Eat right to play right.
Soccer players will crash and burn if they are not fed with enough carbohydrates and protein. Eating a healthy diet is crucial to preforming your best on game day. Here are some tips to stay on the ball and score like a champion.
- Earth is your Mom: You never doubt what your mom made you for lunch. Same goes for mother earth, she knows what’s up. Choose foods that are not processed like fruits veggies and whole grains.
- Rainbows make you happy: Eating a colorful plate is a good sign. A variety of nutrient rich veggies and fruits and veggies will give you the biggest benefit; try to eat them with every meal.
- The less legs the better: Chicken is your friend, go for skinless and baked meats. Leaner meats, means less fats, are a better option. If you are craving a steak, trim off the fat and avoid high fat content ground beef.
- Fat isn’t all bad: Fat is an essential part of your diet. Healthy fats include avocado, fish, flaxseed, nuts and nut butter, seeds, and olive oil.
- Don’t Skip Breakfast: It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason. When you eat within 30 minutes of waking up you jump start your metabolism that gives you energy to start the day.
- Say no to the Supersize: Eat smaller portions and throughout the day for optimal fueling. 4-6 meals a day is recommended each with a balance of carbs, protein and fat.
- Hydration is life: Drink 3 liters a day, before and after the game and every 15-20 minutes of game play. Sport drinks are also good to replenish lost electrolytes. Mix Gatorade and water to cut down on sugar.
- The Pre-work out Snack: Don’t go onto the pitch with a grumbling stomach. Your meals before a game should be high in carbs and low in protein and fat. Protein can cause difficulties with digestion and the absorption of the carbs. Space out your meal to 3-3.5 hours before the match and have light, sensible snacks in between.
- The Post-workout Snack: It is important to refuel your body 30 minutes after your workout or game, especially during tournaments when there is more than one game to be played. Replenish your muscles by eating carbohydrate and protein rich foods like whole grain bagel with jelly, hard- boiled egg, or dried fruit.
- Up your Supplements: First food, then supplement. If you aren’t getting everything you need from your diet add a multivitamin to your regimen. Find a supplement that works for you that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet. Also be sure to check with your doctor or dietician before you take any supplements.
- Beauty sleep: Eight hours of sleep a night is crucial for your game. It allows your body and mind to rest, recover and repair for your best performance on the field. If you can’t get in the eight hours, take 20 minute power naps when you can.
- Indulge: Don’t torture yourself by eating things you don’t like, follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, eat what is good for you that probably isn’t your favorite snack, but 20% of the time indulge in that chocolate covered something or other.