Five foods AFL players should avoid

Olivia O'Donahoo (Admin)
March 20, 2018

AFL players know that nutrition is a key aspect when it comes to gaining an edge over their competitors. No matter what fitness goals a player has, this combined with what they put on their plate opens the gateway to success.

An AFL player’s eating plan is so much more than calories in and out…it’s fuel. The right foods can help to support their energy and assist their muscle growth and repair. The wrong foods can set them back. When it comes to what an AFL player should chow down on, these are the foods they want to avoid, according to Sports Dietitian, Simone Austin.


Soft Drinks

Although soft drinks provide water for hydration, they are also high in sugar with no other nutrients present. Soft drinks are also very acidic, which can increase the risk of dental decay.


Blended vegetable oils

These vegetable oil varieties can be unstable and form harmful polar compounds when heated. They are lacking the antioxidants and compounds, such as oleocanthal.



Deep fried, white flour, sugar coated goodness....not your everyday snack. A single donut can easily contain more than 300 calories. Add to that lots of sugar, fats and other unhealthy ingredients, and donuts can wreak havoc on an AFL player’s health.  


Potato Cakes

Yes, potato cakes contain potato but really how much? Any deep-fried food is a no-go for an AFL athlete. Potato cakes are a thin slice of potato covered in batter, combined with the poor oil quality they are cooked in. Simone suggests players consume a healthier alternative; roast or steamed potatoes tossed in extra virgin olive oil.


Takeaway fried rice

Rice is great, brown rice is even better but in smaller portions. When rice is poor quality, it can leave you feeling sluggish. Add to it poor quality fats such as margarine and you have a not so healthy meal. AFL players should cook their own rice at home in small amounts with a good quality oil.



Alcohol is of course a no brainer to keep to a minimum and should be avoided by AFL players. Too much booze can impact muscle recovery and slow down decision making . It also is a diuretic and can dehydrate an athlete in the short term. If a player is injured, it probably isn’t the time to have boozy session.

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