Eating right is important in life in general, but it is also crucial in sports. Eating proper foods at the right times will help fuel your body so you do not hit the wall before or during a soccer game.
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 perform better with different amounts of food in them.
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. 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.
In the morning, about 2-4 hours before your match, you want to eat cereal and fruits. Again, this is food high in carbohydrates. If you do need food within two hours of a match, you should try eating snack foods that are more easily digestible, simple carbohydrates such as fruits, pudding or yogurt.
You should not eat large portions of food directly before a match. This will just limit your body from achieving its full potential, and could cause your stomach to hurt. Also, your body will be using energy to digest that food rather than allowing your it to use energy for your muscles.
After the match, you need to help your body recover by replacing the carbohydrates you used and re-hydrating. Also you should get some protein in your system such as lean meats and yogurt.
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 think are the best foods to eat before a big soccer game.