But with all that in mind, let’s look at some general eating guidelines that you can apply to sports like soccer. The following are suggestions on what our soccer players should eat and avoid eating on game and practice days. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take longer to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. If the event starts at 8:00 a.m., Overall, you should not eat large portions of food very soon before a match. Thanks! Again, these are foods that are high in carbohydrates that help fuel you. How to Hydrate Your Body Before a Game. Soccer requires endurance, speed, agility, and strength – at any level. My 4 Weeks of Real Food meal plan gives you everything you need for a full month of delicious, healthy real food meals. If eaten too close to go-time, this can leave an athlete feeling like they’re carrying the ball in their stomach rather than dribbling it with their feet. Everyone’s body is different, which means that each person metabolizes food differently. If you want to see what a portion of food providing 70g of carbs looks like, see our 11 pre-match meal suggestions for some quick, quality, affordable ideas that you can start using immediately. Eating real food is “best practice” for strong bioavailability and micronutrient attainment. Vitamins and minerals unlock energy, support reactions, and complete pathways to keep athletes in top condition. Macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fats — provide the energy and essential building blocks necessary for physical feats and mental acuity. That makes high-carb foods perfect for a pre-soccer meal. Youth soccer players often participate in more than one game in a day. Proper nutrition in an athlete’s diet can make the difference between playing your best game and experiencing the dreaded “bonk.”. Relevance. The right combination of foods can give you the edge over your competition. by Jeff Natt . Having the right combination of produce, proteins, and grains goes a long way in helping one play to their highest ability. The eggs have the essential amino acids we need to provide energy for our muscles and … Monitor urine color on game day. Pre game snacks for soccer. But again, that process doesn’t last through an entire soccer match. Athlete Nutrition: Best Foods to Eat and When to Eat Them. Overwhelmed by decision fatigue? We took a look at the best foods for an overall healthy athlete, and how these foods help maximize nutrients, proper fuel, and stable energy. Enjoy higher fat meals away from activity. I hope this article gave you a better understanding of what to eat before a soccer game and why food choices matter for peak performance. This should feature lean proteins such as meat, eggs and beans. Avoid soda, juice, and candy, as well as meals emphasizing baked goods, breakfast cereals, refined breads and pasta, and packaged snack foods before game time. Unprocessed carbohydrates are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and easily convertible energy. W ake up 4 hours before important games or soccer events, eat a simple breakfast (bread + a nut butter), and then go back to bed. A great place to start when building your main pre-game meal is with: Clearly defining general nutrition recommendations is nearly impossible due to individual differences including age, skill, exercise intensity and duration, stress levels, food preferences and availability, and the open systems of athletic games. Your email address will not be published. As we share our recommendations in this article, you must remember that these are just general guidelines. Pre-game lunch ideas. Required fields are marked *. Proper food choices can help keep blood sugar stable throughout a soccer game. Eating right is very important in our everyday lives, but it is also crucial in sports. This includes breakfast on game day. Breakfast before a soccer game should be at least two hours prior. High fiber foods can also cause distress. Examples for What to Eat Before a Soccer Game 3-4 Scrambled eggs with veggies and slices of avocado. It also helps initiate the unlocking of fat stores for slow-burning fuel. For a 2 p.m. start, consider having a substantial, high-carb breakfast, such as pancakes, and a light lunch of salad with a roll around noon. Most athletes do best eating a higher calorie meal two to three hours before any intense activity. You will want to eat a … Lean meats and yogurt are two good choices for this type of post match re-fueling. The athlete diet is more than calories — it’s nutrients that power peak potential. In comparison, whole foods elicit an innate appreciation for pure nourishment and satisfaction. The key to game-day nutrition is eating substantial yet light meals. As requested, here are some tips on what you should eat before your football match. Whole grain bread contains nutritious B vitamins, iron, magnesium and fibre, the goodness that is taken out of white bread. Below is our guide to the best fast food to eat before a game, whether you’ve got an early, mid-day or evening match. Here are some meal examples for how to get energy for a soccer game. An average sized man, about 70kg, should therefore be looking to eat a pre game meal of around 70g of carbs. If your child is an eating machine then you probably can go with this premise. A light meal may be added for an early afternoon start. Because this meal is three to four hours before a meal, it might be necessary to top off glycogen stores before activity. Encouraging time to sit down and eat an actual meal typically results in deeper nutrition and less need for snacking. Whether you're trying out for your high school or college team or a local club, you need the right nutrition to give you the energy to perform at your best. Bonus — the more muscle mass you have, the more glycogen you can store! The road to playing well starts with eating well. Instead, the meal leading up to the event should help top off glycogen stores with at least forty percent of calories coming from real food complex carbohydrates. Before a soccer game, you need to consume a large quantity of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein and a low amount of fat. This is a common practice among elite athletes. Aim for nutrients to come from real foods rather than gels, bars, powders, and supplements. (2020), Best Foods to Eat the Night Before, and the Morning of, the Big Game. Fill the rest of your plate with colorful veggies and fruits, Scrambled eggs (protein, fat) with sweet potato (carb) and pepper hash (carb), Oatmeal (carb) with chopped nuts (fat), fresh fruit (carb), and chicken sausage (protein) on the side, Deli meat roll-ups (protein) with spinach and peppers (carb), leftover roasted potatoes (carb), grapes (carb), and olives (fat), Almond butter (fat, protein) and banana (carb) sandwich on sourdough, or sprouted grain bread (carb). Refueling after one and before another can help refill glycogen stores and maintain energy levels. If your child has an early morning game or practice, here's some advice on what and when she should eat for peak athletic performance. Go to bed early so you can get a good rest for the next day. Stored fatty acids are fuel for