World Cup is a global sensation, and if the spectators are anxious before each game, you can only imagine how the players are feeling. The matches must be truly stressful and exhausting, which maybe makes you wonder, what do players eat during the world cup? You can probably guess that all of them have a professional nutritionist and some teams even have a professional chef, but the question is what do they eat? Here we will go over the meals of champions, and discuss the diet of top echelon athletes during the World Cup.
The most crucial element for football players’ diet is glycogen. It is assimilated through carbs, and therefore the food that the players eat is rich in fat. Of course, this is not something they would consume before the game, but it is a good choice to eat fat-rich food a few hours before the training. Their training includes a lot of sprinting and jumping, and depending on the player’s position on the team they burn around 3500 calories per training and about 1200 during the match.
Energy Bars and Cereal
During the match players run approximately 12 to 13 km, but for those who play in the middle of the field that distance can easily go up to 20 km, especially if the match is extended. Attackers, on the other hand, cover the range of 9 to 10 km, but their position necessitates a lot of sprints or speed bursts, which consumes more stamina. It is essential for them to have more carbohydrates in their diet to keep up their performance. So it is not unusual for these players to have a quick carb-rich snack during the half-time break. Energy bars or cereals are easy to digest and contain up to 60g of carbohydrates, and this what they eat during that break.
Food On The Day Of The Game
On the day of the game, players tend to eat basic meals such as fish, grilled chicken, rice, potato, etc. They also eat fruit or vegetable salads a few hours before the game starts. Generally speaking, players opt for a meal that is a safe bet. The last thing they want is for a meal to make them sick, or to be heavy on the stomach, or that can interfere with their performance in any way.
Meals After The Game
Even after the game is finished, the players will opt for a healthy snack. In 80% of the time, it will be a meal with high nutritional value, but just like any other person on the planet, players want to eat fun and tasty meals. So, in 20% of the time players might go for a pizza night or grilled chicken, or a burger, as you see in a movie or a TV show. It wouldn’t come as a surprise that they would have those meals in case of losing a match, as sort of a silver lining to the overall outcome. Also, players usually eat 3 or 4 hours after the game.