Subscribe for new posts & videos:

The Best Supplements for Football/Soccer Players


A growing trend for football players is using dietary supplements to aid in performance and recovery. Sometimes these may help, but you should be cautious when experimenting with added vitamins and minerals outside of your everyday diet. There are many rogue companies claiming miracle results from the use of their products. Hats off to the marketing companies behind these products as the list of benefits often make the supplement sounds too good to be true (and they usually are).

The benefits often promised by these products are:
• Increasing training adaptations (allowing the body to meet new demands of training)
• Building muscle whilst stripping fat
• Improve energy levels
• Increasing recovery between training, allowing players to train harder and more often
• Reducing the likelihood of injury, fatigue or illness, resulting in less interruptions to training schedule
• Providing players with a competitive advantage over the competition

Reading this list, it’s easy to see how enticing these products can be for a player wanting to enhance performance. Unfortunately, there is no scientific proof that any of them work. In fact, some studies resulted in harmful side effects for players who consumed select products.

Best Supplements for Football Players – Do the research

Before adding any supplements to aid your healthy diet, you should carry out thorough research. We even suggest seeking professional advice from a sports nutritionist or doctor to be certain you have a safe product. In most cases any deficiencies can be rectified by small changes your diet before trying supplements. This solution is much healthier and lighter on the wallet.

Research is creating new knowledge.
Neil Armstrong

If you are consuming a healthy balanced diet and still need an increase in vitamins and minerals, then supplements may help to improve your deficiencies. But, we stress the importance of caution and not exceeding the recommended dose as this can cause serious health risks.

Protein Powders and Supplements for Footballers

The buzz phrase in today’s fitness nutrition is ‘Protein Shakes’. We’re sure if you go to any gym throughout the country you will see a handful of people rattling a MaxiMuscle shaker filled with a murky coloured substance. Often these people are just following the crowd, without the knowledge of why or how much extra protein their body requires. But, when measured the benefits to pre and post workout protein shakes are great for your development.

Protein bars, protein supplements and amino acid capsules, are among the best selling products in sports nutrition industry. This is because players and fitness enthusiasts know muscle repair and muscle growth can only happen when enough protein is consumed. A well-planned diet should offer all the protein needed for everyday life. But, there may be a need for protein supplements after a hard training session as part your recovery plan.

To find out the most reputable supplements suppliers click here


Football Players Who Want to Reduce Fat and Build Muscle

No matter how seriously you take playing football, the majority of players want to feel positive about their body shape. a 90 minutes match one or twice a week should give every player the right to have a great physique and body composition. This isn’t always the case and some footballers find it hard to keep that stubborn fat off and their weight down. Players who are carrying weight in places, often try fat burners to reduce their fat levels.

In today’s ever growing nutrition industry their are a huge amount of products that promise to shed fat, whilst building muscle bulk at the same time. Few products deliver on this promise and the few that do can be bad for your health or may already be banned from football.

Find out the full list of substances that are banned from football here

This even goes for several ‘Natural Herbal Products’ that advertise weight loss. Sometimes these products contain ingredients not listed on the packaging, that may be banned in football. As you can imagine it’s difficult to keep a healthy diet if you unsure of what’s in the product.

Some of the main Products claiming to help build muscle include:
• Boron
• Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)
• Colostrum
• Chromium

Theses products are available on the high street and via supplement websites and promoted as a reliable source for increasing muscle mass. But, we have found no scientific proof that these expensive products will have any benefits for a footballer’s muscular system.

We suggest looking at adjusting your diet and training program get the ideal look you want. Check out the footballers diet for more information.

Supplements to Help a Footballer Increase Energy

Often footballers get to the last 15 minutes of a workout, match or training and tire, wishing they had more energy in the tank. These are the players that supplement marketers look towards when creating energy supplements. Using buzzwords and false claims that their products will give you the extra boosts of energy when you need it most.

There are several products on the market that suggest they can increase a player’s energy levels.

The main three supplements making these claims are:
• Carnitine
• Pyruvate
• Ribose

At the time of writing this, these products are still unproven in the football world. There is no scientific evidence to confirm any of the advertised benefits on the label can help footballers.

Food is a football player’s natural medicine. So if you often have low energy towards the end of the game, we suggest you re-visit your nutrition plan. There are no shortcuts to making it to the top, but there are strategies to fueling your body and making massive strides forward.


Supplements to Help a Football Player’s Immune System

Players that play at an intense level of football may increase their chance of infections and illness. When you train hard you can create high amounts of stress hormones, which reduce the immune system’s ability to combat infections.

There are many companies that supply product which specialise in restoring and boosting a player’s immune system.

Supplements that promote these benefits are:
• Zinc
• Colostrum
• Glutamine
• Echinacea

As with several food supplements products, there is limited research on the benefits of taking these products. If you feel you have a reoccurring problem with your immune system, you should consult your doctor and ask them about these four supplements.

Otherwise a healthy immune system can often be restored with adequate rest and a proper balance of carbohydrate stores in your body.

Supplements to Help Footballers with Bone and Joint Health

Throughout the football season you put your body through immense strain, with huge amounts of impact felt on the bones and joints. A combination of jumping, sprinting, tackling and heading, can all affect your body’s skeletal system. This highlights the importance to keep your bones and joints as healthy as possible.

The main vitamins and minerals for healthy bones and Vitamin D and Calcium. A player should be able to get enough Calcium from a healthy Diet and the Vitamin D from natural sunlight supports calcium absorption. You should speak to your doctor or physio if you suffer from bone density problems as they may prescribe you a suitable product.

