Just as football teams are made up of a variety of positions, different diets are needed to fuel the performance of players on the field.\nJeff Lucchino, MS, RDN, CSSD, a sports dietitian at UPMC, provides a game plan for nutrition based on some football positions.\nTo make an appointment or learn more about our nutrition services, visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com.\nSkill Positions: Running Backs, Defensive Backs, Wide Receivers, Quarterbacks\nSkill position players should focus on carbohydrates more than other nutrients for performance. Their positions involve inconsistent sprinting, cutting, and other explosive movements that require carbohydrates to fuel performance.\nRELATED: Common Football Injuries by Position\nLinemen: Offensive Linemen, Defensive Linemen, Tight Ends, Linebackers\nFor line positions, players need to be large. But eating the wrong type of foods to build body mass can slow players down and cause health issues.\nLinemen are hit on every single play, causing the high-level breakdown of muscle tissue. To help prevent this breakdown, these players should eat more protein.\nFriday Night Fuel: Pre-Game Meal Tips\nIn football, pre-game meals are all about timing. A pre-game meal should take place three to five hours before kickoff. Teams that eat too early (seven hours before kickoff) or too late (one to two hours before kickoff) can negatively impact their performance. When it comes to the nutritional elements of the pre-game meal, it must be taken into consideration that football is a constant, high-energy sport.\nPlaying football, a constant high-energy sport, requires a high-calorie pre-game meal that includes:\nRecommended Pre-Game Meal\n\nCarbohydrates: Choose a low-calorie pasta and pair it with alfredo sauce and bread as a side\nProtein: Grilled chicken or meatballs made with lean meat (package labeled 90 percent or leaner)\nProduce: A side salad made with either lettuce or spinach, topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, and an oil-based dressing. Want something sweeter? Choose a fruit salad that incorporates berries, kiwi, mango, and pineapple\nHydration: Water, sports drinks, 100 percent apple juice, or a fruit smoothie\n\nTo make an appointment or learn more about our nutrition services, visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com.\n.