Refined grains, which show up in things like white bread, white rice, and in white flour-based food items, are more processed which removes nutrients and also does not store energy for as long. I hope this article gave you a better understanding of what to eat before a soccer game and why food choices matter for peak performance. Whether you're trying out for your high school or college team or a local club, you need the right nutrition to give you the energy to perform at your best. When I played pro soccer we usually would be given a granola bar or banana for pregame snack, 2.5 hours before the game. The right combination of foods can give you the edge over your competition. This process happens during an all-out sprint or lifting weights. Macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fats — provide the energy and essential building blocks necessary for physical feats and mental acuity. My number one recommendation is to use this information as a base to build on. You will want to eat a … Pregame meals are really a two-part program. While healthy fats are necessary for a healthy athlete, meals that are high in fat can slow digestion. Starting the day with a glass of water and continuing with small sips is a great strategy for staying ahead of dehydration and poor performance. Both dietary fat and stored adipose tissue can be efficiently used for fuel when carbs and protein are properly managed. How to Hydrate Your Body Before a Game. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest and some athletes feel better avoiding beans and legumes before sporting events. We took a look at the best foods for an overall healthy athlete, and how these foods help maximize nutrients, proper fuel, and stable energy. Because this meal is three to four hours before a meal, it might be necessary to top off glycogen stores before activity. Your meal should contain about 50 percent carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals. As requested, here are some tips on what you should eat before your football match. Include an average of twenty grams of protein in your pre-game meal — about a deck of cards sized piece of meat, or three large eggs. Sign up for exclusive soccer tips sent to your inbox and a free ebook of our best soccer training content. Overwhelmed by decision fatigue? Vitamins and minerals unlock energy, support reactions, and complete pathways to keep athletes in top condition. But what about pure water, which athletes used for … Not only is it important to eat a good balance of macronutrients, but we want to choose foods that are dense with micronutrients. Complex Carbohydrates. If your child is an eating machine then you probably can go with this premise. A glass of water should also accompany the evening meal. Proper nutrition in an athlete’s diet can make the difference between playing your best game and experiencing the dreaded “bonk.”. Fill the rest of your plate with colorful veggies and fruits, Scrambled eggs (protein, fat) with sweet potato (carb) and pepper hash (carb), Oatmeal (carb) with chopped nuts (fat), fresh fruit (carb), and chicken sausage (protein) on the side, Deli meat roll-ups (protein) with spinach and peppers (carb), leftover roasted potatoes (carb), grapes (carb), and olives (fat), Almond butter (fat, protein) and banana (carb) sandwich on sourdough, or sprouted grain bread (carb). In addition to these guidelines for eating before and the morning before a big game, proper nutrition on a more long-term basis can also do wonders for improving your soccer game. If you get into the apple juice shades, hydration levels are lacking. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take more time to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. Here are some meal examples for how to get energy for a soccer game. And what would I eat tomorrow, the day of my game? Common carbohydrate foods include pasta, potatoes, cereals and bagels. Sugars and refined flours are also digested quickly, resulting in blood sugar and insulin spikes, which zap energy and lead to overeating. Eat dry cereal, a bagel with peanut butter or oatmeal before bed… by Jeff Natt . Soccer Moves and Exercises You Can Practice Inside at Home, The Best Soccer Gifts: Ideas for Friends and Family, 5 Ways to Improve Your Soccer Skills in Your Backyard, 5 Soccer Challenges That Will Help Hone Your Skills, How to Correctly Buy Your Soccer Cleats: A Half Size Too Small, What Are the Best Indoor Soccer Shoes? In the morning, (or about 2-4 hours before your match if it’s later in the day), you want to eat things like cereal and fruits. Is It Safe to Play Indoor Soccer During Coronavirus? Eat a carbohydrate-rich dinner the night before and drink extra water throughout the previous day. Some light eaters are constant grazers, but I find a balance of real food nutrients hard to obtain with this style. If you have a morning game, a substantial dinner the night before or late-night snacking can boost your liver glycogen stores, although you run some risk of putting on body fat if you eat heavily at the end of the day. What other topics would you like to see? The right food and proper hydration provide us with energy (the get-up and go), stable blood sugar (prolonged function), and athletic precision (neural patterns). Prepare a pregame snack of carbohydrates, such as a bagel with peanut butter, oatmeal, a banana, yogurt or similar food. The body is thus reliant on a combination of glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate, and fat for fuel. Most of the fat that is used for energy during soccer will be pulled from existing fat stores, but it is still a good idea to include healthy fats on your pre-game plate for satiation, nutrient absorption, and insulin and glucagon balance for blood sugar stability. We’ve got great recipes, primal diet ideas, and a wealth of nutritional info waiting for you. Pre game snacks for soccer. Try and eat something starchy the night before, a good spaghetti dinner, and the next day go light before