Soccer Nutrition: Fast Food Fueling for the Road

Summer often means soccer "on the road," with significant travel for tournaments and camps. That, in turn, entails eating out, or eating on the go.

Ironically, however, it is during this season of intense soccer when diets can go awry by making poor choices (or not planning ahead) when away from home.

Below are some suggestions for healthful food choices from common "on the road" food stops, featured in Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros.

Dunkin' Donuts: Low-fat muffin, bagel, juice, bean or broth-based soups, hot cocoa, bagel and egg-white sandwich

Deli: Bagel with bean- or broth-based soups; sandwiches or subs with lots of bread and half the roast beef, turkey, ham or cheese. (Or, ask for two extra slices of bread or a second roll to make a sandwich for your second lunch with the excessive meat.) Go light on the mayonnaise, and instead, add moistness with sliced tomatoes, lettuce, mustard or ketchup. Add more carbohydrates with juice, fruit, fig bars, or yogurt for dessert.

McDonald's: Sandwich with grilled chicken, yogurt parfait, salad with dressing on the side

Wendy's: Bowl of chili with a plain baked potato

Taco Bell: Bean burrito

Pizza: Thick-crust with extra veggies or a side salad rather than extra cheese or pepperoni or other fatty meat

Pasta: Spaghetti or ziti with tomato sauce and a glass of lowfat milk for protein. Be cautious of lasagna, tortellini, or manicotti that are filled with cheese (i.e., high in saturated fat).

Chinese: Hot and sour or wonton soup; plain rice with stir-fried entr?es such as beef and broccoli or chicken with pea pods. Request the food be cooked with minimal oil. You can also ask for it steamed, which is without any oil. Limit fried appetizers and fried entr?es; fill up on steamed rice, instead.

Soups: Hearty soups (such as split pea, minestrone, lentil, vegetable, or noodle) accompanied by crackers, bread, a plain bagel, or an English muffin provide a satisfying, carbohydrate-rich, low-fat meal.

Beverages: Both juices and sugar-filled soft drinks are rich in carbohydrates that fuel muscles. Juices, however, are better for your health, providing vitamin C, potassium, and overall nutritional quality.


Read more tips like these in "Food Guide for Soccer--Tips & Recipes From the Pros" by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, RD. The book addresses nutrition questions and concerns of soccer athletes of all ages, and offers almost 50 recipes from players in Women's Professional Soccer. Find the book at NancyClarkRD.com or at Amazon.com.

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