7 Day Meal Plan For Soccer Players In today’s post I will share with you a 7 day eating plan for soccer players. Whether you’re an athlete, workout enthusiast or just someone looking to feel better about yourself, nutrition is absolutely key. Read on for my personal favorite meal plan!
Meal Plan for Soccer Players
One of the greatest things on earth for me is soccer, or as we like to call it, “football” (yeah, that’s the correct name, don’t argue with me on this). Every stinking four years, I recall sitting up till four in the morning to watch FIFA and eagerly awaiting the start of my favorite teams’ matches (yes, my favorite was Brazil, very typical). I remember watching games with my brother and sisters while we munched on junk food and potato chips. Naturally, Ronaldinho didn’t chow down on salty potato chips prior to important matches, so this raises the question of what a typical food plan and schedule for soccer players looks like.
Ideal Meal Plan Soccer Players:
Soccer players require a diet that is packed with energy. It takes a lot more effort than you may imagine to kick all those spherical things in the sun. Food is like kerosene, as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger famously observed. Your vehicle won’t go as quickly as it should if you put the incorrect one in it. To achieve maximum output, you therefore need to use the proper fuel.
Carbohydrates come first and foremost, of course. Monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides are the three main types of these. Monosaccharides are simple sugars like glucose, fructose, galactose, etc. that are made to dissolve instantly in your bloodstream and provide you a brief but powerful surge of energy. These can be found in unhealthy meals including sweets, drinks, jams, and cakes. They will assist you when you are in a bind and studying for an exam, but they won’t help you if you want to be a true athlete. Simply avoid them as much as you can. Your di and polysaccharides, which are long-chained sugars like sucrose, maltose, glycogen, and starch, will be of the most use to you. They give you maintained energy levels while you play through your game because they take longer for your body to break them down. The majority of entire foods, including pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, cereals, and fruit, contain them. For the most health benefits, choose whole-grain, organic options. Avoid white, refined sugars and bread, which contain more simple sugars than you might realize. According to studies, a player’s diet should contain carbs to a degree of about 70%. Additionally, each pound of body weight should correspond to around 20 calories. That translates to roughly 2400 to 3000 calories daily. If you truly require that energy boost, choose milk or a banana. If you’re serious about your performance, you’d better run out and buy a pasta strainer right away!
Proteins are the second-most important component in a soccer player’s food plan after carbohydrates since they help maintain strong muscles and bones. They are responsible for creating new muscles, maintaining existing ones, and healing damaged ones. They are the building blocks of cells, muscles, and tissues. They are also in charge of all the wonderful enzymes that are always racing through your body, sustaining your metabolism. Your diet should contain between 10 and 15 percent of protein, and the leaner the better. Red meat is high in saturated fat; use chicken, turkey, fowl, or fish instead. But that doesn’t mean you should stop eating steak! Your muscles should be well-prepared for any physical exercise if everything is done in moderation. If you eat more meals, plant-based protein is also a healthy choice. Soy, tofu, spinach, leafy greens, lentils, beans, and seeds are a few of these. To boost up your training and elevate your performance, up your protein intake with Whey Products and BCAAs.
Unsaturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats are the other key components of a soccer player’s meal plan. However, it shouldn’t be the case as most individuals seek to avoid them. Despite being more difficult to digest than carbohydrates, fats are an ideal source of many essential nutrients. They are also essential parts of your body’s membranous structure and filaments, as well as of your synaptic joints. These support your skeletal system, facilitating movement and muscular coordination. Butter, cheese, and other items made from animals generally contain saturated fats. Your endocrine and circulatory systems will not be helped by these. Saturated fat-rich diets are notorious for causing atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries, and the coronary heart attacks that follow. They also raise your body’s levels of low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol, and nobody wants that. High blood pressure and a plethora of other symptoms that portend your death come along with that. On a happier side, you won’t ever miss those buttery pastries again because there are so many sources of unsaturated fat. Any type of plant-based cooking oil, such as olive, soy, sunflower, and avocado oils, is a source of unsaturated fat. When consumed in the proper quantities, plant-based foods like soybeans, seeds, almonds, margarine, avocados (yeah), and PEANUT BUTTER will improve your health rather than worsen it. Consequently, take that jar of peanut butter and tell your mother it’s for soccer.
