Glycogen depletion is a common factor that can lead to fatigue. The right nutrition plan for a soccer player like you can make all the difference.
Soccer games can be scheduled back to back which leaves little time for players to recover. Glycogen depletion and dehydration must be avoided at all costs.
Travel and timing of meals can often interrupt normal eating patterns and may result in the athlete eating less than normal. It’s important to have a plan and to be prepared.
For a soccer player, it’s important to start the game in a positive fluid balance and with sufficient calories that are well tolerated.
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- Eat minimally processed foods. Limit foods with added sugar, trans fats and saturated fat.
- Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Choose lean proteins.
- Choose healthy fats such as avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
- Choose whole-grain carbohydrates. Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients that fuel your body.
- Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast is literally “Breaking the fast” and kick-start your metabolism with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Fuel for your training. Don’t skip meals.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration equals decreased performance! Women should drink approximately 2.7 liters of fluid a day, and men should drink approximately 3.7 liters of fluid and/or sports drink a day.
- Recover. Have a recovery drink with a 4-1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein within 30 minutes of exercise. Eat a balanced meal within two hours.
- Sleep. Get six to eight hours every night to ensure proper recovery.
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