Eat a carbohydrate-rich dinner the night before and drink extra water throughout the previous day. 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. Keep your last dinner before game day high in carbs, strong in protein and low in fat, and you’ll be on your way to success. How to Hydrate Your Body Before a Game. As part of the pre-game meal, protein helps stabilize blood sugar, provide satiation, and deliver the building blocks needed for post-activity recovery. Soccer Moves and Exercises You Can Practice Inside at Home, The Best Soccer Gifts: Ideas for Friends and Family, 5 Ways to Improve Your Soccer Skills in Your Backyard, 5 Soccer Challenges That Will Help Hone Your Skills, How to Correctly Buy Your Soccer Cleats: A Half Size Too Small, What Are the Best Indoor Soccer Shoes? Refueling after one and before another can help refill glycogen stores and maintain energy levels. 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. Thanks! Bonus — the more muscle mass you have, the more glycogen you can store! In comparison, whole foods elicit an innate appreciation for pure nourishment and satisfaction. A glass of water should also accompany the evening meal. Root vegetables: carrots, beets, parsnips, etc. Because this meal is three to four hours before a meal, it might be necessary to top off glycogen stores before activity. The most complete and available protein comes from foods such as: Fats are the fuel for daily life and low-intensity, longer duration activity. Eat early, and eat often; following your morning meal add in apples, pears, pretzels, sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade, any dried fruit and low-fat yogurt. Along with hydration, this recipe results in a focused and high functioning athlete. Proper food choices can help keep blood sugar stable throughout a soccer game. Go to bed early so you can get a good rest for the next day. Pre-game lunch ideas. Also, your body will be using energy to digest that food rather than allowing your it to use energy for your muscles. Again, these are foods that are high in carbohydrates that help fuel you. There may be small amounts of sugar in the blood that can be used, but when it comes to carbs we are primarily talking about using glycogen, or stored glucose to produce energy. Eating right is very important in our everyday lives, but it is also crucial in sports. “An athlete’s plate should be half full of ... 1-2 Hours Before Game Time/Between Events. During physical activities such as soccer, your body burns the easiest fats it can find. However, I have seen too many youth players eat … 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. 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. Complex carbohydrates such as rice, cereals, pasta, potatoes, and bread are best to eat a number of hours before the match due to the fact that they release energy slower and … To prepare well for the game, you need to eat a good meal the night before the game. As a Nutritionist, and founder of Primal Peak, I share current content, recipes, and programs to guide you towards vitality and peak performance. These are broken down into glucose to provide the energy that you need during the game. Without adequate, balanced nutrition, you won’t have enough energy to play your best. 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. 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). 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. You also might rush to the game without having eaten all day. Vitamins and minerals unlock energy, support reactions, and complete pathways to keep athletes in top condition. Perfect meals to eat before a soccer game Breakfasts before a soccer game. The night before soccer tryouts, aim for 10 hours of sleep, or more, as sleep is crucial to a good performance. 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. The athlete diet is more than calories — it’s nutrients that power peak potential. The road to playing well starts with eating well. Individual Soccer Training Tips, Soccer Drills, Fitness Tips and More. But what about pure water, which athletes used for … In the morning, (or about 2-4 hours before your match if it’s later in the day), you want to eat things like cereal and fruits. Not sure what to eat? I have a soccer game tomorrow after school so I just wanted to know what kind of food I should eat tonight. If your child is an eating machine then you probably can go with this premise. Proper nutrition in an athlete’s diet can make the difference between playing your best game and experiencing the dreaded “bonk.”. These can accompany a pasta lunch before an afternoon game or an oatmeal and raisins breakfast, according to Averbuch and Clark. Game-Day. When I played pro soccer we usually would be given a granola bar or banana for pregame snack, 2.5 hours before the game. The Day Before. Whole grain bread contains nutritious B vitamins, iron, magnesium and fibre, the goodness that is taken out of white bread. Fat will slow absorption and digestion and the replenishment of glycogen stores. With your unique circumstances in mind, find what works for you and the young athletes in your family. Overall, you should not eat large portions of food very soon before a match. With young athletes who are small eaters, avoid large quantities of fluid right before and during a meal. Carbohydrates are the most important nutrient you can consume to provide energy before a football game. If you want to see what a portion of food providing 70g of carbs looks like, see our 11 pre-match meal suggestions for some quick, quality, affordable ideas that you can start using immediately. Examples for What to Eat Before a Soccer Game 3-4 Scrambled eggs with veggies and slices of avocado. It sounds silly, but you want it in the light lemonade or even clear shade. 