Best Meal Plan for High School Football Player of 2022

Football is a game of high strength, endurance, and power. Players have to train hard to get the wanted performance. Some players have the mindset to work hard, but they get demotivated because of their physical ability and fitness. That’s why teen football players need to give importance to nutrition as he has the importance of training. You can find useful information, how a football player gets the fuel and nutrients needed to perform at the top in this guide.

As we stated that, proper nutrition is very much essential for high school football players. They need to make an appropriate nutrition plan. They have to research about nutrition needed for a teen player or consulting with a doctor. A proper nutrition plan will provide the fuel and nutrients to help a player train well, recover quickly, and perform at the best of their ability.

Top of that, at the age of when a child study in the high school. In that time, their body is growing up and developing. That’s why high school is an important time to make healthy eating habits that will help them in their whole life.

In this guide, you will find some common questions of the teen football players about intake, sports, and energy drinks, recommended daily calories, pre-and post-workout foods, plus an outlined nutrition plan below. After that, you can make the most out of the football season and rise above the competition.

Many important things need to know for a healthy football season. Including a 28-day meal plan, snack idealist, tips for what, when, and how much to eat for football, plus more.

Parents, Please Send Help!

Normally high school students are always busy with their studies. They spent about 4 to 5 hours at the school and at the house he has to do his homework and study for 2 to 3 hours. If a student adds playing football to his routine, it will become busier for a student at this age. The average high school football player practices for 2-3 hours every day after school, also play 1-2 games per week. Sometimes an extra practice on Saturday, plus homework and other extracurricular activities. So, after so many tasks a day, a teen can’t eat or plan to eat a proper diet. Some teens also can’t make their meals.

A high school teen can manage his daily nutritional needs after having so many works to do in a day. To get this, he needs help from his family members, friends, and also coaches. It will make it a lot easier to complete all the day’s tasks if he gets one person’s help from his surroundings.

Skills like cooking, proper nutrition, and grocery shopping habits are essential for high school students. Anyone can get long-term success and a healthy lifestyle if he can earn these skills at an early age.

Parents have to become much more conscious about their children’s nutrition, trying to do good in football. They have to ensure that their children are getting adequate breakfast and taking proper lunch and snacks at school. It would be best for the teen if he can take lunch and snacks from his home. Nutritious dinner is also important. Parents can also make it for their children, and it can be a good time to improve nutrition for the whole family.

How Many Calories Should A High School Football Player Eat?

Football players have to do many things in a day besides playing. So, he needs a high range of calories. They may need anywhere from 2500-4000 calories per day depending on weight, height, activity level, etc.

You can calculate how many calories you needed by taking weight in Kg (2.2 Kg = 1 lb) and multiplying it by 30-35. Its result will give you a pretty good range of calories.

In general, a teen football player of high school needs at least 3000 calories per day. In this guide, we assumed 3000 calories per day and a proper diet plan. You can adjust this plan as your necessity.

3000 calories are just an estimate. This number depends on the size, age, and how long an player exercises a day (about 2-3 hours of football practice 5-6 days per week). You can also calculate recommended calorie range accurately through a different online calculator.

It is not recommended that young people count calories daily without any specific goals but instead understand what amount of food he needs to eat and nutrients at the right times throughout the day. It is best to learn how to eat by listening to hunger and keeping in mind the recommendations for healthy eating to use as fuel.

What Should A Football Player Eat?

Best Meal Plan for High School Football Player of 2022

A player needs a high amount of strength and power. That’s why they need to choose the best diet plan for them. Otherwise, it will affect their performance. A football player at his teenage should have an appropriate nutrition plan. He has to add macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and fat and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamins/Minerals:  Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meat, beans, and so many others contain many micronutrients. Eat various food of all colours, shapes, and textures from each food group for the greatest benefit.
  • Protein: The best source is poultry, fish, beans, legumes, low-fat dairy, and other lean proteins.
  • Carbohydrates: You can choose carbs from healthier options such as vegetables, fruit, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, whole wheat bread/pasta/tortillas, etc. There must be a limitation of taking processed carbohydrates such as white bread, sugary cereal, and dessert.
  • Fat: It would be better to take healthier fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, avocados. Butter and fried foods should be in a limited amount.

