Have you ever experienced an energy slump during heavy activity? If you follow proper pregame soccer nutrition, you can avoid the slump and its other symptoms.
Usually the cause of low energy during a soccer match or practice, is a low level of glucose in your blood. This can also cause you to experience nausea, and a light headed feeling. If you’ve never experienced these symptoms, I’m sure you’ve watched other players, both children and adults, who have.
Proper soccer nutrition will include a high quantity of complex carbohydrates eaten in the days leading up to the game, and ideally with a meal 3 to 4 hours prior to the game. It is also wise to keep complex carbohydrates in your daily soccer nutrition plan, especially if you’re attending strenuous practice sessions.
Complex carbohydrates can be found in grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Many athletes report they get their best results eating grain based foods. Some great examples would include pasta, whole grain breads, rice, and cereals. Other foods you can eat that contain high amounts of complex carbohydrates are potatoes, beans, and corn. Including these types of food in your soccer nutrition plan, will help greatly in avoiding the game time energy slumps.
Another component often overlooked as part of your soccer nutrition needs is water. While water does not provide energy, or nutrients, it is essential to all parts of your body to keep it working properly. Drinking plenty of water in the hours before a game or practice, and drinking water during activity, plays a key role in your bodies ability to function properly, and at a high level of energy. If you become dehydrated, your body will quickly become less efficient, and your performance will suffer. Including sports drinks as part of your hydration during a game is fine, the added electrolytes, and carbohydrates can help with maintaining energy during activity, but water intake is the most crucial.
You must also include protein as part of your soccer nutrition. Protein is essential for the repair of your muscles, and general muscle health. Soccer is a highly demanding sport, often pushing your muscles to the limit. To keep you muscles strong, and to aid in increased strength, you should include meat, fish, poultry, or vegetable proteins as part of your daily diet.
Vitamins and other supplements can be used as part of your soccer nutrition, but should not be a substitute for eating properly. Supplementation should only be considered for adult players. Children should eat properly, and if their parent’s or Doctor recommends, they can add a daily vitamin.
In summary, the best plan for your pregame soccer nutrition is to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, and to make sure you drink plenty of water so you’re fully hydrated before the start of the game. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll maintain better energy levels, and be able to avoid energy slumps. Proper soccer nutrition can greatly enhance your game time performance.