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The importance of nutrition in football: perspective of a national team’s doctor
  1. Tim Meyer
  1. Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine, Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Saarland, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Tim Meyer; tim.meyer{at}

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Health benefits of good nutrition: what to expect from the UEFA nutrition expert group statement

Although football players’ average energy requirements fall below those of pure endurance athletes or sports with more extensive training schedules, football is nevertheless a physically demanding sport. Top-level footballers can spend up to 11 months of the year playing one or more matches a week and train almost daily during that period. Players must be physically well prepared and they must also receive the right amounts of energy and micronutrients to support training. A specific and individualised nutrition plan should be tailored to a player’s needs.

A healthy diet focussing on ‘food first’ may help players to limit the risk of becoming ill or suffering an injury. Consuming appropriate and adequate nutrients (eg, carbohydrates, proteins, etc) before and after matches and high-intensity training sessions can help to support a player’s performance and speed up recovery. Consequently, nutrition plans should be tailored to the amount and type of energy that is required for each training session and competition, as well as any requirements that are imposed by other circumstances (such as travelling and private pressures). In addition to a player’s individual load, a plan can also take account of their …

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  • Contributors Tim Meyer is the sole author of this article

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests Tim Meyer is the current chairman of the medical committee of UEFA and the German FA

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.