Anyone who has played the game can tell you that soccer takes a lot out of you, whether you’re moving around the field during a game or practicing with your teammates. In either case, your body has to use up a lot of resources in order to maintain the physical exertion of constantly running and kicking, which means that the nutritional support you need after soccer practice is essentially the same as what you’ll require after a game. To promote recovery and improve the results of this exercise on your body, there are a few specific foods, drinks, and supplements you should consider. So, you ask, what should you eat after soccer practice? To find out, keep reading as the experts at aminoVITAL® – makers of amino acid supplements for athletes – provide some answers.
Foods and Nutrients to Eat After Soccer Practice
Once practice has ended and you’re on your way home, it’s time to start thinking about what your body needs to recover from the strain of playing soccer. Some of those requirements will no doubt be familiar to virtually every soccer player, like the need to hydrate, but others are often overlooked, underestimated, or poorly understood. Below, we’ll cover the needs of the body after intense exercise so you can more clearly identify what to eat after soccer practice.
Importance of Protein After Soccer Practice
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but protein is one of the most important nutrients to eat when recovering from soccer practice or any other type of muscle-straining workout. That’s because, when we engage in intense physical activity, our muscles can suffer extensive damage, even without an injury. This damage takes place for two main reasons – the breakdown of muscle proteins for fuel during extended exercise and the physical strain of propelling the body around the field – but it can be addressed pretty effectively by ensuring that you eat protein after practice.
The amino acids in protein – especially the three branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs – help to more effectively and efficiently repair the damaged tissue and reinforce it, making it stronger during future use, and these compounds also happen to be the very building blocks from which this new muscle tissue is synthesized. In other words, protein – or, more accurately, the amino acids it contains – is essential to recovering after soccer practice or any other type of exercise. To get more of this critical macronutrient in your diet, try eating lean meat, eggs, nuts, beans, or even grains like quinoa. If you find that you need more protein than what your diet alone provides, however, try adding a post-workout BCAA supplement to your routine as well.
How Carbohydrates Help After Playing Soccer
Given all the bad press surrounding carbohydrates these days, it’s understandable why an athlete might prefer to avoid them after soccer practice, but the fact of the matter is that carbs are almost as important as protein for post-workout recovery. The importance of carbs comes from their role as a fuel source for the body. When you first start exercising, your body’s preferred means of getting energy is through the use of glycogen, a form of glucose that’s kept in the muscles and used as fuel when you work out. However, the muscles can only store so much of this substance at a time, and soccer practice will almost certainly exhaust everything you have before it’s over; this is why the muscles wind up being broken down for fuel.
Resupply your body by eating some carbs after a workout – especially simple carbs, which can be quickly digested and converted into glycogen – and you can help your muscles replenish their stores of glycogen, which ultimately helps you get ready for your next practice and keeps you from feeling worn-out for long. Although it’s technically a simple carb, try not to eat too much sugar as a source of carbs; instead, have a piece of fruit or glass of chocolate milk (the latter of which has both carbs and protein). Because it offers a dose of carbs, aminoVITAL®’s Rapid Recovery mix can also be a good option, and it comes with muscle-aiding amino acids, too.
Why Electrolytes Are Important After Soccer Practice
Although getting plenty of fluids is certainly important after soccer practice, so too is what those fluids contain. Water alone can go a long way toward improving post-workout hydration, but it’s lacking in electrolytes – minerals that help to balance hydration in the body. To replace those lose while you’re running around, such as the salt in your sweat, you’ll need to eat or drink a source of electrolytes, which could include a sports beverage or mid-workout supplement like aminoVITAL®’s Action mix, which offers a balanced blend of vitamins, electrolytes, and amino acids that can be added to a water bottle to make a quick, hydration-boosting drink. Enjoying a glass of milk or eating a banana can also help; the former is a great source of calcium, while the latter offers potassium – two electrolytes that can benefit your system after soccer practice.
Try an Amino Acid Supplement After Soccer Practice to Help Improve Recovery
The human body is a complex environment, and it’ll take more than just eating one particular food or having a single drink to put things right after a long soccer practice. By adding an amino acid supplement to your routine, however, you can provide your body with much of what it needs to recover in one convenient, effective form. Learn more about the benefits of amino acid supplements after soccer practice by visiting aminoVITAL® online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.