(Note: The author in no way, shape, or form encourages the ingestion of peanut butter from the entire jar. However, she will confirm that it is a really enjoyable pastime.)
Vitamins and Minerals:
Minerals and vitamins are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing diseases caused by deficiencies. These deficient disorders include rickets, which significantly weakens bones and joints, and even semi-blindness with a vitamin A deficiency. Scurvy is a dental gum disease that causes bleeding and pain. By eating vitamins C, A, D, B, E, K, etc., these can be avoided. These originate from foods including almonds, spinach, potatoes, carrots, and other leafy greens. In addition to their responsibilities in converting food into energy, physiological chemical processes, and electronic signals in neurons, vitamins are also necessary for these processes. The body requires at least 30 vitamins and minerals, which it cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through nutrition. Vitamins must be a component of your diet even though they are only needed in modest amounts because they are crucial to preventing harmful diseases. The meal plan for soccer players should include critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, folic acid, and others because they are all necessary for good health. We are taught to drink milk to boost the calcium in our bones starting at a young age. This is sound advice because calcium and its mineral companions are essential for maintaining the structure of our bones. Calcium, phosphates, and collagen make up the majority of our bones, which are very important. Minerals are necessary for bones as well as the excretory and digestive systems. They also keep the fluid’s body composition consistent. Whole milk, meat, fish (which is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids as well), and other foods are sources of minerals.
7-Day Meal Plan For Professional Soccer Players
Everyone is aware of the significant time commitment required for both physical and mental preparation to play professional soccer. However, the same may be true about making good food choices and eating commitments. Your performance on and off the soccer field, as well as before and after the game, will be influenced by what you consume.
Below are some specialized soccer meals for a week. For professional soccer players.
- Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, breakfast cereals and a banana.
- Lunch: Spaghetti, Beef filet with potato and tomato, and fruit salad.
- Snack: Sandwich with ham and an orange juice.
- Dinner: Vegetable soup, omelet, rice, and apple pie.
- Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, Toasted bread with olive oil and tomato, and an orange juice.
- Lunch: Lentils Beans, bread crumb chicken fillet with mushrooms, and a yogurt with sugar.
- Snack: Peanut butter sandwich and a fruit juice.
- Dinner: Mixed salad, Salmon in sauce with fried potatoes, and strawberries with cream and sugar.
- Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, toast with butter and ham, and a fruit juice.
- Lunch: Rice with vegetables, pork loin steak undressed breaded with lettuce and a yogurt with sugar.
- Afternoon Snack: Cheese sub or sandwich and an orange juice.
- Dinner: Mixed vegetables with peas with ham, grilled hen with lettuce and corn, and a yogurt.
- Breakfast: a glass of chocolate milk powder, biscuits with butter and jam, and an orange juice.
- Lunch: Cooked beans, Fried fish with lettuce and tomato, and Pineapple with honey
- Snack: Ham sandwich.
- Dinner: Mashed vegetables and grilled garlic & shrimp and plain yogurt with sugar.
- Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, Toasted bread with olive oil and tomato, and fruit salad.
- Lunch: salad from the garden, rice with squid in its ink, and a custard.
- Snack: Cottage cheese with honey and a banana.
- Dinner: Noodle soup, sea bass baked with roast potatoes and two kiwis.
- Breakfast: 1 yogurt cereal, homemade biscuit, and a fresh orange juice.
- Lunch: Pasta a la carbonara, veal steak with fresh tomato and corn, and two tangerines.
- Snack: Sandwich with serrano ham with fresh tomato and a fruit juice.
- Dinner: vegetable soup, swordfish with mashed potatoes and a yoghurt with sugar.
- Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, a croissant with jam and a fresh orange juice.
- Lunch: Fried eggplant, Roasted chicken with mixed salad, and an apple with cheese.
- Afternoon Snack: Egg Omelet (preferably yoak)
- Dinner: Cream of spinach soup, Baked chicken with roasted tomato and a natural yogurt with sugar.
The Best Soccer Player Diet Plan for Optimal Performance
The most crucial element of a soccer player’s game, aside from actually playing the sport, is diet. Simple: Your body needs energy to play soccer, and the type of energy you give your body depends on what you eat. This has an impact on every facet of your performance.
