As even the most casual players can attest, soccer is a game that requires a lot of effort on the part of participants, effort that can take a serious toll on the body’s condition. While there’s no doubt that playing soccer can improve a person’s level of fitness and give their health a boost, these benefits first require players to damage their muscles and deplete their energy reserves, which in turn requires extensive recovery on the part of the body. This process isn’t equally effective for everyone, though; those who take the proper precautions and provide their systems with adequate nutritional support will heal faster and gain greater strength, but how do soccer players recover after a game? To find out, keep reading as the team at aminoVITAL®, makers of amino acid recovery supplements, provides some insight on the matter.
What Soccer Players Need to Recover After a Game
Once the final whistle’s been blown and the teams have left the field, players on both sides need to start thinking about how to recover from the strain they’ve placed on their bodies. To do so, it helps to understand what happens in the body when you play soccer – or any other sport requiring great endurance – and how to counteract those processes. Below, we’ll look at how soccer players can more effectively recover after a game, from a nutritional standpoint.
Get Amino Acids to Protect and Repair Muscles
When you exercise for a long period of time – such as in a 90-minute soccer game – your muscles suffer a lot of wear and tear, which is caused by both the physical force needed to propel you forward and the chemical results of the body trying to fuel itself. The reasons for the former are clear, but the latter takes place because the muscles’ fuel reserves are finite, and they tend to run out well before a game has ended. To compensate, the body then breaks down muscle proteins and uses the resulting amino acids as fuel, which keeps you moving but also damages muscle fibers. This is largely why soccer players need to focus on recovery: to address this damage effectively.
The best way to accomplish this goal is through the use of amino acids, which are available in the proteins you get from your diet, as well as protein and amino acid supplements. Not only will these compounds – especially the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine, and valine – help your body produce new muscle tissue more efficiently, but they serve as the building blocks for those muscle proteins, too. Plus, if you take some BCAAs just before or during your game, they can help guard muscles against some of the damage they might otherwise incur, so you’ll need to do less recovering afterward1.
How Carbs Help You Recover After a Game
As we mentioned above, most soccer players will run out of their muscles’ main source of fuel – glycogen, a type of glucose – well before the ref’s last whistle, which means that to recover after a game, soccer players will need to top off the tank, so to speak. As a form of glucose, glycogen is most effectively synthesized from carbohydrates, a macronutrient that, despite the negative attention it gets from diet and fitness gurus, is a great source of energy for the body. Right after you’re finished exercising, a dose of simple carbs can go a long way toward replenishing your stores of glycogen, since that’s the point in time when the body is most active in synthesizing it.
Drinks to Help Soccer Players Recover After a Game
Whether you’re headed home from the gym or a soccer game, the most convenient way to kick-start your recovery is often with a drink. These products are easy to fit into a bag or leave in the car, and you can make your own, if you want. We detail a few of the most common recovery drinks for soccer players below:
Products like Powerade and NOOMA are ubiquitous in the sports world, and for good reason. These drinks offer water and electrolytes to balance and improve hydration – an important part of recovery – and they offer some carbs as well, which can help you get back some lost glycogen. There are lots of different kinds to choose from, too, so you can easily find one that appeals to your personal preferences.
Amino Acid Drinks
Because they’re low-calorie and fast-acting, amino acid post-workout supplements can go a long way toward helping soccer players recover after a game, and products like aminoVITAL®’s Rapid Recovery mix offer some carbs along with their amino acids, plus plenty of electrolytes. Used in conjunction with a mid-workout supplement, you can effectively limit damage during a game and hasten its repair.
Although they’re most commonly associated with workouts, protein shakes also have much to offer soccer players. These supplements contain a wealth of amino acids locked inside each whole protein, which can be of benefit to players, and they often contain simple carbs – typically sugar – that can help with glycogen recovery. They tend to be high in calories, though, so consider whether these supplements are right for your particular health and fitness goals.
Try Amino Acid Supplements to Recover Quickly After a Soccer Game
Regardless of your stance on supplementation, the body will eventually recover after a soccer game, but without adequate nutrients, this process can take some time, and the results can be minor at best. Try an aminoVITAL® supplement before, during, or after your next game and see the difference for yourself. Visit us online to learn more or call us today at (888) 264-6673.