If you watched the USA Women’s World Championship Soccer Games, you couldn’t have helped but see nutrition in action and marvel at the strength, power, and stamina of the talented women. They played for 90 minutes, followed by another 30 minutes of overtime. Talk about the importance of sports nutrition in supporting that effort!
There’s no question that soccer (like most team sports) is a “nutrition sport.” That is, soccer players need to eat well to get the most from their game time efforts. They have to--
--show up at practices and games well hydrated and well fueled,
--have carbs and fluids readily available during halftime to boost their dwindling stores,
--be prepared to play an additional half-hour if the game is tied.
You can’t do all that on a hit or miss sports diet.
I happen to know these ladies fuel their bodies well because many of them shared their nutrition tips for success in Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes From the Prosby myself and Gloria Averbuch. You can even find yummy date bars that Abby Wambach enjoys. And could you have guessed that one of Homare Sawa’s favorite foods is sushi? The helpful food tips from the nations’ top soccer players make the Food Guide for Soccer a book that not just interesting to read but is also helpful on the field, after the game, and when eating on the road.
If you are a soccer player or soccer parent, here’s information about my newest book, Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros,co-authored with Gloria Averbuch.
New Book Offers Recipes for Soccer Success
A review written by Margo Consul for Active.com
With spring soccer season just around the corner for kids and families, Nancy Clark and Gloria Averbuch’s “Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros” is a great way to keep players energized for the game and healthy at the same time.
Players from Women's Professional Soccer offer up their favorite recipes to provide young athletes with easy and tasty meals to help them follow a healthy diet.
The book provides eating tips for before, during and after a practice or a game. In addition there are sections on how to bulk up or to get lean and lighter, like a professional soccer player might do.
"It's a combination of insightful and sensible nutrition from players from different cultures," Averbuch said.
WPS has a large international base as players hail from all over the globe, including Europe, South America, Australia and Canada. Some of the players added their own cultural twist to some traditional favorites like hamburgers or fried rice.
"It's fun to see what Natasha Kai eats in Hawaii and what Marta eats from Brazil," Averbuch said. "If someone is a professional athlete and is eating this, then you know it's good for you, too."
One of the more surprising foods that is mentioned throughout the book is chocolate.
Yael Averbuch of Sky Blue FC -- Gloria's daughter--takes chocolate milk to replenish her muscles after every practice.
"Chocolate milk is a pleasing taste and you certainly want to drink what is better for you so you get an instant hit from the sweet chocolate and you get the protein and the specialty ingredients that are found to be in milk that are helpful," Gloria Averbuch said.
Yael also enjoys taking dark chocolate and pairing it with peanut butter for a high energy snack, which is exciting for anyone who has a bit of a sweet tooth.
Other recipes from popular soccer stars and WPS teams include Brandi Chastain's avocado salad, Abby Wambach's date bars, Kristine Lilly's chicken with mushrooms & roasted potatoes and Marta's signature lasagna.
Averbuch hopes that readers will take away the three major principles from the book:
You need to eat sensibly and sufficiently to support your activity and your lifestyle as young and growing person.
Eating is for fuel and is pleasurable. It's an activity you can share with family and teammates and you shouldn't beat yourself up over eating, because you need to eat.
Understand the principles of good nutrition by whole food and not by fads.
"My co-author Nancy (Clark) is really big on getting your nutrients from whole foods as opposed to what she calls engineered foods, those are your gels and your PowerBars--which are fine to supplement, but not all the time," Averbauch said. "A lot people think you can drink protein drinks or drink powders or a shake or a bar but it's not really what we want people to learn. We want them to learn a good diet from whole foods, foods that you find in their original form."
Although the tips come from a soccer perspective, Averbuch says that this guide is applicable to any active youth sport or youth with an active lifestyle. She hopes this book teaches young athletes good eating habits early so they can achieve their highest potential.
"It's an education for the sport and for the activity, but it's also an education about life. How do young people prepare themselves, you do it by practice."
Averbuch has previously written 12 books on sports, soccer, health and fitness. Her co-author Nancy Clark MS RD, is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, with a private practice at Healthworks in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She is also the nutrition consultant for the Boston Breakers of WPS.
The Food Guide for Soccer is available on line at Amazon.com and NancyClarkRD.com.