The correct preparation for football is as
important for children as it is for adults, and
the right diet is as key to, if not more so,
achieving peak performance.
A well balanced diet is vital to our overall
health and essentially we all need foods that
contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats and
vitamins and minerals such as...
(bread, pasta, rice, potatoes...)
(meat, fish, eggs, cheese...)
(cakes, biscuits, sweets...)
Vitamins and Minerals
(fruit, vegetables, cereal...)
These food groups should ideally see your daily
caloric intake divided as follows with these
figures based around children who regularly
participate in physical activity...
Vitamins and Minerals -
The food group that when broken down, will
provide you with your energy throughout your
performance, allowing you to perform better and
for longer. Carbohydrates will always make up
the largest part of your meals before and after
activity as they will provide your body with the
fuel that will power your muscle.
The food group that will build up, maintain and
replace body tissue. Many people mistakenly
think that a diet rich in protein helps build
muscle and physical performance, when in fact
anything more than the average of 20% of your
protein caloric intake can lead to dehydration
and the loss of calcium.
Muscle size is dependant on sufficient calories
from a well balanced diet, physical maturity,
genetics and training.
The food group that, in moderation remains an
important part of your diet, as it provides you
with a secondary source of energy to fuel your
performance and is essential for brain and nerve
function. Fats also provide you with essential
vitamins A, E, D and K, which will help you to
recover quickly from any inflammation or
swelling caused from injuries.
The intake of the correct fluids is just as
important to general health and your physical
performance as the correct diet. Dehydration - a
lack of fluids - can often occur during and
after exercise and lead to fatigue, poor
concentration and muscle cramps. This in turn
results in a drop in the level of your
To avoid dehydration, a sufficient intake of
water is necessary and it should be taken
before, during and after activity - the other
alternative to water is of course sports drinks.
The minerals that they contain, particularly
sodium, helps to combat fatigue and cramp, while
the carbohydrate element improves energy levels.
Young people have different fluid needs to an
adult and are more likely to get over heated
when playing in hot weather, although fluid loss
should also be replenished during cold weather,
a mistake that many neglect