11 Foods Every Football Player Should Eat (Slideshow)

Gear Up For the Game

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With long hours on the field and in the gym, it’s important for players to properly nourish their bodies. Foods such as rice, potatoes, bananas, apples, and peanut butter are all healthy foods that football players should include in their diet. Whether they’re carb loading or turning to protein shakes, there are plenty of all-natural food solutions for athletes as they prepare for game season.

Steak

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Filled with protein, iron, and creatine, steak is a great option for football players. Players should obtain 15 to 20 percent of their daily caloric intake from protein rich sources such as steak.

Eggs

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Eggs are filled with healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. All of these nutrients are critical components for a football player while training for a successful season.

Rice

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Leslie Bonci, nutrition consultant for the Pittsburgh Steelers, advises making low-fat carbohydrate choices. According to Bonci, 55 to 60 percent of your total daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrates; rice, for example, is a great, low-fat carbohydrate choice.

Potatoes

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Potatoes are a healthy carb source and critical for energy. According to LiveStrong.com, “In football, the most important source of energy is carbohydrates. They provide your body with the quick energy it needs to perform short and fast bursts of motion.”

Bananas

According to World’s Healthiest Foods, “the unique mix of vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic carbohydrates in bananas has made them a favorite fruit among endurance athletes.” The potassium in bananas helps to halt muscle cramps as well. 

Apples

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Apples provide fast energy and an assortment of important vitamins. They also regulate blood sugar and provide an ample amount of fiber.

Peanut or Almond Butter

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“Peanuts and almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a big ally for a healthy heart,” says Joey Adduci. Healthy fats are extremely important for athletes, especially football players!

Whey Protein Supplements

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Whey protein ensures the recovery of broken down muscle. Those who consume whey have greater increases in fat-free mass and muscle strength. The key is to consume whey one hour before and after the exercises.

Cottage Cheese

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Cottage cheese contains calcium, an important component of healthy bone tissue. Getting enough calcium in your diet helps your heart, muscle, and nerve function, too. Snacking on cottage cheese provides beneficial vitamins, according to LiveStrong.com.

Greek Yogurt

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Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps promote fullness. A typical six-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams of protein, the same amount as two to three ounces of lean meat, according to USNews.com. This high protein content is critical for athletes. 

Whole Milk

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Milk contains nine essential nutrients and vitamins, including protein, vitamins A, D, and B12, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, and magnesium, according to USNews.com. These nutrients and vitamins are very important for student athletes.