Eat Like The Pride, in association with Lucozade, provides an insight into the nutrition strategies that the England performance nutrition department implement with our national teams…to help them fuel for and recover from the demands of international football.
To start with, we focus on periodised nutrition strategies with the aim of understanding how to best match your energy intake (the amount of calories you’re consuming) with your energy expenditure (how many calories you are using).
With England, we use a system called Food Formations, which incorporates the three three Ts of nutrition: timing, type and total.
This relates to the time of day you eat, what type of food you choose and how much of that particular food you consume.
We then present this as a formation of food with the 3-1-1 high fuel formation, the 2-2-2 repair formation, and the 1-2-3 protect formation.
3-1-1: Three portions of carbohydrates, one portion of protein and one portion of vegetables. The purpose of this meal is to really maximise the amount of carbohydrates (energy) that is consumed, to allow an increased amount of glycogen to be saturated within the muscles ready for an intense training session or a 90 minute game. Think about the England players during an international match, lots of accelerations, change of directions and intense actions that all requires energy.
2-2-2: This formation represents a moderate fuel, moderate recovery and repair meal with two portions of carbohydrates, two portions of proteins and two portions of fruits or vegetables. The purpose of this meal is to fuel the body to a moderate amount, but to also recover from the match or heavy training session we’ve just taken part in. We increase the protein content here to really help the body mend and repair any damaged muscles, while also consuming two good portions of fruits and vegetables to help with reducing soreness and inflammation.
3-2-1: This is all about consuming a high amount of fruits and vegetables to ensure we look after our immunity and general health and wellness. This could be a travel day or even a very light training day where we will still want to consume a little bit of carbohydrates and protein… but really ramp up the vegetable and fruit consumed to increase our intake of all the important vitamins and minerals.
Periodise your own nutrition at home by following the food formations framework.
For an insight into the meals that the England players consume when on camp keep an eye out over the next six weeks as we will share breakfast, lunch, dinner smoothie and snack examples.