Nutritionally reviewed by Jennifer Blow
You might not have the same perks and pay cheques as players in the Championship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fuel your game with the same world-class sports nutrition as them. We’re proud to be backing elite athletes through our partnership with Nottingham Forest F.C, and you can push your own performance on the pitch with the very same supplements.
Here’s a list of our top picks for football nutrition:
Pre-Match Football Nutrition
Give yourself the best possible kick-off. THE Pre-Workout+ is part of our latest trio of PhaseTech™ innovations — the next generation of sports nutrition.
A fusion of clinically studied, performance-enhancing ingredients with our exclusive beadlet delivery system, it’ll give you a dual-phased hit of energy that won’t fade fifteen minutes into the first half.
We’ve included caffeine, a super-important pre-workout ingredient that’s been proven time and time again to improve exercise performance — with studies to show it can delay fatigue,1 and increase power output.2
It’ll help you to stay on the ball too, as caffeine also works to increase alertness and improve concentration,3 plus we’ve added cutting-edge ingredients — huperzine-A and alpha-GPC — that have been shown to help increase neurological focus.4,5
There’s been extensive research into the use of creatine supplements in sports, and it’s been proven to increase physical performance in successive bursts of short-term, high-intensity exercise.6
A study in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that creatine supplementation starting with a loading dose of 15-20g a day for 4-5 days, followed by a maintenance does of 2-5g a day, increased muscle power output in football players — especially during intermittent sprint exercises.7
Half-Time Football Nutrition
Another supplement from our premium PhaseTech™ collection, THE Amino+ will help to transform your recovery time and elevate your mood — just what you need if the ref’s decisions are starting to wear you down.
It includes 6g of BCAAs per serving, and these essential amino acids have been proven to increase the rate of protein synthesis, while also decreasing the rate of protein degradation in resting human muscle.8 We’ve also included glutamine, which is an amino acid that plays a key role in protein synthesis and muscle contraction.9
Using our unique PhaseTech™ beadlets, all of these amino acids have been encapsulated in a fluidised coating, which slows down the speed that your body digests them — giving you a sustained supply over the course of the second half. Oh, and we’ve thrown in 14g of free-flowing amino acids too, so you still get an instant hit of lysine, arginine, and citrulline. It’s the best of both worlds.
The mood-elevating bonus comes from the addition of Ashwaganda, which is a herb that’s long been used in traditional remedies and is beginning to break into sports nutrition. Studies indicate anti-stress, and anti-oxidant properties10 — making it a great all-round pick-me-up to get you set for another go at the goal.
Hydration is a key part of having a half-time break — there’s no doubt that you’ll have lost a lot of sweat from forty-five minutes’ worth of dribbling and tackling, and it’s not just your water levels that need topping up. You lose important electrolytes through sweat too, which is where our Electrolyte Powder can be super-handy.
It’s a blend of four essential electrolytes — sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, which are needed to provide the electrical energy needed for many important functions in the body —including nerve reactions and muscle function.11 You won’t be making many passes without them working properly...
To smash the second half, you need to get some fuel back in the tank, and quickly. These Energy Elite ™ sachets are the perfect pitch-side companion, as you’ll barely have to pause the game to enjoy them — no mixing or prep required, just squeeze the gel straight into your mouth.
Loaded with 25g of fast-digesting carbohydrates, they won’t sit heavy in your stomach for the remainder of the match, but will just keep driving you on. Plus, they have an electrolyte blend to help replenish the essential salts you lose through sweat, along with a vitamin B matrix to reduce tiredness and fatigue.12
Post-Match Football Nutrition
After the final whistle’s blown, this ultimate protein formula is just what your aching body is crying out for. THE Whey+ combines the purest whey isolate with GroPlex™ — a dynamic blend of fast- and slow-digesting protein — to ignite muscle growth, alongside our unique phase-release beadlets of BCAA, leucine, and glutamine, which optimise recovery.8,9,13
Providing both fast-digesting hydrolysed whey protein and slow-digesting micellar casein, this shake will give your muscles the instant protein hit it needs after your match, as well as a continued supply way after you’ve left the changing rooms.14
Another highly-effective post-match blend, our Extreme Recovery Blend is well worth making part of your routine. It’s packed with 28g of protein per 100g, along with 47g of carbohydrates from waxy maize starch and maltodextrin — ideal for supporting muscle recovery.15
Studies have shown that supplements which combine carbohydrates and protein are most effective at replenishing muscle glycogen stores after exercise,16 which is exactly what this hard-hitting shake delivers.
