When you’re involved in a soccer training program or go to summer soccer camp, you’re demanding a lot from your body. The 11 players on each team in a game have to use their legs, head, and torso to pass and score; you’ll probably be moving constantly for 30 to 45 minute periods. On average, a soccer player may travel up to 12 miles every game! The need for consistent speed, stamina, and strength means you have to fuel your body adequately.
Whether you’re new to the game and want to learn soccer skills or you’re a veteran of various soccer programs, nutrition needs to be a key part of your training. Everything you put into your body has an impact on your health and ability to perform on the field. A low-fat diet that’s high in complex carbohydrates will provide the energy and focus you need to play at your youth soccer tournaments and practices. If you follow these tips, you’ll feel great and will be able to play to the best of your ability throughout the season.
- Increase the Carbs
While many people cut out carbs to lose weight, you need to do the opposite as a soccer player. Complex carbohydrates are important because they provide nearly half of your body’s energy requirements. Before games in particular, you need to load up on carbs so that your muscles and liver will store the energy you need to get through. Examples of complex carbs include pastas, potatoes, rice, baked beans, legumes, corn, and other grains.
- Be Selective About Fats and Proteins
Healthy fats and lean proteins are important for performance too, but you need to be choosy. Eat a lean protein (like fish or chicken) with every meal and include healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive and flaxseed oils, or avocado.
- Don’t Forget the Veggies
While fruits and vegetables aren’t considered to be complex carbs, eating unprocessed foods is extremely important. Get as much color as possible and be sure to include one with every meal!
- Remember to Hydrate
As a general rule, you’ll want to avoid drinks that are caffeinated, carbonated, or high in sugar. By far, the best choice is water. be sure to drink at least three to four glasses of water each day and eat foods that have a high water content. You need to drink water often during games, too!
If you follow these nutrition tips, you’ll be in tip-top shape for soccer programs and camps throughout the year. To find out more about our soccer programs, please contact U.K. Elite today!