It seems that a leading sports nutritionist for international football, Matt Lovell, has revealed the nutritional intake, exertion, and recovery of a typical football player, including the amount of food just one player will consume by the time their team makes the final. So, while we may yell at them from the comfort of our sofas, the guys playing are actually taking it all pretty seriously and eating the right foods for a high energy competition.
On the day of a match, a typical player will consume up to 4,000 calories from meals consisting of high protein and the right carbs. With some players gaining speeds of up to 34km/h, running just under a half marathon and burning 1,500 calories per match, eating the right foods will give the player the best chance for optimum performance and ensure energy levels are sustained.
Matt Lovell says: “Balancing the right nutrition with exercise and rest is a key component to success. 31 days of competition is gruelling, and to ensure maximum performance and results, the entire squad, from players to management, need to be prepared for discipline and focus.
“A player’s meal plan will be determined by their position, energy output and tests measuring their blood sugar levels – so each player will be different. It also means some players will get more opportunities for ‘cheat meals’ such as pizza, ice cream, and chocolate. This never goes down too well!” Understandable. Imagine your team mate tucking into a double ice-cream cornet while you’re on the granola.
When it comes to taking penalties that’s a different ball game altogether. A goalkeeper will not expel the same level of energy during a 90-minute match, but with penalties, a keeper’s heart rate will reach up to 160 beats per minute and nervous energy will burn up to 200 calories in a space of 10 minutes.
Matt Lovell continues: “Reaching the final isn’t just about having the best players; it’s also about being fed the right type of food, allowing your body to rest and – believe it or not – not over doing the training.”
Each player who reaches the FINAL will have consumed the following amount of food:
29 cans of beans
84 cups of match tea
84 cups of mixed berries
30 litres of milk
10 scoops of ice cream
84 sprinkles of cheddar cheese
84 whole eggs, scrambled, poached or as an omelette with ham and mushrooms
42 bowls of high protein granola
84 slices of bread
84 portions of butter
42 cups of coffee
150 litres of water and fluids
208 servings of protein, chicken fish, and fillet steak
42 bowls of bone broth with home made bread
208 servings of vegetables, spinach, broccoli, green beans, lentils and other green vegetables
10 ‘off’ meals or cheat meals
At least 10 slices of pizza
10 bowls of chili
76 servings of rice, pasta, potatoes and starches
42 mini chocolate snacks and small sweet treats the size of your thumb.
84 plates salad including tomato, carrots, mozzarella, cold cuts of meats and ham, lettuce, cucumber, olives and artichokes.
10 red bulls or other energy drinks
10 servings of jellybeans
A typical daily meal plan would be:
Omelette, or scrambled / poached eggs
High protein cereal
Chicken breast / fish
Occasionally filet steak
Rice or pasta
Fish or Chicken stir-fry with noodles
Those who are allowed may have Shepherds Pie or Lasagne
Dark Chocolate (size of thumbnail)
Matt Lovell is launching Lizi’s High Protein Granola.