Week 1 - Hydration
Hydration is an important part of daily health and it can enhance or hinder your performance on the soccer field. A general ballpark is individuals should drink half of their body weight in ounces. Daily factors to consider are exercise intensity and duration, weather, and many more.
A great way to make sure you are staying properly hydrated is tracking your water intake though apps on a cell phone. Examples: My Water & Drink Reminder, Drink Water Reminder N Tracker, Water Reminder- Daily Tracker.
Challenge: Download one of the apps mentioned & track your water intake on a rest day & day of activity!
Week 2 - Enhance your Hydration
While proper hydration will improve every system in the body, function better and minimize risk of injury and muscle cramping, it can get boring and flavorless. Change it up by adding in cut up fruit into your water or small packets of dehydrated citrus fruit like lemon, lime, or grapefruit. Another option is flavor-infused ice cubes by adding in a few drops of fresh juice or fruit in each tray. Most importantly, stray away from products that are ‘flavored’ as more often than not, it is due to fake sugars and artificial ingredients. Challenge: Try a new flavor combination in your water for 3 days this week to find your favorite kind!
Week 3 - Pre Workout Fueling
Having energy throughout a training session or game, especially on days where players have school or even other sports activities, is a challenge for many youth athletes. Fueling the body properly is essential for optimal performance on the playing field. Take a look at this article to learn more about WHEN to eat and WHAT to eat prior to training. Always keep in mind that every athlete is different and it is important to experiment to see what works for YOU! https://truesport.org/nutrition/pre-workout-fueling/
Challenge: Experiment with how long prior to a session you need to fuel your body so you can have energy the entire time!
Week 4 - Post Workout Recovery
Part of being an athlete is knowing how to re-energize your body after a training session. While you might be starving and want to eat whatever is easily accessible, properly fueling your body with foods that are optimal for recovery are important. Athletes should be able to assess if the session was high, medium, or low intensity as this will help them gauge the timing and needs of refueling. Take a look at this article to see some of the best ways to start your recovery through food: https://truesport.org/wp-content/uploads/TrueFood_Recovery-Snacks.pdf
Challenge: Try one new recover snack this week after a training session!