Since it’s high in fiber, the insulin response will not be great, but it’ll add a little extra glucose into your system right before your begin using your glycogen storages in your muscles. Along with hydration, this recipe results in a focused and high functioning athlete. Chewing gum for 10 seconds has been shown to improve reaction times by 7% for up to 15 minutes, because when you chew, you stimulate the promoter cortex, which prepares your brain for movement and reaction (13). During Half-Time Eating like this will prepare you properly for a game. The night before a soccer game is your opportunity to take advantage of eating a large meal. Meals for Soccer Players. Your body uses amino acids for almost all body functions, and when you’re pushing your body in a game of soccer, your body needs amino acids more than ever. With high-intensity exercise, the body shifts up to 80% of its blood supply towards muscle tissue and away from the stomach. Aim for nutrients to come from real foods rather than gels, bars, powders, and supplements. Also, avoid large consumptions of fluids before eating. Get plain oats and cook them. A granola bar or half a sandwich can also work. As always, it is good to accompany this with water, but don't drink too much as this can make you feel bloated and heavy. Drinking sports drinks in slushy form was shown to improve exercise endurance by 10% (15). Making adjustments for consecutive game fueling, light eaters, and gastric distress are common concerns. Fat will slow absorption and digestion and the replenishment of glycogen stores. Load of the on the veggies in the scramble. I like to sauté them in olive oil before adding the eggs in. 7-8 hours, in complete darkness is the best way to keep our serotonin levels high (10). Repeated high-energy outputs use glycogen stored in the muscles. For a 90 minute game, you want your blood sugar at a steady level, which means you should load your body with glycogen the night before DEPENDING on your past weeks activities and carb intake. Build confid…, What to Eat Before a Soccer Game for Optimal Performance, Passing the Time When Traveling With Your Team: 10 Tips, 5 Fun Ideas for Celebrating Your Next Victory, Getting the Right Gear for Your Team: 5 Points to Remember, Soccer Awareness Coaching Curriculums presented by Game Sizes: 4 v 4, 7 v 7, 9 v 9 through to 11 v 11, 50 Fun and Developmental Coaching Sessions for 6 to 10 year-olds, Soccer Awareness Age Group Specific Awareness Developmental Training. Being fully hydrated is almost too necessary to explain, but there are points to hydration that we need to be aware of. A bagel with a light smear of peanut butter, a granola bar, a banana and a small container of yogurt, or even a bowl of cereal with milk, make for good energy when there's only a little time before you compete. Take notes and adjust accordingly. When it comes to food, avocado, almonds, kiwis and bananas all have the amino acid tryptophan, which is the key ingredient to making serotonin in your body (11). Testosterone is a steroid hormone that, for soccer players, is important due to its effects on aggression. All athletes benefit from an everyday healthy diet that is made up of the following macronutrients, which bring plenty of micronutrients along for the ride. Nutrient-rich carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fluids are all important for youth soccer players, and athletes of any age. Full Hydration. We can boost our testosterone through healthy fats. With your unique circumstances in mind, find what works for you and the young athletes in your family. The last thing you want is a stomach issue before kickoff, so lower fiber, more processed and non-whole grain items are allowable. This timing depends on what and how much you eat. Then brew up some Yerba Mate, green tea or coffee, but make sure to pair the coffee with L-Theanine, to not over stimulate yourself. 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). To avoid this sick and heavy feeling, we need to eat our last meal 3-4 hours before our game time. Foods you'll want to stay away from are french fries, hamburgers, bacon, and other foods that are high in fat and protein. So if you weigh 165 pounds -- approximately 70 kilograms -- you should consume between 350 and 420 grams of carbohydrates daily. High in fiber and potassium, it will help give your body the glucose it needs to function so your body is running on all cylinders. The athlete diet is more than calories — it’s nutrients that power peak potential. Another reason for making sure you get plenty of protein in your last meal is for the specific amino acid tyrosine, which promotes the neurotransmitter dopamine (7). Enjoy higher fat meals away from activity. The most critical meal is actually the day BEFORE the game. Eating real food is “best practice” for strong bioavailability and micronutrient attainment. When eating before … The carbohydrate in the meal raises blood glucose levels to provide energy for working muscles. During physical activities such as soccer, your body burns the easiest fats it can find. Without adequate, balanced nutrition, you won’t have enough energy to play your best. If we are only aggressive and are not balancing it out with a sense of composure, then we’re not going to play our best. Also, we can increase serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that promotes calmness, through a couple of ways. Both dietary fat and stored adipose tissue can be efficiently used for fuel when carbs and protein are properly managed. Now lets look at each part individually and see how exactly we can attain it through food. 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. 