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Soccer Player NUTRITION

SOCCER NUTRITION - KGU - The Power of nutrition

Your food is the foundation upon which your health and soccer performance is built. What you digest powers not only your physical performance, but your thinking too. Soccer is a game of thousands of decisions, so you have to be nutritionally “sharp” if you want to succeed. Below are some basic suggestions to get you started.


The importance of being well hydrated before you step onto the field cannot be overstated. The #1 reason soccer players “bonk” in a game or training is dehydration. It takes time to get fluid into your system so hydrating hours in advance of your activity is necessary.

A baseline amount of water for a 150-pound athlete is two quarts (64 ounces) per day, not including exercise needs.

Consume 16 to 24 ounces of water two to three hours before activity. Consume 8 to 12 ounces of water 10 to 15 minutes before activity. Consume 8 to 12 ounces for each 15 minutes of activity.

If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8 to 12 ounces of a “healthy” sports drink every 15 to 30 minutes. Re-hydrate immediately after game or practice until your urine runs clear or the color of pale lemonade.


Nutrition is not a one-day or one-meal event. It is a daily activity, all season long. However, if you begin a training session or game with an empty fuel tank, you will crash long before the final whistle sounds. Your food needs are unique so you will need to experiment to determine what works for you. Just like learning a soccer skill, practice your nutrition to get it right.

Foods to Avoid Pre-Performance:

o Spicy and deep-fried foods (chicken, French fries, etc.)
o Ice cream/milk shakes, and most dairy products (often causes phlegm and congestion) o Raw onions, broccoli and cabbage
o Beans (in large amounts)
o Grapefruit and large amounts of citrus juice
o Chocolate (brownies, etc.)
o Hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage, bacon

1 to 3 Hours Before Activity

Choose lean portions of meat, eggs, fruit, nut butter, whole grain products (rice, toast, bagels, pasta, etc.), and vegetables (steamed). Examples: Turkey/ham sandwich, eggs and toast, etc.

30 to 60 Minutes Before Activity

Have a small snack within 30 to 60 minutes of activity such as a granola or sport bar, crackers with a slice or two of turkey, a bagel with peanut/almond butter, small amounts of fruit, etc.

During Activity

If your practice or game lasts longer than an hour, a small amount of a healthy sport drink or bite or two of a granola bar or fruit to tolerance during a break can help. Not everyone can handle solid food during exercise. Depending on intensity, how much you sweat, and your pre-game fuel, you may or may not need a halftime boost.


Exercise depletes energy stores and breaks down muscle tissue. To rebuild and recharge your body, immediately rehydrate and eat some carbohydrates and a small amount of protein within 30 to 60 minutes after working out. This means you will have to prepare your recovery food in advance and bring it with you.

Example: a bagel with peanut butter, some fruit and a small handful of nuts, a protein-fruit smoothie, etc.

Within an hour or two, eat a normal meal. This will give your body what it needs to replenish depleted energy and speed muscle recovery.


If your training or game is early in the morning, experiment to figure out which foods, if any, work best for you. You will need to get up in time to get hydrated and digest what you eat. Practice your

early morning meal to learn how much and what foods work for you. Do not experiment on game day.


Control the gathering and preparation of your food as much as possible.

Choose real (whole) foods over processed foods. Whole foods promote health and have more performance-boosting nutrients.

Consume meals of protein, vegetables, whole grains and good fats in the correct proportions.

Minimize consumption of added sugars and avoid artificial sweeteners. Optimal Plate of Food Eat a nutritious breakfast, it is your grounding meal. Avoid sweet breakfast foods and drinks.

Nutrition is not an event but a path you walk each and every day. The smarter you are about your food, the more successful you will be on and off the field. It is your body, it is your life, and it is your soccer performance.


King George United
Sealston Sports Complex 11048 Fletcher's Road 
king george, Virginia 22485

Phone: 540-370-6656
Email: [email protected]

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