Getting ready for a game is an important process and one that does not just take place on the practice field. On game day, it is essential that players get the right type and amount of nutrition to carry them through the game and to support optimal performance while on the field. The team at Fold-A-Goal would like to share some nutrition tips that are specifically geared toward athletes.
Young Athletes Have Specific Nutrition Needs
A great deal of information is available about what an athlete should eat before training, competition or a game. When considering the needs of youth soccer players, it is critical to remember that kids and adults have different needs when it comes to healthy nutrition. One factor to take into consideration is whether or not your child will eat a given meal. The best combination of foods on the planet is worthless if your player refuses to eat it on game day. Make an effort to select foods that they will enjoy eating. Also, remember that children will often fill up quickly, so plan their pre-game meals accordingly.
What to Eat the Day Before a Game
Youth athletes should strive to consume complex carbohydrates several days before their scheduled game, but not on the day prior. The body requires a significant amount of time and energy to convert complex carbs into fuel. Having these carbohydrates still moving through the system during a high-intensity game can do more harm than good. It is recommended to avoid food containing complex carbs the day before a game, and focus instead on simple carbs such as those found in pancakes, pasta and certain breakfast cereals, combined with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
What to Eat Hours Before a Game
In the hours leading up to a soccer game, student athletes should be focused on eating only those foods that will provide fast fuel with minimal digestive energy. While on the bus to the game or commuting from home, low sugar sports drinks can be good options, combined with a small volume of crackers, grapes, oranges or bananas. Never eat a big meal, heavy proteins or complex carbs right before a game or practice. At that point, staying properly hydrated is the most important factor.
Finding Nutrition Balance in Youth Athletics
For serious youth athletes who are training and playing regularly, nutrition needs are slightly different from those of less active youth. It is important to eat a variety of healthy foods, including plenty of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. The timing of those meals, however, should be in line with the child's training schedule. By ensuring that your child is getting the right blend of nutrients at the right time, it is possible to support both improved performance and long-term health.
The team at Fold-A-Goal is committed to providing our customers with not only high-quality sporting equipment but relevant information to promote player health and performance. We invite you to check out our 2017 Catalog for our entire line of products, or feel free to contact us today with any questions.