Spinach is one of the original superfoods. Thanks to it's richness in iron, spinach has a number of positive effects on the quality of your blood. Off the back of that, spinach will have a significant effect on restoring energy levels and increasing vitality – two important factors on the road to recovery in sport.
Leafy greens in general are full of those delightful benefits, but kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce are all viable alternatives.
Plus, with high levels of iron as well as vitamins A and K which help reduce inflammation, improve bone health and reduce feelings of fatigue, spinach is just a must eat for any performance-conscious footballer.
Milk can become a vital part of your recovery; it's high levels of protein are important to muscle recovery and strengthening. Elsewhere, calcium is vital component to good, strong bones and teeth. Plus with plenty of carbohydrates, milk could become a part of your energy-storing pre-match routine.
As if all that wasn't enough, milk is loaded with vitamins and minerals which can improve your hydration levels. When regularly consumed, all of these factors add up to an improved recovery rate, especially when drank after training when the need is high.
Primarily, eggs are a great source of protein, supporting your muscle repair after a game. This is supported by a healthy dose of essential amino acids, including high levels of leucine, which has been shown to be a dominant amino acid in repairing muscle.
As well as this, the fats in eggs have been shown to lower blood cholesterol.
They also contain the vitamins choline and bethane for brain development and function and feelings of happiness.
The best part? Eggs, when compared to other high sources of protein, are remarkably cheap.
broccoli contains a number of nutrients such as Vitamin C and folate, as well as Vitamins A, K, calcium and fibre.
And it also provides a healthy dose of choline, which will help your mental concentration and focus during a game. Choline can also help to produce high quality results even when under the energy sapping pressures of ninety minutes of football.
The health benefits include a reduction in inflammation, speeding up the recovery process as well as energising performance, speed and mental focus (just watch out for their staining qualities on your clothes).
Plus, it can even provide you with a handy boost in stamina. How? Nitrates. These natural chemicals change into nitric oxide in the body, reducing the cost of oxygen for low-intensity workouts and increasing tolerance for high-intensity exercise.
Ok, this is not to eat but...
Coconut water has come into foodie-fashion due to it being an all-natural source of vitamins and minerals which can be easily absorbed by the body and aid with hydration levels. A 2% drop in your body mass from the loss of water (sweating) can significantly lead to reductions in mental performance, so keep your eye on the prize and focus till the end of the game. (And no more energetic or isotonic drinks - go natural, go pro!)
At the weekend, if you do not have a match, relax!
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