As an aspiring soccer star, plan to start your day with breakfast preferably within two hours of waking. From female athletes on a 1,800-calorie weight reduction diet, to tall men who devour 3,600+ calories a day, soccer athletes deserve to eat a hefty 500 to 900 calorie morning meal(s). If you train in the morning (such as in summer camps or team pre-season), you might want to eat part of your breakfast (as tolerated) before practice, and then enjoy the rest of the breakfast afterwards, either at home, on the way to class, or in your car.
Despite our clear message about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, we have to coax many soccer athletes to experiment with eating (more) breakfast. Far too many of them under-eat in the morning. Let’s take at look at just one standard breakfast excuse—and solutions.
“I don't have time to eat breakfast…”
Lack of priority is the real problem, not lack of time. If you can make time to train, you can make time to fuel for your training. Even if you choose to sleep to the last minute before dragging yourself out of bed to go to school, work, or a soccer practice or game, you can still choose to eat breakfast on the way. Some simple portable breakfasts include:
• a baggie filled with raisins, almonds, and granola.
• a tortilla rolled with a slice or two of low-fat cheese.
• a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wholesome bread.
• a glass of milk, then a banana while on the way to your destination.
• a travel mug filled with a fruit smoothie or protein shake.
• an energy bar and a banana during the morning commute.
Excerpted from Food Guide for Soccer—Tips & Recipes From the Pros, with Women’s Professional Soccer, by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, RD. Available on www.amazon.com or www.nancyclarkrd.com