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Brent Coralli, CEO of Sting Soccer, posted his latest blog - Brent Coralli Talks to Sting Soccer’s Registered Dietitian about Health and Nutrition for Young Athletes – today. In the blog, Kelly Murphy, a registered and licensed dietitian, answers several questions regarding the health and well-being of young athletes.

Among the questions posed, Coralli asked Murphy: What can a soccer player do – related to food – to perform better? Are the nutritional needs for a soccer player different for other athletes/non-athletes? In addition, Coralli asked Murphy to explain some of the differences between boy’s nutritional needs versus girls and how do the needs change as they get older?

Some of Murphy’s nuggets include:

  • For soccer players, before practice they should be eating carbohydrate rich foods like fruit or whole grain pretzels and following practice foods should contain carbohydrates as well as protein. An example of this is chocolate milk.
  • Soccer is an endurance sport (for most of the players on the field) where there is a lot of running and quick movements. Studies have shown that soccer players make on average 150-250 quick bursts throughout a game, this is similar to sports like long-distance cycling, hockey and basketball.
  • It is estimated over 1500 calories are burned during a soccer game; therefore compared to a non-athlete, soccer players need to consume many more calories per day in order to keep their body fueled and meet all of their nutrient requirements. Hydration is another aspect of proper nutrition that shouldn’t be neglected. Always keep a water bottle with you and drink even when you are not thirsty.
  • Males and females are very different. Up until the age of eight, most nutritional needs for boys and girls are about the same, however at nine years old they begin to change due to different rates of development. 
  • Boys have higher calorie needs because they have more lean body mass, or muscle. Boys will have higher protein needs because they tend to weigh more than females.
  • Females need to pay attention to make sure they are eating enough, as they get older. Iron and calcium are also two major nutrients that females tend to be deficient in and therefore should be emphasized in order to make sure they are getting enough. By the age of 19 most females will have reached their peak bone density, which is one reason that they need to make sure they are getting enough calcium.

To view the complete blog, which features additional questions and answers, go to Brent Coralli Talks to Sting Soccer’s Registered Dietitian about Health and Nutrition for Young Athletes.

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