Cal South E-News | December 2012 NUTRITION INFORMATION
|Fuel for the Win...|
|By Selina Lai, M.S., R.D.
It is that time of year again when tournament play begins for many competitive youth soccer teams. No longer can our athletes cruise through one soccer game and hope that they will be ready to go for another in just an hour or two without paying close attention to WHAT THEY EAT!
Foods for recovery become very important during tournament play. Start with carbohydrates within 15 minutes after the game, 1.2 to 1.5 grams/kg/hour for up to 4 to 5 hours following a game. High carbohydrate foods that are appropriate after a game include: low fiber sports or granola bars, breakfast cereal, simple cookies (ginger snaps, vanilla wafers), crackers (saltines, stoned wheat thins, rice crackers), fruit (fresh or dried), tortilla with salsa, fruit juice, popsicles or smoothies, toast or English muffin.
Including some protein foods during recovery also helps muscles repair themselves during rest. The recommendation for added protein is about 0.4 grams Protein/kg/hour. Foods that provide both protein and carbohydrates in the correct ratio include:
- Low sugar cereal and low fat milk
The final step to fuel recovery after a soccer game is rehydration. Consuming 2 to 3 cups of water or sports drink in the 2 hours before the next game is recommended.
These are just a few ideas for foods that might work for your athlete. Remember to adjust these recommendations based on your child's intensity and length of play. Recovery choices are most important for players who are on the field for 1 hour or more.
P.S. Send me your nutrition questions, and I will use them for my blog!
About the Author: Selina Lai has been a Registered Dietitian for 20 years. She studied Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of British Columbia and California State University, Long Beach. She has worked as a nutrition educator with a wide range of clients. Her book "Good Eats for Soccer - Nutrition Choices for Competitive Youth Soccer" focuses on diet modifications for the moderate to high intensity physical demands of youth soccer players during tournaments.