Refueling the Tank: The Best Food to Eat AFTER a Soccer Game
After playing a hard fought soccer game, it would come as no surprise if your stomach starts rumbling. Exercising hard will deplete your body of the fuel (aka food) that you have consumed prior. However, even if you don’t feel hungry right away, it is important to get food into your body within 45 minutes of the competition. This time frame after exercise is when your body is most productive in utilizing the fuel. The specific fuel that your body requires after exercise is protein and carbohydrates. This is because your muscles store energy in the form of protein and glycogen. While exercising, your body breaks these energy storages down, depleting your muscles of necessary fuel to perform. Therefore, it is important to refuel your body with protein and carbohydrates after a soccer game because those are what your muscles need for recovery (mensfitness.com).
Below are a list of foods that are high in protein and wholesome carbohydrates. Notice that the majority of them are minimally processed, and will provide your body with the healthiest option for muscle recovery.
Fruits are a great source of non-processed carbohydrates!
Peanut butter and banana (wheat wrap or sandwich)
The banana and wheat bread source provides the carbs.
The peanut butter packs in the protein.
Contains about double the amount of protein as regular yogurt!
Sprinkle on granola or whole-grain cereal for an extra crunch.
Pack a few hard-boiled eggs for after the game! They provide an abundant source of protein.
Not only a good source of protein and carbs, but also an excellent way to rehydrate your body.
Foods to AVOID:
Candy & Chocolate
Soda & Fruit juices
Hopefully these healthy post-game snack ideas will keep you away from the above list of foods to AVOID. It is important to avoid filling your self with fat and sugar from unhealthy foods because your muscles will not be able to optimally recover. Although it’s tempting to make the pit stop on the drive home for a burger or a donut, your body will thank you for choosing the healthier option. They are not only healthy and restorative, but can be TASTY as well!!