Nutrition is key to top
performance. Good habits can be divided into four areas:
You need right kind of energy for
playing soccer, and you need to limit fat – dragging extra pounds around the
field is no fun.
60-65% of your food as carbohydrates (especially whole grain
breads, pasta, and cereals; rice, potatoes, corn, fruit). Whole grain is
better than processed food; fruit juices should be very limited.
fats (unsaturated is best). Getting the right fats in the right
amount is hard. Tips:
limited hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage,
cheese, peanut butter, and yoghurt
canola, safflower oil for cooking
fat foods when eating out (stay out of the donut shop and limit the
protein. Players need about 2 grams of protein per kilo of body
weight: a 100lb player would need about 3 ounces of protein daily, in
meat, fish, chicken, cheese, and beans. That’s less than a
Minerals and vitamins. Eat many different foods and this will take
care of itself.
Smaller meals. Eat more smaller meals; have a healthy afternoon
snack to help avoid junk food.
Try to identify foods that meet the “eating right” list
above. Let your parents know about this list so you can together plan to eat
more food that are good for you and fewer foods that are not.
Meal. Eat a full pre-game meal based on
carbohydrates, 2-4 hours before game time. The closer to
game time, the smaller the meal. Good meals can include chicken, rice,
potatoes, veggies and plenty to drink.
Fluids. Stay well hydrated, starting 2 hours before
No food needed if you follow pre-game instructions
If you need to snack, bring a cereal bar or other
quickly digested carbohydrate-rich food.
Keep hydrated. Drink every time you have an
Players need to replenish their
energy stocks. This should be done in two phases:
Snack. An immediate carbohydrate snack (bananas,
apple, fruit juice, energy bar)
Meal. A carbohydrate-rich meal within two hours of
Ok, now you’re ready to play!
NOTE: This section is based on Dave
Chamber, Coaching, (Firefly Books, 1997) which has
considerably more detailed discussions on nutrition and good information
on the biological basis for these recommendations.