What Soccer Players Should Be Eating? Soccer Player Diet Plan
Wondering what is the best soccer player diet? For a soccer player, strength, stamina, and endurance are very important. Eating the right muscle-building foods is the only way to ensure quality development. A healthy diet will enable the player to train hard and improve their play and keep a check on fatigue. Protein and Carbohydrates are two must include nutrients in the soccer player diet. Protein improves muscle growth in the body and Carbohydrates are the source of energy that is required to get through intense strength training workouts, grueling game practices.
What should a soccer player eat?
Simple carbohydrates: these are found in sweets, soft drinks, cakes, jam
Complex carbohydrates: these are found in rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, cereals, and fruit
Saturated fats: this is found in butter, cheese, margarine, pastries
Unsaturated fats: this is found in sunflower oil, nuts, salmon
Protein: milk, chicken, fish, salmon, yogurt are a good source of protein
Vitamins and minerals: f fruit, vegetables, dairy products are rich in minerals and vitamins
Fiber: this is found in seeds, peas, beans
Water: foods, drinks, formulated sports drinks contain water.
Carbohydrates should make up to 70% of the soccer player’s diet because they need energy throughout the game. The optimal calorie count for carbohydrates is 2400-3000 for a soccer player. If the player fails to maintain this level, it means their glycogen level is sub-par. In case the player starts their game on a low glycogen level, they can struggle mid-game because of a lack of carbs in their muscle by the time they reach the second half of the game.
Keep snacking throughout the day instead of following only three meal plans. Refuel after practice and matches to store energy in the muscles.
Bananas, crumpets, low-fat rice pudding bagels, yogurts, muesli bars, milkshakes, and fruit are great snack options that are rich in carbohydrates and low in fat.
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Here is a list of muscle food to include in a soccer player diet plan:-
Eggs are a good source of protein. Starting your morning with a healthy egg breakfast will set you on the right foot. Don’t neglect the yolk; it has many health benefits and provides additional protein.
Oatmeal is a great breakfast option, being a good source of carbohydrates. Oatmeal provides energy and keeps you active throughout the day. Eat an oatmeal bowl with eggs to make a wholesome breakfast.
Lean Ground Beef
Beef is packed with protein but avoids consuming fat and eat extra lean beef.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are very important to include in a soccer player’s diet or any individual in general. They are a good source of carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Bananas, apples, tomatoes, fresh berries, cucumbers, asparagus, and frozen veggies are a good option to include in the meal plan.
Black beans are a good source of carbohydrates and protein, and this is a great lean meat meal option to have.
The best thing to eat before a soccer game
Before your soccer game; you should eat high carbohydrate food with less protein. Too much protein consumption just before the game can mess with digestion. Carbohydrates will help in keeping you energized.
It is important to maintain glucose levels in the blood by consuming carbs. Eat pasta or rice with vegetables or protein in a small quantity. Avoid fats as much as you can. Fish is also an ideal meal option before the game. Eat your food at least 3 hours before the game.
What to Drink?
The best type of fluid to drink is the one with diluted electrolyte or carbohydrate solution like Powerade or Gatorade. You can drink the fluids before, after, or during the training session. Make sure to stay hydrated and consume fluid in between the match. Do not drink too much at once; you can feel bloated and have an upset stomach. Consume small amounts but on a regular basis.
What to Eat After a Soccer Match?
After the match, eat after 30 minutes of finishing the game. Your body is in recovery mode for 45 minutes after physical exercise, and you should feed your body with protein and carbohydrates. You can eat rice or pasta at that moment. Your muscles need to be recovered with carbohydrates and glucose.
Focus on restoring the damaged protein balance to make yourself fit for physical exercises again for the next day. You need to consume protein-rich food. Eat eggs, cold pasta, salad, tuna, and turkey. Eat within the cycle of 45 minutes after the match to rebalance the body. The meal for both male and female soccer player diet plans is the same; it’s just that the quantity differs for both.