Football is a sport that requires a lot of energy input. Running, dribbling, falling, getting back up, running again; it is all there. During this strenuous exercise routine, you are building muscle. This muscle building requires some actual protein intake.
Now, the question that begs our article is, when should you be taking this protein? Very simple, do it 30 to 45 minutes after a strong football session. Easy, right? Well, no. When has anything regarding your working out has been that simple?
There are 23.5 hours left of the day. You need to keep your protein intake constant. So, here are a few ideas for you to take some protein and keep your body replenished.
After playing football
Ever wonder why take protein 30 minutes after a workout? Because it is optimal to recover the nutrients you just lost. Think about it. You just came from a long game. Your body has eaten up a lot of nutrients. You can´t ask your body to recover from what it naturally has.
So, as soon as you stop sweating or are about to, get yourself a shake of at least 30 g and up your game again.
Before playing football
The effectiveness of your post-game protein intake has to do with what your pre-game protein intake was. This means that your pre-game intake influences your post-game intake.
In other words, the 30-minute window between a game and your protein intake is not as important as the proper timing between your pre- and post-game intake. This time window is usually between 3-4 hours. If you eat a 30 g bar of protein, say 30 minutes before a heavy game, it is best to take your protein shake around an hour after the game, assuming a 90-minute match. Or 2 hours after a 1-hour training.
The rationale of this is that muscle glycogen, which is the primary source of energy during exercise, workouts, and training sessions, begins to get low, your body will use its short supply. So, if you consume proteins before a game, you will be fueled during most of it. Your levels of glycogen will be optimal for you to carry on until you replenish again.
The rest of the day
As a footballer, you consume more protein than the average person. When you consume protein right after a workout, the protein synthesis can take up to 24 hours. Your aim during the day should be to consume 20-30 g in food sources with windows of at least 3-4 hours. This will keep your body with enough nutrients to tackle the day.
In case you are interested, Workout N Recover has great supplement reviews for many series of protein powders. They can help you get the best out of each one and help you decide which one is best for you.