Although there will be no Irish involvement in the World Cup this year, a lot of people will still be tuning into the first World Cup on European soil (well mostly ) since 2006. This competition will involve 32 national teams including defending champions Germany as well as World Cup virgins, Panama and Iceland. The tournament means just over a month of football ahead the question has to be asked – with all those matches what is the snack of choice and how healthy is it? (Well maybe not the biggest question in most of our minds – but an important issue, nonetheless! )
If you are watching the footie your body needs to be alert so remember water/ squash / diet drink will hydrate your body – allowing you to concentrate on the game in hand. On the other hand, alcohol like beer, lager or stout will depress and slow down your thoughts and reactions – so true fans stay hydrated and keen for that post match mental replay and analysis!
Salt laden snacks such as crisps and peanuts will only make you thirsty, with dehydration affecting concentration levels. They are also jammed full of fat, in other words they will make you fatter. The aim is not to require a diet mid July!
So what can you snack on?
Chopped vegetables and fruit – even ‘real men’ can eat fruit, and let’s face it when you are really concentrating – taste doesn’t matter!
Air-popped popcorn – high in fibre, low in fat and good to satisfy the need for a crunch – just keep away from the salted, buttered or sugary varieties.
Just eat nothing – its radical really but matches only last 90 minutes – the team doesn’t eat (well maybe there is the rumour about Jaffa cakes – but the team is running it off! ) – and you definitely won’t starve over this time! At least there has never been a recorded incident of starvation while watching the football!
Take an exercise break during half time
Remember to pace yourself, this is the World Cup – but if you don’t want to resemble a football by the end of it – take some exercise, watch those snacks – keep the alcohol for the final!
For more information on any of the issues discussed above or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at; The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster by telephone on (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].