Now, we will give a proper diet plan for a high school football player. It will help you to understand what he should eat at different times of the day.

Breakfast:

Normally, a maximum high school player takes their breakfast at their home and is made by their parents. A high school needs to focused on healthy carbs and lean protein. Such as:

  • Eggs, toast, fruit, and milk
  • Oatmeal with fruit
  • Granola and Greek yogurt
  • Green smoothie with eggs
  • Whole wheat bagel, eggs, ham
  • Whole wheat pancakes/waffles, nut butter, milk
  • Avocado toast and fruit
  • Whole wheat muffin, fruit, a slice of ham

Mid-Morning: At this time, players normally stay at school. They need to eat a light snack and get some protein and carbs. It’s better to have snacks that are to be brought from home and eaten during breaks between class or after school before practice.

  • Almonds
  • Banana or celery with peanut butter
  • String cheese and an apple
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Pretzels and peanut butter

Lunch:

The best way to have proper lunch is to take lunch from home. At lunchtime, there are options to take lunch. You can take lunch at the school canteen or outside. You will not get enough nutrients after eating these food items. You may have to supplement other nutrient-rich foods. A high school player needs to focus on healthy carbs, lean protein, and vegetables.

  • Rice, lean beef, mixed veggies
  • Chicken and veggie wrap, fruit
  • Pita with hummus and veggies
  • Sandwich with deli meat, fruit, pretzels, celery

Tips for School Lunches: High school football players depend on school lunches to meet their nutritional needs. School lunches aren’t able to provide the full amount of nutrients to the teens. School lunches provide the average student with proper nutrition. However, they don’t take into account the different nutritional needs of a high school football player.

Pre-Workout Snack: It will help a player gain some power 1-2 hours before the workout. At this time, it is not good to eat anything heavy. Something light but with protein and carbs are better to eat:

  • String cheese and crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Cottage cheese and fruit
  • Cold cereal and milk
  • protein shake
  • Greek yogurt with fruit and granola
  • Hummus with whole wheat crackers and veggies

Post-workout snack: A teen player may feel very tired after training or workout for a long time. So, you can refuel your energy with protein, carbs, and fluid. But this option is not necessary if you have a little time for dinner. You can take it if there are 2-3 hours left before dinner. The options for the post-workouts are:

  • A protein shakes or smoothie
  • Chocolate milk
  • Protein bar
  • Greek yogurt with fruit

Dinner:

A regular meal is enough for dinner. Try to have dinner at home all the time. Because maximum time parents make dinner at home. They try to make the food as much healthier for the teen player. A football player must focus on vegetables, lean protein, and healthy carbs. You can add these food items:

  • Chicken, sweet potato, and black beans
  • Whole wheat pasta with sauce, meat, and veggies
  • Fish, brown rice, broccoli
  • Turkey burger and steamed mixed veggies
  • Chicken and veggie pizza
  • Taco salad

Eating Healthier

Some common food items for high school football players are meat, protein foods, and carbohydrate foods. Teens don’t like vegetables much. Pizza, burritos, hamburgers, french fries, pasta, eggs, and chicken are the most popular for high school football players.

But you need to know that veggies provide beneficial nutrients and are low in calories. You can have them cooked, frozen, canned, fresh, etc. Their benefits remain the same. It is better if a high school player can make a list of 5 to 10 vegetables that he will always eat or always have those on hand.

The best way to have both favorable and veggies

at the same time is to pair some of the vegetables with the most popular foods. It will make a better balance at meals.

One Week Meal Plan for A High School Football Player

In this meal plan, you will find a proper diet for 3000 calories per day with meals and 3 snacks. These meals will gain 800 calories and 100-300 calories per snack. These amounts are not definite. You have to change the plan according to your size, age, activity level, and personal goals. It will create a little less or more calories. Sometimes you may also need to change the number of calories in different meals and snacks. It depends on individual preference and tolerance.