longer-duration lower-intensity exercise. Drinking half an ounce of water per pound of body weight is a general guideline for minimum fluid intake. Avoiding significant fat at this time is beneficial. Refined grains, which show up in things like white bread, white rice, and in white flour-based food items, are more processed which removes nutrients and also does not store energy for as long. Prepare a pregame snack of carbohydrates, such as a bagel with peanut butter, oatmeal, a banana, yogurt or similar food. Protein has been shown to increase the rate of muscle glucose uptake and glycogen repletion, so adding a small portion between games may be helpful. In addition to this, I love to help mothers feed their families Real Food. More water is necessary for hot weather or during intense training sessions. Fruit can help refill liver glycogen and offer refreshing fluids. Let’s take a look at why food choices make a difference, the best real foods for soccer players to eat, and what, when, and how much to eat before game-time! An 85-pound athlete should drink at least 45 – 50 ounces of water per day. Eating proper foods at the right times will help fuel your body so you do not hit a wall before or during a soccer game. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take longer to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. Here is an example of what this looks like: Dinner: Chicken + roasted potatoes + spinach salad with vegetables + whole grain bread Most of the fat that is used for energy during soccer will be pulled from existing fat stores, but it is still a good idea to include healthy fats on your pre-game plate for satiation, nutrient absorption, and insulin and glucagon balance for blood sugar stability. By avoiding sugar and highly processed foods (like in the primal diet), and seeking a balance of whole food macronutrients – dips, drops, and dragging feet (also known as “hitting the wall”) can be prevented. Root vegetables: carrots, beets, parsnips, etc. You want to eat a high carbohydrate dinner the night before competition and a light breakfast the morning of. The types of food a soccer player eats will impact whether glycogen stores are sufficient and whether the body can effectively access fat for energy. Without adequate, balanced nutrition, you won’t have enough energy to play your best. Your meal should contain about 50 percent carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals. Is It Safe to Play Indoor Soccer During Coronavirus? My number one recommendation is to use this information as a base to build on. Keep your last dinner before game day high in carbs, strong in protein and low in fat, and you’ll be on your way to success. A glass of water should also accompany the evening meal. Eat early, and eat often; following your morning meal add in apples, pears, pretzels, sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade, any dried fruit and low-fat yogurt. On game days, focus on eating clean foods and staying hydrated. What other topics would you like to see? Fats have the least impact on blood sugar levels, so they provide sustained energy without dips and crashes. Bedtime snack Pregame meals are really a two-part program. Not sure what to eat? Sign up for exclusive soccer tips sent to your inbox and a free ebook of our best soccer training content. These can accompany a pasta lunch before an afternoon game or an oatmeal and raisins breakfast, according to Averbuch and Clark. And what would I eat tomorrow, the day of my game? On the contrary, processed carbs have been stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leaving us with empty calories. Eat a carbohydrate-rich dinner the night before and drink extra water throughout the previous day. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take more time to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. Your email address will not be published. Eating During Competition During the game, carbohydrate supplement drinks given before the game and at halftime have been shown to increase running volume and intensity in the second half in soccer players. Try to get at least an extra hour of sleep. How you play is affected not only by what you eat hours before the game, but also by your nutrition choices on the days and weeks leading up. Balanced dinners on game night. Yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash, Sourdough bread, Ezekiel bread, sprouted corn tortillas, Water with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt, Diluted sports drinks for a long duration (more than three to four hours), high-intensity events, and hot and humid conditions (options without artificial coloring and sweeteners are best). It’s amazing to see how much a simple change in meals can impact one’s ability to play. If you need to eat closer to game time, a light meal is usually tolerated one to two hours in advance. Our bodies function as a result of what we put into them. “Eat a bigger meal with plenty of fluids, especially water,” says Turner. Both dietary fat and stored adipose tissue can be efficiently used for fuel when carbs and protein are properly managed. I have a soccer game tomorrow after school so I just wanted to know what kind of food I should eat tonight. Nutrient-rich carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fluids are all important for youth soccer players, and athletes of any age. The goal is to prevent a roller-coaster of energy highs and lows, so players compete at their best. After the match, you need to help your body recover by replacing the carbohydrates you used and also re-hydrating with water or even chocolate milk, which may be a surprising choice to some. Include large portions of grains or pasta, vegetables and small to medium portions of beans, chicken, fish, or meat. Perfect meals to eat before a soccer game Breakfasts before a soccer game. The energy that keeps us moving comes from food, but it must be converted into ATP for our body to use it. It is a fine balancing act initially, but becomes second nature in no time at all. Also be sure to stay hydrated, and remember that you need to start drinking extra water at least the day before your game, not just a couple hours in advance. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest and some athletes feel better avoiding beans and legumes before sporting events. As a Nutritionist, and founder of Primal Peak, I share current content, recipes, and programs to guide you towards vitality and peak performance. Filed Under: Nutrition Tagged With: Food/Drink. When I played pro soccer we usually would be given a granola bar or banana for pregame snack, 2.5 hours before the game. Some light eaters are constant grazers, but I find a balance of real food nutrients hard to obtain with this style. Answer Save. Simple carbohydrates such as fruits, pudding or yogurt are ideal for this time. As one athlete explained, “I don’t want to have food in my stomach when I’m competing. Individual Soccer Training Tips, Soccer Drills, Fitness Tips and More. A granola bar or half a sandwich can also work. Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein the night before a tryout, to increase energy levels for the following day.