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Cal South E-News | October 2011 NUTRITION EDUCATION

October 19, 2011


content provided by

Nancy Clark MS RD


Nutrition Tips: How to Eat Well for Soccer

I'm in high school and am just beginning a soccer program. I have decent nutritional habits, but what I want to know is now that I'm exercising more, should I change my eating habits? And if I do, what types of foods should I emphasize and what should I eat less of?

Athletic or not, you want to follow the government guidelines (www.MyPlate.gov) for a diet based on:

  • whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • protein as an accompaniment to those carbohydrate-rich foods
  • a little bit of healthful fat in each meal.

By enjoying a variety of foods, you'll consume:

  • carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, whole grains) to fuel your muscles.
  • lean protein (including fish, chicken, beans, lentils, lowfat milk and yogurt) to build and repair your muscles.
  • healthful fats (nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, salmon, avocado) to fight inflammation from the tiny injuries that occur when you train.

To organize your sports diet, think of yourself as having four food buckets:

1. Breakfast bucket
2. Lunch bucket
3. Second lunch bucket (some people call this a snack)
4. Dinner bucket

You want to evenly-fill each bucket with at least three to four different kinds of foods, such as:

  • Breakfast: cereal, milk, berries, slivered almonds
  • Lunch: whole wheat bread, peanut butter, banana, decaf latte
  • Lunch #2: pita, hummus, baby carrots, Greek yogurt
  • Dinner: chicken, rice, salad/shredded lowfat cheese/olive oil

Have fun and enjoy your high energy!

Nancy Clark MS RD


For more information, check out Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes From the Pros by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark MS RD
(Available at www.nancyclarkrd.com)

About the Author
Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD is an internationally known sports nutritionist and nutrition author. She is a registered dietitian (RD) who specializes in nutrition for exercise, health and the nutritional management of eating disorders. She is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). Check out her website at www.nancyclarkrd.com.