The first Greek site in football training

Born in Athens. Lives and works in Tripoli (Peloponnese). Practice as a dietitian since 2002, having graduated from Harokopio University and having Masters in Public Health. Also he has completed the postgraduate training in Adult Education. He is member of Sports Nutrition Team (Hellenic Dietetic Association)

He is a scientific collaborator of Asteras Tripolis FC (Greek Super League- participation in qualifiers of Europa League 2012-13).

He was a Vice President of the Hellenic Dietetic Association. He is also General Secretary of an amateur club (AEK Tripolis).

He was a lecturer at the 1st & 3rd Symposium of Sports Nutrition Panel ("Nutritional Supplements & Ergogenic Aids-Position of the ADA,DC,ACSM”, “Nutritional Support of a football professional team- from theory in practice”)

He was a lecturer at the 10th, 11th & 14th Hellenic Conference on Nutrition ("National Action Plan for Nutrition-position of the Hellenic Dietetic Association", "The role of dietitians in preparation for professional soccer teams and high performance athletes", “Organization of a dietetic department of a football team”).

Dimitris Bertzeletos

Clinical Dietitian-Nutritionist, MSc, MEd

Sports Nutrition Specialists Team (Hellenic Dietetic Association)

Adress: Grigoriou E’ 29, Tripolis, P.C 22100


Mob:+30 6977090049




YouTube channel:

Bertzeletos Dimitris

Trainings - Bertzeletos Dimitris


It is well known that eating before a “match” is an important factor in performance. ''Match'' means a major sporting event, which may last several minutes and requires combination of aerobic (long, more than 1 hour) or anaerobic (short periods) training.

First of all, to clear up and fix few things:

A. Pre-competitive meal is a main meal taken 3-4 hours before exercise (contains 200-300g of carbohydrate, f.e.: bread, rice, macaroni, potato, corn).

B. Pre-competitive snacks are called the snack / snack taken just 1 hour before exercise (contains about 60 g carbohydrates).

C. Over 1 hour of exercise means that properly designed pre-competitive and pre-competitive snacks are needed as means of improving performance.

Bertzeletos Dimitris

Proper design of a diet before the “match” means:

1st the athlete starts the “match” on an empty stomach, so this pre-competitive meal must be:

- taken 3-4 hours before exercise,

- rich in carbohydrates (over 60% of calories),

- low in fat and protein to make it easy to digest.

2nd The athlete does not have any gastrointestinal discomfort and, of course, does not feel hungry or dizzy after taking it. It is advisable to avoid food that generates gas, heartburn or a "volume" - such foods are beans, legumes, spicy products. Also, many simple carbohydrates (High Glycemic Index) - like common sugar, should be avoided as they increase the fluid content in the stomach causing nausea - "cramps", and may lead to diarrhea.

3rd Fuels! The pre-competitive meal should feed the blood and muscles with appropriate fuel. Such fuels are mainly carbohydrates. Thus, a meal rich in complex carbohydrates (about 200-300 g) with Medium Glycemic Index is recommended. It is recommended bread whole wheat, pasta whole wheat, rice, potatoes, fruits (fresh or dried). These foods contain little fiber and promote euglycemia.

No large amounts of protein - meat, dairy products, eggs, fish - are needed before the “match”, because such foods in large quantities increase urinary excretion and they are not needed as fuels like carbohydrates.

The pre-competitive snack (which follows the pre-competitive meal time) must come and supply again with fuel. The snack can be in:

  1. liquid form (sports drinks),
  2. semisolid form (banana, grape, sports gels),
  3. solid form (sports chocolates).

The snack should contain no fiber, contains only water and carbohydrates (1-2g carbohydrates / kg of weight).

4 Liquids! If the “match” lasts long - over 60 minutes - or if it is carried out in a "warm" environment, liquid adequacy must be ensured. Hydration starts from the previous 24-30 hours. This requires regular hydration, and also the absence of alcohol and diuretics. Before the “match”, plan a hypotonic or isotonic beverage (presence of 30-70 g carbohydrates / liter). Beverage containing water, electrolytes and carbohydrate combination (establish the presence of maltodextrin).

Bertzeletos Dimitris

All of the above clearly require specialization and personalization. An expert (sports dietician) can help, taking into account the athlete's abilities (f.e. timing) and the requirements of the exercise:

a. evaluating & re-evaluating (who? what?)

b. diagnosis (identification of the problem if present, identification of risk factors, signaling of signs and symptoms),

c. intervening (formulation/definition of action plan, implementation of appropriate actions),

d. monitoring (progress, evaluation of results).

Bertzeletos Dimitris

1. Weight Control:

· Check your weight

· weigh yourself before breakfast, with light clothes 2-3 times/week

2. Eat RIGHT

· Eat Regular Meals Throughout the Day Starving yourself all day long so you can let loose later that evening will not work in your favor.

· Take at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables / day

· If you have a holiday dinner in the evening, follow your regular eating schedule .

In order to avoid overeating at dinner, you can eat balanced meals and small snacks throughout the day —>

High fibre,

lean protein

and healthy fats/oils

help keep your appetite inline.


· Your needs for water are bigger at summertime

· Drink 1 cup of water each 1,5 hour

· Drink 1-2 cups of water before your meal/snack

Bertzeletos Dimitris

4. Take Ownership of the Situation

· When bringing or making something for the party, bring a healthy option. Chances are everyone else will be glad you did!

· Fruit platters/salad, hard-boiled eggs stuffed with hummus (yolks removed), mini yogurt parfaits, date’n nut bites, or a box of oranges are just a few ways to remind you to stay on track.

5. Everything in Moderation – 80-20 Rule

Staying mindful over the holidays does not mean all or nothing. Follow the 80/20 rule. This means eat planned and on purpose healthy meals and snacks 80% of the time and enjoy holiday treats 20% of the time.

Do the 80/20 rule system !

Bertzeletos Dimitris
Bertzeletos Dimitris