Recommended Dietary Intake for Youth Soccer Players
Want to play better soccer? Nutrition matters!
How you perform in your practices and games isn't just dependent on skill, talent, and hard work. What you eat before and after soccer events can improve your performance and reduce your risk of injury. What you put into your body affects how you perform on the field. Too much junk food can leave you sluggish, and too much sugar can give you an initial boost of energy leading to increased fatigue. Tired, unhealthy bodies are more susceptible to injury. Want to give yourself and your team an extra boost on the field? It is simple! Knowing what foods are good to eat before and after practices, before and after games, and on tournament weekends can allow you to become a healthier, better player.
Before Practice Snacks
If you need to grab a quick and easy snack, look for food rich in carbohydrates:
Bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter
Nut butter & honey on whole grain bread
Hummus & peppers
After Practice/Game Snacks
Eat carbohydrates. Focus on eating your snack within 30 minutes.
*If you are having a meal, make it a balanced and healthy one with carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water.
Game Day Meals
Breakfast: focus on complex carbohydrates (whole grains), a moderate amount of lean protein and plenty of water.
Scrambled eggs with vegetables in a tortilla
Granola with yogurt and fruit
Lunch: eat a meal rich in carbohydrates and protein and hydrate.
Whole grain pasta with red sauce
Whole grain avocado toast
Meat & bean burrito
After the game: Post game meals should contain a balance of lean protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Grilled chicken with whole-grain pasta
Grilled or baked fish with brown rice
Replenish your energy, sodium and fluids with food choices that contain carbohydrates and lean protein.
Turkey & cheese sandwich on whole grain
Plenty of fluids including electrolytes with minimal sugar
Foods & Beverages to Avoid
High sodium foods
Fruits, veggies and lean protein are part of a balanced diet you should always follow. Want to improve your diet? Try to add a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. Did you know berries contain anti-inflammatory properties that can actually help your body recover from injury?