People who are on diets often complain that they need to avoid certain foods and eat others, often less tasty than they would like. On the other hand, professional athletes must eat a specific food, at specific times, in order to keep their bodies well saturated with all the macro and micronutrients required to play a sport at the highest level.

Have you ever wondered how many calories do professional football players eat in a day? Here is a short breakdown.

Calorie Intake Varies by Day

The largest variance in calorie intake when talking about professional football players happens on a daily basis. Calorie intake on a game day would be higher in carbohydrates, for example, while recovery days would be focused on proteins, amino acids, and electrolytes.

A typical day of a professional football player would require anywhere between 3,500 calories to 6,000, depending on the size and weight of the players. Taller players would require more calories, as well as those with a goal of building more muscles. The off-season is often used to build muscles, such as the winter period, where players go to the gym and often gain weight, which is then regulated as the season approaches, to make a leaner, quicker and more agile body.

Rest days would have fewer calories than training days, but not by a large margin, up to 400 calories. The macronutrients are much more important than just the number of calories.

Macronutrients, Not Calorie Count

When talking about calories, it is important to get the macronutrients right. If you just take any food and eat 4000 calories, you will more likely than not end up with having a very poor balance of nutrients, which ends up with you having no progress, or even the reverse.

For professional football players, it is important to eat a lot of carbohydrates, up to 60% of the daily intake. A lot of the workouts include cardio, intense cardio, which can drain the body of carbs. Proteins are about 15 to 20% of daily intake, depending on the day, and fats can vary from 20 to 35%, depending on the day.

Football players can eat a lot of food, and they must if they want to play at a professional level. Anywhere from 3,500 calories to 6,000 calories is necessary for a player, depending on their height and weight.