fueling your body on match day

A leader in football fitness specializing in all aspects of fitness such as fat burn, nutrition, injury prevention, stamina, and speed.

When it comes to game day nutrition, most of us are aware of the importance of getting our pre-match meal right as well as focusing on good levels of hydration. But is amending your eating and drinking habits a few hours before kick off enough to ensure that high-level performance we are all looking for?

Think of it like this. Your body is a Ferrari preparing for a race. It has recently been serviced and is in excellent condition. The only remaining variable is fuel. It’s as simple as filling up with the right fuel for optimal performance. If it is filled up with the wrong type of fuel or not enough fuel, the Ferrari will break down before getting to the finish line.

Like the Ferrari, your body is a finely tuned sports car. Failing to fuel your body for high performance will result in a poor performance. It would be silly to go into a race without the proper fuel. Why would you go into a match without the proper nutrition?

For optimal performance, your preparation should actually start the day before, and the timing of your meals is crucial. Below we will discuss the key stages of your game day nutrition using a 3 PM kick off time as an example. Test any new strategies/ meals you are going to implement using training, before using it on match day.

The night before

  • You should begin to prepare your body for the exertions to come
  • Consume extra water
  • Reduce fat intake and increase carb intake
  • Emphasis on carbohydrate intake to replenish stores lost from the weeks training and increase glycogen stores in the muscles and liver
  • Ensure adequate mineral/ salt intake to avoid cramp
  • Avoid any form of alcohol


  • Slow digesting carbs such as oats/raisins so that energy is released over several hours
  • Drink 1-2 liters of water between breakfast and leading up to the game
  • Ensure that you sip your liquids pre-match to avoid a sudden urge to use the toilet

pre-game meal

  • 3-4 hours before kick-off
  • A light, solid meal (chicken and pasta, not soup for example)
  • Try not to exceed 500 calories
  • Ideal sources of carbs: Pasta, rice, whole grain bread, fruit, cereals
  • Proteins: Turkey, chicken, yogurt, milk
  • Avoid fatty foods such as fried eggs and burgers as can upset stomach

pre-game snack

  • 1 hour before kick-off
  • High in carbs and a drink to maintain hydration

pre-game hydration

  • Ensure that urine is pale yellow or clear before the game
  • Hydration should start at least 4 hours before kick off

during the match

  • Get additional carbs and minerals from sports drinks (electrolyte drinks)
  • Maintain hydration whenever possible
  • Fruit, sports bars, gels at half time

post-match nutrition

  • 30-120 mins post match is the ideal window of opportunity
  • Rehydrate and replenish electrolytes
  • Carbs to restore depleted muscle glycogen levels
  • Protein to rebuild muscle
  • Keep replenishing glycogen stores with carbs for at least the next 24 hours

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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