For a football player there is no day-off. Everyday is preparation for game day and training and this means focusing everyday on nutrition and being prepared for mid week training sessions.
So what does a football player’s daily routine look like? Sure they need their cleats, helmet and pads to compete at practice and their uniforms for game day, but there’s so much more that goes into getting ready for the big game. From when the athlete wakes up to when they head to bed, here’s the lowdown of what every football player needs to have on any given day.
The moment that any football player wakes up, their hungry. Not just to compete and win a ballgame, but literally hungry for some breakfast. Make sure if you want to compete at the top level that you’re feeding your body correctly and more importantly that you’re feeding it enough.
It’s important to take in the right nutrients right at the start of the day. Start off your day with some scrambled eggs and big bowl of oatmeal with mixed fruit to kick-start your engine.
This breakfast will provide you with a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates and vitamins.
Your backpack should be packed full of snacks for the entire day at school, college or university, as well as a packed lunch. And we’re not talking chips and pop for the snacks. Stick to these options for some high protein and high carb options to keep you fueled for football practice that evening:
✓ Cheese Sticks
✓ Myprotein Protein snacks (Bars/Cookies/Brownies)
✓ Fruit (Oranges, Bananas, Apples, etc.)
✓ High-Carb Granola Bars
✓ Greek Yogurt (keep in cooler)
Your gym bag should contain all of your practice/game gear in it. Make sure you’ve got your cleats, under shirt/tights, all of your pads, pants, jersey and any accessory you like to swag out in. This means any extra socks, bands, gloves or sleeves you like to wear needs to be packed in the morning. Make sure you go prepared.
So you’ve had the game of your life, but you’re beat to heck and in serious need of some rest and recovery. Just like the normal gym-goers need rest, athletes need even more after giving their all out on the gridiron. If you’ve ever heard the acronym R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) you’ll know that this helps alleviate sore or injured muscles.
The same principles can be applied to recover from a tough game as well. Rest should be a priority – get home and get plenty of sleep the night following a big game. Strive to get at least 7-8 hours on nights following games. It’s also worth making sure you get in a slow release protein source before bed to aid recovery. Consume a casein protein shake to fuel your body with a slow release protein source as you sleep. This can be taken with water or preferably milk.
Icing acing and sore muscles is a great way to recover and alleviate soreness and swelling. You’ve probably busted a few guys in the teeth, but that only means that your shoulders and arms have taken a beating as well. If possible, ice directly when you get home or even better; take an ice bath directly following the game at your training facility.
Compression and elevation go hand in hand. Although you can wrap some ACE bandage around your body, there are more advanced ways of providing compression. Specific companies make compression shirts and tights to help aid in recovery and help flush the body of built up toxins. If at all possible, try to keep your feet ankles elevated and keep the majority of the blood flow around your core to regulate blood.
As you can see, what goes on in a football player’s daily routine can be quite complex. Use this guide as a tool to make sure you don’t forget anything at home and so you can keep your focus on the big game at hand. Get up, get yourself pumped up with some sweet gear to wear to school and classes, throw on your favorite pair of headphones and snack on some high protein snacks throughout the day. Then, dominate the football field at practice and on game day!