Your endurance, sleep, recovery, motivation, mood, and the list goes on and on can all be improved by eating properly. The majority of players and coaches are unaware of the dangers of not taking soccer nutrition seriously. One reason for this is because there is a surprising quantity of information in this complex area of study that is flat-out incorrect.
Fortunately for you, I have spent years sifting through data, reading research, and doing several tests to determine what the ideal soccer player diet entails.
Let’s start by discussing the physical requirements of soccer and how they affect your diet.
Soccer Player Diet Plan – The Physical Demands of Soccer
When it comes to physical needs, soccer is a challenging sport. You run a lot in the game, as anyone who has played it can attest. Do you actually understand the breakdown of a typical soccer player’s moves during a match?
Here is a breakdown of an average game for an elite player
- Players cover 7 miles per game, on average. This can differ by about a mile depending on position, with midfielders running the most, and strikers and defenders running less.
- Take into consideration that 7 miles is not that great of a distance overall. 7 miles in 90 minutes comes out to about 13-minute miles
- Soccer players spend about 2/3 of the game at low intensities of walking and jogging.
- However, soccer players sprint about 1400 yards a game in bursts of 10-40 yards, change direction every 5-6 seconds and have an average heart rate of 150-170 beats per minute
The average heart rate is the aspect of this that stands out. Really high for 90 minutes, really. The intensity of playing with the ball at your feet, defending someone one-on-one, and the physical fighting that comes along with soccer are all things that these numbers do not reflect. Soccer puts a lot of physical strain on the body, especially when you factor in all the training, weightlifting, and conditioning exercises. You must provide your body with the nourishment it requires. So let’s examine what a soccer player’s diet ought to entail.
Calories and Macronutrients
Making ensuring your body has the nourishment it needs to perform constantly at high intensity is the most crucial thing for soccer players. 22–24 calories per pound of body weight are the suggested number of calories for soccer players. Therefore, this will put you in the range of 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day for the majority of college athletes. Get ready to eat if you want to increase or maintain your weight. A lot. The type of food that should be meeting your caloric needs is the next issue.
Let’s take a look at the macronutrient composition of your 3,500–4,500 calorie diet. Protein, carbs, and fats are the three basic food groups that contain macronutrients. All of these macronutrients give your body energy in the form of calories, but they do so in various ways and for various purposes. Let’s examine each of them separately.
Since protein is the easiest macronutrient to understand, I’ll start there. As a soccer player, you should consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to maintain your muscle mass, and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight to add lean mass. Just like that. You may learn more about protein, how it functions, and why it’s so important here, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll keep things simple.
The best sources of protein are:
- Animate Food! Whenever feasible, try to buy organic, grass-fed, or free-range products. Avoid eating exclusively lean protein; animal fats are healthy for you. Please stop saying “The less legs the better” if you still think it’s true. More on attempting to rescue fats from the dark side is discussed here and briefly below.
- Fish and other seafood are included (shrimp is protein packed). Tuna is fantastic, but due to the mercury content, limit your weekly consumption to no more than two servings.
- Eggs. They are affordable, full of protein and good fats, tasty, and simple to prepare. What else do you require? Read this and this if you still hold the misconception that eggs raise your cholesterol. In the near future, an article about eggs is anticipated.
Carbs! Since that guy Atkins determined they are the enemy, they have just replaced fats as the “bad” macronutrient. While eliminating a wide variety of carbohydrates all at once might seem like a smart idea, it’s not, especially for athletes. Soccer players require carbohydrates to fuel their bodies properly and restore our glycogen stores, whereas inactive persons should limit their carbohydrate diet to only vegetables and few fruits. We employ our glycogen reserves for explosive activities like sprinting, jumping, abrupt direction changes, battling for a 50/50 ball, etc. Soccer players require carbohydrates, but we must be careful about how much and what kind of carbohydrates we consume.
Only 300 to 500 grams of carbohydrates can be stored in your body at a time. This means that you should be regulating your glycogen stores by eating carbs before and after a day of heavy work, such as a practice, a lifting session, or a game. Although it might appear that this is a proclamation to eat whatever you want, it is not. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know which carbs are healthy to eat in large quantities and which ones should be avoided. Fortunately, I have a background in science on my side.
First, lets start off with where you should NOT be getting your carbs from
- High fructose corn syrup and sugar. This is obvious, but up to 50% of the carbohydrates Americans eat are from these! They are absolutely terrible for you and can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity.
