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For players who take their soccer seriously and strive for a high level of performance on the field, it is vital that close attention is paid to what you are eating and when.

We've put together a list of recommended resources from the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) and the Irish FA (Northern Irish Football Association) that we highly encourage all our players to familiarize themselves with.


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In her Soccer Today article on optimal nutrition for youth soccer players, Amy Dirks put together this fantastic list of pre-game meals, pre-game snacks, half-time snacks and post-game meals.

Pre-Game Meal: This meal should be your largest of the day and should include plenty of carbs, a decent amount of protein, and a little healthy fat (ghee, oils/dressings, avocados).

  • Grilled chicken (4-5 oz.), baked sweet potato/regular potato, ~1 cup roasted vegetables

  • Grilled fish (checkbook size), steamed brown rice (1 cup or 1-2 fists), ~ 1 cup roasted vegetables

  • Baked salmon, quinoa (1 cup or 1-2 fists), spinach side salad, ¾ cup pineapple

  • Oatmeal (1-2 cups), toppings of choice (nuts, dried fruit, flax, almond milk, cinnamon), fruit salad (1 cup), 4 oz. OJ

  • Egg omelet or frittata with veggies (spinach, onions/mushrooms, sweet potatoes/potatoes in omelet/frittata or on the side), side of melons (1 cup) or berries

  • Granola with almond milk & banana/berries or Greek yogurt w/ granola & berries (try plain greek and add almond butter and honey or maple syrup)

  • Rosemary lime chicken with sweet potato fries and kale salad

  • Nutty Fruit & Cream; strawberries/blueberries in a cereal bowl topped with raisins and almonds; pour almond milk over top and eat like cereal

  • Taco bowl with ground chicken, spices, corn, lettuce/veggies, and brown rice

  • Baked potato (sweet potato) loaded with chicken, steamed veggies, avocado

  • Sweet potato hash (sweet potato, veggies/onions, fried or poached eggs)

Pre-Game Snack: Soccer players can have a snack 1-2 hours before the event to top off your fuel stores. Make this mostly carbohydrates with a little protein and make sure it’s a familiar food that you know you digest well.

  • Make your own trail mix; dried pineapple, dried mangos, dates, almonds, coconut flakes, dried bananas, jerky, sea salt or try dried cherries/cranberries, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dark chocolate, and pumpkin seeds.

  • Smoothies

  • Frozen grapes and a handful of nuts or piece of turkey

  • Banana or apple with almond butter and granola sprinkled (drizzle honey)

  • Applesauce with collagen protein powder mixed in

  • Orange or fruit of choice with cottage cheese or yogurt and nuts

  • Kize, Lara, Kind Pressed Bars

  • All fruit bars with a handful of nuts

  • Gluten-free pretzels with yogurt dip or hummus if tolerated well

  • 2 protein/energy balls

Reload during the game and at halftime with carbs, electrolytes, and fluids to power you through the remaining game.  A small snack can delay fatigue and help with recovery.

  • Sports gels (can make your own as well with quality ingredients); use 2 Tbs. honey, 2 Tbs. almond butter, ½ banana, and 1 tsp lemon juice

  • Oranges/orange slices

  • Electrolyte drinks

  • Coconut water

  • Homemade sports drink

  • ½ bar (fruit bar, date bar like Lara bar)

  • Applesauce packets or baby food packets

  • Frozen grapes

  • Watermelon slices

  • Elete drops (electrolyte drops) or Drip Drop

  • Dates

Refuel immediately following the match, you should have a recovery snack (within 15-20 minutes ideally).  Make this a mix of carbs and protein to replenish your fuel stores (glycogen) and repair damaged tissue.  Always follow up with an actual meal within an hour after your recovery snack.

  • Kind, Lara, Rx bars

  • Protein/energy balls

  • Veggies and hummus or yogurt dip

  • Fruit with nuts or nut butter or yogurt dip

  • Trail mix

  • Ready to drink protein (such as Orgain)

  • Organic cottage cheese w/ fruit (if you have dairy)

  • Chia pudding

  • Smoothies; add grass-fed protein powder or vegan

  • Gluten free wrap (such as Siete Almond Flour Tortillas) w/ nut butter and fruit or with roast beef and ground mustard for example

  • Deli meat (no nitrate) lettuce wrap

  • Tomato/olive/fresh mozzarella skewers

  • Fruit salad with coconut milk drizzled (could add nuts or seeds/dried coconut)

  • Overnight oats; oats and almond milk in a jar overnight; in the morning, add nuts/seeds, fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.

  • Pancakes w/ eggs, cinnamon, and banana; add almond butter or peanut butter after cooking

  • Egg “muffins”

  • Avocado on gluten-free toast

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