BREAKFAST ‘If I’m not having a particularly active day, I’ll opt for something light, such as yoghurt, granola and a few berries. But a match-day breakfast would be much bigger and around four hours before kick-off – scrambled or poached eggs, bacon and avocado, wholemeal toast, beans and mushrooms. I’d rather have a big meal earlier in the day, then snack as we get closer to kick-off (often between 2pm and 4pm). And if we’re playing at 5.30pm or 6pm, which tends to be the case for England matches, I’ll have a small breakfast, big lunch and small pre-match snack.’ Katy Daley-McLean
LUNCH ‘I try to eat fairly well for lunch – I’ll have some protein such as chicken with a bit of salad and some rice or pasta. I’m not particularly creative. I like eating and I like going out to eat, but these meals probably aren’t what I’d choose to eat all of the time.’
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SNACKS ‘For a late kick-off, my pre-match snack is often a shake that’s got oats, banana and some sort of protein in it – I’ve learnt there are other ways of getting calories and nutrients in without having a big plate of food.’
DRINKS ‘I’ve always got a big bottle of water with me so I can try to stay hydrated as it’s easy to become dehydrated when you’re training lots. I occasionally have water with electrolyte tablets, especially in the summer. Sometimes I have protein shakes after a match, but usually I’m a milk fan.’
TIMINGS ‘It took me a while to learn I don’t like playing when I’m full. I now know that, if I’ve had a big meal earlier in the day, I can then snack on things such as bananas, banana bread, yoghurts, shakes and date bars to stay fuelled.’
‘For elite athletes, like Katy, timing of meals is almost as important the food she eats, both when she’s training and on match days. Katy needs lots of calories to fuel her training, and food that will provide sustained energy for the 80 minutes she’s playing – but she can’t afford to feel full or sluggish. Shakes and smoothies can help provide all the nutrients she needs in an easy, digestible form. Some research suggests heavy training can have a have an adverse effect on the balance of bacteria in the gut, so taking a probiotic supplement is a good idea. She could also think about taking a prebiotic.’
Hands up if you’ve had a work-themed dream recently, or have lain awake, mind racing because of job-related stress. That’s what we thought. A recent survey of 2,000 people found that the average employee loses over nine hours of sleep a week (that’s equivalent to a whole night’s sleep!) due to work concerns. The Totaljobs reseach also found that people are as likely to dream about work and colleagues as they are about family. Psychologist Dr Ian Wallace analysed the findings of the survey and recommends that the next time you have a work dream or nightmare, consider the underlying conflict that might exist and the steps you can take to resolve it. And don’t forget to leave work at work and banish technology from the bedroom to help boost those zzzs as well.