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). W ake up 4 hours before important games or soccer events, eat a simple breakfast (bread + a nut butter), and then go back to bed. If you need to eat closer to game time, a light meal is usually tolerated one to two hours in advance. An average sized man, about 70kg, should therefore be looking to eat a pre game meal of around 70g of carbs. Monitor urine color on game day. And what would I eat tomorrow, the day of my game? When the time comes to take center stage and try out for soccer, what you eat beforehand is critically important. The following are suggestions on what our soccer players should eat and avoid eating on game and practice days. What to Eat the Night Before a Game. But with all that in mind, let’s look at some general eating guidelines that you can apply to sports like soccer. Fruit can help refill liver glycogen and offer refreshing fluids. The key to game-day nutrition is eating substantial yet light meals. My number one recommendation is to use this information as a base to build on. Soccer requires sustained energy for 60 to 90 minutes with intermittent bursts of higher intensity. Here is an example of what this looks like: Dinner: Chicken + roasted potatoes + spinach salad with vegetables + whole grain bread High fiber foods can also cause distress. Everyone’s body is different, which means that each person metabolizes food differently. Relevance. Eat dry cereal, a bagel with peanut butter or oatmeal before bed… What other topics would you like to see? Your meal should consist of whole grains, such as darker breads, pasta and rice. Ever since sports drinks first hit the market, there seems to be a never-ending evolution of beverages that have better electrolytes, more energy and offer all-around better hydration. 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). The thing is you want to be careful eating fruit that close to a game, because it could run through you too fast. … The right combination of foods can give you the edge over your competition. by Jeff Natt . If your child has an early morning game or practice, here's some advice on what and when she should eat for peak athletic performance. Just being 2% dehydrated can negatively affect an athlete’s performance. It’s amazing to see how much a simple change in meals can impact one’s ability to play. But again, that process doesn’t last through an entire soccer match. If you get into the apple juice shades, hydration levels are lacking. Ideally it should contain easily digestible starchy foods such as pasta, bread, rice and fruit. Refined grains, which show up in things like white bread, white rice, and in white flour-based food items, are more processed which removes nutrients and also does not store energy for as long. You should be sure to get some protein in your system as well. I'm sure most people like a round or two of toast from time to time, so before playing sport, try and make sure you're eating whole grain toast. In addition to these guidelines for eating before and the morning before a big game, proper nutrition on a more long-term basis can also do wonders for improving your soccer game. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take longer to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. Answer Save. Yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash, Sourdough bread, Ezekiel bread, sprouted corn tortillas, Water with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt, Diluted sports drinks for a long duration (more than three to four hours), high-intensity events, and hot and humid conditions (options without artificial coloring and sweeteners are best). Some light eaters are constant grazers, but I find a balance of real food nutrients hard to obtain with this style. Eating real food is “best practice” for strong bioavailability and micronutrient attainment. 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. Filed Under: Nutrition Tagged With: Food/Drink. An 85-pound athlete should drink at least 45 – 50 ounces of water per day. If you do need food within two hours of a match (and this is where players can vary in their needs), you should try eating snack foods that are more easily digestible. Balanced dinners on game night. Sugars and refined flours are also digested quickly, resulting in blood sugar and insulin spikes, which zap energy and lead to overeating. Dinner the night before The night before, serve your child a nutritious dinner. Whether you're trying out for your high school or college team or a local club, you need the right nutrition to give you the energy to perform at your best. Knowing when to emphasize some over others around game-time can be a game-changer. We’ve got great recipes, primal diet ideas, and a wealth of nutritional info waiting for you. Your email address will not be published. Lean meats and yogurt are two good choices for this type of post match re-fueling. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take longer to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. If eaten too close to go-time, this can leave an athlete feeling like they’re carrying the ball in their stomach rather than dribbling it with their feet. 2 or More Hours Before Game Time. For a 2 p.m. start, consider having a substantial, high-carb breakfast, such as pancakes, and a light lunch of salad with a roll around noon. As requested, here are some tips on what you should eat before your football match. Your meal should contain about 50 percent carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals. WHEN to eat before a game Avoiding significant fat at this time is beneficial. The night before a soccer game you want to eat complex carbohydrates because they take more time to break down allowing energy to be stored and ready later. This is a common practice among elite athletes. Soccer requires endurance, speed, agility, and strength – at any level. 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). Our bodies function as a result of what we put into them. Eating proper foods at the right times will help fuel your body so you do not hit a wall before or during a soccer game. Fats are important for brain health, good mood, cell structure, hormone function, satiety, temperature regulation, and more – all critical for soccer success. Your meal should enrich of whole grains, such as darker breads, pasta and rice. You can't force them to eat what they won't, and they can only eat so much. 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. Rather than reaching for the standard sports drinks packed with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colorings, look to choose: I’m a believer in simplicity. This will dramatically slow and interrupt digestion, causing distress and discomfort if your belly is full of food. Take notes and adjust accordingly. 