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). Stored fatty acids are fuel for longer-duration lower-intensity exercise. This meal should contain some carbohydrate for fuel as well as some fluids for hydration. Overwhelmed by decision fatigue? Spicy foods should be avoided. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest and some athletes feel better avoiding beans and legumes before sporting events. And don’t even think about drinking a drop of soda or even fruit juice before you put your soccer cleats on. Fruit will help provide vitamins and minerals that help your body function as normal. 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). Your thinking and mood are based on the presence of hormones and neurotransmitters in your body, and while this sounds complicated, it’s not. The meal should be focused on higher carbohydrates and moderate protein while low in fat. The food also keeps your child from feeling hungry and weak, which can hurt athletic performance. When choosing a pre-game/training meal, snack and fluid it must: be easy to digest; rich in carbohydrates for fuel; be low in fat; provide adequate amounts of fluid; include foods that are familiar; Generally you want to be eating 2-4 hours before your game or training session. Looking at the graph above, we see that the body can create ATP quickly, but it doesn’t last long. A light meal may be added for an early afternoon start. Eggs are not only a great source of protein, they are packed full of nutrients like protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and iodine that our body loves and saturated fat, as I have talked about are actually really good for us (5). The night before you want to load up on carbohydrates. Quickly digested, smart carbohydrate foods help energy levels more than proteins, fats and fibers which are not as easily digestible. Proper nutrition in an athlete’s diet can make the difference between playing your best game and experiencing the dreaded “bonk.”. It’s time to take the suggestions of what, when, and how much to eat on soccer game day, along with the meal ideas provided, to put together a plan that will set your young athlete up for success. They will help you avoid muscle breakdown along with improving your muscle recovery. This, combined with have plenty of glycogen storage, physical preparation through trainings and having some salt with breakfast or in a sports drink will keep you from getting cramps during a game and embarrassing yourself, because you’re better than that. Proper food choices can help keep blood sugar stable throughout a soccer game. Everyone rushes over to see if you’ve injured yourself, and you have to shamefully tell them, it’s a cramp. Now while this smoothie appears to be a hodgepodge of random foods, I’ve picked all of them to fill a specific need for a soccer players needs. Some light eaters are constant grazers, but I find a balance of real food nutrients hard to obtain with this style. If you run into challenges, seek out the advice of a qualified sports nutritionist to help direct individual needs. 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. You'll have the energy to stay strong through both halves, avoid game-altering cramps and you won’t feel flat as you play. Prepare the tea the night before and put it in the fridge. Your meal timing may look something like this: The time of day that a game takes place will help you plan how much to eat in advance. You’re not hydrating properly and you’re not getting enough electrolytes, typically potassium and sodium (4). We aren’t talking about donuts, cupcakes, French fries, and other junk foods, but we are talking about fats sourced from: Soccer and hydration go hand in hand. You want to go into a game with confidence and swagger about you that you are going to win. These foods are broken down slowly and provide energy over a long period of time. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is the most anti-inflammatory food in the world and it’s anti-catabolic (16). Fruit can help refill liver glycogen and offer refreshing fluids. While nutrition is a daily necessity, it takes on an even greater importance as the day of the game approaches. More water is necessary for hot weather or during intense training sessions. These will provide slow releasing carbohydrates. Fats are important for brain health, good mood, cell structure, hormone function, satiety, temperature regulation, and more – all critical for soccer success. 2 or More Hours Before Game Time “Eat a bigger meal with plenty of fluids, especially water,” says Turner. However, too much water in our stomachs when we go to play can lead to a heavy feeling and sometimes side cramps. Lets begin by looking at what you need of your body come game time and work our way backward to see how our food choices can optimize our bodies to meet the requirements. Being moderately dehydrated, 2% of your body fluids, has drastic effects on your performance, decreasing endurance by up to 30% (3). In comparison, whole foods elicit an innate appreciation for pure nourishment and satisfaction. We need our blood to be going to our muscles and to our brain so we are able to optimally perform athletically and mentally. Pregame football meals should be eaten at least three hours prior to the start of a game and should consist largely of foods rich in carbohydrates. It’s time to step out on the pitch and begin warm-ups. This process happens during an all-out sprint or lifting weights. During a soccer game carbohydrates win the contest. Avoid soda, juice, and candy, as well as meals emphasizing baked goods, breakfast cereals, refined breads and pasta, and packaged snack foods before game time. Not sure what to eat? Now