Soccer season means weekend games, long bus rides, overnight stays in hotels, early mornings, and late nights not in the comfort of your own home. Although these trips give you the best memories with your team and heighten that competitive feeling, they could have a serious impact on your performance nutrition…if you’re not prepared. Traveling often involves having a meal at a restaurant, grabbing fast food, or eating in the car on the way to the field. While it is not always easy to eat nutritiously on the road, it is possible!
Proper nutrition for athletes is so important for performance and recovery. Particularly for soccer players since soccer is a very physically and mentally demanding sport. With only one break in 90 minutes and running some serious mileage throughout a game, you want to be on your A-game no matter the conditions!
Here are a Registered Dietitian and former collegiate athletes’ 5 tips for Nutrition on the GO:
For your training and practice days, use this plate break down to stay fueled. Easily break down your plate into protein, fruits and vegetables, and grains + starches. Don’t forget to add some healthy fats to the side!
Before we talk about game day nutrition, it is important to nail down your practice fueling schedule. You want to practice like you play. The same thing applies to nutrition and figuring out the best way to fuel your body for optimal soccer performance!
When you have morning training, make sure to eat breakfast before heading to the field. Check out my easy overnight oat recipe for a quick pre-training breakfast! Ideally, you will want to eat 1-2 hours before training.
If training is too early (you don’t need to wake up at 4:00 am to fuel for 6:00 am training), fuel with a small snack and make sure to fuel properly with a good meal the night...
The physical demands of soccer require a ton of energy and this means you need to eat to fuel your body!
The only way to keep up with all of these physical demands for every training and game is to give your body the fuel it needs. Implementing a fueling plan is going to ensure that your body has the energy it needs to compete at your full potential on the field.
Before we jump into what you need to eat, you must understand the basics of the food you eat.
The largest component of a soccer player’s diet is going to be carbohydrates. Carbohydrates (carbs) are your body’s preferred source of energy. While all of your meals and snacks should contain carbs, the amount and type will vary.
For example, at meals, you should aim to incorporate grains and starches for proper energy intake. Some examples are
Carbs that are rich in...