If you belong to Gen-Z, are a college student, and are an athlete, chances are your life is a layer cake of three kinds of inescapable busyness. 

In the lifestyle of the typical 20-something soccer player, there are often a few healthy necessities that get ignored—especially adequate sleep and nutritious eating. Poor eating habits can become a vicious cycle if you do not find a workable, healthy alternative. 

Here is an overview of the nutritional needs of the very athletic person along with some hacks designed to make healthy eating not just a possibility but the first choice for the college soccer player who is on the go.

Understanding Your Nutritional Needs

Your body is incredibly resilient. It is designed to make the best use of the nutritional resources that are available. Making do with what is at hand, however, is not ideal for your body, especially if your intention is to function athletically. 

To achieve the highest level, you must maintain an optimum nutritional balance. While every person is unique—and remember that your gender also places special requirements upon your well-being—there are some general guides to help establish a nutritional base. 

Ideally, each day you require nourishment for bones, joints, vascular system, neurological system, immune system, and digestive system. 

Note that there are specially formulated health supplements intended to address these needs, some that you may have heard about. Right now you might be asking, “What is Thrive?” Supplements are a great way for active people to take up the nutritional slack.

Knowing How Many Calories You Must Replace

To get to the proper nutritional formula for yourself, start with the broadly known recommendation that everyone should consume 2000 well-balanced calories. 

Move from there to the assumption that you are an extremely active person—for instance, you play at least one full 90-minute soccer match a week. As a player, you will not be surprised to hear that soccer is one of the most physically demanding sports

You are constantly in motion and often break into a full sprint, only to turn around immediately and sprint in the opposite direction. All this activity burns calories. 

On average, your body might use 1500 calories and you can actually burn more than your daily allotment of calories during one game.

Choosing the Best On-the-Go Snacks

For the purpose of discussing how to replace the calories you are burning during times of high activity, imagine that you are engaged in a soccer tournament, playing two or more games in a single day. 

First, the calories you want to consume should be mostly carbohydrates, which convert to energy quickly. 

Here are a few carb suggestions that may hit the spot:

- Snack foods such as granola bars, muffins, dried fruits, cookies, and popcorn.
- Cereal and bread snacks such as bagels, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, and pasta.
- Fresh fruits such as grapes, bananas, apples, oranges, plums, and pineapples.
- Even prepared vegetables do well as the day wears on—corn, peas, potatoes, yams, and carrots.

Suffering the Consequences of Poor Nutrition

Considering the fact that you can burn a day’s worth of calories in less than two hours of soccer, you might be inclined to think that cutting back on your food intake and signing up for league play will have the effect of making you lean and hard. 

Actually, improper eating habits have a negative impact on the person who exercises too much and eats too little or improperly

The whole idea of a “crash diet” puts an extra burden on your vascular system and drops your body into what nutritionists refer to as “starvation mode”—your body assumes that more nutrition is not forthcoming and begins to conserve fat at the expense of lean muscle. 

Starving yourself will not help your game either. Research demonstrates that athletes who do not have adequate calorie intake are much more likely to experience fatigue and diminished physical ability.

The best course of action is to have a healthy meal before you go out to play.


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