Soccer players are said to be the healthiest athletes out there. But how do they do it? Their health is created through a multi-faceted approach that even non-athletes can benefit from. Everything from nutrition to fitness to their time relaxing contributes to their performance.
Nail Their Diet
Soccer players, like all athletes, need to nail their diet to be the best they can be. The basics of any soccer player’s diet are macronutrients: carbs, fats, and proteins. Proteins are linked to building muscle and are commonly found in animal products, but they are not limited to eating animals if athletes prefer not to. Many athletes are opting for vegan diets that are still high in protein using lentils, beans, and soy. Some nutritionists believe that every meal is built around your protein. When athletes talk about carbs, they are talking about healthy carbs that you can get from whole grains and natural sugars. Things like brown rice, whole grain pasta, and fruits like apples or oranges. Fruits and vegetables are extremely important to get the proper vitamins they need, but no diet is perfect. That is why many athletes opt to use supplements and vitamins to bolster their diet and support their nutrition and turn to companies like USANA Refer a Friend. The last macronutrient that a soccer player’s diet consists of is fat, and while fat may have a bad reputation, fat is what provides the lasting energy for exercise. This does not mean that athletes eat tons of butter, but they do prioritize healthy fats such as olive oil or fats found in fish like salmon. A soccer player’s diet changes depending on when they are eating. Something they eat before a game is going to be different than what they eat after. It is all about what their body needs at that specific moment.
Drinking water before, during, and after any sort of exercise keeps a soccer player’s body performing the way it should. Staying hydrated actually lubricates a person’s joints and helps regulate your internal temperature. Anyone who has gone for a run in hot weather understands that it is very easy to dehydrate when working out, therefore, prioritizing water is extremely important. No athlete wants to pass out on the field from dehydration.
Listen to Their Coach
Soccer players are not singular athletes when they play and practice; they are part of a team. That team is led by their coach who specializes in seeing what their players need from practices to be the best. Coaches dictate when they should work out and what they should be doing. By listening to their coach, soccer players stay fit and minimize the occurrence of injury by not pushing themselves too much.
Warm-Up and Cool Down
Warming up and cooling down can prevent injury in athletes. By stretching and warming up, soccer players are making their muscles more pliable and their joints lubricated.
Sleep is when an athlete’s body actively heals itself. Whenever you exercise, small injuries always occur, but when the body heals these injuries, the injured area is stronger than before. Athletes keep a set schedule and are consistent on when they go to sleep and when they wake up. Many athletes use apps on their smart devices that choose to wake them up when their natural REM cycle ends in the morning. The environment in which a soccer player sleeps also plays a role in how nourishing a night of sleep can be. Many athletes keep their rooms free of clutter and do not sleep with any lights on because these things can help and hinder their sleep cycles.
Prioritize Their Mental Health
Soccer is not only a physical game but also a mental one. Therefore athletes prioritize their mental health to keep themselves working their hardest when necessary. Taking time to rest mentally actually increases their strength on the field. Some athletes crochet or knit to calm down after a game.