Many players fail to take their pre trial nutrition seriously and end up faltering toward the end of the assessment day, or week. 

The standards at football trials are so high, that you should use every tactic available to improve their chance of success, and fueling correctly is very important.

If you’re serious about progressing in the game, fuelling your body for training, playing and recovery, requires care and attention. An effective football diet plan should be highly personalised, taking into account everything from your age, gender and the level you play at, to the frequency of your training, the position you play, your workrate and even kick off times. 

There are plenty of variables too. A rampaging wingback, playing semi pro and training twice a week, has very different needs than a striker who leads the attack for their Sunday League side with fear of tracking back. Playing and training patterns can change from week to week and there’s the on and off-season to consider. 

Whatever your standard, there are some basic principles you can follow to fuel your game better. 

Important nutrients, vitamins and minerals for footballers

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Vitamins and minerals: Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium and Zinc

Nutritional requirements for football players

Footballers need strength, speed and power and that means eating to support training and exercise that ranges from weights sessions in the gym to sprint sessions through the park. 

Studies show that metabolic rate (the amount of energy we expend) and energy consumption increases significantly in footballers. In fact, one study on Liverpool players found the average energy intake on match days averaged 3,789 kcal and on training days 2,956 kcal. 

Those calories need to come from a balance of quality carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein.  


Carbohydrate is your body’s priority fuel source for exercise, particularly at the high intensities you need to support playing football. 


Protein is a critical building block for the body. Good quality protein supports recovery between training sessions and after matches.


You need good fats to help with the uptake of fat-soluble vitamins (A,K,D and E) that support recovery, energy supply and your immune system.

Vitamins and Minerals

We all need to ensure we get an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals. That includes iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, B6, and B12.

Best food for a football player’s diet

  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Oily fish
  • Cruciferous veg
  • Avocado
  • Beetroot and beet juice

What should I have the night before a match

Answer! A high carbohydrate meal. Here’s some examples. 

  • Rice Bowl + Veggies + Fish or Tofu
  • Pizza + Chicken (chewier dough rather than thin and crispy)
  • Baked Potato  (The bigger the spud, the better.) Add low-fat toppings like cottage cheese for protein, salsa for taste, and some easy-to-digest veggies, such as spinach. 
  • Pasta
  • Banana Pancakes
  • Sweet Potato mash
  • Corn on the cob
  • Macaroni & Cheese 
  • Lasagna

WHAT NEXT…. So now you have better idea of what foods to eat and how to prepare for a trial and what it takes to impress on the day. Now it’s time to improve your chances of getting scouting for a professional team and become a Player Database member for FREE!

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