Nutritional Guidelines

SOCCER DIET – Pre/Post Game Meals

Introduction

Soccer players are continuously looking for ways to improve his or her performance, increasing the body’s maximum potential and forcing it to achieve championship form. Training leading up to a tournament is done with hard work and commitment on a daily basis. With the amount of effort and time spent in training comes and equally high energy consumption and that is where nutrition (fuel) will come in.

High energy can be obtained through a diet which is rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main fuel and energy source of the body and the soccer player needs loads of them.

It is equally important to consume the proper carbohydrates as outlined below. Proteinis also very important to the soccer player diet as they help with recovery and muscle growth. Fats are important and essential to a healthy diet as long as they are consumed appropriately. A general rule is to consume 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 15%fat in your diet. Fluid is very important and should be consumed before, during, and after every
soccer event.

Pre-Game Meal

The pre- game meal should be consumed 3-4 hours prior to a soccer game. Plenty of water/Gatorade should be available at the meal. The meal should be planned around individual likes and dislikes, thus a variety is essential. Carbohydrates with a low Glycemic Index (GI) should be consumed before the game to preserve energy stores and provide long lasting energy throughout the game. High GI foods should be consumed immediately before and during the game to provide for lost energy in during the first half of games. A list is provided below.

Post-Game Snack

Immediately following the game (within 30 min.), Gatorade/water should be available to players after games. Light snacks should be provided if there is a game the next day or later in the day. This should include high carbohydrate and protein foods. Trail mix, rice crispy bars, watermelon, other fruits, crackers, and of course Chick-fil-A sandwiches are always a hit. The post game snack should be provided immediately as this is when the player’s glycogen stores are wide open and able to consume the most for the next match. One to two hours after this event lessens and the player is not able to consume as much food. The post game meal should contain a good balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Calories are important and should be consumed at the rate of 2500/3000 per day. Older teams can consume more; younger teams may consume less depending on the weight of the individual.

Out-of-Town Tournaments

  1. All players will be instructed by their coaches and athletic trainers concerning the importance of nutrition before each tournament.
  2. Players will be required to attend all scheduled meals.
  3. Teams will be responsible for following and supervising the nutritional guidelines of the club.
  4. Parents/players are responsible for the availability of food/fluids for each team.
  5. All teams are required to have sufficient Gatorade, water, ice, and snacks in each of the player’s rooms during the tournament.
  6. All teams are required to provide sufficient Gatorade, water, ice, and snacks at each game for pre-game, in- game, and post- game nourishment.
  7. Managers will be responsible for the designation of access to the aforementioned at games.
  8. No sodas or carbonated drinks are allowed prior to and during the tournament. Water will be served at all meals.
  9. Breakfast should be eaten daily. If your game is early a light breakfast should be consumed with plenty of fluids
  10. Pre-game meals should be planned 3-4 hours prior to the beginning of each game. If not possible, nutritious snacks and plenty of fluid should be provided.
  11. Post-games snacks should be available to each player at the conclusion of each game on the field or in the vans returning from the game. Post- game nutrition should include the immediate snack/Gatorade (within one hour of the game) followed by a larger meal later after the return to the hotel.
  12. Players should hydrate at all times during the tournament. Urine color should appear clear (not dark yellow) upon waking in the morning, before the game, and before going to bed. This is a simple way of acknowledging proper hydration.

GI Foods List

 LOW GI FOODS     

                                                                        MED/HIGH GI FOODS          

 

Spaghetti                                                                                             Graham Crackers

Pasta                                                                                                    Peanut butter

crackers

Oatmeal                                                                                               Corn chips

Cereals                                                                                                            Honey

Rice                                                                                                     Watermelon

Oranges                                                                                               Pretzels

Grapes                                                                                                 Chips

Pear                                                                                                     Dates

Apples                                                                                                 Baked potatoes

Sweetened yogurt                                                                               Rice Cakes

Fat Free milk                                                                                       Cheerios

Green Beans                                                                                        Waffles/pancakes

Nuts                                                                                                    Bagels/muffins

Grapefruit                                                                                           Bread

Dried Fruit                                                                                          Cream of wheat

Avocado                                                                                             Fruit roll ups

Peanuts                                                                                                Mashed potatoes

Green peas                                                                                          Cheese pizza

All Bran                                                                                              Bananas

Popcorn                                                                                               Ice Cream

Banana Bread                                                                                     Pita Bread

Broccoli                                                                                               Raisons

Cauliflower                                                                                         Trail mix

Mushrooms                                                                                         Juice box

Wheat tortilla                                                                                      FigNewton’s

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