Our bodies function as a result of what we put into them. When the time comes to take center stage and try out for soccer, what you eat beforehand is critically important. This will dramatically slow and interrupt digestion, causing distress and discomfort if your belly is full of food. 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. 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. Avoiding packaged supplements also helps athletes develop healthy relationships with food. Individual Soccer Training Tips, Soccer Drills, Fitness Tips and More. 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. Your email address will not be published. Eating right is very important in our everyday lives, but it is also crucial in sports. And what would I eat tomorrow, the day of my game? (2020), Best Foods to Eat the Night Before, and the Morning of, the Big Game. Enjoy higher fat meals away from activity. “The night before games I’ll have chicken, pasta, fish: all the normal stuff you would expect us to eat. What other topics would you like to see? 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. The road to playing well starts with eating well. The following are suggestions on what our soccer players should eat and avoid eating on game and practice days. 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). 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. My number one recommendation is to use this information as a base to build on. 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. How to Hydrate Your Body Before a 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. 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. 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. Eat a bigger meal two to four hours before go time. Dinner the night before The night before, serve your child a nutritious dinner. Go to bed early so you can get a good rest for the next day. 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. 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. Ideally it should contain easily digestible starchy foods such as pasta, bread, rice and fruit. But again, that process doesn’t last through an entire soccer match. The night before a game a player should eat a high carbohydrate meal to maximize glycogen stores. With your unique circumstances in mind, find what works for you and the young athletes in your family. 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. Liquids fill the belly and signal satiety without the calories and nutrients to match. An 85-pound athlete should drink at least 45 – 50 ounces of water per day. It is a fine balancing act initially, but becomes second nature in no time at all. The key to game-day nutrition is eating substantial yet light meals. Simple carbohydrates such as fruits, pudding or yogurt are ideal for this time. Is It Safe to Play Indoor Soccer During Coronavirus? 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. It sounds silly, but you want it in the light lemonade or even clear shade. Examples for What to Eat Before a Soccer Game 3-4 Scrambled eggs with veggies and slices of avocado. Aim for dairy products, fruits, starchy vegetables, whole-grain bread or pasta, and sugary sweets. 8 Answers. Again, these are foods that are high in carbohydrates that help fuel you. Also, some people tend to perform better with different amounts of food in their bodies compared to others. Perfect meals to eat before a soccer game Breakfasts before a soccer game. When I played pro soccer we usually would be given a granola bar or banana for pregame snack, 2.5 hours before the game. Breakfast before a soccer game should be at least two hours prior. That’s why teenage athlete meal planning should be properly researched. Your meal should contain about 50 percent carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals. These are broken down into glucose to provide the energy that you need during the game. Your meal should consist of whole grains, such as darker breads, pasta and rice. by Jeff Natt . 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. Pre game snacks for soccer. Whole grain bread contains nutritious B vitamins, iron, magnesium and fibre, the goodness that is taken out of white bread. Lean meats and yogurt are two good choices for this type of post match re-fueling. On the contrary, processed carbs have been stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, leaving us with empty calories. A light meal may be added for an early afternoon start. 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. Sign up for exclusive soccer tips sent to your inbox and a free ebook of our best soccer training content. You will want to eat a … Without adequate, balanced nutrition, you won’t have enough energy to play your best. 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. Here are some meal examples for how to get energy for a soccer game. With young athletes who are small eaters, avoid large quantities of fluid right before and during a meal. Overall, you should not eat large portions of food very soon before a match. Your email address will not be published. Proper food choices can help keep blood sugar stable throughout a soccer game. 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. If you have a morning event, your dinner the night before becomes your most important meal! Unprocessed carbohydrates are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and easily convertible energy. Along with hydration, this recipe results in a focused and high functioning athlete. 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. After the match, you need to help your body recover by replacing the carbohydrates you used and also re-hydrating with water or even chocolate milk, which may be a surprising choice to some. Looking at the graph above, we see that the body can create ATP quickly, but it doesn’t last long. What to Eat the Night Before a Game. Fat will slow absorption and digestion and the replenishment of glycogen stores. Athlete Nutrition: Best Foods to Eat and When to Eat Them. Fats have the least impact on blood sugar levels, so they provide sustained energy without dips and crashes. Common carbohydrate foods include pasta, potatoes, cereals and bagels. 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. 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. As part of the pre-game meal, protein helps stabilize blood sugar, provide satiation, and deliver the building blocks needed for post-activity recovery. Overwhelmed by decision fatigue? Take notes and adjust accordingly. 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. That makes high-carb foods perfect for a pre-soccer meal. Balanced dinners on game night. The eggs have the essential amino acids we need to provide energy for our muscles and … I have a soccer game tomorrow after school so I just wanted to know what kind of food I should eat tonight. These can accompany a pasta lunch before an afternoon game or an oatmeal and raisins breakfast, according to Averbuch and Clark. Root vegetables: carrots, beets, parsnips, etc. Proper nutrition in an athlete’s diet can make the difference between playing your best game and experiencing the dreaded “bonk.”. The night before soccer tryouts, aim for 10 hours of sleep, or more, as sleep is crucial to a good performance. More water is necessary for hot weather or during intense training sessions. As one athlete explained, “I don’t want to have food in my stomach when I’m competing. Not only is it important to eat a good balance of macronutrients, but we want to choose foods that are dense with micronutrients. Pregame meals are really a two-part program. 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 body is thus reliant on a combination of glycogen, the storage form of carbohydrate, and fat for fuel. Carbohydrates are the most important nutrient you can consume to provide energy before a football game. The right combination of foods can give you the edge over your competition. 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). Macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fats — provide the energy and essential building blocks necessary for physical feats and mental acuity. 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. Eat dry cereal, a bagel with peanut butter or oatmeal before bed… Cooked vegetables are easier to digest and some athletes feel better avoiding beans and legumes before sporting events. Make sure to deliver enough energy to your body to last the game. You want to eat a high carbohydrate dinner the night before competition and a light breakfast the morning of. 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. You also might rush to the game without having eaten all day. While healthy fats are necessary for a healthy athlete, meals that are high in fat can slow digestion. An average sized man, about 70kg, should therefore be looking to eat a pre game meal of around 70g of carbs. Game-Day. Include large portions of grains or pasta, vegetables and small to medium portions of beans, chicken, fish, or meat. As a Nutritionist, and founder of Primal Peak, I share current content, recipes, and programs to guide you towards vitality and peak performance. 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). Here is an example of what this looks like: Dinner: Chicken + roasted potatoes + spinach salad with vegetables + whole grain bread Making adjustments for consecutive game fueling, light eaters, and gastric distress are common concerns. Eating real food is “best practice” for strong bioavailability and micronutrient attainment. Your meal should consist of whole grains, such as darker breads, pasta and rice. If you need to eat closer to game time, a light meal is usually tolerated one to two hours in advance. Pre-game lunch ideas. 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. If you have a morning game, a substantial dinner the night before or late-night snacking can boost your liver glycogen stores, although you run some risk of putting on body fat if you eat heavily at the end of the day. Complex Carbohydrates. Answer Save. Repeated high-energy outputs use glycogen stored in the muscles. Eat a carbohydrate-rich dinner the night before and drink extra water throughout the previous day. The most complete and available protein comes from foods such as: Fats are the fuel for daily life and low-intensity, longer duration activity. 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.