We all know that nutrition is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. There is no golden ticket when it comes to nutrition and eating right. Every player has their own unique challenges that must be addressed. So have you ever wondered how important it is to soccer players? US Soccer’s Recognize to Recover program says stick to the basics and remember the 3 R’s of Recovery.
Here is a quick overview of the nutrition and recovery sections. For more information, please click the button the bottom of the page.
- Energy – required by the body for all sorts of functions (especially when playing soccer)
- Nutrients – substances that provide nourishment essential for growth and maintenance of life
- Carbohydrates – the body’s preferred method of receiving food and turning it into energy
- Protein – the building blocks for the human body
- Fats – an essential nutrient, often confused with obesity and chronic health issues
Recovery: the 3 R’s of Recovery
- Rehydrate – do not stop drinking water when practice or a game ends, the body needs fluids after exercise
- Refuel – eat certain foods an hour after exercise because muscles during exercise use fuel and that fuel needs to be replenished
- Rebuild – muscles during exercise get fatigued and damaged, you need protein to help them rebuild
Nearly 30% of the United States population has a family member playing in some form of soccer every year. This ranges from youth soccer to professional/adult outdoor and indoor leagues. Also, 80% of our healthcare costs in the United States are due to chronic diseases – primarily from not eating right. So you can imagine how important it is that we maintain our health by eating right and recovering properly after soccer games.
So you are probably asking yourself, “Ok Mr. FC Link guy. So what should I eat?” The answer is a couple of different things. US soccer does a fantastic job listing off what foods are good and which ones you should avoid (yes, cookies are bad). They recommend 55% of your meal to be carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat. “Whether you are a junior athlete, professional athlete, or don’t take part in any sport, it is important to make sure you are getting the proper energy, nutrients, and minerals daily.”
Keeping a food first mentality is integral to nutrition. As coaches, challenge your players and parents to put food first and promote proper recovery. Whether teams are bringing snacks to youth games, eating out during club tournaments, or getting a late-night snack after friday night high school soccer, you must always remember your health. When the clock stops or practice ends, nutrition and recovery begins.
To learn more about US Soccer’s nutrition and recovery information, click the button below.