Best Supplements for Football Players- Joint Health

Throughout the season a player may train or play on grass, astro turf or indoor pitch. These surfaces can put a tremendous amount of stress on your joints. So your joint health must be catered for when planning your football diet.

The main 3 products on the market that claim to the improve your joint health are:
• MSM Methylsulfonymethane
• Glucosamine
• Chondroitin

As yet, we have found no evidence that any of these products will help improve a player’s joint health. The only suggestions are that Glucosamine may have a positive effect on elderly people with osteoarthritis.

Joint health can be improve by regular stretching and making sure you have a lot of Omega 3 in your diet. This can be found in fish (salmon) or Omega 3 capsules.

Which Supplements Do We Suggest for Footballers?

Although we have expressed (many times) that a healthy diet is the best formula for improving body’s health, there may be situations where added supplements are needed.

The three main supplements for improving a player’s performance are:
• Creatine
• Caffeine
• Bicarbonate

Why Does Creatine Improve Football Players Performance?

Our brains and muscle fibres contain an organic compound called Creatine Phosphate. This provides a quick source of energy for muscles to contract. It also provides the same burst of energy in the brain for the neurons.

The amount of Creatine Phosphate stored in your muscles can be increased by certain creatine supplements. These supplement can also help with improving your sprinting, by increasing the energy available during intense exercise.

If I player is looking to build muscle mass, then creatine may be the way, as it can lead to gains in muscle size. It is also believed that creatine can increase glycogen stores in the muscles.

Creatine is found in fish and meat; but the suggested amounts needed to improve are higher than found in an everyday diet. Research shows that taking the proper dosage of creatine is not harmful to your health, but as with any supplements you must not exceed the suggested dosage:


We suggest that any player under 18 should refrain from taking Creatine or anybody building supplements. As your body is still developing and these supplements may have negative effects on your development.

Why Should Football Players Consume Caffeine?

Believe it or not caffeine can work wonders for a football player. But no need to splash out on expensive caffeine supplements. A simple cup of coffee has all the caffeine you need to improve performance in prolonged and shorter spells of exercise. Amounts as small as 2-3 mg per kg of your body weight is enough to produce the following benefits:

Disease Prevention: A 2011 study published in Critical Reviews in Food and Nutrition, showed that antioxidants in coffee help the body fight against disease. Suggesting Parkinson’s, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s’ disease could all be prevented by drinking coffee.

Less Muscle Pain: Coffee drinkers expressed less muscle pain than non coffee drinkers in a study carried out by the University of Illinois. This allowed participants to complete more reps whilst training. They suggest consuming a strong coffee 30 minutes before training for the greatest benefit.

Focus: Black coffee can help to improve your focus, allowing you to be more alert at training and take in more from your coaching. This will Insure every training session is productive and effective.

Increase in Performance on the Pitch: Various experts suggest coffee can help improve athletic performance. One report published in sports medicine, suggests athletes can perform for longer if they consume coffee before a game. A second study in the British Journal of sports science concluded that athletes who consumed coffee before running 1500m on the treadmill, finished 4.2 seconds on average faster than those who hadn’t had coffee.

Speeds up Fat Loss: One of the best benefits of drinking coffee before training or matches is its fat burning tendency. Coffee is believed to force the body to use fat for energy instead of glycogen stores. It also speeds up your metabolism and suppresses your appetite meaning you won’t binge eat outside of your healthy diet.

Just be sure not to consume too much caffeine as this can have a detrimental effect on your health and sleep patterns.

Now we have covered the supplements that can help outside of your diet, let’s look at negative effects of supplements and the rules around usage.

Supplements Consumption Rules in Football

Depending on the level of football or how serious you take your training will dictate what you may put in your body. If you are playing at an academy or elite level you will have random drug tests throughout the season. For players at this level, we recommend against any supplement experimentation outside of your official nutrition plan (set out by your club).

Although the packaging and marketing may might the product appear legitimate, there are grey areas within the supplement industry which make it hard to police. These areas get murkier as different governing bodies set the guidelines for different countries. This makes it very difficult to know the exact ingredients and how the product is made. These supplements may be made in unhygienic environments, containing dangerous poisons that can cause internal problems.

Many cheap rouge supplements have added ingredients not list on the packaging. This could lead to a player taking a substance that is banned from football without knowing. It is reported that one in four substances on the market today has ingredients that may result in a positive test.

Several companies list ‘Proprietary Blends’ on the bottle, which can confuse the customer. There’s two main reason for a company listing this on the packaging:.

1) So a competitor cannot find the exact ratio of each ingredient and copy it.
2) To mislead the customer and not show the exact quantities of each ingredient they are claiming to promote.

At the point of writing this, there is no way of determining the proprietary of any supplement. So we suggest steering clear from them at all costs. There are banned substances that even a medical teams cannot find in unknown products. So make sure you are sensible in your choices when considering anything out of your healthy diet.

Testosterone In football

There are various supplements that claim to increase testosterone levels. These are:

• Tribulus Terrestris
• Chrysin
• Indole-3-Carbinol
• Saw Palmetto
• Gamma-oryzanol
• Smilax
• Mummio

The research for these claims took place in a laboratory, and we have found no relevant evidence to show these products have a positive effects on football players.

You must understand that you’re in charge of your career and your body. Anything you consume, you and only you will be liable. You must be professional on and off the pitch. Players like Bergkamp and Giggs pioneered the art of self preservation with healthy eating and healthy living. Take a leaf from their books and take the doubt out of your diet.

Thanks for reading, now time to get involved in the community discussion. Let us know if you have ever tried or considered any of the above products, or if you want to ask any of our experts for advice. Leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading

Player Scout Team


Comments are closed.