you can get an enhanced effect of this high energy alertness with an overall sense of calm by drinking coffee and supplementing with L-Theanine, since regular green tea does not have much caffeine in it, and it’s L-Theanine levels are not that high. These options will leave you feeling highly alert, yet without any jitters and lack of focus that sometimes comes from consumption of caffeine. With this smoothie, I would continue with the rest of the eating schedule that I listed in the first example. A banana before warm up can help as well. Make sure it’s nothing big that will take the resources of your blood circulating away from your muscles and brain. You also might rush to the game without having eaten all day. In order to avoid having water splashing around in our bellies, we should taper off heavy fluid intake about 45 minutes before a game. The types of food a soccer player eats will impact whether glycogen stores are sufficient and whether the body can effectively access fat for energy. Pair with veggie sticks and hummus (carb), and jerky bites (protein), Chicken (protein) stir-fry with veggies (carb), cooked in coconut oil or avocado oil (fat), over rice (carb), Hard-boiled eggs (protein, fat) and fruit (carbs). With the above tips, I’ve already recommended a banana before the game and plenty of water. Breakfast: Oatmeal + banana + orange juice. Following the directions above about drinking tea before a game can help with keeping composure while adding aggression to our game. Higher testosterone levels will not only make you fight harder, but they will make you want to assert your dominance more. High fiber foods can also cause distress. Taking your game day nutrition seriously will give you the solid foundation to display all the hard work you’ve been putting in at practice. If you can’t do 100% all the time, you should at least try to do it for game days. Another alternative is to drink Yerba Mate tea. I also would eat a banana as well with breakfast. 7 years ago. An extra tip: BCAAs, or branched chained amino acids, are a great option for extra insurance against going catabolic (6). If you are a recreational soccer player, you might arrive at a game after eating a large meal and find you're too full to run well during a 90-minute outdoor contest or a 48-minute indoor one. I prefer to have smoothies as my last meal, so I tend to aim to finish them right around 3 hours before my game, since they digest quicker due to being in liquid form. What other topics would you like to see? Nutrition. As a Nutritionist, and founder of Primal Peak, I share current content, recipes, and programs to guide you towards vitality and peak performance. Milliseconds can make a difference. Your muscles store around 300 to 400 grams of carbohydrates, and a soccer practice depletes about half of that. Perfect meals to eat before a soccer game . Proper nutrition before a big soccer match can mean a superior performance. They are full of fiber, are slow digesting carbohydrates and are extremely nutrient dense, especially kale (1). But again, that process doesn’t last through an entire soccer match. The energy that keeps us moving comes from food, but it must be converted into ATP for our body to use it. As a soccer player, you need to eat right to play your best, and knowing what to eat will help you get there. This is not what we want. To get the mentality of having lots of energy and alertness, yet being able to focus all this energy towards the game comes from balancing out the minor caffeine that comes from tea with the relaxing and focusing chemicals within it. An extra tip for lower insulin response is cinnamon. 3-4 Scrambled eggs with veggies and slices of avocado. My number one recommendation is to use this information as a base to build on. I go into depth with amino acids and protein here. 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. If eating this way before a game is new to you, I recommend testing it out before practices. You just spent 7-8 hours not drinking water, and your game is coming up. We don’t want to be going into a game with extra weight slowing us down. Root vegetables: carrots, beets, parsnips, etc. A penalty kick takes about 50 milliseconds to reach the goal line. They should come to the table hungry (after main meals, snacking is encouraged.) Pasta, bread, fruits and vegetables are all great foods to eat for your pre-game meal. While practice and training are an important part of improving your game, so is your diet. They should drink while they eat and afterwards. Another way you can prepare, as I prefer to, is with a smoothie. Is it a cold day? Avoiding significant fat at this time is beneficial. As a soccer coach, I don’t have to tell you that coaching a youth soccer team while traveling in tournaments is a difficult task. by Jeff Natt . Naturally raising your dopamine will keep you alert, motivated and energized for hours after the meal. This begins with getting amino acids in our body with our last meal. Vitamins and minerals unlock energy, support reactions, and complete pathways to keep athletes in top condition. If eating like this is different for you, experiment with practices, and then move to games. Prepare a pregame snack of carbohydrates, such as a bagel with peanut butter, oatmeal, a banana, yogurt or similar food. In the two to three days before a soccer game, you should consume five to six grams of carbohydrates per kilogram -- or 2.2 pounds -- of body weight, per day. Making sure that they get the proper carb intake is very important since their volume of eating is generally lower. I personally would mix the orange and cranberry juice – Yum! As requested, here are some tips on what you should eat before your football match. Adding in berries and raisins in are a good add as well for some more carbs. While bacon and steak shouldn’t be our go-to pre-game meals due to their higher demands of digestion, we can go for eggs and some ham. 