The Breakfast of Champions

We've all been told a countless number of times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But guess what? It really is! Many of us are guilty about skipping breakfast whether we say we aren't hungry, don't have enough time, or just want to sleep in five extra minutes. Stop the excuses and start making time for breakfast, especially if you are a soccer player.

Breakfast is called the most important meal of the day for several reasons. Athletes need to eat a balanced breakfast because it helps provide energy and nutrients for strength, concentration, and performance which are all crucial for playing soccer. To play at your best, your body needs to get its day started on the right track.

When preparing your mind and body for a soccer match it is best to eat a breakfast that is high in carbohydrates, low to moderate in protein, and low in fat. Carbs are essential before a soccer game because they will digest quickly to help boost your energy without cramping and bloating.

What to eat 1-2 hours before a game: 

  1. Smoothie with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit

What to eat 2-3 hours before a game:

  1. Whole grain toast with jam or honey
  2. Oatmeal with banana
  3. Bagel with peanut butter

What to eat 3-4 hours before a game:

  1. Low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit, granola, and whole grain toast
  2. Veggie omelet or scrambled eggs with vegetables and whole grain toast

In addition to your breakfast, don't forget to drink water throughout the morning as you prepare for your soccer match. Every person's body is different so try these breakfast meals and find out what works best for you! Do you have a meal to add to our breakfast of champions? If so, email your submissions to CrossBonesSports@gmail.com

5 Foods & Drinks to Avoid as a Soccer Player

Whether you play soccer, run track, or shoot hoops, it is important to watch what foods and drinks you are putting into your body. Certain foods can have a negative impact on athletic performance and energy level. We created a list of 5 foods and drinks that all athletes should try and avoid:

1. Soda

Athletes should stay away from soda. Soda can cause a loss in appetite for healthier foods because the high calorie content causes people to feel full after drinking it. Soda can also hinder your performance because it lacks minerals and vitamins that are essential for athletes. An occasional soda won’t hurt but picking soda over water on a daily basis may cause an upset stomach and contribute to dehydration.

2. Sugary Cereal

It is time to think twice before grabbing a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast. Not all cereals are bad for athletic activity, but it is especially important to avoid sugary cereals. Eating too much sugar throughout the day can lead to a spike in insulin, which may cause your body to store more fat. If you are thinking about eating cereal in the morning, make sure to find a low-sugar cereal made from whole grains.

3. Frappuccinos

Coffee is loaded with antioxidants that can help boost performance, but be careful to stay away from fancy coffee drinks such as frappuccinos. Coffee drinks like these have extra cream, sugar, and syrup that are very high in sugars and calories with little nutrients. Instead opt for green tea as it contains antioxidants and caffeine but doesn’t leave you with that awful jittery feeling.

4. Microwave Popcorn

We hate to say it, but any fit person should be advised to take microwave popcorn out of his or her diet. Popcorn is loaded with unhealthy fats, extremely high levels of sodium, and can be filled with chemicals. However, popcorn lovers can let go a sigh of relief as there are healthy alternatives available. The healthiest popcorn can be made from organic kernels with coconut oil that are popped over a stove top. 

5. Non-Fat Yogurt

The word non-fat can be deceiving. Non-fat yogurts often add modified food starch and fructose, which can cause a peak in your blood sugar level. Unstable blood sugar can weaken your performance and energy level while playing a big game. A healthy alternative is a full-fat Greek yogurt.

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Remember that most foods are OK in moderation, the important thing is to make sure not to overdo it!