A high school player needs to lower the calorie level on the rest days because less physical activity needs less energy.

In the meal plan, there are many favorite food items like Hamburgers, pizza, burritos. But these items are taken with healthier spins and all in an appropriate balance. It will help them to get proper nutrients according to their needs. At the time of tournaments, high school football players need to be very smart for their eating habits.

You will find this plan very helpful and also make your meal plan with the help of it.

 SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayGame DaySaturday
Breakfast2 eggs ½ cup hash browns 3 oz ham 1 slice toast 1 cup orange juiceProtein Smoothie:(½ cup Greek yogurt, handful spinach, banana, 1 T chia seeds, ¼ cup zucchini, ¼ cup frozen berries, 2 T oats, 2 cups milk) 1 slice toastPB Oatmeal: (¾ cup oats, 1 banana, 2 T peanut butter, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 T chia seeds) 1 cup milkBagel with 2 T cream cheese 1 cup 100% orange juice 2 scrambled eggs2 cups whole-grain cereal, 1 cup milk, Banana3 Protein Pancakes 3 T syrup ½ cup berries 1 T peanut butter 1 cup milk1 cup Greek yogurt ½ cup granola 1 cup fruit/veggie smoothie 1 slice toast
  SnackChoose from snack list as needed
LunchGrilled panini sandwich ½ cup cucumber slices 1 cup cottage cheese Pear slicesChicken sandwich 1 bag baked chips apple ½ cup baby carrots 1 cup 100% juiceTuna salad sandwich ½ cup carrots ½ cup celery 12 whole-grain crackers ¼ cup hummus 1 cup chocolate milkBurrito Pear slices 1 cup tortilla Chips Salsa 1 cup milkHoagie sandwich 1 cup snap peas 2 T ranch dressing orange(eat whatever your stomach can easily handle before games) Leftover pasta Breadsticks Orange sliced cucumbersBurrito Bowl Apple 1 cup 100% juice ½ cup pretzels
  SnackChoose from snack list as needed
Dinner3 tacos (topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, bell peppers) 1 cup milk2 cups meat and bean chili Cornbread muffinLean chicken and rice bowl 1 cup grilled veggiesPulled pork sandwich 2 cups green salad 2 T dressing 1 cup oven-baked fries 3 T ketchup  1 cup pasta (with tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and 8 meatballs) ½ cup green beans 2 breadsticks Peach slices(Eat what is easiest on your stomach post-game with & focus on protein, carbs, and fluid) Chicken veggie pizza Chocolate milkHamburger with toppings 1 cup oven-baked fries 1 cup oven baked fries 3 T ketchup 2 cups green salad 2 T dressing
  SnackSmoothie popsicles Or choose from the list3 cup popcorn or choose from the list1 cup chips and salsa or choose from the list½ cup frozen yogurt or choose from the list(may not need snack based on dinner timing)Bran muffin or choose from the list 
Football Meal Plan

You can choose snacks from this list that go with the meal plan:

  • 1 apple and 1/4 cup almonds
  • apple with 1 T peanut butter or 1 banana or
  • 8 whole-wheat crackers and string cheese
  • 1 cup milk and 1.5 cups cereal
  • 12 oz protein fruit smoothie
  • 12 oz chocolate milk
  • 1/4 cup trail mix
  • string cheese and an apple
  • 1 T peanut butter and 1/2 cup pretzels
  • J sandwich & PB
  •  2 hard-boiled eggs and 1 cup of juice
  • banana and rice cake with 1 T peanut butter 
  • string cheese and 4 oz applesauce
  • fruit and 1 cup Greek yogurt with granola
  • veggies and 1/4 cup hummus with 6 whole-wheat crackers
  • energy bar
  • fruit and 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

What Should A Young Football Player Drink?

