based products, eating five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day, and encourage fiber consumption.

Athletic performance in soccer depends on a combination of physical conditions, skills and abilities. To make it, get proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits.

The footballers themselves have particular diets according to their position on the field. A goalkeeper does not need the same diet as a defender. The goalkeeper runs less so his amount of hydrates will be less than that of the defender, and so with each of them according to some variables such as gender, the weight, age, the height, medical history, as well as football stage of the year in which they are (preseason, competition, transition…).

Many wonder if there are differences between the diets of male footballers and female footballers, and although nutritionally there are no major differences, what does vary is the volume of intakes. Women tend to weigh less than men so the distribution of nutrients is the same, but in different quantities to achieve maximum performance in each football stage that we detail below.

Preseason and transition

Preseason, post-vacation or player transition, it has a duration of 4-16 weeks depending on the level of competence. In this stage, footballers must stay at low fat levels and what is sought is to improve body composition in order to compete. Most players tend to lose a little weight, increase body mass and gain strength in the preseason.

Regarding physical activity, at this time players train long sessions and even doubles. Thus, the diet is personalized according to the physical condition of each player, although in this period a diet rich in energy foods and with a high caloric intake is very common.


The diet in the competition stage requires good planning and the support of professionals within the club as it becomes more strict. The 24-36 hours before the game are vital. They do not train and carbohydrate intake prevails. During the game there is a great loss of fluids and a consumption of muscle glycogen, so it is counteracted with the consumption of carbohydrates through liquids during physical activity, taking advantage of the change of players, breaks, injury, fouls ...

Like the hours before and during the game, it is very important to regulate the football players' diet, after hours are also essential for long-term rest and performance. Once half an hour passed, hour and half, footballers' bodies absorb all previously digested nutrients, so we must provide them with the food they need.

It is very common to see how players as soon as they finish the games and go to the changing rooms consume shakes to recover and get the so-called 4Rs of sport: rehydration, recharge, muscle repair and rest. These shakes are essential, but after two hours they should consume more elaborate dishes (pasta, chicken, Salmon…). The two fundamental foods that are most abundant in the diet of footballers are vegetables and fish.

Diet without exposing your health, relying on qualified professionals and the opinion of other users

If you are starting in the world of sports or want to improve your eating habits and are looking for health professionals to achieve short goals, medium or long term, trust dietician-nutritionist teams, doctors, reference psychologists and endocrinologists who are experts in the field. Remember that not everything goes and health is first.

cover image: Movement Get active

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