- Processed foods. These foods are usually not real foods. They are chemically constructed and tend to be found in the snack isle and include cookies, chips and crackers.
- Foods with gluten. Yes, I’ve said it. Avoid gluten. We will hash out this battle later on, but for now, check out this study, “New Approach to Celiac Testing Identifies More at Risk” and read this article here.
Carbs! They have recently supplanted fats as the “bad” macronutrient because that man Atkins concluded they are the enemy. It may seem wise to cut out a variety of carbohydrates all at once, but it’s not, especially for athletes. While sedentary people should restrict their carbohydrate intake to simply vegetables and a few fruits, soccer players need carbohydrates to power their bodies effectively and replenish our glycogen levels. For explosive exercises like running, jumping, sharp direction changes, squabbling for a 50/50 ball, etc., we use our glycogen stores. Although carbs are necessary for soccer players, we must be careful about how much and what kind of carbohydrates we eat.
Your body can only hold 300 to 500 grams of carbohydrates at a time. This means that you should eat carbohydrates before and after a day of hard work, such as a practice, a lifting session, or a game, to regulate your glycogen levels. Despite the fact that it can seem like it, this is not a command to eat everything you want. It is unfortunately challenging to determine which carbohydrates are healthy to consume in high amounts and which ones should be avoided. Fortunately, I have a scientific background on my side.
Now let’s get into where you should be getting your carbohydrates from
- Plants. Eat lots of them. You can never eat too many vegetables; they are digested slowly and are nutrient dense. However, they tend to be pretty low in calories, so on really intense training days, you’re going to need to take your carb intake up a notch.
- Fruits. Fruits are packed with nutrients and fiber, so although they are a simple carbohydrate, they are slower to digest and have many benefits for your body.
- White Rice. Yes, I known this is another controversial thing to recommend, but it’s true. White rice is one of the best ways to restore your glycogen storages and it won’t mess with your body like brown rice will. Brown Rice is similar to other cereal grains in that it contains phytic acid, which causes problems for your digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Root Vegetables. This includes yams, sweet potatoes and potatoes, and I am so glad they are good to eat. Yams (commonly mistaken for sweet potatoes) are my personal go-to when I need to get my carbs for the day. Poke holes in it with a fork, toss it in the microwave for 5 minutes, flip it, another 5, drizzle olive oil on it, sprinkle with cinnamon, and enjoy. You’re welcome for that tip, your life just got better.
In case you missed it, the carbohydrate guidelines follow the Japanese Village-style Diet, a society with a history of low rates of obesity, diabetes, and the majority of illnesses that afflict our Western culture. You need carbohydrates to play soccer, just make sure they’re the right ones.
I’m eager to talk about fats. They have long been demonized, and the mainstream media is only now beginning to understand the true advantages and problems of fats. Fortunately, dietitians and fitness professionals have been urging people to eat fats for a while. What kind of fats you consume and where they come from are crucial considerations. You’ll notice a difference if you’re eating healthy fats in your muscle development, energy level, fat reduction (yep, healthy fats aid in fat loss), and testosterone levels.
For your body to function at its best, fats are required. In addition to being a crucial precursor to hormones that regulate vital processes like blood pressure, inflammation, and blood clotting, fats are required for the proper functioning of your brain.
Let’s start with the unhealthy fats you should avoid consuming. These fats block arteries, interfere with hormones, and generally limit your potential:
- Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. These are saturated fats that have been chemically altered to fit specific needs of the food industry, such as having a high melting point, smooth texture and being reusable as a deep-frying oil. These are in most processed foods, which you can tell by looking at their labels.
- Trans-fatty acids. This type of fat comes from taking polyunsaturated fat and heat processing it. Trans fats allow processed foods to have a longer shelf life, which is gross once you think about it. Creating a fat that chemically alters the natural decay of food cannot be good for your body. Trans fats are one of the biggest contributing factors to heart disease in America, and the FDA is currently looking into making them illegal in the United States. Lets hope they go through with it.
- Omega-6 cooking oils. These also come from polyunsaturated fats, but are chemically altered in a different way to create cooking oils. These oils you have to be careful with, because they cause us to consume extreme amounts of Omega-6 fats, which have been shown to promote cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Basically, you want to avoid fats that come from processed foods. As humans, we’ve spent 2.5 million years digesting natural fats, not Oreos.
