“I believe that everything in athletics starts with nutrition. An athlete’s body, inside and out, is the most important and prized element when it comes to performance.” – Nicole Hutchins
My name is Nicole Hutchins and I am currently a social media and communication intern for MKSC. Although I do not play soccer, I understand the dedication and commitment it takes to be involved with club sports.
Being involved in club swimming for the past 16 years and now competing at the Division I collegiate level at UW-Milwaukee, I realize there is so much more to preparing the body for competition than just practice. Creating a healthy lifestyle and making smart food decisions will help you become the best athlete you can be.
In the words of Abby Wambach, one of soccer’s best players ever to play the game, “Being a professional athlete, my nutrition is probably one of the most essential ingredients as to what makes me good on the field, and sometimes what doesn't make me so great on the field.”
Whether at practice, a game or traveling to a tournament, you should be prepared with a variety of healthy food options and water to keep your body fueled to perform its best.
Here are a few of my favorite practice and day of competition snacks that will benefit your soccer performance.
Greek Yogurt Bowl
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
½ cup low fat granola
Cut banana into slices and mix all three ingredients together.
The greek yogurt provides a protein filled snack with added nutritional supplements.
Nicole’s “Ants on a Log”
2 stalks celery
2 spoonfuls almond butter (a healthier alternative to peanut butter)
Cut the celery into three-inch increments, spread almond butter into boat like area of the celery, and drop a few Craisins on the almond butter.
This snack is both sweet and salty for a tasty and substantial snack during or after competition.
Chocolate Milk and Trail Mix
1 glass of low fat chocolate milk
Make your own Trail Mix:
½ cup mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
1 cup Cheerios
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup dried fruit
Having a glass of chocolate milk and trail mix after competition can help muscles recover faster, and keep your stomach full until your next meal.
These are just a few quick and easy recommendations. As a student-athlete, I know that increasing or introducing healthy snacks into your diet can make a positive difference in your athletic performance. They have in mine and can in yours too.