Football players put intense demands on their bodies. In order to play at their best and protect their well-being, they need to be extremely conscientious about caring for their health. 

Whether you are new to the game or you've played for years, be proactive about managing your health with these five key tips.

Learn About Your Individual Nutritional Needs

In order to eat as healthy as possible, you have to be attentive to a lot more than just calorie counts. Read functional medicine books to learn about the practical utility of specific nutrients in your diet. 

When you understand the role that each essential nutrient plays in your training goals, you can be purposeful about your dietary choices.

Getting a full blood panel can be a useful tool for identifying deficiencies. In some instances, vitamin deficiencies are the product of enzymatic issues rather than gaps in your diet. 

In these cases, it is advantageous to get more than the recommended daily value of a particular vitamin to help ensure that your body ultimately gets the right amount.

Hydrate Like You Mean It

Optimizing your digestion and being able to hit nutritional benchmarks requires a steady intake of water throughout the day. Also, good hydration levels will definitely make you more resilient to soft tissue injuries. 

If you’re training hard during football season, you’ll probably need to increase your water intake slightly to replace some of the fluids that you lose at practice and also when you’re working out. 

Make water your first choice instead of sports drinks and sodas. Limit the total number of fluid ounces with added sugars that you drink in a day.

Make Sleep a Top Priority

The quality of your sleep is a big factor in how hard you can play. Getting sufficient sleep consistently enables you to regulate your energy levels so you’ll have more stamina when you’ve had a good night’s rest. 

Trying to stretch just a few hours of rest through a whole day is probably going to take away from your performance and it’s undoubtedly going to make you feel lousy.

Create a set schedule for sleep. Always go to bed at the same time every night so you can give your body a rhythmic sleep cycle. 

When you give yourself a bedtime, you'll find that you don’t have to really force yourself to get to sleep, even if you’ve opted for an especially early time to get into bed. 

Set a reminder on your phone that you need to get ready to turn in and streamline your pre-bed ritual by keeping everything that you need in one place.

Fight Inflammation Proactively

In contact sports, some degree of inflammation is inevitable. Unfortunately, the muscle contusions and joint sprains that you sustain that seem relatively significant can lead to more significant impairments. 

Even just acute inflammation can cause you to experience fairly severe pain and discomfort. To prevent inflammation from slowing you down, you have to take a forward-looking approach to stop joint and muscle tenderness before it starts. 

Be sure to ice areas that have been a problem for you repeatedly. Immersion in an ice bath is a great way to decompress after you’ve been putting your all into training. 

Also, you need to consider the relationship between your diet and inflammation. An excessive amount of red meat or hydrogenated seed oils can make you much more vulnerable to acute and chronic inflammation.

Give Yourself Time to Recover When You Need It

Football players need to trust their training staff and healthcare providers about resting to recover from minor or serious injuries. 

When your body needs to repair itself, rest is the best thing you can do for yourself. Never try to rush your recovery or you could prolong an injury.


In football, you have to stay healthy to stay on the field. 

A well-structured training regimen and excellent mental performance conditioning will help you safeguard your health while you continue advancing your abilities.


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