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. Make sure to deliver enough energy to your body to last the game. Before the Game. The ultimate game day nutrition preparation. Breakfast will be the main pre-game meal to focus on. As I have covered before about amino acids, animals are our best source of them. Almonds are better for you than peanuts, but it is pricier, so don’t feel bad going with peanut butter if the budgets tight. The closer you are to game time, the lower on that range you should aim – for example, if you are eating a snack one hour before play, aim for .5 grams per pound of body weight. © 2019 Amplified Soccer Marketing, LLC   •   Privacy Policy   •   Work With Us    •   All Rights Reserved, Teams may work out that we are good at penetrating passes and making great runs in behind them so they will defend…, Doing everything possible to ensure players arrive safely and healthily at away games will not only help to avoid a…, The session is great work for one touch play both from the crossers and the receiver’s points of view. If you have only an hour or two prior to play, but your stomach is grumbling, choose a small meal with just 150 to 300 calories. The banana will help with serotonin production, potassium levels and another last minute boost of carbs. 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. Drinking half an ounce of water per pound of body weight is a general guideline for minimum fluid intake. Most athletes do best eating a higher calorie meal two to three hours before any intense activity. The BCAA’s will help your body avoid breaking down your muscles for energy needs, which will help with post game soreness and decrease muscle loss. The goal is to prevent a roller-coaster of energy highs and lows, so players compete at their best. Extra Tip: Eat a tablespoon of honey before bed to drastically improve the quality of your sleep (12). One of the hardest responsibilities as a soccer coach while on the road is monitoring your players’ food intake. If you follow the principles below, you will come into a game mentally and physically prepared. Sugars and refined flours are also digested quickly, resulting in blood sugar and insulin spikes, which zap energy and lead to overeating. This will take some planning on your part. The eggs have the essential amino acids we need to provide energy for our muscles and are enough calories to provide us with energy for the game. With all the running, dribbling and kicking, soccer requires endurance, balance and strength. Now while this feeling is often breed into players, there ways that foods can help your drive and confidence through promoting the right hormones and neurotransmitters. Just being 2% dehydrated can negatively affect an athlete’s performance. Also if you get a flavored protein powder, that will add more flavor, but I prefer to go with the one with the least ingredients possible. We’ve got great recipes, primal diet ideas, and a wealth of nutritional info waiting for you. 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. You want to eat a high carbohydrate dinner the night before competition and a light breakfast the morning of. There is nothing more embarrassing than cramping up while playing soccer. In preparing your pre-game meal, don’t overlook the importance of keeping yourself hydrated. Encouraging time to sit down and eat an actual meal typically results in deeper nutrition and less need for snacking. Find a way to add it into your morning, and it will help your blood sugar response and your energy level throughout the game (2). The dosage you would want for this would be 100mg L-Theanine per cup of Joe. Pre Game Meal Soccer. Good sources include pastas, noodles, rice and bread. So, if your glycogen storages are full the morning of the game, then that is perfect. 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. Testosterone. Neither one is better than the other is, but I feel lighter after smoothie then eating a solid breakfast, but other players may like the feeling of filling up a few hours before the game or eating something warm that the above example would give. We want our glycogen storages in our muscles to be full and ready for our explosive movements. Each player is different, but most will often eat a pre-game meal around 3 to 4 hours before the start of the match. Avoid power bars, soft drinks, protein drinks and powders and gels. This will take evaluating how you recovered and ate the past few days. This will keep our muscles running all game long. Chew peppermint gum during warm-ups or during the game. An 85-pound athlete should drink at least 45 – 50 ounces of water per day. Our coach guide features soccer drills, strength and fitness resources, nutrition guides, psychology articles and more. And surprisingly, as I’ve forced some of my past teammates to realize, it doesn’t taste gross. From individual soccer training plans, videos and tips to soccer-specific nutrition guides, fitness activities and mental game performance, readers will enjoy a well-rounded experience. Most players have the day before a game to have a light training, go over tactics and continue muscle recovery from the tough practices preparing for the upcoming game. Hi, I’m Shannon and my mission is to help you and your family discover a life of wellness through food and healthy habits. A quality breakfast before a sporting event ensures you have the energy to do your best, but consuming the wrong types of food could lead