Pre-match winter warm-up meals

If the weather outside is frightful, one of these belly-warmers will get you through the game
  • Sweet and sour chicken noodles
  • Puréed winter 
vegetable soup
  • Beef and 
vegetable stew

Sweet and sour chicken noodles

What you’ll need:
  • Straight-to-wok medium noodles
  • Chicken breast, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • Mixed stir fry vegetables
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Stir fry the chicken pieces and veg with the sauces before adding noodles and serving. “It’s full of glycogen-boosting carbohydrates that will provide lasting energy during a game,” says sports nutritionist Rees Colling. “You’ve got good sources of protein to promote muscle tissue maintenance and repair muscle damage, plus it’s low in fat which will maximise carbohydrate storage.”

Puréed winter vegetable soup

What you’ll need:
  • 1-2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Ginger
  • 14oz vegetable stock

Mix in a blender before heating on the hob. Not only will it lay down a layer of insulation for the game, as a liquid it’ll be easy to digest so won’t leave you feeling bloated before kick-off – so long as you don’t go dunking masses of bread in it. “Your body can easily absorb vegetable nutrients, without wasting energy breaking them down,” says Matt Lovell, sports nutritionist at Spurs.

Beef and vegetable stew

What you’ll need:
  • Lean beef chunks
  • 1 onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 cube beef stock 
  • Two slices of warm rye bread
  • 1 glass of cherry juice (to drink)

Brown off the meat in a pan and add the onions, carrots and celery. Once all the vegetables have browned, add the beef stock with water and let it reduce. “The beef is high in protein and will help your muscles recover quicker,” says Bolton Wanderers nutritionist Mayur Ranchordas. “In addition to this, the rye bread will replace the muscle glycogen, while the vegetables and cherry juice contain phytochemicals and polyphenols, which will reduce any muscle soreness you may have.”

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