The Important Aspects of Nutrition in Female Football

In recent years, female football has been boosted by the creation of different professional leagues. It's estimated that today, more than 30 million girls and women around the world practice this discipline professionally or as amateurs.
The Important Aspects of Nutrition in Female Football

Last update: 01 March, 2019

Female football is a very physically demanding  sport. That’s why nutrition is important and essential; the energy supply you need in order to cover the energetic cost of practicing football depend on it. Keep in mind our tips to improve your performance!

Nutrition and female football

Without any doubt, this is a very complete sport, therefore, practicing is a great way to stay healthy. However, doing this or any other physical activity is not enough. Nutrition is also very important for your health and performance.

Diet is a key factor in increasing or decreasing the  athletes’ performance. For this reason, and especially in football, more and more clubs are concerned about hiring nutrition specialists.

When it comes to female football, the sport’s own specifications aren’t the only thing to keep in mind, but also the hormonal elements and characteristics of women.

A woman eating according to the female football diet

Any type of physical activity must be paired with the right foods to optimize the athletes’ performance. An adequate diet will allow the players to have more speed, concentration and satiety.

To achieve these benefits, experts recommend consuming animal protein and natural snacks. If a person is injured or stops training for any reason, they should reduce food portions and drink more liquid, especially water and natural sugar-free juices.

Variable diet

The diet for a football team can’t remain static. This means it must be variable and not only adapt to the needs and requirements of each player, but also to the moment or circumstances of the training.

In this respect, the nutritionist should develop a diet for each different phase: competitions, pre-season, travel, and recovery.

Similarly, the expert should specify the pre and post-training  and match diet. It’s necessary to control the body weight of players and establish not only the food but also the most appropriate portions, depending on factors such as health, season and others.

Woman on a scale

Differences between female and male football players

As you can see, nutrition for female football must take into consideration aspects beyond the discipline itself. In this respect, there are significant differences between female and male footballers that go beyond obvious.

Next up are some of the most notable differences that nutritionists should consider when developing a diet for women athletes:

  • The use of fat must be greater in order to obtain energy. As a result, there’s a saving in muscle glycogen.
  • Women have a harder time gaining muscle mass. The right foods can be a great ally in this respect.
  • Women’s hearts are usually smaller than men’s. Therefore, there are differences not only in performance but also in adaptation to physical activity.
  • The percentage of body fat is usually higher in women than in men. In fact, in number terms, this percentage is usually between eight and ten percent.
  • Women have less blood than men. That means a higher heart rate and a much lower ability to carry oxygen.
  • Women who practice any sport on a regular basis are also more likely to suffer from iron deficiency as a result of menstruation.

Choosing the best foods

Nutrition is, without a doubt, an important factor not only for female football but also for any kind of sport and health in general.

Selecting the right foods, combinations, portions and so on is key to provide you with all the energy it requires at times of high physical wear.

Not in vain, the performance of athletes in any discipline is closely related to a balanced diet that goes beyond training and competitions.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.