The following article comes from Futbol Shoppe. Check out their website here.
Soccer or as we like to call it “Football” (yes, that’s the correct term, don’t fight me on this) is one of the best things on earth for me. I remember every freaking four years staying up till 4 in the morning to watch FIFA, waiting to see my favorite teams hit the field (yes, my favorite was Brazil, very typical). I used to sit with my brother and sisters, munching on potato chips and junk food whilst the game went on. Of course, Ronaldinho didn’t munch on carby potato chips before his big games so that begs the question: What is the meal plan for soccer players and routines look like?
Ideal Meal Plan Soccer Players:
The ideal meal plan for soccer players need to be loaded in energy. All that kicking spherical objects in the sun requires way more effort than you think it would. As Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger once said: “Food is like kerosene. If you put the wrong one in your car, it’s not as quick as it should be”. So you’d better be putting the right fuel for maximum output.
The first and foremost is, of course, Carbohydrates. These come in three major forms – monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides include your glucose, fructose, galactose etc – these are your simple sugars, designed to directly dissolve into your bloodstream and provide with temporary albeit strong burst of energy. Found in foods such as sugars, sodas, jams, and cakes – these aren’t good for your body. Sure, they’ll help you when you’re in a pinch, cramming for an em but to be a real athlete – no. Just stay away from these as much as you can. What will really serve you is your di and polysaccharides – these are long chained sugar, namely sucrose, maltose, glycogen, and starch. These take longer to break down in your body, thus providing you with sustained levels of energy as you play through your game. These can be found in most whole foods such as pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, cereals, and fruit. Go for the organic, whole-grain variety for maximum health benefits and stay away from white refined sugars or bread – these add up to more simple sugars than you’d think. Studies show that around 70 % of a player’s diet should come from carbs. They should also count for about 20 calories per pound of body weight. That’s about 2400 to 3000 calories per day. If you really need that burst of energy, opt for milk or a banana. Better go buy a pasta strainer right now if you’re serious about your performance!
After carbs, proteins are essential element in the meal plan for soccer players to keep muscles and bones in tip top shape. They are the bricks of cells, muscles, and tissues – in charge of building new muscles, repairing old ones and keeping them maintained. They are also responsible for all the glorious enzymes rushing through your body, keeping your metabolism engaged. Around 10 to 15 percent of your diet should come from protein sources and the leaner the better. Opt for chicken, turkey -and poultry or for fish rather than red meat as these are high in satued fat. That doesn’t mean you have to start skipping steak though! All in moderation should keep your muscles well equipped for any physical activity. Plant-based protein is also a good option, provided you increase the number of your meals. These include soy, tofu, spinach, dark leafy greens, lentils, beans, and seeds. Boost your protein intake in Whey Products and BCAAs to power up your workout and take your performance to the next level!
Fats- unsaturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated are the other essential ingrediants of the meal plan for soccer players. Most people want to avoid them but that should not be the case. Fats are an optimum source of many vital nutrients – they contain more energy than carbohydrate (although are harder to metabolize), are integral components in your membranous structure and filaments and in your synaptic joints. These help your skeletal system and thus facilitate movement and coordination with your muscles. Saturated fats are found in most animal products – butter, cheese, etc. These aren’t going to do you any favor for your circulatory and endocrine systems. Atherosclerosis – a hardening of the arteries and coronary heart attacks that follow are a staple of diets rich in saturated fat. They also increase the levels of low-density lipoprotein – the fancy name for bad cholesterol in your body – and no one wants that. With that comes high blood pressure and a whole host of other symptoms that indicate your doom. On a more cheery note, there are so many sources of unsaturated fat that will make you never miss you buttery pastries again. Unsaturated fat sources include any sort of plant-based cooking oil – olive, soy, sunflower, avocado oil- you name it. Plant-based products such as soybeans, seeds, nuts, margarine, avocados (yay), PEANUT BUTTER – all of these tasty morsels when implemented in right amounts will make you healthier and not worse! So grab that peanut butter jar, and tell your mother it’s for Soccer!
(note: the writer does not endorse full jar peanut butter consumption in any way, shape or fun. Though, she will attest to the fact that it is a very fun activity)
Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamins and minerals are integral in any body’s needs to prevent diseases of deficiency, prevention and strengthening methods of the immune system. These deficiency diseases include scurvy – a dental gum disease that causes bleeding and pain, rickets – a considerable weakening of bones and joints and even semi-blindness with a Vitamin A deficiency. These can be prevented with consuming VItamins C, A, D, B, E, K etc. These come from sources such as carrots, potatoes, spinach, leafy greens, nuts etc. Vitamins are also needed for their roles in converting food to energy, in bodily chemical reactions and in electronic signals in neurons. The body needs at least 30 vitamins and minerals that need to come from the diet as the body cannot make this on its own. Though required in small amounts, vitamins need to be a part of your diet as they are as essential to prevent damaging diseases. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, folic acid etc are all essential as well and should be kept in the meal plan for soccer players. From an early age, we are told to drink milk to increase calcium in our bones. This is solid advice as our bones requires calcium and its other mineral friends to stay formed. Most of our bones are essential made up of calcium, phosphates and collagen. As well as bones, mineralst are required to maintain digestive health and the excretory system. They also maintain the body composition of the fluid. Sources of minerals include whole milk, meat, fish (great source of Omega-3s as well) and cereals etc.
Let’s watch a video on Meal Plan for Soccer Players:
Making sure that all these components will have you well on your way to achieve the performance goals for your Soccer dreams. Cooking well yourself and knowing what goes into your body is important, not just for any aspiring player but for every human. Keep these reminders in your head and soon your body will glow with health!