Soccer games can be very demanding on the body. Therefore, it is recommended to have a proper meal before the game so that you have enough energy for strenuous activity and can perform at your peak. However, you also cannot eat whatever you like to gain the energy needed for a great match. There are certain foods that should be avoided and there are some that should be eaten in certain quantities before a soccer game.
So, today we are going to break down all we know about pre-football match eating do’s and don’ts for you to make sure you eat the perfect food to boost your stamina for a game!
Here is our complete guide on what to eat before a soccer game. Let’s get started:
Having The Right Food Before Soccer Match: Why Does It Matter?
While you may think pre-soccer game eating is not a big deal, but irrespective of whether you are an amateur or professional soccer player; it all comes down to your diet.
Your diet is the main reason why you are able to perform well on the field and not get tired easily. So if your food intake does not include carbs, protein, fiber, or some other essential nutrients, you are likely to lose energy during the game.
We have listed out all the important pre-match soccer food while keeping in mind all these elements to ensure you can give your 100% on the field while not worrying about feeling hungry or getting tired too early into the game.
What Should You Eat Before The Game?
There are certain things that should be eaten before a soccer match for best results. When choosing what to eat before a game, try and avoid fatty foods as much as possible since they take time to digest. It is also recommended that if you are going with carbohydrates then go with complex carbs rather than simple sugars because of their slow absorption rate which doesn’t cause any spikes in energy levels.
So, without further ado, let’s get into all the details about what to eat before a game:
1. Bananas Are a Great Pre-Soccer Game Food Option!
Fruits that are high in energy are a great pre-game food choice since they contain carbs for energy and fiber to keep you full during the game. They are also rich in potassium which gives you instant energy boost.
2. Chicken! Your Body Will Love It!
Chicken is one of the best foods that can be eaten before a soccer match because it is high in protein content (about 30 grams per serving). However, make sure you consume white meat chicken as much as possible because dark meat has more fat.
3. Don’t Forget About The Carbs!
Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for any athlete because they provide you with all the fuel that is needed to perform during a game. Carbohydrates also help in maintaining the level of sugar in your blood which prevents fatigue and dizziness later into the game. You can choose from pasta, sandwich, sweet potatoes or even brown rice if you want carbs before a match! Many sportsmen avoid eating rice before a match due to its high glycaemic index but it doesn’t have any negative impact on their performance in a match.
4. Green Tea or Coffee Before a Game? It’s Up to You!
Some players having green tea while others love coffee before a game because both of these beverages are rich in caffeine which ensures you stay alert and energized for the entire duration of the game. They also keep your metabolic rate high throughout the game which makes sure that you continue to burn calories even during the game!
5. Don’t Drink Too Much Water Before a Game!
While drinking plenty of water is always recommended, drinking too much can prove to be harmful especially if it’s cold water. Cold water will lower your body temperature quickly while playing on the field so try not to drink too much cold water before a match. Also avoid drinking excess amounts of coffee or tea before a game since they act as diuretics which will make you go to washroom more often than usual and become dehydrated.
6. Make Sure You Eat Fruits & Vegetables!
Every single meal you eat before a match or sports drinks you take should have some amount of fruits and vegetables because they provide your body with the required amount of carbs, fiber and energy to perform during a game. So make sure you don’t miss out on any meal simply because it has fruit or vegetable in it!
7. Whole Grain Bread And Other Items Are The Way to Go!
Whole grains are great sources of energy as compared to refined grains which only offer carbohydrates that give you quick but short-lived bursts of energy after being broken down into simple sugars. Whole grain foods also contain more fiber than refined carbohydrate products do due to their minimal processing which keeps you full for longer periods of time and keeps your blood sugar levels stable.
8. Don’t Forget The Omega 3s!
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that has to be consumed through the diet because our body cannot produce it on its own. However, many players avoid eating fish or salmon due to its high fat content but the truth is, omega-3 benefits are so high for athletes that they have no choice but to consume it in some way! This is why you should always include healthy fats from omega-3 rich foods in your diet so that you can get all of their benefits while enjoying them too!
What to Avoid Eating Before The Soccer Game!
While eating healthy food is always recommended, there are certain types of foods that should be avoided before a big game so it’s best to avoid them altogether. If you really want to eat any of the following items before the game, break up their serving size into smaller portions and distribute them among some other meals throughout the day for perfect game day nutrition. You can also consume these foods on another day when you aren’t playing a match because they have been known to negatively affect soccer players in different ways:
1. Don’t Eat Too Much Fat!
A diet rich in fats has been known to impact many performance aspects such as concentration, physical endurance and energy levels during a match which can become very unpleasant for an athlete if their stomach starts cramping or rumbling during a match.
