What should you eat before a soccer game? Lots of carbs. In this article, we will take you through the steps to have your best game yet, with the aid of a full stomach, lots of energy, and a newfound motivation in your body's ability.
As a way to give your body the fuel it needs to succeed in such an athletic game as soccer, you must feed it the right nutrients. This includes finding the best meal options.
Not only is what you eat important, but when you eat it, as well as in what moderation you do so. You can't eat an entire bowl of pasta 15 minutes before you get on the field, your body would not agree with that. But if you find the correct time, the best portion size for your body, and the best ingredients, your game will improve drastically.
Never wonder what to eat before a soccer game again.
Not eating is never an option.
Maybe athletes avoid eating before a big game because they think that if they do have a meal, it will cause them to have cramping or nausea. Though cramping can be common for an athlete, eating a meal before a game will not cause this.
In fact, deciding not to eat before a soccer game will result in liver glycogen storage decrease, fatigue, and lack of motivation. Your liver glycogen storage is the main source of glucose, which is one of your main energy courses, mostly coming from carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and fruit.
Without this, your body will be confused. You're basically telling it that you do not need energy, and it will result in mimicking patterns of a relaxed body. Don't starve yourself of energy and don't starve yourself in general. Your body needs all the help it can get, and relies on the pre-existing glycogen in your system.
Some of the top meals include spaghetti, chicken, and bagels.
Of course, we have to first mention having a pasta night before game time. A tradition most soccer teams have, eating a bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce is always a great go-to option before you play.
If you're sick of pasta, try for a plate of grilled chicken and throw in a side of green beans or asparagus. As one of the best meals to eat before a soccer game, these are great night-before options that will provide carbohydrates and protein.
And as another meal option that can be eaten the morning of your game, allow yourself to have a bagel or two with low-fat cream cheese. This will provide a hearty helping of carbs. Need more options? Try smoked salmon, a salad with grilled chicken, and add a side of fruit to any of these meals.
When should I eat?
Something that many athletes are unfortunately not aware of, the time of your meals are equally as important as what you are feeding your body. To make things easier, allowing yourself a big meal three to four hours before a game, and then a light lunch about two to three hours before a game is a great way to give yourself the best amount of carbs and glucose to use, while not starving your body for hours before you play.
You can even eat a small snack or drink a shake with plenty of protein about an hour before the game, but try not to eat anything within that hour before you step foot on the field. Timing makes a huge difference in the way that your body will use the nutrients you are feeding it, once you take on the field.
It helps store energy for later.
As a way to make sure you have enough energy stored in your body, you will eat your biggest meal first. An important rule to discovering the best way to eat before a soccer game, you want to get this meal out of the way. This way you won't feel full or uncomfortable with too much food in your belly.
And to keep up with this concept, smaller meals are incorporated into ensuring your body is still filled with the best amount possible.
Plus, you never want to have a rumbling stomach as a distraction while you play. And your body will know that the game was the reason for all of that extra glucose storage
Portion control is key.
When it comes to food, portion control is often a topic that comes up, in any conversation. Figuring out what to eat before a soccer game is no exception, and finding the correct portions to aid in your performance is key to playing your best games yet.
It is often a misconception that athletes require a ton of food to be in the system to perform to their best ability, but this isn't necessarily true. You shouldn't push your body above its normal limits just to provide it with a ton of carbohydrates.
This can be easily calculated and journaled with the use of a fitness and nutrition app. The MyFitnessPal app is perfect for this, and allows you to track all of the food you're putting in your body. It will also make you more aware of what nutrition you're feeding yourself and will allow you to track your progress, meals, weight, and even workouts.
Don't push yourself.
Though providing your body with nutrients is, of course, important, pushing your boundaries is never a smart idea. Keep your portions to a normal size, depending on the size of your body. For any athlete this is true. Even during "bulking" season, you should never give your body too much food that it will not be able to work it off during your upcoming workout or game. This is an easy way to feel full, uncomfortable, and lethargic.
And this also goes for limiting your body with food. Even if you are trying to lose weight, you should always supply your body with the best amount of energy, depending on how active you are.
If you are a forward, your game is mostly played actively, and requires an ample amount of energy to succeed. You don't want to be halfway through your game, and feel as if you have used up the amount of motivation and energy.
Hydration is equally as important.
We couldn't complete an article about what to eat before a soccer game without mentioning how important it is to remain hydrated before, during, and after a game. Soccer takes a lot of endurance, strength, and agility, and running consistently is reason alone to keep hydrated throughout your day. Be sure to constantly drink water and lots of it. This way you will feel awake, healthy, and energized. You'll score the best goal of the season. Consider all of these what to eat before a soccer game tips each time you go to play soccer, even if it's just a game for fun, practice, or some soccer drills.