Nutrition for Soccer Players: What to Eat Before a Game?
Good nutrition is key for soccer players of any age and skill level. Eating the right food before a match will help ensure you’re energized and ready to give a winning performance. Here are some of the most important nutrition tips for good pre-game soccer nutrition.
Avoid Too Much Fat
Fat takes longer to digest than protein, carbs, or simple sugars, and it can lead to stomach upset and digestive congestion during a match. Fat should be avoided before a game as much as possible; instead, opt for lean proteins or carbohydrates as your fuel in the pre-match meal.
Eat Something Moderately Sized
Before a match, a meal that’s not too large is best. Eating close to the game gives your body enough time to digest the food so you can feel energized and ready to play. A mid-afternoon snack should be your focus, as this gives your body enough time to digest before the match.
Choose the Right Foods
The right pre-game meal will depend on the time of the match. For an early-morning or late-morning game, a light breakfast of carbs is best. Oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with yogurt, or toast with peanut butter, can provide long-lasting energy. For an evening game, focus on a mid-sized snack such as a turkey sandwich, or a meal like a stir-fry or pasta.
Load Up on Carbs (Glycogen)
Carbohydrates are the fuel that keeps soccer players going during a match. Eating carbs before a game is critical for supplying the energy needed for high-intensity play. Suggested carbohydrates for pre-match meals include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables like whole-grain bread, apples, and broccoli.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for any soccer player. Staying hydrated during a match is crucial for good play and performance, so drinking water throughout the day is critical. Avoid drinking too much water just before the game, as this could interfere with digestion from your pre-game meal.
Pre-game meals are an important part of soccer nutrition. Eating the right food before a game helps to ensure that you’re energized and ready to play. Focus on lean proteins or carbohydrates, opt for a moderately sized meal, and choose the right food depending on the time of the match. Then fuel up with carbs and stay hydrated throughout the day. With these nutrition tips, you’ll be sure to have a winning performance on the field!