Friday, April 18, 2014

Soccer Nutrition

EVENING MEAL

Night before a competition

 


Pre-event nutrition can have a major effect on performance. A player’s diet should be high in carbohydrates and low in fat. The target is 60-70% carbohydrate, 10-15% protein. This meal is very important because the main energy reserves for the game are made up from the previous day’s meals, not from the pre-game meal or a big breakfast on game day.

 


Food items recommended the night before a competition:

 

Drinks

Meal Items

Desserts & Snacks

AVOID

Apple Juice

Orange Juice

Vegetable Juice

Fruit Juice

Water

Spaghetti

Tomato Sauce with Meat

Rice (steam or boiled)

Lean Meat

Fish

Poultry

Potatoes 

Salad (low dressing)

Vegetables

Pizza (cheese/veggie)

Bread (all varieties)

Cheese and Crackers

Popcorn (no butter)

Fruit - fresh or dried

Sherbet - 1 scoop

Pretzels

 

Nutrient-Poor Carbohydrates:

Jam, jelly, white sugar, marshmallows, soft drinks, candy.

 

Fat:

- Chocolate, potato chips, tacos, nachos
- Gravy, sauces, excess salad dressing, butter, margarine
- All fried foods
- High fat cold cuts (bologna, salami, sausage)

 

BREAKFAST

Game day; pre-game meal; at least 1.5- 2 hours before kick-off


On most competition days, breakfast is the pre-game meal. The pre-game meal offers very little for the energy production system however, it can do some damage if the wrong foods are consumed.


It has been suggested that the players should enter the game with their stomachs as empty as possible. When there is food in the stomach, the heart pumps large volumes of blood to the stomach to aid in digestion. If playing or practicing, however, the blood is shunted to the working muscles, therefore stopping the digestive process. This can often cause stomach cramps, making the player uncomfortable.

 


Food items recommended when breakfast is the pre-game meal:

 

Drinks

Meal Items

Desserts & Snacks

AVOID

Apple Juice

Orange Juice                          

Vegetable Juice

Fruit Juice

Water

Hot Chocolate

 

Bagels

Raisin Bran

Toast, 2-3 slices

Yogurt

Muffin

Oatmeal

Pancakes (low butter/ syrup)

Bread (all varieties)

Fruit bars

Fig Newtons

Fruit - fresh or dried

Raisins

Banana

Fat:

- Bacon, sausage, excess butter/margarine

 

Fried Foods:

- Home fries, hash browns, fried/scrambled eggs

 

LUNCH

Game day; pre-game meal; at least 1.5- 2 hours before kick-off

 


If your game is later in the day then lunch might be your pre-game meal. Please refer to the comments in the “Breakfast” section about the pre-game meal.

 


Food items recommended when lunch is the pre-game meal:

 

Drinks

Meal Items

Desserts & Snacks

AVOID

Apple Juice

Orange Juice

Vegetable Juice

Fruit Juice

Water

 

 

Sandwich (2oz meat, fish or poultry)

Cup of stock soup

Bagels

Vegetables

Bread (all varieties)

Fruit bars

Fig Newtons

Fruit - fresh or dried

Raisins

Apple

Banana

Crackers or Saltines

Pretzels

Fat:

- Excess butter/margarine

- High fat cold cuts (bologna, salami, sausage)

- Hamburgers, hot-dogs

 

Fried Foods:

- French fries, home fries, hash browns

 

A few words about another type of “Carb”: Carbonation

Carbonated soft drinks, which are also high in sugar, are not appropriate before, during or after athletic practices or games. The "fizz" in a carbonated beverage may cause a burning sensation in the mouth and may prevent the player from drinking enough fluids. Even a small amount of carbonation can also upset the stomach and cause a bloated feeling during exercise.

 


To keep the players hydrated follow these tips:

  • Players should drink non-carbonated fluids before, during, and after practice or games.
  • Whether it's extremely hot or not, players should drink on a schedule (approximately every 15 to 20 minutes during practice and games), because dehydration begins before they're thirsty.
  • Make drinking fun by giving the player a squeeze bottle filled with a sports beverage. To keep beverages chilled for game day, freeze half of the fluid in the squeeze bottle the day before the game, and then add the rest of the fluid on game day.

 

So if you’re looking to score goals, play like a pro, or just have fun, make sure you’ve got the right fuel to make it cool!


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