Best Breakfast Before a Soccer Game


For soccer players, eating the best breakfast before a soccer game fuels your muscles with energy, maintains your focus and helps you perform your best at your match. 

However, knowing what to eat before a game can be a challenge, especially if you have an early morning game at 8 or 9 AM and you have to get up at 5 or 6AM to get ready and travel to the field.

Wondering what to eat when your match is early in the morning? Or even when your game is mid morning?  With so many breakfast options available, it can be challenging to choose the best meal before a game

So, let’s dive in and explore the best breakfasts for soccer players!

Best Breakfast Before a Soccer Game

Should you eat before a morning soccer game

You should eat before a morning soccer game because players who try to play a game on an empty stomach will find that they run out of steam mid game, or late in the game.

Also, you’re at an increased risk for injury when you’re running on empty. Players also find it hard to concentrate and lose mental focus when it really matters.

In fact, players who eat snacks and meals high in carbohydrates before a game can perform better and sustain energy throughout a game. (1)

This is why it is essential to choose a balanced breakfast that includes high carbohydrate foods to keep your blood sugar levels steady. 

If you’ve typically skipped breakfast, you may need to train your stomach and start slowly with eating small, easy to digest foods. Then slowly work up to eating something a little more substantial.  

You may need to start out with sipping a sports drink or smoothie, then gradually add food as your body gets used to eating before a game.

What should I eat for breakfast before a match

Before a match you should eat a breakfast that’s high in carbohydrates, lower in protein, fats and fiber. Since it’s earlier in the morning and you may not have enough time to digest a meal, try to eat foods you know sit well with you. 

For most athletes, a breakfast before a match could include foods like oatmeal with milk, whole grain bread, smoothies, whole grain cereal, roasted or baked potato with a hard boiled or fried egg, pancakes and waffles, granola bars, leftover rice and lean protein, bagel with cream cheese or whole wheat english muffin breakfast sandwich.

Stick to simpler plain foods that won’t cause bloating or stomach upset.

If you have at least 3-4 hours before game time, check out our blog post on pre game meals for more ideas. And for more breakfast ideas check out 25 best breakfast ideas for athletes and breakfast for teens.

Also, our carbohydrate calculator can help you zero in on how many carbs you need to best fuel your muscles, depending on how much time you have before your sports activity.

What should I eat for breakfast 2 hours before a soccer game

When you have about 2 hours before a soccer game, you should eat a breakfast that’s around 200-400 calories. This meal should be high in complex carbohydrates. 

Additionally it should lower in protein, fiber and healthy fats since these take longer to digest and can cause stomach upset. (2 ,3)

With 2 hours to game time try foods like oatmeal, fig bars, banana and nut butter, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, whole grain toast and peanut butter, smoothies, granola bar and banana or low fat greek yogurt and blueberries. (4)

You may not have time to eat a full pre game meal that you can fully digest. Or you may not feel like eating right away and also want to avoid an upset stomach come game time.

Breakfast ideas for 2 hours before a game

Here are some easy breakfast ideas when you have two hours until game time.

  • Greek yogurt with berries and granola
  • Banana and almond butter whole grain toast
  • Smoothie bowl with low fat yogurt, blueberries, chia seeds
  • Overnight oats topped with sliced banana
  • Whole grain cereal with milk and dried cherries
  • Whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and sliced strawberries
best breakfast before a soccer game

What if I don’t feel like eating before my morning soccer game

When you have an early morning game and it’s just too hard to get a good meal in time, you should try to drink a sports drink or smoothie or eat something really light like whole grain crackers, toast or a granola bar. 

Then when you get to the field you can have another light snack in your gear bag to eat right before. Adding sports drinks and a halftime snack can also help. 

Check out our posts for soccer snack ideas and what to eat before a soccer game for some tips on foods to eat 30-60 minutes before match time.

Also, if you know you’ll have a hard time eating in the morning, make sure you have a hearty high carbohydrate meal the night before, followed by an evening snack before bedtime. This will help to keep your muscles fueled in addition to the tips above.

What should I do to hydrate before a morning game

As early as you can try to drink around 16-32 ounces of water. Then about an hour before game time, try to drink 8-10 ounces of water or a sports drink for an added top off of fuel, fluids and electrolytes.

Check out our post on optimal hydration planning for athletes.

Final thoughts

Remember that one meal or snack won’t have a lasting impact on performance. When you’re training to perform your best, eating well has an impact.

You should build your sports nutrition performance plan to include game day, practice day and rest day plans

Eating enough carbohydrates as part of you general sports nutrition plan will ensure you’re muscle glycogen (energy stores) are always full and you’re ready to compete!

Check out our other posts for more tips on how to optimize performance.

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