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Nutrition for Soccer Performance


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Title: Nutrition for Soccer Performance

Nutrition for Soccer Performance
  • Presented By
  • Amy Schoenberger, RD,CD
  • Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutrition
  • Aurora BayCare Medical Center
  • Phone 920-288-3214
  • Email

Soccer Nutrition is Key!
  • Soccer demands a variety of skills, from
    sprinting to dribbling and jumping to diving, all
    of which require great physical ability as well
    as mental alertness.
  • Proper nutrition is one factor that will allow a
    player to perform at his or her best.

Soccer Nutrition Topics
  • Basic Healthy Eating Guidelines based on the food
  • Nutrient and Fluid needs for young soccer players
  • Fueling before, during and after practice and
  • Supplement usage
  • Winning Recipes
  • Further Resources

My Pyramid Steps to a Healthier You!
  • Variety
  • Wholesomeness
  • Moderation
  • Personalization
  • Proportionality
  • Physical Activity

  • Make half your grains WHOLE grains!
  • Rich sources of carbohydrates, fiber, several B
    vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate),
    minerals (iron, magnesium, selenium)
  • Aim for 5-10 ounces daily
  • What counts as 1 ounce?
  • 1 slice bread
  • ½ cup rice, pasta, cooked cereal, or starchy
  • ¾ - 1 cup ready to eat cereal
  • 3 cups popcorn

  • Vary your Veggies!
  • Eat more dark green and orange veggies, dry beans
    and peas
  • Low in calories and fat. Contain no cholesterol.
  • Packed full of nutritional benefits
  • Aim for 2-4 cups daily
  • What counts as a cup?
  • 1 cup chopped, sliced, raw, cooked, or canned
  • 2 cups raw leafy vegetables (ie Spinach,
    romaine, watercress, dark green leafy lettuce,
    endive, escarole) is equivalent to 1 cup of
  • 12 baby carrots, 2 large celery stalks, 3-5 long
    broccoli spears

  • Focus on a variety of whole fruits, go easy on
    fruit juices!
  • Low in calories and fat. Contain no cholesterol.
  • Packed full of nutritional benefits.
  • Aim for 1 ½ -2 ½ cups daily
  • What counts as a cup?
  • 1 cup fruit, 100 fruit juice or ½ cup dried
  • 1 small apple, 1 medium pear or grapefruit, 1
    large banana, peach or orange

Fruits Vegetables Natures Vitamin!
  • Potassium May help maintain healthy blood
    pressure and muscle contraction
  • Fiber Helps reduce blood cholesterol, promotes
    regularity, good weight management tool
  • Folic Acid A B-vitamin that helps the body form
    RBCs which carry oxygen in the blood
  • Vitamin A Keeps eyes and skin healthy helps
    fight against infections
  • Vitamin E Helps protect vitamin A
  • Vitamin C Helps heal cuts wounds keeps teeth
    gums healthy aids in iron absorption
  • Antioxidants Vitamin C, E, A, protect body cells
    from harmful chemical reactions (nutritional
  • Phytochemicals (Plant compounds)- reduce risk of
    various diseases and overall systemic
    inflammation in the body

  • Choose low-fat or fat-free milk or soy products
  • Many cheeses, whole milk, products made from
    them are high in saturated fat cholesterol,
    which can have health implications.
  • Aim for at least 2-3 cups daily
  • What counts as a cup?
  • 1 cup of milk or yogurt
  • 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese

  • Rich source of calcium, potassium, vitamin D,
  • Calcium used for building bones and teeth
    maintaining bone mass. Helps regulate muscle
  • Vitamin D Helps maintain proper levels of
    calcium phosphorus, thereby helping to build
    maintain bones. Milk is fortified with vitamin

Meats Beans
  • Vary your choices with more fish, beans, peas,
    nuts, seeds.
  • Choose low fat or lean meats often. Bake, broil,
    or grill it.
  • Limit fatty cuts of meat as they are high in
    saturated fat cholesterol which may have health
  • Aim for 5-7 oz meat or beans daily.
  • What counts as 1 ounce?
  • 1 oz of cooked meat, poultry or fish
  • ¼ cup cooked dry beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. of peanut butter
  • ½ ounce of nuts or seeds

