the fuel for great performances
Soccer nutrition, Sports Nutrition are the same but
soccer nutrition has its own system.
At all levels of soccer, good nutrition pays off, both in
terms of long-term health and performance, and even
same day-game performance.
There used to be a time when three square meals a day
was the accepted way to a healthy soccer performance,
but times have changed and so have the attitudes
towards health and wellness and soccer nutrition.
Soccer is one of those games where athletes have to
be in constant motion for 45 minutes at one time.
Then there is the 10 minute break and then another
45 minute of constant activity. This means that a lot
of energy is used.
How do you replace this "body fuel"?
What do you do to prepare for such a sport?
Which diet program do you follow?
Sometimes it's mind boggling... but there is help.
As in training, there needs to be a plan of action.
This plan depends on the level of play and competition
that the players are engaged in.
Health and fitness has it's source in nutrition.
Successful performance is measured by what the body
and mind can deliver.
This is energy output... so it is simple,
energy in ... energy out.
Good habits start at an early age with a lifetime of benefits.
"You are what you eat",
"They ran out of gas",
"You shouldn't have eaten that before the game".
These are all sayings that are directly linked to
If you want peak performance, then design a program
to ensure your athletes eat like athletes.
Learn to develop habits that encourage a good base
for health and fitness.
* For a brief period (free) you can email me
for an additional
resource of foods to add to your daily regime; *
Try to find the right combination of fuel for your athletes,
and realize that there are also social morays around
eating that effect both male and female athletes.
There are also different requirements for both genders
and at various ages for each gender.
The average soccer player travels 12 km (8 miles)
per game and at various
speeds. Some midfielders will travel
18 km during the entire game.
You need a lot of fuel for this type of endurance!
Every nutritional program or specific diet has to reflect
the need of the performers, goalkeepers included.
Nutrition and Mental Focus
This is hormonal in nature with chemical interactions,
in specific terms a euphoric state of the mind-body link.
We've all heard of the "breakfast on champions".
This is true because it focuses on the daily nurturing of
the body to aid the mind in preparation of the events ahead.
It can be a part of a ritual as, proper breathing techniques
and adequate liquid consumption.
Focusing on a dietary plan is also preparing the mind for
future competitions is a longer process.
This is the use of one of the most important issues in
life (food), to introduce another important issue (competition),
to heighten the all aspects of individual and team
It teaches the players/athletes to cue themselves for
their games ahead.
It also prompts acceptable behaviors and fosters conditions
of ownership among the players and all those involved in the team.
Nutrition also allows the coaches to use food and other
rewards to encourage other acceptable techniques to
prepare for a variety of competitions.
NO! I'm not encouraging "Pavlovian" psycologial techniques,
this is a much longer and indepth process.
Nutrition is only a step in a process towards mental focus.
We have also heard, "strong in body, and strong in mind".
I would suggest that these major components in life are completely intertwined and in fact are, inseperable.
You can win by recognizing this or lose without even knowing that there is a link too or a cause and effect with
Many of us try and focus on what to eat.
This is the first important step in the correct direction.
The flip side to that is what not to eat. This is realizing
what is harmful to the player and even the coach.
"Maybe a little more oatmeal amd less coffee?"
is a good first step towards this solution.
The addition to that is what to eat, and in which
We have now entered the realm of "the ZONE".
This is the area of expertise of the highly qualified
nutritionist to deliver the ultimate nutritional plan.
This however can only be successful once the planner
knows which competitons lay ahead.
The nutritional planner also has to understand the team
of athletes and their gender and age specificity.
Soccer team nutrition plan
Planning a proper diet for your soccer team is as important
as practising set plays.
Not introducing and utilizing a good sports diet plan can
result in the following problems;
Lack of concentration,
Proper nutrition means eating well planned meals before,
during and after competitions and general games.
This also includes correct and timely liquid intake.
A highly tuned engine as the athletes body requires
superior fuel to accomplish all of the tasks ahead.
Max Inzinger, the nutritional counselor for FIFA in the
late 1980's and early 1990's has outlined a basic formula
for the requirements of a soccer player.
This is a caloric intake consideration and is calculated
with the following formula;
Body size X a value number = energy needs
Body size is measured in height in centimeters.
The value number is represented by the following table;
1-2 times weekly
3-4 times weekly
1-2 hours daily
3-4 hours daily
5-6 hours daily
The soccer players nutritional needs should be broken
down with the following considerations;
The importance of rebuilding components within nutrition
are found in the,
essential minerals, these are;
Vitamin, A, B complexes, C, and D
should be sourced from whole foods and should be consumed raw whenever possible.
Proper intake of liquids
Although water is vital to the smooth functioning of the
body of the soccer player, it is not the only liquid that is essential.
Our sweat is composed of many salts. These salts are
the release of essential minerals and need replacing.
These are all necessary in the function of daily tasks as
they are important as catalysts.
These minerals are called electrolytes when in a aqueous
Many of these minerals can also be found in a variety of suppliments.
These nutitional suppliments can be in pill or powder form
and should be found in a sports nutrition store or outlet.
Replacing body fluids starts at least 2 hours before a game.
This is important to note because in a very fast paced game
and in hot climates a player can lose as much as 3 litres (3 quarts) in the form of sweat and transpiration.
Liquid needs to be replaced at half time and if possible
during a game, especially on hot days.
The liquid should be at or around normal body temperature
as cold liquids are absorbed slower.
These electolytes should be sipped or taken at a mouthful
at a time and not gulped as the body will utilize smaller
quantities more easily.
Players can formulate their own sports drinks but need to
use little sugar and use a combination of teas, fruit juices
and mineral water.
Even fruit juices with high sugar content and carbonated
or soda drinks should be avoided.
This is because of the "sugar rush" which is short lived
and produces a type of lethargy
If a soccer player uses powdered sports drinks the
direction should be followed carefully as a high dosage
of electrolytes will also speed up the loss of fluids.
Remember the body wants to be balanced and will react
and adjust itself accordingly.
Natural food sources are best as the body is used to
taking foods and breaking them down in small nutrient
groups. What we don't use the body turns to waste.
This includes over use of supplements. The more you
exercise the more your body will use... so combine your
nutrition with great workouts. And make sure your great
workouts are rewarded with great nutritious meals.
I suggest trying this link for additional information on combinations in lifestyles, Weight training for soccer.
In general, daily nutrition is a good base to start from.
However unless you can afford a nutritionist, you might
want to improve the performance with supplements.
Before you entertain this direction, do more research here
Choosing nutritional foods and eating for a healthier you
can be lots of fun. Try it!
For additional links go to Soccer Nutrition Links.