Chris Lansdowne wants to know what a good pre-match nutrition plan looks like?
I think the biggest thing to remember about any match day preparation is that psychology trumps physiology every day of the week. What is most important is that you feel better prepared. You may have the best plan in the world, but if you feel like shit that is how you are probably going to play. This is true of warm ups, what kit you wear and it is certainly true of nutrition, so you will have to tread the line between what the science says and what makes you feel good to find what is optimal for you.
Your goal for the match in simple terms is to optimally fuel performance and minimise fatigue. To that end you need maximum carbohydrate stores in the form of glycogen and blood glucose, you need to be well hydrated and you need have sufficient electrolytes in your body. However here is what I generally recommend assuming a 3pm kick off:
08:00 High complex carbohydrate breakfast with a mixture of high, medium and low GI sources e.g. oatmeal with some berries and honey. This meal should also contain some complete protein e.g. eggs, lean meats or fish, whey, greek yogurt etc. and a small portion of fats e.g. nuts, nut butters, seeds, oils etc.
11:00 A smaller meal, again with complex carbohydrate, but with lower fat and fibre content as speed of digestion becomes more important as the meal approaches. This meal should again contain protein. I prefer a lean meat sandwich or a jacket potato for this meal along with a piece of fruit.
13:00 High carbohydrate, easily digestible snack with a small amount of protein to further top up glycogen stores and blood glucose e.g cereal bar, shake etc.
14:30 High carbohydrate drink to be taken with pre-match stimulants
Immediately post match: High carbohydrate and protein recovery drink
After shower: Solid high carbohydrate snack e.g. sandwich and cereal bar
60-90 minutes post match: Solid food meal with lower GI carbohydrate, protein and fat
Before bed: free meal with partner but limit alcohol to a minimum.