Meats Beans
  • Protein Building blocks strong tissues and
    injury repair. Also building blocks for enzymes,
    hormones, vitamins.
  • B Vitamins Serve a variety of functions in the
    body. Help body release energy, play a vital role
    in function of nervous system, aid in formation
    of RBCs, help build tissues
  • Iron Carries oxygen in the blood. Heme-iron
    (meats) is absorbed best, non-heme (plants)
    should be consumed w/ a Vit C source. Iron
    deficiency anemia fatigue
  • Zinc Necessary for biochemical reactions helps
    immune system function properly.
  • Magnesium Used for building bones releasing
    energy from muscles.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids Reduces inflammation and
    improves heart health and possible brain function

Fats Oils
  • Good fats (unsaturated fats)
  • Nuts, fish, vegetable oils.
  • Liquid at room temperature.
  • Not-so-Good fats (saturated fats)
  • Butter, lard, shortening, stick margarines,
    fatty meats.
  • Solid at room temperature.
  • Aim for 5-10 teaspoons of fats daily
  • 1 tsp 5 g fat OR
  • 1 tsp oil, margarine, or mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp peanut butter,
  • 1 tbls salad dressing, or 2 tbls light salad
  • 1/8 avocado, 1/3 oz nuts (10 almonds, 2 lg
    pecans, 6 small walnuts)

  • Largest nutritional concern for soccer players
  • The body's highest octane fuel
  • Depleted muscle glycogen stores (carbohydrates
    stored in the muscle and used for energy) are the
    leading cause of fatigue in soccer players
  • Carbs are also the main source of energy for the
    brain, so needed in adequate amts to aid in
    concentration and tactical decision making on and
    off the field
  • Can maintain adequate energy stores by replacing
    carbohydrates during games and practices
  • Drinking sports drinks are an easy way to refuel
    glycogen stores and the brain as well as replace
    fluids and electrolytes

  • Optimal carbohydrate sources include whole grain
    cereals, breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruits
    and vegetables, sports drinks and low fat
  • As general rule fill 2/3 of plate w/ carb rich
    foods at every meal. Rest of plate should
    contain a lean protein source as well as colorful
    fruits and vegetables.
  • If training for 2-3 hrs per day need at least
    2-3g carbs per , or about 300g for a 110
  • If training 2x/day or performing in tournaments
    w/multiple games per day, need 3.5-4.5g carbs per
    , or 350-500g per day

Carbohydrate Sources Amounts
  • Foods containing 25g of Carbohydrates
  • Piece of fruit
  • 1 thick slice of bread
  • Granola bar
  • ½ bagel with 1 tbls jam
  • 1 cup fruit juice
  • 1 fruit yogurt
  • Foods containing 50g of Carbohydrates
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 ½ cups cooked pasta
  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 1 ½ cups cereal
  • 1 energy bar (Cliff Bar, Luna Bar, Power Bar)

  • Important for building and repairing muscle,
    proper immune function and hormone production
  • Provides small amount of energy during very long
    or intense exercise bouts, such as long soccer
    games interspersed with sprints.
  • Typical athletes diet provides adequate protein
  • Young athletes need 75-90g protein per day
    (based on 110) or .7-.8g per .
  • Optimal protein sources include poultry, lean red
    meat, fish, eggs, soy products, low fat dairy
    products, nuts and legumes.

Protein Sources Servings
  • 3 oz chicken, beef, fish or pork (21g protein)
  • 4 oz tofu (28g protein)
  • 1-2 cups milk(8-16g protein)
  • 1 cup yogurt (6g protein)
  • ½ cup cottage cheese (14g protein)
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites (18g protein)
  • Grains provide a small amount of protein (2-3g
    per serving) while fruits and vegetables provide
    very little protein (0-1g per serving).

