Base your meals on starchy carbohydrates: these include pasta, rice, bread, cous cous and potatoes. Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred fuel source, so it is important to begin exercise with your body topped up with them. Choose wholegrains for more fibre and good digestive health.
Start your match hydrated as being hydrated and drinking fluids before you play will have a positive effect on your performance.
Take on carbohydrate between matches: when play is longer than one hour the body needs to be refuelled for endurance and to enable you to play for longer and reduce fatigue. This can take the form of a sports drink, banana or cereal bar, all of which will help top up your carbohydrate stores.
Drink fluids between matches: staying hydrated is key to maintaining your concentration levels and also to help replace fluid lost in sweat. It can also be helpful to consume a sports drink designed to replace electrolytes lost when you sweat a lot.
Have a carbohydrate and protein based snack immediately after your match: such as a milkshake, a yogurt and banana or a chicken sandwich. This will help kick start your recovery by topping up your carbohydrate stores and help your body to begin muscle repair with protein.
Take on fluids after play: this will help your body rehydrate which is very important especially if you are going to play more sport later on or the following day.
Make sure your next meal is balanced: this will help your body to continue its recovery process. Make sure it contains a starchy carbohydrate, protein and vegetables.