Nutrition Plan for Soccer

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Training is a 24/7 endeavor, meaning your body experiences training effects even when you're not working out. To get the most from your summer conditioning program, fueling for every workout is imperative. An empty tank will preclude you from maximizing those training effects and increase your risk for injury. The following nutrition plan is designed to maximize Coach Tashjian's conditioning plan.

Begin every morning with a performance-enhancing breakfast. Refueling your body with carbohydrates and fluids is essential, because both deplete during sleep. Aim for a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, and hydrate with 16 ounces of water between the time you wake up and 60 to 90 minutes before working out.

Sample breakfasts

• Oatmeal with raisins and walnuts; skim milk
• Whole-grain bagel with peanut butter and banana; skim milk
• Low fat yogurt with granola and strawberries; 100 percent orange juice
• Whole-grain cereal with skim milk and blueberries; 100 percent orange juice

During Coach Tashjian's workouts, aim to consume six to eight ounces of water every 30 minutes. If the workout extends beyond 90 minutes, choose a sports drink to ensure proper electrolyte replacement.

Post-workout, opt for a recovery snack within 30 minutes. During this window of time, muscles are ready to soak up carbohydrates that restore glycogen and protein to rebuild your muscles. Research shows that a ratio of four carb grams to one protein gram is optimal for muscle recovery.

Recovery snack options

  • 16 oz of low fat chocolate milk or a commercial recovery shake
  • 16-oz smoothie made with low fat yogurt; frozen berries
  • Energy bar with about 40 grams of carbs and 10 grams of protein; water

Within two hours of the recovery snack, follow up with a balanced meal containing lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits or vegetables and low fat milk. This meal will continue the recovery process.

Performance-enhancing lunches

  • Bean burrito with wholewheat tortilla, black beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, green peppers, avocado and rice; fruit salad; skim milk
  • Large garden salad with grilled chicken strips and light dressing; large whole grain roll; fresh fruit; skim milk
  • Tuna salad made with low fat mayo in a whole-grain pita; carrots or green pepper strips; apple; skim milk
  • Whole-grain bread or tortilla with turkey breast, tomato, lettuce, mustard; fresh fruit and yogurt; 100 percent fruit juice

To keep the slow infusion of nutrients delivered to your muscles, eat every three to four hours. Include an afternoon snack between lunch and dinner.

Nutrient-packed snacks

  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Hummus on whole-grain pita
  • Bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk

Dinner provides nutrients that rebuild and repair your body overnight as you sleep and prepares you for your next workout.

Enhance your training program with these sample dinners

  • Grilled fish; roasted red potatoes; broccoli and carrots; whole-grain baguette; skim milk
  • Barbeque skinless chicken breast; brown rice; asparagus; spinach salad with light dressing; skim milk
  • Lean beef or vegetarian bean chili with cheese; corn bread; garden salad with light dressing; skim milk

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