Eating appropriately after training is one of the most important parts of a junior footballer’s diet. After a big day of school, followed by training, their muscles are likely feeling tired! Although they may have focused on eating regularly throughout the day and before training, their muscle carbohydrate stores become depleted quiet quickly during activity. Refueling soon after training will help maintain their energy levels, help repair any muscle damage that may have occurred and support their immune system. This is very important if they have a game or training the next day.Skipping, delaying or skimping on this recovery meal will lead to hungry, tired and lethargic little footballers! You may be heading straight home from training and have something pre-prepared (more ideas on this here) or you may need to have a snack on hand to get the recovery process going before dinner.:
Whether it is a meal or snack, this recovery option should tick the boxes for the three R’s
You can use the above image as a guide to balance out a perfect recovery meal making sure that there is enough carbohydrate & protein and plenty of veggies for good health. You can adapt this guide to any meal whether it be a risotto, stir-fry, sandwich, pasta or a meat and vegetable style of meal. Make sure you enjoy this recovery meal with some fluid!
The most important thing is having food available for this important time. In reality, its great to start refueling within 30 minutes of training. If you have fair distance to travel and dinner will be a couple of hours away, pack a recovery snack to keep hunger at bay and get the recovery process started. Some handy snacks have been covered below.
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