If you often watch soccer games, you might be amazed and concerned with certain players such as Erling Haaland who is always performing at a top level.
Well, most soccer fans would say “For players to consistently stay fit, on and off the pitch, they should train themselves on sporting activities intensively.”
Arguably, for a soccer player to maintain fitness, working out is not all that is needed, the player needs to intensively work out, take psychological medications, and also take good healthy meals according to research.
However, having trained in sporting activities intensively and having good meals may not guarantee a player’s fitness, but having done all of these right from youthful age guarantees a player’s fitness on and off the pitch.
So, in this article, I will be sharing with you what a Youth soccer player’s diet plan should be and every other thing you need to know regarding a Youth soccer player’s diet plan.
Why Is Soccer Nutrition Important For Youth Soccer Players?
Reliable research has confirmed that nutrition aids the growth of a soccer player mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Well, to certain youth soccer players, their nutrition may vary but they have the same importance. So, below are the importance of sports nutrition to Youth soccer players –
- Reduced risk of injury
- Better sleep
- Greater power
- Increased strength
- Heightened concentration
- Improved mood and attitude
- Better recovery and muscle repair
- Improved endurance
- Increased stamina
- Sharper brain
- More energy
What Foods Should A Youth Soccer Player’s Diet Consist Of?
Youth soccer players’ diets may consist of a variety of meals with the same nutritional value due to certain reasons.
Moreover, as a youth soccer player who is looking forward to playing consistently to a top level, it is no doubt that you need a high intake of macronutrients which are made up of Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat & Oil.
Macronutrients for a youth soccer player will provide the player with energy, good looking physique, resistance to injury and illness, and other body features that the body needs to perform at a top level.
The first macronutrient that should be included in a youth soccer player’s diet plan should be Carbohydrates which are also regarded as Energy giving food.
Well, meals such as whole-grain cereal and oats have a high percentage of Carbohydrates which undoubtedly can supply the body with the complex energy needed to sail through sporting activities.
For an average player, 200 – 250 grams of Carbohydrate is burnt during a soccer game, hence a high intake of carbohydrates is needed for more energy to maintain fitness.
The second macronutrient that should be on a youth soccer player’s diet plan should be protein. Another name considered for protein is “body-building food.”
The macronutrient is best known for building worn-out tissues, replacing damaged muscles, and also replenishing glycogen stores for the next sporting activity.
The high intake of protein is also responsible for growth. Moreover, protein is found abundantly in fish, milk, beans, legumes, chicken breast, egg, tofu, and others.
3. Fat & Oil
Although a high intake of Fat & Oil would only cause an illness such as obesity for a player, a minimal intake of this macronutrient is recommended due to its high value in minerals and vitamins to stay healthy.
Foods that are fried, butter, nuts, avocado, and healthy oils such as olive oil have this nutritional value.
What A Youth Soccer Player Should Eat As A Pre-Game Meal?
Since kids are still in the growth phase, they need to fuel their bodies before sporting activities and refuel after sporting activities.
For a pre-game meal, a youth soccer player should take foods that are high in sugar and not that of fat, due to the time rate that fat needs to properly digest. Fruits such as Watermelon and Banana are highly recommended with also 5 – 10 grams of body-building food.
When To Eat A Pre-Game Meal?
It takes up to 3 – 4 hours for a proper Carbohydrate and protein to digest in the body. For a youth soccer player, it is recommended that the player take a pre-game meal some hours before the game or sporting activities.
What To Eat For A Post-Game Meal And Snacks For Youth Soccer Players
After every sporting activity, a young soccer player is likely to be tired and will need to refuel his system. So, in this case, protein is always recommended due to how it rapidly refuels the body system.
Moreover, meals such as chocolate milk, whole-grain bread, smoothie, and a lot of energy-giving food should not be sidelined.
What Foods Should A Youth Soccer Player Avoid Eating?
Although fat is one of the macronutrients responsible for keeping the body healthy, high consumption of the nutrient is not recommended. Meals such as French fries, chicken, and other fatty acid constituents should not highly be taken into the body.
Well, to some extent, we are aware that kids would always prefer junk food, but it is not near the best food they need to maintain fitness during sporting activities, hence, a balanced diet is always recommended.
How Important Is Hydration To A Youth Soccer Player?
It might seem like I omitted water from the list of nutrients that a youth soccer player needs, but no, water is very important.
Soccer players need water to properly digest the macronutrients they have consumed. Also, during workouts, water evaporates from the body, causing dehydration, hence players need to frequently drink pure water or water with electrolytes to prevent dehydration.
How Much Water Should A Youth Soccer Player Be Drinking?
For some youth soccer players, drinking a lot of water might seem like a big deal to them, but they need to always drink as much water as they can hold a day for proper digestion of food and hydration.
If possible, they should drink liters of water every day. Aside from helping to easily digest food and keep the body hydrated, water Also helps to regulate the body temperature down to 35 °C – 37 °C.
What Sports Drink Should A Youth Soccer Player Be Drinking?
Sports drinks also provide soccer players with instant energy that lasts for a few moments. A youth soccer player should take a glucose solution that is high in carbohydrates and which instantly fuels the body with energy.
Moreover, a youth soccer player should be restricted from taking alcoholic drinks or pills and drugs for energy.
Well, different researches have it that alcohol also provides the body with energy, but then, it is not one of the drinks that a youth soccer player needs.
What Do Famous Soccer Players Eat And Drink To Stay Fit?
Famous soccer players have a taste for meals when it comes to fitness. For a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, there are a variety of meals that the soccer icon consumes to stay fit all through.
So, below are the types of food that Cristiano Ronaldo takes –
Ronaldo once said that his typical breakfast meal while training consists of low-fat cereals, eggs, and whole-grain cereals.
Moreover, when he is not training, he spices up his breakfast by adding fresh fruit, sliced meat, avocado toast, and pastries.
Every famous soccer player has different meals that they consume as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
For CR7, he takes lunch twice a day. In his first lunch for the day, the meal consists of a salad with chicken or wheat pasta. In his second lunch for the day, his meal is made up of olives, tuna, salad, and eggs. Well, the player takes his second lunch after two to four hours of consuming the first lunch.
Ronaldo also has dinner during evening training. Just as his lunch is divided, it is the same as the soccer icon’s dinner. His typical dinner has rice, beans, salad, chicken, quinoa, and turkey.
In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo also has a snack list that is made up of different snacks that helps him to refuel his energy. Some of his snacks are Fruit, Tuna rolls, Protein shakes, Fresh bread, sardines, and cakes.
Kenny is an experienced blogger and sports writer who majors in soccer articles amongst other trending niches. Do well to stay updated with his updates and that of his team of editors on Readsoccer.