The Definitive Guide to Supplements for Soccer Players

To last at full throttle for 90 heart-pounding minutes requires the right fuel.
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No matter how many times it is repeated, it’s never enough: nutrition is as or more important than training. In fact, without good nutrition, it is very difficult to perform at your best, and that’s where sports supplements come into play. In the world of soccer, too. Soccer players, both elite and amateur, can use supplementation to improve their performance on the field, speed up recovery and make up for possible nutritional deficiencies in their diet.

Think of nutrition in this way: not only does it fuel performance, but it is a primary source of a means for recovery. Because the beautiful game is relentless. The pressure of matches, training sessions and high demands of long seasons have meant that supplementation is gaining more and more ground in soccer. Because of these sport specific elements, soccer players will mainly be looking to improve their strength, endurance and, above all, post-match recovery. With these specific needs of soccer players in mind, let’s take a look at the supplements that can be most productive.

Pre-match supplements

#Creatine: Taking a kick-off from midfield, running to the touchline, a whistled free kick, referee instructions, long passes, goal kicks… In soccer you have to sprint intermittently and recover while the game is still in progress. And for these repetitive, high-intensity exercises, few supplements are as effective as creatine.

Creatine is recommended to improve anaerobic capacity and increase strength and power. A scientific review from 2019 analyzed different studies on the use of creatine to conclude that its consumption improved performance in physical tests related to anaerobic metabolism, especially anaerobic power, in soccer players.

As for the perfect dose, the same analysis concludes that, for best results, one should include loading doses of 20-30 g/day, divided 3-4 times daily, ingested for 6-7 days, and followed by 5 g/day for 9 weeks or a low dose of 3 mg/kg/day for 14 days or more.

#Beta-alanine: Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid found in white or red meat such as chicken or beef. As with creatine or protein, it’s synthesized for ease of consumption and assimilation. You can find Beta-alanine both in independent format as well as accompanying other ingredients in supplements such as Energy Aminos from foodspring.

And as for scientific evidence and numbers: there is a multitude of research confirming that Beta-alanine can improve athletic performance and muscle development. This scientific review analyzed up to 15 studies to conclude that taking about 5 grams of Beta-Alanine daily can offer an improvement of 2.85% at the time of exercise. All this translates into an improvement of the anaerobic performance of soccer players, both when training and when playing a match.

Supplements for rest

Half-time in a soccer match is a key moment. These are 15 minutes when, as well as listening to the coach’s technical talk in the dressing room, you have to recover and zoom back to the game like a rocket. That’s why the best thing to do in this case is to hydrate and replenish with a drink containing amino acids and proteins that are quickly assimilated, such as Workout Aminos.

Post-match supplements

#Whey protein: This is a post-workout supplement that all athletes, including soccer players, can benefit from. Taking whey protein promotes the increase of muscle mass, which translates into greater recovery and adaptation to training. And as for the amount needed, a study has highlighted the benefits of taking between 1.3 and 1.8 grams per kilo spread over three or four meals.

#Recovery Aminos: At the end of the 90 minutes of the match or at the end of your training, it’s time to recover. For this you need a post-workout that helps you recover what you lost during the exercise and come back as good as new for the next game or training session. Foodspring Recovery Aminos contain L-glutamine, BCAA amino acids and fast-acting maltodextrin and dextrose carbohydrates. With a supplement like this, a soccer player will be able to restore all nutrient levels, which will allow muscle recovery. Because a good recovery after a match or training ensures that you can perform at your best in the next one.

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