Field sports such as soccer, Gaelic football and hurling are characterised by high intensity bursts during game time separated by periods of low to moderate intensity activity.
Fuelling performance through nutrition is met by adequate energy intake (calories) and adequate macronutrient intake to support the demands. Protein supports recovery, the growth or maintenance of muscle mass and supports immune system function.
Carbohydrate fuels and drives performance. It also plays a role in preventing the breakdown of muscle tissue.
Many GAA players do not meet these sports nutrition guidelines, especially for the intake of carbohydrate which fuels and sustains optimal performance. Eating adequate carbohydrate on game day is not sufficient to be able to perform and recover.
Habitual alcohol drinkers have increase injury risk relative to non-drinkers. It can also impair the ability to refuel glycogen stores (you can have a drink, but make sure you know where and when it fits in).
Sports nutrition guidelines are quite general and should be personalised to the specific sport and individual player’s needs.
References: PMID: 32429175. PMID: 21660838.