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Nutrition for Athletes

A Guide to Off-Field Performance Influencers

By Jeff Oleck - October 10, 2017

Storm GKs & Families,

With the potential for lulls in training due to early winter weather, I wanted to share some information about how athletes can prepare even when they are AWAY from the field.  So, this blog steps away from the technical/tactical topics of the last few weeks and focus on Nutrition for Athletes.
As many of you know, prior to arriving at Storm in March 2016 I spent 10 years coaching at the collegiate level.  You cannot imagine a more challenging place to monitor and influence nutrition in an athlete.  Players are trying to juggle class, practices, social activities while living on a limited budget.  Quick, easy, and cheap were the name of the game.  Ramen noodles, mac and cheese, frozen pizzas, McDonald's breakfast, etc. etc. - the list of unhealthy choices went on and on...
 
The change for our college athletes began with education.  Knowing how the foods are used by their bodies, what their bodies require, and how to maintain variety and creativity with their diets so they don't get stuck eating the same things over and over was critical to their ability to make healthy, informed choices.  Many college programs are now hiring professional nutritionists and putting much more emphasis on the "fueling" component of performance because of the huge role it plays in student-athlete success.
 
The reality of athlete nutrition is that even though you may not be gaining or losing weight due to high metabolism at a younger age, or due to the amount of training that you do - maintaining a healthy balance of productive carbohydrates, lean proteins, colorful fruits & vegetables, dairy, and fats is essential to achieving maximal performance over time.
Additionally, when trying to reach the highest levels of sport - in our case, soccer - everyone at the top will be technically consistent, tactically savvy, mentally strong.  BUT, the physical elements of the game can be a deciding factor when differentiating between two elite level players.  Don't set yourself back due to what you eat - think of nutrition as "fuel" to power a high-performing machine (your body!).
 
Rather than pretending to be an expert in nutrition, I will let the professionals take it from here.  I have pasted a couple links which I have found useful when discussing nutrition with my former college student-athletes as well as attached a couple easy-to-read guides about what pre, post, and during season nutrition should look like.
 
"10 Nutrition Rules to Live By"
 
"Four Common Myths About Nutrition Among Soccer Players"

"What Every Athlete Should Know About Nutrition and Fueling Your Body"
https://zgirls.org/news/what-every-athlete-should-know-about-nutrition-and-fueling-your-body/

I encourage all our Goalkeepers to be conscious of what they are using to fuel their bodies, and how their choices influence performance.  There's a bigger correlation than you may think.
 
Good luck in your games this weekend!
 
Coach O.