Eating right is very important in our everyday lives, but it is also crucial in sports.
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.
As we share our recommendations in this article, you must remember that these are just general guidelines. Everyone’s body is different, which means that each person metabolizes food differently.
Also, some people tend to perform better with different amounts of food in their bodies compared to others.
But with all that in mind, let’s look at some general eating guidelines that you can apply to sports like soccer.
What to Eat the Night 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.
Your meal should consist of whole grains, such as darker breads, pasta and rice. 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.
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.
What to Eat the Day of the Game (and When)
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. Again, these are foods that are high in carbohydrates that help fuel you.
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. Simple carbohydrates such as fruits, pudding or yogurt are ideal for this time.
Overall, you should not eat large portions of food very soon before a match. 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.
Also, your body will be using energy to digest that food rather than allowing your it to use energy for your muscles.
Best Foods to Eat After Your Game?
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. You should be sure to get some protein in your system as well. Lean meats and yogurt are two good choices for this type of post match re-fueling.
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.
Stay tuned for more posts on proper eating habits. And let us know what you have found to be the best foods to eat before a big soccer game.