5-a-side soccer, like any other high intensity exercise requires you to be on top form. We know that stretching and warming up prior to your game is a great way to get your body and mind ready, but the food you eat before your match could be giving you an edge, or letting you down. We look at some of the best foods you should eat to be able to play your 5-a-side soccer game at your peak.
When to eat before your 5-a-side soccer match
Before we get into the exact foods, we need to talk about when you should eat them. As 5-a-side is high intensity, with lots of running, and jumping, you don’t want to be eating anything heavy right before you play. According to the AIS, you should be aiming to either eat a larger meal 3-4 hours prior to your match, or a light snack 1-2 hours prior.
Larger pre-match meals
Eating food that’s high in protein and carbohydrates, but lower in fat and fibre is ideal as you want to minimise the chances of digestion issues and discomfort during play. For larger meals (3-4 hours beforehand) you’ll want to aim for a great source of carbs like rice, pasta, bread, or potatoes (not chips!). Once you’ve chosen the carb, choose a protein like chicken breast, turkey breast, beef or pork to go with it. Oats with fruit, yoghurt and/or milk is a strong breakfast option, with oats containing enough fibre to gradually release the carbs into your system, but not enough fibre to unsettle your stomach, according to Mens Fitness.
Lighter snacks to eat before your soccer match
For light snacks, you want to keep it to smaller quantities, with as much protein and nutrients as possible. Bananas with greek yoghurt is an excellent example, containing protein, easily-digestible carbs, and potassium. Pre-workout liquid meals like trusty protein shakes are also a great idea. Mixing them with milk for added protein. Snack bars can be OK, but check the labels to ensure they’re not loaded with fats and sugars, which is the case for many nut-based bars as well as general confectionary. Protein bars that capitalise on protein and carbohydrate are a better choice.
You need to eat | Quick meals before you play soccer
If you’re unable to leave the amount of hours advised above to eat your meal, then have a light snack (as detailed above) at least an hour before you run onto the soccer pitch. Your body needs fuel to perform at its best, so make an optimised breakfast a priority before kick off. For the coffee lovers among you, Manuel Villacorta, dietician extraordinaire, recently advised Buzzfeed that a good shot of caffeine in the morning boosts energy and slows fatigue.
Pre-game fuel | Ultimate Soccer
Now you’ve got the inside scoop on what to eat to play the best 5-a-side matches you can, make sure to share it around to your teammates so your whole team is firing on all cylinders. Ultimate Soccer is the #1 5-a-side soccer facility in Sydney, offering well maintained pitches, fun and competitive 5-a-side tournaments and soccer coaching for kids. Get in touch with our team on 02 9725 7020 or fill in our enquiry form. See you on the pitch!