When you read food and footy in the same sentence your mind probably jumps to a warm punnet of hot chips or a steak and cheese pie at the MCG ... well, sorry to burst your footy craving bubble, but you’ve missed the keyword. Greasy junk food before footy isn’t going to be beneficial to your game, in fact, you may become dehydrated from the salt content which can negatively affect your performance. Whether you’re a footy player or a follower here is a guide to fuel your footy or your work out!
Since we’ve already pulled dehydration off the bench let's start with water. As mentioned above, dehydration can have negative effects on performance - this can be both mental fatigue and physical fatigue. Studies show that even a 1% decrease in body water can cause these effects, so you can see how important staying hydrated before, during and after your game or work out is. Ensure you get enough fluids by always carrying a water bottle with you, having water nearby when being physically active and make an extra effort after your performance to replenish your fluids. And next time you see the waterperson, just remember not all heroes wear capes.
What to eat before a game:
Depending on when you kick-off you may have time for a meal, ideally 3-4 hours before so you have time to digest. This is an important time to include a higher carbohydrate intake, some protein to prevent hunger and something lower in fat to minimise possible gastrointestinal discomfort. Try these:
- Bowl of porridge with sliced banana and berries
- Oat pancakes with banana, greek yogurt and honey
- Whole grain toast with spinach and poached eggs
- Whole-grain roll or bread with chicken and salad
- Pasta in a tomato-based sauce
- Soy sauce based stir fry with white rice
If you have an early morning game, 1-2 hours prior you should have a snack. This could be a banana, a berry smoothie or whole-grain toast or crumpets with honey or jam.
What to eat at half time:
Secretly, every kid’s fave part of the match was the half time oranges! Well, you don’t have to leave this tradition behind with junior sport, half time refreshments can assist with topping up blood sugar levels and preserving glycogen levels. This time is also crucial for fluid intake, and if you’re not into half time snacks it may be a good time to have an electrolyte drink. This is also relevant to endurance athletes, If you’re exercising for general health and fitness, you probably don’t need extra fuel throughout your workout. That’s generally because your body won’t require the extra energy.
What to eat for recovery:
Whether you’re celebrating or not, you need to ensure fueling your body for recovery. Your recovery meals and snacks should contain carbohydrate to replenish diminished fuel stores and protein so your muscles can repair and regenerate. This is also a crucial period to replenish fluids and electrolytes that you would have lost through sweat. So celebrating or not, reach for your water or electrolyte drink before any celebratory drinks are passed around.
Fuel your footy with Dineamic
Our meals were originally designed for athletes to aid performance and recovery, and ensure healthy eating during the footy season. We still provide meals to athletes and clubs like Carlton, St Kilda, Collingwood, GWS Giants, Melbourne Vixens Netball, and Cricket Victoria. We also recently partnered with Body Fit Training during their 8-week challenge, assisting their participants with their performance goals. These meal plans are still available for you to fuel your footy season or your workouts!
A few meals that are great for fueling footy or maybe just to watch the footy!
Smokey Chicken with Roasted Chat Potatoes, Corn & Black Bean Salsa
Pesto Chicken with Broccoli & Pasta
Mongolian Beef with Basmati Rice, Edamame & Steamed Vegetables
Tuscan Vegetable Risotto
Moroccan Beef Meatballs with Sweet Potato & Broccoli