On a match day, the focus is all on performance. But, after you play, what you eat is just as important as what you eat before or during.
Why is important to eat after a match?
Post-match fueling is essential for your body to properly recover from the work you just completed. Eating something within 30-60 minutes helps replenish the fuel you used during the match. Eating right after a match is most important if you have another match the same day. If you don’t, your next regularly scheduled meal may be adequate to replace nutrients.
What should I eat after the match?
Choose a meal or snack that has a balance of protein and carbohydrate, along with a small-to-moderate amount of fat. Carbohydrates are necessary to replenish the body’s carbohydrate stores in muscle used during exercise. Protein is needed to repair muscle damage and support muscle building. Fat is important for nutrient absorption and feeling full and possibly play an anti-inflammatory role
Things to consider
Sometimes hunger is not present after a high-intensity match. Eating is still important! If food sounds unappetizing, try drinking your nutrients. A smoothie with protein, fruit and greens, or a drinkable yogurt are great options because they contain both carbohydrate and protein. If you choose a smaller recovery snack, remember to eat again in 1-2 hours to fully replenish nutrients.
|Carbs: bread, pasta, rice, starchy veggies, fruit
Protein: chicken, turkey, tofu, fish, lean beef or pork, eggs, cheese
Fat: avocado, nut butter, ground flax
|To allow time for your body to properly use foods for recovery, aim to eat 30-60 minutes after a match.
If you are unable to eat a full meal within this time frame, have a small snack like string cheese and piece of fruit.
|A balanced meal that leaves you feeling full, but not stuffed.
The amount of carbs you consume should be consistent with the amount you played and match intensity. If the match was very intense, choose more carbs. If you played fewer points, eat a smaller portion with fewer carbs.
|Come prepared! Bring a PB&J sandwich and fruit, or other shelf-stable foods in your backpack to make sure you have something to eat after a match.
Don’t wait too long to eat, as this will postpone recovery and may lead to overeating when you have access to food.
|Choose a food from the protein column plus one from the carb column. Portions should be based on the intensity of your training session
|Protein: 15-20 g
|Carbohydrate: 15-30 g
|Key: * Contains at least 15 g of carbohydrates or 10 G of protein