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How does your body type impact your game and the food you should eat?

12 January 2018 Ben Cartwright bodytype, fitness, football, soccer, footballfit, footballfitness

One of the most common questions in relation to performance nutrition is:

 

What should I eat before games?

 

This is usually accompanied with one of the most frustrating answers of ‘it depends’.

 

The target with this blog is to make it clearer on why this is the case.

 

We have discussed in previous blogs that a player’s position will dictate what their requirements of energy are throughout a match. A goalkeeper and a wingback would obviously have different requirements of energy due to their opposing positional demands.

 

To further this point every player will have a slightly different body types. Ectomorph, Mesomorph & Endomorph are the three popularized body types however our view is that a body type would sit on a scale between these 3 titles rather than being rigidly allocated to a single group. For example you could have a player who may have some characteristics of a mesomorph and ectomorph rather than just one or the other.

 

A player’s body type can also affect how they manipulate their diet to maximise their energy.

 

Ectomorph body types are the players who struggle to gain weight and muscle. They will often need a large amount of food to maintain or add bodyweight. A player of this type will generally require higher amounts of carbohydrates too. Their demand for fats are slightly lower than other body types but they will require an adequate amount of protein to maintain and build muscle mass.

 

Mesomorphs are the players who naturally hold a lot of muscle. For players of this body type they generally would require an equal measure of carbohydrate and fats to maintain their weight along with protein. A player of this type would need to monitor their food intake to avoid putting on too much muscle and weight. This would be particularly relevant to certain positions such as wingers, full back and wing backs who have to be able to cover a large distance per game.

 

Endomorph body types are the players who find it hard to lose fat. These players will have to keep a close eye on their nutrition to keep body fat levels down. Endomorph body types will generally react better to lower carbohydrate diets and higher fat with adequate levels of protein. This is by no means saying that all endomorphs should be on low carb diets. The point is that carbohydrates should be periodised and utilised when the demand for them is at its highest. During times when the need is lower, an endomorph could reduce their consumption of carbohydrates due to lower activity levels. Individual needs will determine the amounts of carbohydrates required and the timings of carb reintroduction pre match or training session.

 

These guidelines are still dependent on each individual player and would obviously need combining with the match demands of a player, before a specific nutritional protocol is developed. Nutrition protocols based on body types are often discussed in the fat loss industry, however there is still plenty we can apply to footballers.

 

The ultimate aim of any performance program is to prepare the player to perform at the highest level possible. If any physical factor such as being too light and not having enough strength, or being too heavy and holding too much body fat and being unable to move efficiently affects performance in a negative way this is something that needs fixing.

 

Ben

Football Fitness Federation

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