the game and eat something sweet for a bit of extra energy - the pros seem to like jaffa cakes. Include large portions of grains or pasta, vegetables and small to medium portions of beans, chicken, fish, or meat. Athlete Nutrition: Best Foods to Eat and When to Eat Them. Encouraging time to sit down and eat an actual meal typically results in deeper nutrition and less need for snacking. Unprocessed carbohydrates are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and easily convertible energy. Eating During Competition During the game, carbohydrate supplement drinks given before the game and at halftime have been shown to increase running volume and intensity in the second half in soccer players. Trying to oversaturate the blood with sugar and simple carbs close to the start of a game may cause insulin to spike and trigger low blood sugar (followed by headaches, light-headedness, and fatigue). The eggs have the essential amino acids we need to provide energy for our muscles and … Fruit can help refill liver glycogen and offer refreshing fluids. Lindsay Langford is a registered dietitian and board certified specialists in sports dietetics for St. Vincent Sports Performancein Indianapolis. The Day Before. Eat a bigger meal two to four hours before go time. To prepare well for the game, you need to eat a good meal the night before the game. Avoiding significant fat at this time is beneficial. If eaten too close to go-time, this can leave an athlete feeling like they’re carrying the ball in their stomach rather than dribbling it with their feet. 8 Answers. Drinking half an ounce of water per pound of body weight is a general guideline for minimum fluid intake. Dinner the night before The night before, serve your child a nutritious dinner. Along with hydration, this recipe results in a focused and high functioning athlete. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take longer to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. However, I have seen too many youth players eat … Individual Soccer Training Tips, Soccer Drills, Fitness Tips and More. Relevance. Your email address will not be published. Bedtime snack Fats have the least impact on blood sugar levels, so they provide sustained energy without dips and crashes. That makes high-carb foods perfect for a pre-soccer meal. By avoiding sugar and highly processed foods (like in the primal diet), and seeking a balance of whole food macronutrients – dips, drops, and dragging feet (also known as “hitting the wall”) can be prevented. A few simple guidelines will help you establish optimal pre-game nutrition: The body is first going to look for the fuel that is easiest to burn. Here is an example of what this looks like: Dinner: Chicken + roasted potatoes + spinach salad with vegetables + whole grain bread As one athlete explained, “I don’t want to have food in my stomach when I’m competing. Eating proper foods at the right times will help fuel your body so you do not hit a wall before or during a soccer game. tbh i usually play morning kickoffs so i just go with a sugary cereal. Without adequate, balanced nutrition, you won’t have enough energy to play your best. Packaged products draw us to the nutrition facts labels and can lead to obsessive behavior over food components. This is important to consider because goals become more frequent later in the game … And let us know what you have found to be the best foods to eat before a big soccer game. Thanks! Knowing when to emphasize some over others around game-time can be a game-changer. When the time comes to take center stage and try out for soccer, what you eat beforehand is critically important. It’s amazing to see how much a simple change in meals can impact one’s ability to play. “Eat a bigger meal with plenty of fluids, especially water,” says Turner. A great place to start when building your main pre-game meal is with: Clearly defining general nutrition recommendations is nearly impossible due to individual differences including age, skill, exercise intensity and duration, stress levels, food preferences and availability, and the open systems of athletic games. Examples for What to Eat Before a Soccer Game 3-4 Scrambled eggs with veggies and slices of avocado. The athlete diet is more than calories — it’s nutrients that power peak potential. For a 2 p.m. start, consider having a substantial, high-carb breakfast, such as pancakes, and a light lunch of salad with a roll around noon. Rather than reaching for the standard sports drinks packed with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colorings, look to choose: I’m a believer in simplicity. Instead, the meal leading up to the event should help top off glycogen stores with at least forty percent of calories coming from real food complex carbohydrates. Overall, you should not eat large portions of food very soon before a match. … Fats are important for brain health, good mood, cell structure, hormone function, satiety, temperature regulation, and more – all critical for soccer success. Perfect meals to eat before a soccer game Breakfasts before a soccer game. Eating right is very important in our everyday lives, but it is also crucial in sports. With young athletes who are small eaters, avoid large quantities of fluid right before and during a meal. A granola bar or half a sandwich can also work. I'm sure most people like a round or two of toast from time to time, so before playing sport, try and make sure you're eating whole grain toast. They're kids. Try to get at least an extra hour of sleep. “The night before games I’ll have chicken, pasta, fish: all the normal stuff you would expect us to eat. These are broken down into glucose to provide the energy that you need during the game. Pre-game lunch ideas. Everyone’s body is different, which means that each person metabolizes food differently. I am the owner of Primal Peak, a “nutrition specialist” at Copper Moose Farm, and a Board Member for a local non-profit, EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School).