The Canadian University Soccer season is here, and this year marks my 3rd season as Assistant Coach and Fitness Coach with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks Women’s Varsity Soccer Team. This season, I will be blogging every day with a ‘Tip of the Day’ – a small piece of information about the testing, training, monitoring, or performance analysis I am doing with the team.
Today’s Tip of the Day is about hip pre-game snacking. In general, soccer players need two things from their pre-game snacks:
- Carbohydrates to provide some energy for muscular work
- Electrolytes (sodium and/or potassium) which are essential for optimal muscle contraction
Foods chosen as snacks before a game should also be convenient and easy to eat in a short amount of time. Based on these criteria, one food stands out above all others as the perfect pre-game snack: bananas. Bananas contain natural sugars (simple carbohydrates) that are useful to provide the body with energy prior to soccer training and games. They are also high in potassium, one of the key electrolytes involved in muscle contraction. Of course, bananas taste great, and 1 banana can easily be eaten in a few minutes, so they are very convenient to have in locker rooms and even when traveling. I typically provide each player a banana to eat 30-60 minutes prior to kick-off. Other coaches and fitness coaches are advised to do the same.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.