It can be hard to know what your kid should eat before a soccer game.

On game day, your kid needs the most energy and no problems with their stomach, which can inhibit their performance. The length of a soccer game is 105 minutes, which requires a lot of energy.

The best foods for a game day will have many nutrients in store and will be light and easily digestible. This article will cover the best things to eat before a game, meal ideas, and the best times to eat on game day. 

What Are the Best Things to Eat Before a Soccer Game?

When preparing for kids soccer, you may wonder what the best things are for them to eat. A high amount of complex carbohydrates and a smaller amount of fat and protein are ideal. Carbohydrates are essential to maintain a player’s energy stores during a match. 

The best foods to eat before a soccer game will provide many nutrients. Some of the best foods for complex carbohydrates are whole grains, veggies like carrots or broccoli, and fruits like berries.

Some good meals to eat before a game will focus on including the essential nutrients.

For breakfast: oatmeal or whole grain cereal with a side of fresh fruit and eggs. For lunch or dinner: grilled chicken or fish served with brown rice, broccoli, or carrots. 

The best times of day to eat these meals will depend on when your game is taking place. The night before a game, hours before, right before, and during the game are all important times to consider. 

Your kid will need time to digest properly and absorb the nutrients. Now that you have a general idea of what your kid needs to eat before a soccer game, let’s go into more detail about the best foods. 

soccer player

What to Eat Before Soccer Practice

The most important category of food before a game is carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are superior to regular carbs because they digest slower, giving you energy for longer periods. 

Best Complex Carbohydrate Rich Foods

Some of the best foods with plenty of complex carbs are:

  1. Whole grain or whole wheat bread, cereal, bagel, tortillas, pasta, etc.
  2. Oats or oatmeal
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Broccoli
  5. Carrots
  6. Black Beans
  7. Brown Rice
  8. Peas
  9. Berries
  10. Bananas

Best Foods For Protein

The best lean protein will be light, easy to digest, and low in fat. Here are some of the best options:

  1. Eggs
  2. Grilled Chicken
  3. Grilled Salmon
  4. Almonds
  5. Yogurt

Best Foods For Fat

Fat is another important fuel source for athletes, but it must be eaten moderately. Here are a few great options:

  1. Nuts
  2. Fish
  3. Avocado
  4. Olive Oil

Before a game, ensure you eat or give your kid meals centered around these foods. That way, they will be able to perform their absolute best! Additionally, ensure your kid drinks a lot of water for hydration and electrolytes throughout the day!

soccer balls

Pre Soccer Game Meal Ideas

Preparing a pre-game meal can typically be done farther ahead of time and will give you more options. 

For afternoon games, breakfast will be the main meal of the day. Oatmeal or oats and yogurt are always a great choice. This will ensure you get plenty of carbohydrates, a good amount of glycogen, and some light protein! 

A side of fruit like bananas or berries is also recommended to ensure you are filling up your tank completely.

Lunch or dinner will be very important if your game is at night. A great meal to eat before a game later in the day is brown rice and grilled chicken or grilled fish with a side of vegetables.

This will cover all your bases, ensuring you get ample carbs and just enough fat and protein!

How Soon Before a Soccer Game Should You Eat?

Before a game, when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Eat too early, and you will be hungry and not have enough energy to play the whole game. Eat too late, and you will feel uncomfortable performing any kind of physical activity.

You want to finish eating 2-4 hours before your game starts. This is the optimal amount of time for your body to be able to fully digest and supply you with nutrients. 

The Night Before The Game

The night before the game, you want to ensure you are eating early enough to allow yourself to digest before you sleep. Eating too close to or far before bedtime will negatively affect your sleep. 

This meal is also just as important as what you eat on the day of the game. The meal does not have to be as heavily focused on carbohydrates but should still be very nutritious. 

1-2 Hours Before The Game

So, what to eat before a soccer game when it’s close to starting? You do not want to eat too much so that you are unable to fully digest it before the game starts.

During this time, you can just eat a small snack to maintain a high energy level. 

This pre-game snack shouldn’t be fried food or fast food, but rather, something healthy like dried fruit or granola bars to ensure you have soccer nutrition.

Immediately Before The Soccer Game

Right before the game, it is crucial not to eat or drink too much. During this time, you do not want to eat anything. Consuming fluids such as water or drinking gels or smoothies is the most your kid should do at this time. 

During The Game

If you want your kids to get faster for soccer, your main focus should be hydration. If you feel like they need to eat to maintain their energy levels, a banana or small smoothie drink will be sufficient. 

This will ensure adequate levels of potassium and other necessary nutrition. You want to be very careful not to overload their stomach, though.

playing soccer



What should you not eat before a soccer game?

The foods you do not want to eat before a soccer game are: new foods, spicy foods, high-sugar foods (like desserts and soda), and dairy. 

Do professional soccer players eat before a game?

Yes, most professional players do eat 2-4 hours before a game. They eat meals loaded with carbohydrates to have enough energy for the whole 90 minutes. 

What is good to eat on the morning of a soccer game?

The best food to eat on the morning of the game day will be a breakfast containing lots of complex carbohydrates. Whole grains, fruits, oats, and eggs are popular choices.

Does eating before a soccer game give you energy?

Yes, eating before a soccer match will give you energy in the game. The food your kids eat supplies them with energy, and eating the right foods before a game will have a huge impact on your kid's energy levels.

Final Thoughts

Now, you should have a good idea of what to eat before a soccer game. Complex carbohydrates should be your main focus and will supply your kid with energy for the game. A small amount of protein and healthy fats are also essential.

Some great foods containing carbohydrates contain whole grain and whole wheat products, eggs, oats, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure to include these in your game day meals to be able to perform your best. 

These foods are also great to eat before practice! Be sure to practice hard before the match and use the right equipment for the job! 

Check out the Open Goaaal 3-in-1 Trainer to ensure your finishing and goal-scoring skills are in top condition for game day!