The training diet is the foundation for feeling on top of your game during a training session or practice or during a match. Eating right before a match does not provide as many performance benefits as eating well the rest of the week. How much energy you have at training or practice determines how much work can be done on the field.
In addition to water, your body needs adequate carbohydrates, fats, proteins and micronutrients. With micronutrients it is more important to make positive changes to the diet rather than to take supplements. Carbohydrates are likely to provide the majority of energy during a soccer match. Soccer players therefore need to make the effort to ensure they have enough carbohydrate in their diet.
Good sources of carbohydrates:
• Fruit, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes and breakfast cereals
Good sources of fat:
• Lean meat, fish, milk and nuts
Good sources of protein:
• Meat, milk, poultry, fish, dairy foods, nuts, eggs and legumes (peas, beans, etc.)
Good sources of vitamins and minerals:
• Fruit, vegetables, nuts, lean meat, eggs and dairy products
A general rule of thumb is to try to eat three hours before you go to the soccer field so that the food has a chance to digest and be useful in your system as energy.
For more information on nutrition for soccer players check out this FIFA document: http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/footballdevelopment/medical/51/55/15/nutritionbooklet_neue2010.pdf
1Prepared by the U.S. Olympic Sports Medicine Division and the International Center for Sports
Nutrition. 1999 U.S. Olympic Committee