Soccer players need proper nutrition to keep up the pace and perform effectively on the field. A player who eats a balanced diet will gain more strength, power and endurance when training, and will feel more energetic during competition.
The average distance covered in a soccer match is 5.6 miles, so it is critical to fuel up prior to competition. Pre-game meals and snacks will help prevent hunger and fatigue and are necessary for peak performance.
Two to three hours before the game:
Players should consume foods high in carbohydrates with a small amount of lean meat or dairy. High fat foods should be avoided.
Good sources of carbohydrates include:
- whole grain breads and cereals
Lean proteins include:
- low-fat milk
One hour before the game:
Choose foods that are low in fat and easily digested. Foods high in carbohydrates are ideal. Good examples include:
- fruit or fruit bars
- sports beverages
Meats and other protein-rich foods should be avoided.
It is important to replenish what the body lost during competition.Eating for recovery helps you stay energized and refuels muscles.
- A post-game meal should be consumed 30 minutes to two hours after competition and should be high in carbohydrates.
- Sports drinks and most energy bars and gels are quick and easy choices.