Nutrition is a vital part of your health and well-being. As a soccer player, a tailored nutrition plan is even more important to ensure you are playing at your optimal performance level. An incredibly active soccer player’s diet is going to look different than that of a person with a moderate activity level. Read on to learn some key nutritional elements and practices that should be factored into your diet as a soccer player.
The food you eat is broken down into three primary forms of energy: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. All types are necessary for your diet. Foods high in fat include nuts, dairy products, avocados, oil, and fish. Protein-rich foods include meat, soy, and beans. Proteins help build and mend muscle; therefore, soccer players need more protein than most people as their muscles are worked extra hard during practice and games. Carbs are the primary source of energy for extreme exercise, so they are the final key essential for soccer players. Examples of carbs include bread, pasta, sweet potatoes, and bananas.
Keep in mind the 2018 FIFA World Cup consisted of 64 games. While not every team played every game, this tournament alone would require numerous practices and games from a player. And that is just one tournament of the season! That does not include all the games that are played leading up to the World Cup. Suffice it to say, a consistent intake of macros is required as a professional soccer player.
A wise addition to a macro-rich diet are Power Life supplements. Power Life offers a wide variety of products that can help ensure maximum nutrition is being met in your active lifestyle. A great example is the High Impact Plant Protein, a plant-based supplement specifically focused on supporting muscle development and recovery, which is essential in the lifestyle of a soccer player. Lionel Messi is a soccer star on both the Argentina National Team and Spanish Club Barcelona. His nutritionist said he drinks up to three protein shakes a day to sustain his activity level, a prime example of how beneficial supplements can be!
High quantities of water are a necessity for all the energy exerted by soccer players. Not only should you be drinking water throughout the 90-minute game but you should also drink a complete bottle of water as soon as the game ends. Water not only helps prevent dehydration, which can impact brain function, but it also assists with managing body temperature and digestion.
It is no secret that soccer players are hard on their joints, between all the jogging, running, and sudden stopping and starting during practices and matches. Water helps keep your joints functioning properly, so you can stay quick and limber on the field. Vegetables are also a great way to increase your water intake, as many vegetables consist of a high-volume of water.
Replenishing your body is vital after a game. The two macros to focus on are carbs and proteins, carbs to give you energy and protein to repair your exhausted muscles. If you are completely done playing for the day or have a few hours until the next match, have a meal high in protein with carbs for support, such as chicken and quinoa or turkey and yams. If you have limited time between your matches, still consume proteins and carbs but on a smaller scale, such as Greek yogurt and oats.
Snacks should be eaten no less than an hour before a session. Three to four hours before your game or practice is the ideal time to have a meal. Your spread should consist of one-third protein, one third to half carbs and the remainder should be veggies.
As a soccer player, you are constantly running, kicking, and leaping on the field. With such an active lifestyle, you need to be fueled appropriately to maintain energy and keep your body functioning properly. Take time to consider the above recommendations when planning your upcoming meals and snacks.