Match Day Fuelling Guide for Football

In football, all the hard training leads to match day. On this day it is really important to get nutrition right from start to finish. Here we take you from pre match to recovery to make sure you optimise your performance for the team.

Pre-match Fuelling and Warm Up

We would recommend eating your pre-match meal 2-3 hours before the game to allow for digestion and to prevent any stomach discomfort. Aim for a relatively light meal that is high in carbohydrate and low in fat. Pasta dishes with a tomato-based sauce are a good option. OTE Energy Drink can be useful alongside a pre-match meal to increase the carbohydrate content without increasing the bulkiness of the meal. This is a good one for anyone that may struggle to eat because of pre-match nerves.

When you are warming up it is important to replace the energy stores that you use up before the match starts, so sipping OTE’s energy drink would be beneficial to both refuel and maintain hydration.

It’s a good idea to have one final attempt at adding to your energy stores before kick off, especially as the nature of the game makes it difficult to refuel during play. Depending on your preference, an Energy Gel, half a 500ml bottle of Energy Drink or Half a Duo Bar will all provide 20g of carbohydrates.


During the Match and Half Time

During the match the critical factors will obviously be hydration and energy supply. Players should try to sip small amounts of OTE energy drink as it help them remain hydrated and provide energy. We have designed our energy drink to be pH neutral meaning it is kind on the stomach and therefore eliminating any discomfort that can be linked to sports nutrition use. The limiting factors will obviously be getting product to players during a game which may have very few natural breaks. Energy Gels are an ideal way for players to take on board extra energy and can be easily thrown to players on the pitch.

Half-time provides a natural break which allows the players to take on board both fluid and energy in a similar way to after the warm up. The amount of carbohydrate and fluid consumed is again dependent on the player and type of match but each player should aim to refuel and hydrate during this period. Both energy drinks and energy gels will work well here for a quick absorption of carbohydrates.

During the second half hydration and energy supply will be even more important. All things being equal, the team with more carbohydrate energy in a hydrated state will finish stronger. During the later stages of a game it could be worth using OTE Caffeine Gel. Caffeine Energy Gels contain 82Kcal as per energy gels with the added bonus of 50mg of caffeine. Caffeine lowers the feeling of perceived exertion, allowing you to dig that bit deeper.

Full Time and Recovery

It is important to start the recovery process as soon after the match as possible, especially with many matches being played 2 or 3 days and the demands of regular training sessions in between. Players should consume an OTE Recovery Shake within 30 minutes of finishing. OTE Recovery Drinks will help to re-fuel muscle electrolyte as well as provide carbohydrate and protein in an easily digestible form. Players should also remember to continue to drink enough fluid to ensure they re-hydrate fully; as this is a key part of the recovery process that is often over looked. A good evening meal should follow 1 to 2 hours later depending on the player’s preference as to when they like to eat. However, this may be difficult to achieve following evening matches in which case the Recovery Shake becomes even more important.