Now the good fats:
- Monounsaturated fats. These most commonly come from high fat fruits, such as avocados, along with nuts, such as pistachios, almonds and walnuts. Olive oil is another common place to get your monounsaturated fat from. They have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol and may even help with fat loss.
- Polyunsaturated Fat. This category of fat is made up of by omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Although I bashed on Omega-6 in cooking oils a second ago, they are healthy fats when consumed in a 1:1 ratio with omega-3 fats. You can find these fats in naturally good ratios through salmon, fish oil, sunflower oil and seeds. Having a good dose of omega-3 fats in your diet is so important that I recommend taking cod liver oil supplement daily.
- Saturated fat. This is just one more controversial thing I’m adding to the list. Conventional wisdom has unfortunately taught most people that saturated fats are the devil and should be avoided at all costs. This would mean avoiding animal fats and topical oils, e.g. coconut oil. There have been hunter-gatherer tribes that have consumed 50-70% of their calories from saturated fats without health problems. People who live in Tokelau, a territory in New Zealand eat a diet that is half saturated fats and yet have the best cardiovascular health in the WORLD. Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, has acknowledged that saturated fats are not the cause of the obesity crisis or heart disease after a year review of research. Luckily, more and more studies are starting to come to show that saturated fats are not the problem. So eat saturated fats, its one of the best energy sources for your body, it’s one of the most satiating foods, meaning it will keep you full longer, and it’s the best food to boost testosterone.
It all boils down to determining whether popular wisdom is accurate when it comes to fats. Consider human history. Since the dawn of our species, we have been omnivores. For more than a million years, we have survived as a species by hunting and eating meat. Our forefathers didn’t struggle to go this far since obesity rates weren’t as high as they are now. Splitting your fat consumption into thirds is the greatest way to balance your intake of fat. Keeping at least a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, the diet should consist of 1/3 from saturated fat, 1/3 from monounsaturated fat, and 1/3 from polyunsaturated fat.
The Soccer Player Diet Plan
You now have it. the fundamentals of soccer player nutrition. We just need to wrap things up with a broad takeaway that you can use with your next meal to create the groundwork for you to become an outstanding player.
- Eat 22-24 calories times your bodyweight in pounds.
- Eat 1 to 1.5 grams of protein times your bodyweight in pounds from good sources such as:
- Animal meat (do not be afraid of red meat)
- Eat Carbohydrates depending on your activity level. If you are burning through your glycogen levels through explosive movements like sprinting and lifting, then you need carbs to replenish them. I recommend getting your carb intake at dinner after your day of hard work. The more research comes out, the less it seems that there is a special window right after working out that you need to get carbohydrates. To restore your glycogen levels, you have about 24 hours. So just get your carbohydrates at dinner with rice, potatoes or yams. Eat slower digesting carbs, such as vegetables, whenever you would like. As a soccer player, who is lifting, doing conditioning and practicing, you should be more concerned with not getting enough carbohydrates then eating too many. Make sure to choose the right carbohydrates, your body will thank you for it.
- Eat fat, and lots of it. Try to keep it split 1/3 from saturated, 1/3 from monounsaturated fat and 1/3 from polyunsaturated fat, making sure to keep at least a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. Get your fats from:
- Animal fats
- Tropical oils
- Olive oils
- Fish oil (I recommend taking Cod Liver Oil daily)
- Eat as much organic foods as possible. I know it’s more expensive, but it is something you should strive for. Your body will thank you for it.
To round it all off, lets look at an example of what a 175 lb soccer player should be eating on an intense workout day.
- 175lbs x 23 = 4,025 calories per day.
- 175lbs x 1.5 = 262.5 grams of protein
- To replenish glycogen storages = about 500 grams of carbohydrates
- Fill the rest of your calorie needs with healthy fats.
- 1/3 from saturated fats
- 1/3 from monosaturated fats
- 1/3 from polyunsaturated fats
These are the fundamentals of a collegiate soccer player’s diet. By eating this manner, you may maintain a high level of energy, grow muscle, speed up your recuperation, and play soccer to the best of your ability. Diet is essential, and with the knowledge provided here, you can start out on the right foot.