  • Key fuel for exercise of lower intensity (ie
    between sprints)
  • Important nutrient for young athletes- aids in
    absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and
  • Excessive restriction can limit this energy
    source and result in nutrient deficiencies that
    can affect the health of the athlete
  • Choose fats from vegetable oils (canola and
    olive), nuts, seeds, soy products, and fish over
    fats from butter, cheese, bacon, and fast foods.

Fluid Replacement
  • The body must be well hydrated to function well.
  • An inadequate intake of water reduces the body's
    ability to utilize energy and regulate body
  • Fluid needs increase with activity and a warm
  • To prevent dehydration, begin each practice
    sessions or games fully hydrated by drinking
    water or a sport drink every 15-20 minutes during
    warm up.
  • When play stops (ie when a goal is scored or
    ball goes out of bounds), take the opportunity to
    sip on fluid
  • Place sport drinks and water bottles on the
    sidelines and near each goal for easier access.

Fluid Replacement
  • Thirst can be an unreliable signal to drink.
    Drink before you feel thirsty.
  • Learn your sweat rate by weighing yourself
    before and after an hour of exercise.
  • For every lost (16 oz), drink 80-100 of that
    loss (13-16 oz) while exercising.
  • Practice programmed drinking during exercise to
    minimize sweat losses. For example if your sweat
    rate is 2 an hour (or 32 oz), you need to drink
    8 oz every 15 minutes to minimize sweat losses.

Fluid Needs
Sports Drinks
  • Ideal Composition
  • Composition 5-8
  • Amount 14-20g per cup
  • Type glucose, glucose polymers, mixture of
    sugars (glucose, sucrose, maltodextrin)
  • SODIUM 110mg per cup
  • POTASSIUM 30mg per cup
  • Avoid carbonated beverages as these can cause
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages as they are

Signs of Dehydration
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Weakness, reduced performance
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irrational behavior
  • Dark urine

Eating on Tournament Days
  • Eat a carb-rich meal 3-4 hrs before a game or
    long practice to optimize performance
  • Have a small snack 1-2 hrs before the game to
    prevent hunger during
  • Choose meals and snacks that are high in carbs,
    moderate in protein, and low in fat to ensure
    quick digestion of food and optimal carbohydrate
    availability during the game
  • Individual tolerances vary, so train with various
    foods to determine your tolerances
  • Plan ahead! Pack your gym bag with personal
    favorite sports foods to eat before, during,
    between practice sessions games


Pre-Game Meals (3-4 hrs before)
  • Cereal with low fat milk and a piece of fruit
  • Pancakes with syrup and fruit and low fat cottage
  • Turkey or peanut butter and jelly sandwich with
    milk and a piece of fruit
  • Pasta with tomato sauce and small chunks of
  • Bagel with yogurt and fruit
  • Fruit smoothie with whole wheat muffin
  • Rice bowl with small amounts of tofu or lean beef
  • Sweet potatoes and carrots with small grilled
    chicken breast
  • Minestrone soup with cottage cheese and bread

Pre-Game Snacks (1-2 hrs before)
  • Low fiber cereal with skim milk
  • Toast with jam or honey and skim milk
  • Nonfat fruit-flavored yogurt
  • Energy bar (mainly carbohydrates)
  • Cereal or granola bar and banana
  • Graham crackers and skim milk
  • Also drink 2-3 cups fluid before the game,
    ideally during warm-up, and 1-1.5 cups 10-20 min
    before the game begins

Recovery Needs
  • Nutrition plays a very important role in the
    recovery after a strenuous practice or soccer
  • The body absorbs glucose replenishes lost
    glycogen stores best within 2 hrs after exercise.
  • To recover as quickly as possible, eat and drink
    within the first hour after the game is finished.
  • Immediately following the game replace this fuel
    with a sport drink and a small snack.

Post-Game Snacks
  • Any of the pre-game snacks along with a small
    amount of protein, such as string cheese, cottage
    cheese, milk, yogurt, turkey, peanut butter and a
    sport drink are good options.
  • For convenience, a combination of sport drink and
    a bar or smoothie or specialized recovery drink,
    containing both carbohydrates and protein may
    also apply.