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. “Eat a bigger meal with plenty of fluids, especially water,” says Turner. Having the right combination of produce, proteins, and grains goes a long way in helping one play to their highest ability. You want to eat a high carbohydrate dinner the night before competition and a light breakfast the morning of. Both dietary fat and stored adipose tissue can be efficiently used for fuel when carbs and protein are properly managed. Enjoy higher fat meals away from activity. Most of the fat that is used for energy during soccer will be pulled from existing fat stores, but it is still a good idea to include healthy fats on your pre-game plate for satiation, nutrient absorption, and insulin and glucagon balance for blood sugar stability. Your meal should consist of whole grains, such as darker breads, pasta and rice. Is It Safe to Play Indoor Soccer During Coronavirus? Common carbohydrate foods include pasta, potatoes, cereals and bagels. If the event starts at 8:00 a.m., Try to get at least an extra hour of sleep. Tortilla, Bagels, Cereals and fruits, And a moderate amount of protein such as: low-fat dairy, yogurt, eggs or ham. Eating During Competition During the game, carbohydrate supplement drinks given before the game and at halftime have been shown to increase running volume and intensity in the second half in soccer players. If you run into challenges, seek out the advice of a qualified sports nutritionist to help direct individual needs. Also be sure to stay hydrated, and remember that you need to start drinking extra water at least the day before your game, not just a couple hours in advance. A light meal may be added for an early afternoon start. Complex Carbohydrates. The energy that keeps us moving comes from food, but it must be converted into ATP for our body to use it. Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein the night before a tryout, to increase energy levels for the following day. Without balanced nutrition, energy levels, recovery speeds, and peak performance suffer, leaving an athlete feeling weak, heavy, and completely exhausted. While healthy fats are necessary for a healthy athlete, meals that are high in fat can slow digestion. What are good foods to eat the night before a soccer game? Stay tuned for more posts on proper eating habits. Looking at the graph above, we see that the body can create ATP quickly, but it doesn’t last long. Drinking half an ounce of water per pound of body weight is a general guideline for minimum fluid intake. Cooked vegetables are easier to digest and some athletes feel better avoiding beans and legumes before sporting events. Macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fats — provide the energy and essential building blocks necessary for physical feats and mental acuity. 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. Eat a bigger meal two to four hours before go time. Fats have the least impact on blood sugar levels, so they provide sustained energy without dips and crashes. Time your meal around the start of the game by working backwards. This will just limit your body from achieving its full potential, and could cause your stomach to hurt with all the running you will be doing. 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. Pregame meals are really a two-part program. Breakfast before a soccer game should be at least two hours prior. More water is necessary for hot weather or during intense training sessions. On the contrary, processed carbs have been stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leaving us with empty calories. As we share our recommendations in this article, you must remember that these are just general guidelines. Making adjustments for consecutive game fueling, light eaters, and gastric distress are common concerns. Make sure to deliver enough energy to your body to last the game. Youth soccer players often participate in more than one game in a day. You will want to eat a … Before a soccer game, you need to consume a large quantity of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein and a low amount of fat. (2020), Best Foods to Eat the Night Before, and the Morning of, the Big Game. 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. Pre game snacks for soccer. Liquids fill the belly and signal satiety without the calories and nutrients to match. Include large portions of grains or pasta, vegetables and small to medium portions of beans, chicken, fish, or meat. This should feature lean proteins such as meat, eggs and beans. Aim for nutrients to come from real foods rather than gels, bars, powders, and supplements. Opt for starches such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and white rice to top off muscle fuel. My 4 Weeks of Real Food meal plan gives you everything you need for a full month of delicious, healthy real food meals. Your email address will not be published. The eggs have the essential amino acids we need to provide energy for our muscles and … Most athletes do best eating a higher calorie meal two to three hours before any intense activity. In addition to this, I love to help mothers feed their families Real Food. Stored fatty acids are fuel for longer-duration lower-intensity exercise. It is a fine balancing act initially, but becomes second nature in no time at all. Read more about general guidelines HERE. Repeated high-energy outputs use glycogen stored in the muscles. That makes high-carb foods perfect for a pre-soccer meal. This is important to consider because goals become more frequent later in the game … Delaney. Vitamins and minerals unlock energy, support reactions, and complete pathways to keep athletes in top condition. Athlete Nutrition: Best Foods to Eat and When to Eat Them. Try and eat something starchy the night before, a good spaghetti dinner, and the next day go light before the game and eat something sweet for a bit of extra energy - the pros seem to like jaffa cakes. As one athlete explained, “I don’t want to have food in my stomach when I’m competing. Avoiding packaged supplements also helps athletes develop healthy relationships with food. Hi, I’m Shannon and my mission is to help you and your family discover a life of wellness through food and healthy habits. 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. Aim for dairy products, fruits, starchy vegetables, whole-grain bread or pasta, and sugary sweets. 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. The goal is to prevent a roller-coaster of energy highs and lows, so players compete at their best. That’s why teenage athlete meal planning should be properly researched. We cannot apply the same rules to adult athletes to kids. 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. Simple carbohydrates such as fruits, pudding or yogurt are ideal for this time. Below is our guide to the best fast food to eat before a game, whether you’ve got an early, mid-day or evening match.