Healthy Snacks to Recover from Soccer
According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, youth in America are reported to receive over one third of their total calories from foods considered to have little or no nutritional value – foods such as soda, fruit drinks, grain desserts, dairy desserts, and candy. It’s no wonder that childhood obesity is on the rise even in one of the skinniest states, Colorado!
Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with your active, soccer-playing child? Well, it’s up to coaches and parents alike to instill healthy eating habits at an early age. Why coaches and not just parents? According to a study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine, coaches are, for almost all youth athletes, the number one source of nutritional information.
One of the most critical times for active players to eat and eat nutritionally dense food is immediately following intense workouts – such as soccer practices or games. During strenuous activity, glycogen stores are depleted and eating within 30 – 45 minutes immediately following the end of a workout helps replenish glycogen and tissue, ensuring your player is better prepared for their practice session or game the next day. It’s also important to note that consuming a mixture of carbohydrates and protein (ideally in a 4:1 ratio) is the most effective combination for this restoration process. So, whether you are a parent or coach, here are some simple and healthy recovery snacks that you can encourage your players to eat (or drink!) post workout so they can feel better and be more physically prepared for their next game or training session:
1. Chocolate Milk –
Perhaps you’ve heard this before but chocolate milk is a great recovery drink! Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, performed a studied comparing the performance of workout recovery drinks – chocolate milk, Gatorade, and Endurox R4. He found that athletes who consumed chocolate milk post workout, performed just as well or better than those who drank the other beverages. Chocolate milk has about the perfect ratio of carbohydrates to protein and as a liquid, it helps your player re-hydrate.
2. Smoothies –
Smoothies are a great option post workout because they can provide the proper macro nutrients – carbohydrates and protein – and, depending on what you blend in, can also be packed with a ton of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Make your smoothies protein packed by using yogurt and whey powder, and add in carbs and vitamins by blending in frozen fruit or even vegetables. And, if your player needs some extra electrolytes, use coconut water as a base. Coconut water – sometimes referred to as nature’s sports drink because it contains electrolytes and easily digestible sugars – will aid hydration and provide electrolytes with about half the sugar of traditional sports drinks.
3. Banana and Peanut Butter –
A banana and peanut butter is a great on-the-go option for a quick and healthy recovery snack. Two tablespoons of peanut butter pack in 8 grams of protein. Bananas are full of simple sugars and potassium, helping to replace electrolytes lost during workouts.
4. Greek Yogurt with Honey or Fruit and Shredded Coconut –
Yogurt contains protein, but greek yogurt usually contains three times more protein than regular yogurt. Mix high-protein yogurt with fruit or honey to get easy to digest carbs. And, for an extra health perk, mix in some shredded coconut. Coconut is full of healthy fats that will keep your player feeling fuller for longer, and coconut contains natural electrolytes like potassium and magnesium which will aid the hydration process.
Join Skyline Soccer Association Today
Voted Top Five Sports Programs in Colorado