15 Best Foods for Soccer Players for Fueling and Recovery


To perform at your best, as a soccer player, you need to eat the right foods for fueling and recovery. But what are the best foods for soccer players? 

And what are the basic principles for choosing the right foods?

In this blog post, we will answer these questions about what soccer players need, based on the latest scientific evidence and practical recommendations from experts.

Best Foods for Soccer Players

What are the best foods for soccer players?

The best foods for soccer players are those that provide a balanced intake of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and fluids. (1)

These foods should be nutrient-dense, meaning they contain a lot of nutrients per calorie, and minimally processed, meaning they are close to their natural state.

The basics for nutrient-dense and minimally processed meals include:

Fruits and vegetables

These provide carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals. They also help with hydration and recovery. Aim for a variety of colors and types, and eat at least nine servings per day.

Whole grains

These provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, B vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of energy and help with glycogen replenishment. Examples include oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, whole grain crackers and pasta.

Lean protein

This provides amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle. Protein also helps with muscle repair, recovery and adaptation to exercise. Examples include chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, lean beef, low-fat dairy products, tofu, beans and lentils.

Healthy fats

These provide essential fatty acids, which are involved in many bodily functions. Fats also help with hormone production, inflammation regulation and cell membrane health. Examples include nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, oily fish and eggs.

15 Best foods for soccer players

  • Blueberries and cherries: Rich in antioxidants, berries and cherries help reduce inflammation and speed up recovery. They also provide carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy for soccer players.
  • Green leafy vegetables: Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can boost your immune system, digestion and overall health. Since they have a higher water content, they also help with hydration and recovery.
  • Eggs: Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. They also contain healthy fats and choline to support your brain health and hormone production.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provides you with sustained energy and helps replenish your glycogen stores. The fiber in oatmeal also keeps you full and helps your blood sugar stay stable.
  • Salmon: Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and can improve your brain function, mood and heart health. It also provides high-quality protein, which can help you build and maintain muscle mass.
  • Beets: Beets are a superfood for soccer players, since they contain nitrates, which can improve your blood flow, oxygen delivery and endurance. Additionally, they also have carbs, antioxidants and minerals, which can support your energy and recovery.
  • Chicken or turkey breast: Chicken or turkey breast is a lean source of protein, which can help you repair your muscles after a hard game or training session. It also provides B vitamins and minerals, to support your metabolism and nerve function.
  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are another great source of complex carbs, to fuel your muscles and brain during exercise. They also have beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, to support your vision, immune system and muscle contractions.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, protein and fiber, helping to keep you feeling full. Also, they have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can protect your cells from damage and support your health.
  • Greek yogurt: Low fat Greek yogurt is a high-protein dairy product that can help you build and maintain muscle mass. It also contains calcium and probiotics, which is important for bone health and muscle contraction as well as gut health.
  • Peanut butter: Peanut butter and nut butters are a delicious and convenient source of healthy fats, protein and fiber. It can help you feel full and satisfied, as well as support your brain function.
  • Spinach: This is a dark leafy green vegetable that is loaded with iron, folate, vitamin K and antioxidants. It can help you prevent anemia and support your immune system, protecting your cells from damage.
  • Almonds: Almonds are rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. They can help you lower your cholesterol, improve your blood sugar control and reduce inflammation.
  • Watermelon: Juicy and refreshing, watermelon is a fruit that is mostly water. It can help you hydrate and cool down after a game or practice. It also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that can support your immune system.
  • Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes are plant-based foods high in protein, fiber, iron, folate and antioxidants. They can help you build and repair your muscles, keep you full and satisfied, prevent anemia, and protect your cells from damage.


Soccer players need to pay attention to your nutrition, since it can have a huge impact on your performance and recovery. By eating the best foods for soccer players, you can optimize their energy, strength, endurance, agility and health.

Some of the best foods for soccer players are fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats and fluids. These foods provide a balanced intake of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Furthermore, soccer players should develop a sports nutrition plan around your training and match schedule, and eat according to your individual needs and preferences.

By following these practical recommendations, you can improve your soccer performance and overall health.

What’s your favorite soccer food?

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