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5 Pre-Game Drinks For Football Performance

top 5 pre-game drinks for football performance

The market is full of drinks that are targeted towards athletes who seek a pre-game boost and enhance their performance.

Which pre-game drinks are worth a purchase though? But most importantly why and how can you exactly use them to get ALL the benefits they’re supposed to offer.

That’s what we’re gonna discuss in this article.

Now because of the fact that each drink serves a different purpose, you first need to make a small analysis of your needs and consider whether you need something for performance or recovery.

To make this a bit easier for you, we will solely focus on pre-game drinks today and leave recovery to the side.

However, if you’d like to check out 6 post-game drinks for recovery, click here for our other article!

The “Anatomy” Of A Pre-Game Drink

Now, let’s kick this off with something really important you should know. When it comes to performance, there’s a handful of criteria our pre-game drink needs to serve in order for it to be considered effective.

The most important thing to consider, once again, is your needs. As a rule of thumb though, a pre-game drink oriented for performance puts more of an emphasis on one or more of the 4 areas of nutrition we are going to mention and those are;

  • Water to aid hydration
  • Simple carbs to help with carb-loading
  • Electrolytes which we will talk about more later
  • And sometimes caffeine to gain the stimulating effects it offers that can “boost” your performance

So any drink that focuses on one or more of these ingredients slash nutrients CAN be considered a pre-game performance drink, however, I am also going to share a couple of pre-game drinks with you that you probably never heard of, so stay tuned!

Top 5 Pre-Game Drinks For Football

#1 Water

Now the first pre-game drink we’re gonna go over is water.

Before you go ahead and skip this part, I just wanna tell you that you’re most probably not hydrating properly and we all know that dehydration can cause a series of performance and health-related issues (headaches, lower energy levels, less lubricated joints, reduced cognitive ability, etc.).

RELATED – Hydration For Football Players Made Simple | Everything You Need To Know

So, please make sure you’re always well-hydrated going into a performance.

As a rule of thumb, 40-60milliliters of water per kilogram of body weight should be enough for an athlete. Keep track of the color of your urine to monitor your hydration levels. The darker the color the less hydrated you are. Aim for a pale yellow color though, not a completely clear one. 

And of course, make sure to use this simple rehydration method that is used by elite teams and athletes.

6 pre-game drinks for football performance

#2 Hypo-/Iso-/Hypertonic Sports Drinks & Electrolyte Tabs

The next drink I’d like to talk about is sports drinks, especially isotonic ones.

Now all kinds of sports drinks consist of the same ingredients but at different analogies and those are water, simple carbs, and electrolytes.

These ingredients make sports drinks a great choice both before and during the game.

Depending on the quantity of those ingredients, sports drinks are categorized into hypotonic, isotonic, and hypertonic sports drinks.

RELATED – Sports Drinks – Hypotonic, Isotonic, Hypertonic | What’s The Difference & How To Make One At-Home

#3 Energy Smoothie (High-Carb)

And now, one of my personal favorites; high-carb aka energy smoothies.

Although I wouldn’t advise you to drink those directly before a game as a pre-game drink because they can sometimes upset your stomach, I do think that they can be a really nice addition to your carb-loading plan to achieve that desired simple carb intake you want.

So here’s a simple recipe taken from our smoothie article;

  • 200-250ml Water
  • 1 Orange
  • 1-2 Beets
  • 1 tsp. Sugar/2 tsp. Organic Honey

RELATED – Smoothies For Footballers | This Is How To Fill Your Nutritional Gaps

#4 Beet Juice

Now, if the last drink left you wondering why the hell are there beets inside a high-carb smoothie, it’s now time to talk about that.

So the reason beetroot juice is getting increasingly popular in the field of performance nutrition is that it’s proven to enhance your performance.

Now beets are vegetables that are really high in nitrates.

Those nitrates are converted into nitric oxide inside your body, which is a molecule that can improve blood flow and therefore oxygen delivery, and overall, enhance your stamina.

Sipping beet juice or consuming small shots of it the days before a game as well as a couple of hours before kick-off has been proven to be an effective nutritional method that can positively influence your performance, so why not try it out?

#5 Caffeinated Drinks

Moving on to the last drink or better-said stimulant, we have caffeine.

Now we all know that caffeine can be pretty effective when it comes to enhancing your performance. It is a stimulating substance that can give you a good energy boost and enhance various areas of your performance such as your jumping and repeated sprinting ability, the total distance you run, as well as improve your cognitive performance and focus.

You can find it in many beverages, including coffee, black tea, and energy drinks but it can also be consumed in the form of pills and chewable tablets, etc.

Having said that, to get the most out of caffeine, we suggest an intake of 150-200mg of caffeine 30-60 minutes before performance.

RELATED – Energy Drinks, Coffee & Football Performance | Under- or Overrated?

Be careful though. Do not exceed the suggested daily dose of 300-400mg as this can cause overstimulation, anxiety, and other cardiovascular health issues we definitely do not want.

Your doctor is the best person to talk to though and get guidance!

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