Meal Plan for Footballer – Training Day

Football (soccer) is one of the most popular sports in the World, and people enjoy the game at all levels, from the occasional kick about right through to professional football. Higher level professional and semi-professional footballers generally have their football training in the mornings with their team mates on four or five days per week, and may also visit the gym later in the day for light weight training or cardiovascular fitness work. Typically, during the season, there will be a match at the weekend (meal plan for a match day). For optimal performance in football training you will need a lot of energy for long lengths of time, so it's essential that you have a well structured nutrition programme not only to provide energy for a training session, but also to provide fuel for recuperation for the next day's exercise.

The meal plan below is an example for a professional or semi-professional footballer to follow for a typical training day:

Large bowl of porridge made with jumbo oats + 200ml skimmed milk + water with a tsp of sugar and raisins if desired
or 75g unsweetened muesli + 250ml skimmed milk
250ml fresh fruit juice
45 minutes pre-football training
2-3 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
Item of fruit
Football training
90 minutes sip water or isotonic drink throughout
Immediately post training
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
Sandwich made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken or large mackerel fillet
100g mixed nuts & seeds
Mixed salad
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt
Gym training
30 minutes weights moderate intensity
40 mins CV mixing high, moderate and low intensity
Sip plenty of water throughout
Immediately post workout
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
45 minutes later
2-3 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
100g mixed nuts & seeds
Item of fruit
Evening Meal
Lean fillet steak or chicken breast or fish + herbs to taste
Boiled new potatoes or basmati rice or dry roasted sweet potatoes
Loads of vegetables
Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt
1 hour pre-bed
100g cottage cheese / quark / low fat natural yoghurt
Small handful mixed nuts & seeds

The above plan provides sufficient levels of all nutrients and sustained slow released low glycaemic carbohydrates to help provide energy for long and intense training sessions. Porridge or muesli for breakfast will provide slow released energy, and oatcakes and granary bread will top up this up through the daytime. See our Glycaemic Index Tables for GI values of foods.

However, the plan is merely a general guide, and portion sizes will need to be adapted to suit your daily routine. You must eat a variety of different meats/fish, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.