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How Better Nutrition Can Help You Play More Football
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People all over the world love playing football (or soccer in the US). It is the most played sport in the world, the most watched and arguably the most loved. As children, some play it all day and all night. Even if we never make it to a professional level, as adults, many of us continue to play football, because we simply love to play.

Is that passion because the ball is round? Or because it links us back to happy childhoods or brings out a sense of competitiveness? Whatever it is, many players continue to play football every weekend until they simply cannot continue to do so because they love football.

However, the actual playing of football is coming under threat from a variety of sources. Football computer games, which allow players to posses more skill and ability then they ever could in real life, are almost better than playing the real thing. The loss of playing fields and an increase in obesity and unhealthy living all put pressure on the number of people playing football. According to FIFA, despite huge increases in the global population, the number of people playing football has not risen by the same proportion.

According to statistics released by the English Institute of Sport almost 50% of football players stop when they get to 18. The biggest reason for this is probably that when they leave school they no longer have the structure in place to keep them in teams and playing. Without the organisation that schools provide in terms of managing training sessions and providing the resources to play football, many footballers simply stop playing. At university, a tendency towards an unhealthy lifestyle (as well as other distractions) mean that just a handful of players keep playing football in their adult lives. This is a shame because as well as being a fun activity playing football is very good for you. Teams, even if they are work based, can provide a great source of bonding and relationship building, friends that play together stay together. Sir Stanley Matthews famously played until he was past his 50s, but again according to the English Institute of Sport, almost all football players stop at 40.

So how can players keep playing football? Taking care of themselves is a great start. A healthy and well balanced diet will mean that a player is in great condition on and off the pitch. Healthy eating messages are well known, but many players are still not getting the right amounts of fruit and vegetables into their diet. The advantages of a good diet is that it provides your body will all the essential nutrients it needs in order to keep the key parts of your body healthy. Some players may require supplementation to help maintain their health if they are unable to obtain all the football nutrition they need from their diet (for a variety of reasons).

The actual football diet of a player, (i.e. before, during and after football) is often overlooked when it comes to keeping players going for longer. Good fuel before a match or training session (for example complex carbohydrates) and a good recovery meal after playing (one that is high in protein) are all essential in keeping your body healthy, playing well and improve your fitness.

In their general football diet, players should be sure to watch the calories they consume to avoid putting on weight as extra weight increases the pressure on bones and joints. Injuries to these body parts are what often result in players giving up playing football early. Dressing room culture and banter may also need changing to ensure that players feel comfortable and open about healthy eating. Taking care of yourself and watching what you eat should not be seen as a weakness from a player, but rather a strength, that they are taking their nutrition seriously because they know the impact it can have on their football.

Great nutrition can help players not just play more football, but do so comfortably and safely, Football nutrition can impact all areas of football performance as well as result in better recovery. Better recovery after football means that players have less aches and pains in their muscles because good recovery, often via higher protein can prevent this. Protein contains essential amino acids, which help the body recover and repair itself after strenuous exercise. The days of post-match pints, junk food and chips should be over and should never be allowed to return because the right recovery nutrition after football actually helps a player feel better after playing football.

Football training sessions are important because they help players practice. The more you practice the better at football you will become but also the more you will improve your football fitness. Improved football fitness can also help you play more football when combined with good nutrition because the more the body works and the better fuelled it is, the further and harder you can go.

Football supplements can also help someone play more football by keeping their vital body parts healthy. There are a wide range of supplements available for health maintenance, but players should consult their doctors or consultants before engaging in a supplementation regime, however effective supplements should be encouraged where appropriate.

Good football nutrition, in the form of supplementation, diet, healthy eating and exercise can all help players play more and better football.

Street Talk

I'm working on nutrition and fitness as part of my own healing. Your football fitness strikes a chord;) Good job.

  about 1 decade ago
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