Football Nutrition Basics

It can be very overwhelming to learn everything about sports nutrition for football. With that in mind, I created the following summary of key areas to get you started. To perform like a champion, you need to eat like one!

Nutrition directly impacts

  • strength
  • speed
  • stamina
  • recovery

What you eat directly affects how you train and perform. The team wants your BEST performance!

Here are my recommendations:

Football nutrition basics1. Carbohydrates

  • Carbs provide energy for your body when working out and playing. Not eating enough will cost you late in the training session or fourth quarter of a game.
  • Stick to brown or wild rice and whole wheat or multigrain bread. The processed versions are lacking nutrients with the husk removed. Avoid white rice and white flour products that will spike your insulin levels and cause a sugar crash.
  • Most players need about 7g/kg of body weight per day.

2. Protein

  • Muscles need lots of protein to grow properly.
  • Eat lean meats to avoid the excess fat content. Chicken is always good.
  • Most players need 0.8g/kg of body weight per day.

3. Fat

  • You need fat to protect vital areas of the body, help proteins do their work and to create hormones.
  • Look for liquid fats, not the solid ones.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats as they can harm your health.

Football nutrition basics4. Hydration

  • Dehydration is the #1 cause of poor performance in sport.
  • Daily intake = weight (lbs)/2 = ounces of water 200 lb player = 100 ounces = 3.1 L
  • for every pound lost, drink 2 cups
  • Drink 250 mL (1 cup) every 15 minutes after exercise as a minimum.
  • Use rubber bands on a water bottle to keep track of your progress each day.

5. Nutrient Timing

  • Consistent eating is critical. Eat three meals and three snacks per day, every 2-3 hours.
  • Eat before, during and after games but not usually during workouts as they are shorter.
  • Pre-workout food should contain protein – it helps with recovery.
  • Post-workout: eat right away when finished (less than 30 minutes)

Football nutrition basics6. Supplements

  • There is NO “magic bullet” – no supplement will make you a super athlete.
  • Protein – it is hard to eat enough protein so use a quality powder containing whey isolate and hydrolysate as a shake. Your body can only digest 25-30 grams per meal, more is a waste. Some slow digesting like casein is good too.
  • Creatine – most researched supplement in the world. Safe and effective in 75% of people.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid – really good research on its effectiveness in treating and preventing concussions. Easiest to take as a supplement pill. Recommend 500 mg/day
  • Multivitamin – most athletes lack vitamins and minerals
  • Anything else is personal preference but really not needed.

7. Resources


Checkout the Shop for several documents specifically designed for football.