Soccer Nutrition For Top Performance


Proper nutrition is key to optimal performance on the soccer field. Players expend a lot of energy during practices and games. The body draws energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It needs a balance of these three fuels to perform well.

The ideal intake for each of these categories for your child is

Carbohydrates – 60% of daily intake
Fats – 25% or less of daily intake
Protein – 15% of daily intake


Hydration is critical for an active sport such as soccer. Young athletes should drink before, during, and after practices and games. A good rule of thumb is to drink 2 to 4 oz of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise. Water is the perfect drink for the body.

Drinking water helps to prevent cramping. Make sure that your player always carries a water bottle to practices and games. Label your child’s water bottle and discourage them from sharing water bottles with other players.

Sports drinks, which contain carbohydrates and electrolytes, can be helpful to drink after the game to replenish what was lost. Sports drinks are not needed to maintain good hydration. They are expensive and contain a lot of sugar.

Game Day

Meals should be eaten 2-4 hours before a game. Eating just before the game may make your child sluggish or sick. Encourage your child to eat healthy meals before a game. Examples of good foods are oatmeal, fruit, pancakes, breakfast cereals, cooked vegetables, rice, or pasta. Skip eating at a fast-food restaurant.

Read next: Eating Right

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