5 ways nutrition optimizes your training

Adriana Rodrigues
Adriana is a former professional soccer player. She earned a journalism degree from Jacksonville University specializing in health and fitness writing.9

Whether you’re helping your little athlete fuel up for the field or you want to get optimal performance out of your diet so that when it's time you step on the pitch, you are ready, it’s important to know what, when, and how to optimize your diet.

Nutrition can affect your training in many different ways. Not only does our nutrition affect training and our performance during a match, but it also affects us psychologically.


Your diet should include a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, unsaturated fats. No matter what position you play, you need proper nutrition to help sustain and fuel you for your time on the field.

First and foremost, you’ll need protein to build your muscles and repair the damage that occurs during training. Protein is vitally important for recovery

You also need carbohydrates for energy. Carbs are basically fuel for your body. They will burn continuously through your workout. They also are important for recovery after training because the carbs replenish the glycogen you’ve lost to help you recover for your next training session.

Your mom wasn’t joking when she said you need to take your vitamins. These are the building blocks of nutrition that help your body produce energy and contract your muscles while you’re working out. Not only are they important for training but also for staying healthy in your day-to-day life.

Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and whole grains—as well as incorporating some healthy fats like avocado, salmon, and olive oil—can definitely help you reduce fatigue, promote your recovery, and boost your performance.


Ever feel unfocused while playing? You can not perform your best when your mind is on something else (like food).

Not only will you be distracted by your rumbling stomach—you’ll also find it rather hard to focus. Your brain—as well as your body—needs to be well-nourished to function properly. You need omega-3s, carbs, and protein to allow your brain to perform at an optimal level.


Scientifically speaking, you aren’t getting better during training (especially when lifting or with very physical activity)—you’re getting better after training. The recovery period after training is pivotal to your muscle gain.

Your muscles need to repair those micro-tears in the muscle fibers, making your muscles bigger and stronger than before. However, if you’re not giving your body the proper fuel, you’re losing all those gains you made on the gym or on the pitch.


One of the keys to a proper diet is staying hydrated. Of course you can stay hydrated by taking in enough water throughout the day, before training, during and afterward. You can also eat foods filled with water—like fruits—to help you stay hydrated.

Electrolytes are extremely important. They do so much to optimize your body such as: 

  • Balance the amount of water in your body
  • Balance your body's acid/base (pH) level
  • Move nutrients into your cells
  • Move wastes out of your cells
  • Make sure that your nerves, muscles, the heart, and the brain work the way they should

Consider an electrolyte supplement to boost your hydration.

5. Nutrition timing matters

Maintaining a proper schedule with eating (and drinking water) affects how you train and perform. You’ll want to fuel up with enough time before your game or practice so your body can make use of all the great food you just put in a couple of hours ago.

Getting better on the field isn’t just about your time on the field—it’s also about your time before and after. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so fuel up properly so you can perform at your optimal level.

Healthy Recipe: Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato Meal Prep Magic Bowls

 For more nutrition information, check out the Matchfit Conditioning Nutrition Guide. Matchfit Conditioning is a leader in football fitness specializing in all aspects of fitness such as fat burn, nutrition, injury prevention, stamina, and speed. They have helped thousands of footballers across the world from amateur to pro become match fit.

They offer a truly amazing, extremely in-depth guide to help you become match fit. It contains priceless information and is risk risk-free 60-day money back guarantee. 

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