Nutrition for young football players before and after the game

Football is a fascinating sport with many benefits for young children. Therefore, many parents let their children participate in this sport from an early age. The following article will help parents build appropriate nutrition for young players before and after each football match.

Diet plays a very important role in every sport and football is no exception. Healthy, scientific meals will help young players play better. On the contrary, arbitrarily eating before and after the game will be very harmful to the body. For example, children may have abdominal pain during competition or dehydration, exhaustion after the game, etc.

Why do parents need to build a diet for their children to practice football?

Playing football is very beneficial for the comprehensive development of both physical and mental health of children. Playing games also helps your child build and develop many other life skills.

For example, communication skills, coordination of movements, teamwork and teamwork… Therefore, football is a sport that many parents choose for their children to practice.

Why do parents need to build a diet for their children to practice football?

Football is a very good sport for the all-round development of children

However, football is also a sport with a very large amount of movement. It requires children to have a suitable source of physical strength and energy. Young soccer players who want to play well need to have a quality diet, especially on the day when the child goes out to play or practice heavily.

It will provide adequate energy for the child to function during the whole match. Delicious and healthy meals after the game also help children recover faster.

Nutrition before each game for young players


Superstar Ronaldo is one of the football players with the most scientific nutrition. For breakfast before games, he usually eats eggs, milk, whole grains and fruit.

This meal is rich in complex carbohydrates and has a moderate amount of protein. It helps Ronaldo have enough energy to be ready for the upcoming match in the afternoon.

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Nutrition before each game for young players

Football superstar Ronaldo keeps his high form and applies a very healthy and scientific diet

For young players, parents can also apply the above formula through the following menus:

  • Scrambled eggs served with wholemeal toast with shredded cheese and greens.
  • Granola (a dish consisting of nutritious nuts, dried fruit, and baked oats). To make children more palatable, parents give them granola with low-fat yogurt.
  • Oatmeal with whole grains served with sliced ​​bananas and syrup.
  • Bagels served with cheese and smoked fish.
  • You can give your child more nutritious drinks. 1 cup fresh milk, juice or fruit smoothies are very suitable options.
  • After breakfast from 2 to 3 hours, you should also give your child a snack. Fruits, cereals or green vegetables are foods that children can eat at this time.

* Note if children compete or practice in the morning. In this case, parents should not give their children high-fiber foods. Because they are difficult to digest and can cause stomach pain for children when competing.


Young players also need to be loaded with carbohydrates and protein at lunch before the game. However, parents should pay attention to reduce the amount of food for children at this meal. You don’t want your child to go out into the yard with a belly full of undigested food. Here are some good menus for kids’ lunches.

  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce with grated cheese.
  • Chicken cooked with beans with carrots and green vegetables served.
  • Rice and beans served with grated cheese and sliced ​​avocado.
  • Bread served with chicken, vegetables and fruit.
  • Rice is served with protein-rich foods such as tuna, sardines, chicken, eggs. You should cook them by boiling, steaming or baking and limit frying with fat.
  • You can also give your child a change of taste with rice rolls with seaweed.
  • Bean burritos with cheese, lettuce and tomato. (Burritos are a delicious traditional Mexican cake.)
  • Roll dishes with the main ingredients of vegetables and chicken and fish are also very suitable for children.
  • You should also avoid giving your child fast food products. They are often very high in sugar and salt which is not good for your baby’s health.
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Snacks before the game and between meals

Super player Lionel Messi likes to eat tropical fruit 75 – 90 minutes before kicking off. This is a very healthy choice, according to nutritionist Gavin Allinson.

“Tropical fruits like mango, papaya, banana or pineapple are low in sugar and low in fiber and are perfect for pre-match snacks.” You can also diversify the snack menu for young players as follows:

  • Children can have some peanut and banana bread as a quality snack.
  • A few hours before the game, kids can eat dried nuts or energy bars.
  • Don’t forget to give your child fresh fruit like apples, pears or mangoes. However, you need to give the child a sufficient amount to avoid indigestion.

Bananas are one of the best fruits for athletes

Bananas are one of the best fruits for athletes

What should children eat and drink in the middle of a game?

During each football match, young players will easily fall into dehydration. Parents should therefore pay attention to children drinking water every 15-20 minutes. Filtered water is just a basic solution. You need to give your child the following electrolyte-fortified water:

  • Sports drink. This is a product specifically for physical activities. This drink contains essential electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium or potassium.
  • Coconut water is also a good natural electrolyte drink for young players.
  • Packed fast foods that are high in calories and easy to digest can also be eaten at halftime. You can give your child fresh fruit, energy bars, or cookies. Avoid junk food such as soft drinks, candy or energy drinks that contain caffeine.

Nutrition after the game

Rehydration is the first task

Young players will lose a lot of water and electrolytes due to sweating during the game. So adding water and electrolytes is the first thing you should think about.

Sports drinks are of course the first choice. However, you need to be aware of their composition. Sports drinks that are too high in sugar and salt should not be consumed.

Children need rehydration and electrolytes after intense physical activity

Children need rehydration and electrolytes after intense physical activity

A cup of fresh milk with electrolytes will help young players in this case. Milk is also rich in phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D. According to scientists from McMaster University (UK), calcium-rich drinks such as milk have a better effect of rehydrating the body after exercise than sports drinks. sports and regular water.

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You should also note that children should not drink energy drinks or drinks with caffeine. Because it will make the child urinate more and has no rehydration effect. It can even make your child more dehydrated.

You can also make your own post-game rehydration drink for your child. The simplest recipe is fruit juice with a pinch of salt. Eaten with a banana, the child already has enough magnesium and potassium to supplement.

What to eat after the game?

Muscle tissue, energy stores, and fluids in the child’s body will be consumed during the match. They need to be replenished within up to 24 hours after the game.

Experts advise players to eat foods rich in carbohydrates. Fruit, biscuits, sports drinks, milk, chocolate milk are suitable treats. Young players need to eat 30 minutes after intense activity. 2 hours after the game, children also need to eat more food.

Your child’s post-match meal should have a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates should be obtained from rice, pasta or whole grains. Protein comes from lean meats like chicken, beef or fish. The best source of fat should be from milk.

Here are some nutrition tips for young players. By following these healthy and scientific eating principles, parents will help children have enough energy before the game, avoid dehydration during the game and recover quickly after the game. As a result, children will play better and develop more comprehensively with football.

If your child is just starting out and is having a hard time designing a football diet and training regimen, let help you. can assist you and your child in finding the right training regimens and nutritional advice to help them play more effectively, safely and improve.

Reference source

Nutrition for Soccer Players For Game and Practice Days Accessed: 23/8/2020

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