2. Sugar Content Matters!
Sugar acts as a source of quick energy but it doesn’t last very long and also makes you feel thirsty during the game which can make you go to washroom several times, get dehydrated quickly and become tired, fatigued and exhausted much sooner than usual. So if you’re asking about what to eat before a soccer game then try not to eat too many sugar-rich foods if you want to play for longer periods of time without feeling hungry or thirsty.
3. Avoid Foods Rich in Cholesterol!
Eating food items that are rich in cholesterol slows down your metabolic rate and this is why they should be avoided at all costs when looking forward to playing any kind of sports because it decreases your endurance levels significantly. However, the risk is higher for athletes who participate in cardiovascular activities that demand a lot of endurance, energy and focus than it is for players who engage in power-based sports because their game strategy involves short bursts of anaerobic activity rather than long periods.
4. Skip The Spicy Foods!
Spicy foods are not recommended at any time before or during an athletic event because they act as diuretics which will make you go to the washroom more often than usual, making you dehydrated even faster after playing on the field for some time. So avoid eating spicy food items like hot wings, horseradish sauce etc. before a match if you want to play your best on the field. Instead of these foods, eat high-carbohydrate and high-protein foods like bagels, bananas etc. in order to maintain your blood sugar levels and carbohydrates during the match.
5. Watch Out For The Heavy Meals!
Large meals take longer to digest than smaller ones do because of their extra energy content. Which is why you should avoid eating them before a soccer game if you don’t want to feel sluggish on the field because it’ll take much longer for your body to break down heavy food items like French fries, steak into usable energy when compared to lighter options such as whole wheat pasta, ham sandwiches, or bagels that offer more simple sugars that can be digested quickly when you’re running around on the field of play.
6. Feeling Tired? Skip The Caffeine!
Caffeine at any time increases heart rate and blood pressure which is why it’s a no-no for athletes who want to play their best on the field. However, caffeine is not recommended even after a long time from its intake before a match because if you feel tired then it will only get worse with caffeine consumption. So avoid drinking any kind of caffeinated beverages or eating foods that contain caffeine such as dark chocolate, granola bars. etc. in order to stay focused and energized while playing your best game ever!
7. No Alcohol Before a Match! Try Sports Drinks Instead!
Alcohol dehydrates your body and also slows down reactions so if you drink alcohol before an athletic event such as a match, you’ll most likely be sluggish when moving around on the field. You might think that this is just a myth but it’s true and has been proven by science so avoid drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage before a match in order to play your best.
What Do Professional Soccer Players Eat Before Their Matches?
Professional soccer players are known for their excellent endurance levels and this is why they’re some of the best athletes on the planet because it takes a lot of endurance, stamina and focus to play on the field for almost two hours without feeling tired or exhausted. However, many professional players also claim that what they eat before their games has an impact on their performance during the game as well!
The first thing you need to know about what top-level soccer players eat before important matches is pasta. Yes, pasta is one of the most popular dishes among all kinds of athletes because it has carbohydrates which act as high-octane fuel for body that gives you energy to stay on the field for a long time and keep playing your best.
The next thing that professional soccer players eat before games is chocolate milk because it’s packed with carbohydrates, proteins and electrolytes which means that it gets digested quickly and supplies your body with all the nutrients you need right before running out to play some top-level soccer!
Professional soccer players avoid eating any kind of food items that contain higher amounts of sugar and simple carbohydrates before a match because these foods send blood sugar levels soaring rapidly and then plummeting as soon as their high point is reached. So they keep the intake of sugars at a minimum by following a low/medium glycemic index diet if they want to perform well on the field without getting tired easily.
What Should I Eat After Playing a Soccer Game?
After playing a hard-fought soccer game, there are many things you should do in order to recover as fast as possible such as stretching, drinking water etc. However, what you eat after a match is also equally important if not more important than anything else: this is why it’s recommended to eat foods like bananas and peanut butter on toast after a game of soccer because they’re packed with potassium (bananas) and protein (peanut butter on toast)!
Following this tip might not make you feel like eating anything at all after playing a tough soccer game, but trust me when I say that what you eat right after playing is very important for your overall performance during the next game which is why it’s recommended to avoid eating foods like watermelon because even though it contains lots of water to replenish your body with fluids lost while sweating during the last match, it doesn’t have enough nutrients or proteins to help you recover fast.
So there you have it, the top 7 items that professional soccer players eat before important matches which you can incorporate into your pre-game meal plan in order to perform better on the field. Of course, this only applies if you’re a fan of soccer or are interested in learning more about what professional athletes eat.
If not, then these tips should still provide some value to you as they have helped many people change their body composition and physical fitness for good! But don’t take my word for it…try them out yourself! If they work out for you, please let me know how it went by writing a comment below because I’d love to hear from you!