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Nutrition

Simple list of some GOOD refueling / preloading foods. 
When you need carbs fast to preload or refuel for the next game. 
Pasta, pancakes, waffles, toast, breads, potatoes, deep dish pizza. 
Most dry cereals not highly concentrated with whole grains only and low sugar. 
(Not 100% bran flakes, but rather corn or rice based / processed cereal.)
Watermelon, Pineapple, Bananas, oranges, grapes are high in sugar fruits and are good. 
Sports drinks, strawberry and chocolate milk as well as the new V8 Fusion Fruit drinks. 
Snack crackers and cookies are a good filler and a snack that can be taken anywhere / thrown into a soccer bag with a sports drink. 
Once players have eaten their main meal, they should be encouraged to “snack” often, especially the night before the game.  The body talks and we should listen. If it says, “I’m hungry”, then eat.

What to stay away from.
Large portions of fats and meats.
Soda (replace with juices) 
100% high grain foods / extreme high fiber foods with low sugars and low simple carbs. 
Low calorie foods such as sugar free jello.   

A great soccer breakfast menu….
top picks for breakfast the day of the game. 
Cream of Wheat, cooked with milk. Add honey at last minute and some sliced bananas. Readymade / frozen waffles with light amount of syrup if desired or Jam. 
Large glass of V8 Fusion fruit drink.

Keep Notes and Adjust the Diet…
Remember, every human is different and reacts individually to certain foods. If you your soccer player has a bad GI reaction to eating bananas before the game, STOP EATING THEM.  If the higher sugar levels or excess simple carbs trigger a low blood sugar reaction, make notes and change it.  
Again, kids are kids and VERY FEW will eat to properly prepare for a soccer match on their own. The parent / coach needs to offer and implement these guidelines. Make a simple list of “do’s and don’ts” that all can understand.  


Sports Drinks, Snacks, or Chocolate Milk?

Chocolate Milk For Youth Soccer Players?

soccer sports drinksDump the after game snacks and hand out the CHOCOLATE MILK.

Yes, you heard me right. Believe it or not I was finally right about a “theory” I have had for several years. 

When you take a look sports drinks they have very similar attributes to those of chocolate milk. My assumption was that there would be little difference between  children drinking chocolate milk after a soccer game vs. a sports drink. Guess what? It looks like I was right. 

Indiana University conducted a study in conjunction with a grant from the dairy council. They wanted to put “my” theory to the test. The results were just as I thought they would be.  “As compared to the commercial products tested, (sports recovery drinks), chocolate milk is an effective recovery aid following exhausting exercise.”

Why is chocolate milk good for youth soccer players after a game?

The study found that athletes who drank chocolate milk after an intense bout of exercise were able to workout longer and with more power during a second workout compared to athletes who drank commercial sports beverages.

I have also been a fan of drinks that incorporate protein in their carbohydrate formula. (Such as Accelerade.) Researchers stated, "Chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate to protein ratio, which is critical for helping refuel tired muscles after strenuous exercise and can enable athletes to exercise at a high intensity during subsequent workouts."

Some common sense points…

1)    Kids don’t drink to “re-hydrate” like athletes. They drink only when they are thirsty or when something tastes good.  Tricking them into drinking more because something tastes great makes sense for any one who has dealt with young athletes.

2)      The addition of protein is good for muscle recovery, growth and refueling.

3)     Milk is naturally high in Potassium. My kids don’t like bananas.

Confirming these results was a study by Dr. Janet Walberg-Rankin and co-workers at Virginia Tech.  This study compared body composition and muscle function responses to resistance training in males who consumed a carb drink (Gatorade) or chocolate milk following each training session. Chocolate milk consumption immediately after each workout tended to increase lean body mass and bodyweight compared to supplementation with carbs. This study clearly shows that carbs-only post-exercise beverages don’t cut it.

The one thing you want to keep however is that you want to select a non-fat or skim chocolate milk. Forty-eight percent of the calories in whole milk come from fat; 33 percent of the calories in 2% milk come from fat; 20 percent of the calories in 1% milk come from fat, and 0 percent of the calories from skim milk come from fat. So, when reaching for chocolate milk as your post-workout recovery drink of choice, choose the non-fat version.

Before you start laughing about handing out chocolate milk after a game, think about the junk in the snack box they’re about to eat.

Hey, if it’s my choice between a soda and a hotdog or a large jug of chocolate milk, you know which one I will choose