soccer player

Soccer is a physically demanding sport. To perform at optimum levels, it is essential to follow the right diet.

In soccer, you require a lot of agility, speed, and strength. If you want to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs, you need to ensure you are getting plenty of fluid, minerals, vitamins, and calories. For some players, using specialty ingredients, such as protein powder and gluten free flour substitute can be beneficial, too.  

For players who want to optimize their performance on the field, some tips will help. Keep reading to learn what these tips are.


Calorie Intake

People who play soccer require more calories than individuals who aren’t very active. If you want to maintain your muscle mass and body weight, you should eat plenty of calories from healthy foods.

One of the most effective ways to tell if you are eating enough calories is to monitor your weight. If it is going up, you are likely eating too much. If your weight is falling, though, it could be time to increase the calories you consume. It is recommended that you get approximately 60% of all calories from carbohydrates, about 30% from fat, and the rest from protein.


Stay Well-Hydrated

Proper hydration is a crucial aspect of your performance while playing soccer. Hydrating properly before, during, and after a game or practice is extremely important. Even cases of slight dehydration can impact your performance on the field.

Because of soccer’s rules, many players remain on the field for longer periods of time. This doesn’t leave much time for proper hydration. Also, players are outdoors, often in hot temperatures. Because of this, you must drink water or a beverage with electrolytes to remain well hydrated. Try to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages when rehydrating.


Recovery Time

After playing a game or practicing, your body’s stores of fluid and carbohydrates are going to be depleted. Along with hydrating, you should eat a protein- and carbohydrate-rich meal right after the game or practice. Eating a mix of carbs and proteins will help to improve recovery more than just consuming carbohydrates alone.

When you consume carbohydrates, it will ensure your body is prepared for workouts in the future. Protein is beneficial for muscle repair. Some examples of a good post-workout recovery meal include a fruit parfait, whole-grain cereal with skim milk, yogurt, and chocolate milk.


Pre-Competition Prep

The snack or meal you have before competing can help you perform better. Try eating a meal full of carbohydrates approximately two hours before your scheduled game. During this meal, limit the amount of fat you are consuming. This may result in stomach discomfort while you are exercising. Some smart choices of good carbs to eat before a game include fruit, whole grains, and yams.


Consider Mineral Consumption

Including the essential electrolyte minerals, like potassium and sodium, in your post-exercise snacks can help improve fluid absorption. Electrolytes are seen in most commercial sports products like energy bars and sports drinks. You can find much-needed potassium in fruits such as dried apricots, raisins, peaches, and bananas. You can easily pack these snacks into your bag or car and eat them right after your training session or game is over.


High-Calorie Needs

When you are playing a game, you will remain in motion for around 60 to 90 minutes. This also means you may be walking, running, and dribbling for over 12 miles. All this intense activity requires quite a bit of energy. Because of this, soccer players require between 20 and 27 calories for each pound of body weight every day.

When it comes to your diet as a soccer player, there are more than a few factors to consider. Keep the tips above in mind, which will help you perform at your best and ensure you have the needed energy while on the field. Being informed and knowing what to do and eat before and after your game or practice will also help you stay healthy and energized.