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The Benefits of Eating Well

Football is structured so that the two opposing teams are closely matched: a one-sided game is no fun for players or for spectators. Every player and every team therefore has to strive to achieve the advantage that is necessary to win. Hard work in training and sound tactics are vital, but a well-chosen diet can offer many benefits:

• Optimum gains from the training program

• Enhanced recovery within and between workouts and events

• Achievement and maintenance of an ideal body weight and physique

• A reduced risk of injury and illness

• Confidence in being well-prepared for match play

• Consistency in achieving high level performances in matches

• Enjoyment of food and social eating occasions

Despite these advantages, many players do not meet their nutrition goals. Common problems and challenges include:

• Poor knowledge of foods and drinks and inadequate cooking skills

• Poor choices when shopping or dining out

• Poor or outdated knowledge of sports nutrition

• Inadequate finances

• Busy lifestyle leading to inadequate time to obtain or consume appropriate foods

• Limited availability of good food and drink choices

• Frequent travel

• Indiscriminate use of supplements and sports foods

The information in this article is designed to provide players and coaches with an overview of the latest guidelines in sports nutrition. While there is no such thing as a magic diet or food, there are many ways in which eating and drinking well can allow players at all levels of performance to achieve the special goals of their training and competition programs. It makes no sense to train hard if you ignore the benefits that follow from good food choices.

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