Post-Game Meals (within 1-2 hours after)
Dietary Supplements
  • Examples Creatine, Andro, Whey Protein, Protein
    bars, etc
  • Adequate protein vitamins/minerals can easily
    be obtained from the diet w/o use of supplements
  • Not regulated by the FDA
  • Many lack scientific research to prove they are
    safe and effective, especially with long term
  • Supplements are expensive! Focus on a rainbow of
    whole food choices to get all the vitamins,
    minerals, and nutrients your body needs to stay
    healthy and optimize performance.

Vitamin/Mineral Supplements
  • Vitamin/Mineral supplements may be recommended if
    you eliminate foods or food groups, are a picky
    eater, are sick/recovering from injury or if you
    have a specific nutritional deficiency
  • More does not mean Better! Choose
    Multivitamin/mineral supplements with 100 the
    RDA for all vitamins/minerals.

High Energy Bars An alternative to commercial
energy bars
  • Ingredients
  • ½ cup salted dry-roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
  • ½ cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 2 cups uncooked oatmeal, old-fashioned or instant
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies
  • ½ cup peanut butter, crunchy or creamy
  • (½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional ¼ cup wheat germ or ground flax seeds

High Energy Bars An alternative to commercial
energy bars
  • Directions
  • In a large bowl, mix together the peanuts,
    sunflower seeds, raisins, oatmeal, and toasted
    rice cereal (and wheat germ or flax seed)
  • In a medium microwavable bowl, combine the peanut
    butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Microwave
    on high for 2 minutes. Add vanilla and stir
    until blended.
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry
    ingredients and stir until coated.
  • For squares, spoon the mixture into an 8 x 8
    pan coated with cooking spray for bars spoon it
    into a 9 x 13 pan. Press down firmly (it helps
    to coat your fingers with margarine, oil, or
    cooking spray).
  • Let stand for about an hour, then cut into
    squares or bars.
  • Yields 16 squares or bars
  • Nutrition info per serving 225 Calories, 6g
    Protein, 9g fat

Websites for more Information
  • (click on Health and Fitness
  • The American College of Sports Medicine is the
    largest group of sports-medicine and
    sports-science professionals.
  • (click on Sports Science and Sports
    Medicine, then on Nutrition)
  • The Australian Institute of Sport invests in the
    development of Olympic-caliber athletes and
    coaches. This site offers excellent sports
    nutrition information, including advice about
    sports supplements.
  • (click on Nutrition Information)
  • American Dietetic Associations practice group of
    Sport, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists
  • The Gatorade Sports Science Institutes site
    offers excellent and extensive sports nutrition
    and exercise science information for both
    professionals and the public.
  • (go to the Index, click on N, then
    Nutrition and Performance)
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Associations
    site focuses on the sports nutrition concerns of
    student athletes.
  • The National Agricultural Librarys Food and
    Nutrition Information Center offers abundant
    information on safe use of supplements as well as
    an extensive list of links to sites that have
    healthful recipes, including abundant information
    on meal planning, shopping, food, and cooking.

Websites for more Information
  • USDAs Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion,
    offers an interactive healthy eating index.
    Allows you to assess 25 nutrients in your diet
    and see how your food choices stack up against
    the food guide pyramid.
  • USDAs new interactive website, allows you to
    develop your own Pyramid Plan.
  • USDA Center for Food Safety and Applied
    Nutrition, offers comprehensive guide to
    understanding food labels. The entire site
    abounds with nutrition information
  • Dedicated to boosting body image at any weight,
    this site offers over 200 ways to love the body
    you have, message boards, and helpful
  • The Office of Dietary Supplements offers
    information about alternative medicine, herbs,
    and dietary supplements
  • This site offers an excellent guide to health
    fraud and quackery, and enhances your ability to
    make intelligent decisions regarding sports
    supplements and herbs.