There are lots of options for hydration, such as Gatorade, water, and other sports drinks. You can also have juice, chocolate milk, etc. But you have to understand what is the best of these drinks. If you choose water from these drinks, you have chosen the right one. It is the most hydrating and best choice for every training session and event.

Water will do the job of hydration for you if you workouts for just one hour or less. Drinking other drinks will increase your cost and also, they are bad for your health. These energy drinks or sports drinks contain too much sugar and calories.

When Are Sports Drinks Appropriate for Hydration?

It would be best to drink Gatorade, Powerade, or other energy drinks and other sports drink before any training session or game. The best decision would be to hydrate with regular water. That’s why you must bring lots of water with you and drink regularly. But sometimes it is recommended to drink a sports drink if the length and intensity of your workout.

You should drink something with a good amount of carbohydrates to maintain your energy levels if your training session is longer than 1 hour and is intense enough. It will keep you at the best performance in your whole training session.

You will need a sports drink to replenish your energy to maintain the top performance during a workout game. But you have to choose the best sports drinks for your health. It would be better to drink a sports drink where the amount of carbohydrates is low. Otherwise, it will create negative effects on your health. So, you have to be smart in this case and choose sports drinks that contain 8% of carbohydrates, or drink some watered-down juice.

You can drink chocolate milk if you want to have some delicious taste and also keep you hydrated. Juice or milk and sometimes chocolate milk can be best for post-workout beverages.

What Supplements Should A High School Football Player Take?

Normally high school students don’t need to take any extra vitamin or mineral supplements. There is some exception if you are very weak in power or have inactive body fitness. A regular multi-vitamin at this life stage can indeed be helpful to help with growth and development for a teen player.

You have to understand that a good supplement can never make up for a bad diet! You have to try to get nutrients from food rather than from extra supplements of any kind.

Related Questions for Game Day:

What Should a High School Football Player Eat Before a Game?

It is a very important decision to take that what you should eat on a game day. Because you have worked very hard to do the best performance, inappropriate foods can harm your body, which would affect your performance.

Pre-Game Meals: You should avoid eating a full belly the night before the game day. You have to eat more about 2 to 4 hours before start the game. You can have easily digestible carbohydrates, and some of this will fuel your body and store some for your game.

You can have some snacks as game time approaches. It would be best if you have it 30 minutes to 1 hour before kick-off. You must include carbohydrates like fruits, potatoes, bread, vegetables, pasta, or cereals, which will create consistent energy for the body for the next few hours.

You need to avoid fried foods, spicy foods, high fiber, fat, and protein foods before the game. Pasta, fruits, vegetables, and bread will help you build up your glycogen stores before a game.

Pre-Game Snacks need to provide moderate amounts of fat, fiber, protein, and lots of carbohydrates and fluids. It would be best if you ate that your stomach can handle. Taking unfamiliar foods and new diets will be the worst decision.

Without feeling best to focus on the game can change the result you wished to have. You can try these items before the game:

  • Granola or protein bar
  • Pretzels and grapes
  • Trail mix
  • Bananas and nut butter
  • Peanut butter and jelly (or honey) sandwich

What Foods Should High School Football Players Avoid?

Normally, you don’t have to delete any food items on your diet but take everything to a limit. Foods containing too much sugar, salt, fat, and other foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients you should take to a limited amount.

Something is not exactly food, but you must have to avoid giving the best performance. Those are:

  • Alcohol
  • Excessive amounts of protein- including protein powders and protein bars
  • Excessive amounts of supplements

Summary

  1. Every high school football player must focus on taking an appropriate diet with regular meals in the day. You should have foods that consume important nutrients like carbohydrates, healthy fat, and lean protein.
  2. High school players must be conscious about the pre-workout snacks. They need to focus on a high amount of carbohydrates and fluid and a limited amount of protein.
  3. Post-workout meals and snacks must refuel energy without creating any negative effect on the body. These meals and snacks must be replenishing protein, carbohydrates, and fluid.

-our editorial board has reviewed this article and has been approved for publication according to our editorial policy.

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Last update 2022-09-29 at 15:24