We’ve also included creatine and the essential amino acids L-leucine and L-glutamine, which are key to muscle protein synthesis — further supporting your recovery.9,13
Long matches and intense training can be pretty tough on your joints, so combat the aches and pains with our Glucosamine HCL & Chondroitin tablets. Naturally occurring in the body, glucosamine and chondroitin are both components of cartilage, which absorbs impact and cushions the joints when you move.
There have been studies to show that taking glucosamine and chondroitin may relieve symptoms of knee osteoarthritis,17 and in one trial, patients with moderate-to-severe knee pain who took chondroitin also displayed a significant improvement in knee joint swelling.18
Make room for these in your kit and you should be bouncing back to the pitch on top form.
Take Home Message
Whether you just want to impress your colleagues at the next five-a-side session, or help take your team to the top of the league — these top football nutrition supplements will have you well on your way to a celebration.
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.
- Graham, T., Rush, J. and Soeren, M. (1994). Caffeine and Exercise: Metabolism and Performance. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology, 19(2), pp. 111-138.
- Graham, T. (2001). Caffeine and Exercise. Sports Medicine, [online] 31(11), pp.785-807.
- Directorate General Health and Food Safety.
- Zhang, H. and Tang, X. (2006). Neuroprotective effects of huperzine A: new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disease. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 27(12), pp.619-625.
- Parker, A., Byars, A., Purpura, M. and Jager, R. (2015). The effects of alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine, caffeine or placebo on markers of mood, cognitive function, power, speed, and agility. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1).
- Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Boetes, M., Incledon, T., Clark, K. L., & Lynch, J. M. (1997). Creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance during high-intensity resistance exercise. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 97(7), 765-770.
- Hespel, P., Maughan, R. J., & Greenhaff, P. L. (2006). Dietary supplements for football. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24(07), 749-761.
- Blomstrand, E., Eliasson, J., Karlsson, H. K., & Köhnke, R. (2006). Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. The Journal of nutrition, 136(1), 269S-273S.
- Higashiguchi, T., Hasselgren, P. O., Wagner, K., & Fischer, J. E. (1993). Effect of glutamine on protein synthesis in isolated intestinal epithelial cells.Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 17(4), 307-314.
- Mishra, L. C., Singh, B. B., & Dagenais, S. (2000). Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Alternative medicine review, 5(4), 334-346.
- Magnesium contributes to electrolyte balance. Calcium contributes to normal muscle function and neurotransmission. Potassium contributes to normal muscle function and normal function of the nervous system.
- Vitamin B contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
- Anthony, J. C., Anthony, T. G., & Layman, D. K. (1999). Leucine supplementation enhances skeletal muscle recovery in rats following exercise. The Journal of nutrition, 129(6), 1102-1106.
- Soop, M., Nehra, V., Henderson, G. C., Boirie, Y., Ford, G. C., & Nair, K. S. (2012). Coingestion of whey protein and casein in a mixed meal: demonstration of a more sustained anabolic effect of casein. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 303(1), E152-E162.
- Carbohydrates contribute to the recovery of normal muscle function after highly intensive and/or long lasting physical exercise leading to muscle fatigue and the depletion of glycogen stores in skeletal muscle. The beneficial effect is obtained with the consumption of carbohydrates, from all sources, at a total intake of 4 g per kg body weight, at doses, within the first 4 hours and no later than 6 hours, following highly intensive and/or long-lasting physical exercise leading to muscle fatigue and the depletion of glycogen stores in skeletal muscle.
- Ivy, J. L., Goforth Jr, H. W., Damon, B. M., McCauley, T. R., Parsons, E. C., & Price, T. B. (2002). Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(4), 1337-1344.
- Philippi, A. F., Leffler, C. T., Leffler, S. G., Mosure, J. C., & Kim, P. D. (1999). Glucosamine, chondroitin, and manganese ascorbate for degenerative joint disease of the knee or low back: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Military medicine, 164(2), 85-91.
- Hochberg, M. C., & Clegg, D. O. (2008). Potential effects of chondroitin sulfate on joint swelling: a GAIT report. Osteoarthritis and cartilage, 16, S22-S24.
Lauren is an English Literature graduate originally from the South. She’s always loved swimming, has discovered the power of weight training over the past few years, and has lots of room for improvement in her weekly hot yoga class.
On the weekends she’s usually cooking or eating some kind of brunch, and she enjoys trying out new recipes with her housemates – especially since shaking off student habits, like mainly surviving off pasta. Above all, she’s a firm believer in keeping a balance between the gym and gin.
Find out more about Lauren’s experience here.