to bloating, cramping and sluggishness. We want to be feeling light when we go into a game. So there you have it. Refueling after one and before another can help refill glycogen stores and maintain energy levels. We want to have plenty of amino acids in our system so we can avoid breaking down muscles to get the amino acids we need for energy. I know every player has had at least one practice where he or she ate too much too closely to practice and then felt sick during it. The iced tea will have the same effects that the hot tea, so there is no need to avoid this advantage because of the weather. That makes high-carb foods perfect for a pre-soccer meal. The cholesterol in fats is a precursor to testosterone, and a boost of it through fats such as a fish oil supplement, avocado or coconut oil will help give you some extra swagger when you walk onto the pitch. Without balanced nutrition, energy levels, recovery speeds, and peak performance suffer, leaving an athlete feeling weak, heavy, and completely exhausted. How you play is affected not only by what you eat hours before the game, but also by your nutrition choices on the days and weeks leading up. Just before you start warming up, it's a good idea to eat a banana which will help prevent you from cramping up towards the end of the match and also provide you with carbohydrates. Before a soccer game, you need to consume a large quantity of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein and a low amount of fat. ok, so i have a soccer match today and would like to know whats the best meal to eat before the game and also is Lasagne a good meal to eat before a match and will it give me lots of energy Let’s use a game at 1 o’clock for our example. In the study, participants’ reaction time increase on average by 36 milliseconds. This means your body is not in that big of a glycogen deficiency. Read more about general guidelines HERE. In addition to this, I love to help mothers feed their families Real Food. This includes breakfast on game day. The thing is you want to be careful eating fruit that close to a game, because it could run through you too fast. That will give you long lasting energy to carry over to the next day. To come into a game like this, we need to turn to nutrition. 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). This is about how long it takes the water to get through your system. 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. If you are eating a solid meal, then you’ll want to give yourself time. You have to be the field in about an hour for warm-ups, so now is a good time to take advantage of the benefits of tea. When you eat a big meal, your body sends more blood to your stomach to help with digestion. Check back daily for new content. Higher sodium is OK because athletes sweat much of that out during games. It also helps initiate the unlocking of fat stores for slow-burning fuel. Make sure to have a few glasses of water with breakfast. If you didn’t refuel your muscle glycogen storages properly the last couple days, then a small side of oatmeal can help. Catabolic means that your body begins to breakdown the proteins that make up your muscles to get the amino acids it needs, and yes, this is as bad as it sounds. Preparing mentally for a game through food choice is not really discussed often, but it is actually surprising the effect that food has on your thinking. This meal should be balanced with carbohydrates and protein. We want to be fully hydrated, except without the feeling of water weight in our stomach. Plain and simple. As part of the pre-game meal, protein helps stabilize blood sugar, provide satiation, and deliver the building blocks needed for post-activity recovery. I know I said early don’t skimp on the yolk, but the coconut oil provides the saturated fat needed in this smoothie. Do not skimp on the eggs with egg whites. 0 0. What to eat before games. You will want to eat complex carbohydrates like breads, grains, and pastas. Winning plates are built from a variety of carb sources including: Eating adequate protein allows the body to maintain and build tissues – including muscle – for strength, agility, recovery and repair. The smell of peppermint increases power output, including running speed (14). This is where things start to get fun. The goal of this post is to answer the question we all ask, “what should I eat before a soccer game?”. Do not use the crappy oatmeal with weird flavors added into it. A pre-game meal is important because: Although a meal eaten before exercise doesn't provide immediate energy, it can provide energy when your child exercises for longer than an hour. Pre-game meals should also be pretty bland as to not upset the stomach. 2-4 eggs the morning of a game will leave you with amino acids and nutrients to keep your body in high gear for 90 minutes. These can accompany a pasta lunch before an afternoon game or an oatmeal and raisins breakfast, according to Averbuch and Clark. What should I drink before football? Perfect pre-game meals give young athletes the energy to get through demanding physical performances without creating spikes and crashes in blood sugar. You might use some high-sugar foods before a game, but make sure a good portion of your pre-game meal is high-nutrient starchy carbohydrates. A meal 3-4 hours before a game or practice should be rich in complex carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein but be low in fat and excessive fiber because fat and fiber takes longer to digest, which can cause an upset stomach and slow your child down. Protein has been shown to increase the rate of muscle glucose uptake and glycogen repletion, so adding a small portion between games may be helpful.