Eating a high carbohydrate diet each day is essential to replenishing depleted glycogen stores. A Soccer players diet should typically include 65% carbohydrates, 25% Fat and 10% protein.
Frequently asked questions.
1. CAN PLAYERS EAT TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES?
A. Yes they can and that can result in an inadequate protein intake. However telling players to eat more carbohydrates is not bad advice as typically players will still take in enough protein.
2. IS IT ABOUT THE QUANTITY OR QUALITY OF FOODS CONSUMED?
A. It is not just about the quantity of the diet, it is also about the quality of the diet. There has to be a balance between the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that are digested by the player. For a youth player about 65% of their calories need to come from carbohydrates, 25% from fats and the remainder from protein.
3. ARE THERE SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR PLAYERS BEFORE TRAINING OR MATCHES IF THEY HAVE NOT EATEN FOR SOME TIME?
A. A good strategy for players would be to have a snack about 30 minutes before the start of the training session, such as a sports drink, energy bar, banana or a bagel.
4. WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF EXERCISE ON MUSCLE GLYCOGEN STORES?
A. Muscle glycogen declines if carbohydrates are not stored. With a high carbohydrate diet Muscle glycogen returns to the same level from the previous day, however with a low carbohydrate diet, the muscle glycogen is depleted and does not recover to the previous level so by the next days training session they are unprepared and in turn by the end of the week the muscle glycogen levels have declined so much that the player is not able to go the full 90 minutes.
5. WHAT ARE THE CARBOHYDRATE REQUIREMENTS PER DAY FOR PLAYERS?
A. 65% of a players solid diet should be made up of carbohydrates.
6. WHAT IS THE DAILY PROTEIN REQUIREMENT FOR PLAYERS?
A. An adequate diet will provide plenty of protein for a young player. The required protein intake is about 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
7. WHAT FOODS BEST PROVIDE PROTEIN?
A. Lean chicken breast.
8. WHAT ARE OTHER GOOD SOURCES OF PROTEIN?
A. Vegetables, milk, cheese and eggs.
9. IS IT ALL ABOUT PASTA OR ARE THERE OTHER GOOD SOURCES OF CARBOHYDRATE?
A. No, there is a small amount of protein in pasta, eating the pasta with a sauce can provide more carbohydrates along with protein and fats.
10. WHAT IS A SOLID DIET FOR A PLAYER?
A. Eating an above average amount of carbohydrates, and carbohydrate rich foods. This would be more carbohydrates than a typical teenager.
11. 3 SIMPLE DO’S AND DONT’S FOR PLAYERS…….
1. Focus on lean meats
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables
3. pasta and bread products
1. Avoid fatty meats especially with sauces.
2. High fat desert products.
3. High processed sugar content e.g. cookies
12. SHOULD THE COACH SET AN EXAMPLE?
A. Yes the coach should show the players through their own lifestyle what foods to eat and what foods to avoid.
13. WHY NOT SODAS OR FIZZY DRINKS?
A. They have a very high processed sugar content, these are not the types of carbohydrates we need to replace muscle glycogen. Players should replace these with water, juice and milk.
14. DISADVANTAGES OF A HIGH FAT DIET?
A. A high fat diet squeezes out the carbohydrates in the diet this will have a negative effect on performance. This can also cause weight gain and high cholesterol which will lead to poor health.
15. SHOULD YOU ALLOW YOUR PLAYERS TREATS?
A. Yes, The key is to limit them so once or twice a week is fine just not every day.