Best Recovery Drink for Soccer Players


Have the best recovery drink for soccer players on hand after a match or practice session to begin your recovery right away as part of your sports nutrition performance plan.

As any soccer player knows, the game can be physically demanding and can leave you feeling sore and fatigued after a match or hard training session. 

That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your recovery and provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue

Knowing the best recovery drink for soccer players can be a great way to support your body’s recovery process and improve your performance on the field for the next game. 

best recovery drink for soccer players

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What is the best hydration for athletes

Believe it or not, the best time to begin drinking for recovery is before you step on the field.

First, you can prevent dehydration related illness and injury by ensuring you are well hydrated throughout the day and before game time or practice. 

Generally athletes should be drinking around 64-80 ounces of water per day depending on activity level. Developing an optimal hydration plan will set you up for success on the field. Use our sweat rate calculator to fine tune your hydration plan.

Being well hydrated from the beginning of the game and also hydrating at halftime will ensure you don’t have greater fluid loss. Therefore this should make recovery after the game easier.

Second, if you keep your muscles fueled properly throughout the day and energy stores topped off with fluids that have electrolytes (sodium and potassium) and carbohydrates, your muscles may be less fatigued and recover a little faster.

Collagen as a pre-exercise recovery drink

Collagen plus vitamin C about an hour before a workout can support injury prevention and tissue repair. (1) The best results have been seen with about 15 g of collagen and around 50-75 mg of vitamin C.

Adding collagen before exercise may actually boost collagen synthesis for recovery.

What do soccer players drink at halftime

At halftime soccer players generally drink water to replace fluids lost. You may also drink an isotonic sports drink, like Gatorade, that contains electrolytes and carbohydrates. 

A sports drink helps to rehydrate, replenish electrolytes and refuel or top off energy stores that are empty from playing in the first half. This can help prevent muscle cramping and fatigue in the second half.

What do soccer players drink after games

After games soccer players have two main goals with the drinks you pick. First, you want to rehydrate and replace fluids lost during play. Second, you need to replace electrolytes lost through sweat. 

Additionally, if you don’t feel like eating food after the game, drinking fluids that have carbs and/or protein can refuel and repair your muscles. 

Also, pairing a carbohydrate drink like tart cherry juice or fruit juice with a protein bar, string cheese or other protein rich snack, can improve recovery. 

An ideal recovery meal including recovery drink should have a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Chocolate milk, smoothies and protein shakes (depending on ingredients) are good options.

Some great options for recovery drinks include:

  • Water
  • Sports drinks
  • Chocolate milk
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Protein shake
  • Tart cherry juice
  • 100% Fruit juice

Chocolate milk: Chocolate milk is a popular post-workout drink among athletes, including soccer players. It provides a good balance of carbohydrates and protein, which can help to replenish muscle glycogen stores and support muscle recovery.

Additionally, chocolate milk contains calcium and vitamin D, which support important for bone health.

Protein shakes: Protein shakes can be a convenient way to get a boost of protein after a workout, which can help to support muscle repair and growth.

Whey protein is a popular choice among athletes, as it is easily digestible and contains all of the essential amino acids. 

Tart cherry juice: Tart cherry juice contains natural sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These reduce, muscle soreness and inflammation after exercise. They also support a healthy immune system. 

Some studies have suggested that drinking tart cherry juice before or after exercise can help to improve muscle recovery and reduce muscle damage.

Recovery drinks to support sleep

An additional component of recovery is rest and good sleep. Studies have shown that tart cherry juice positively impacts sleep due to its natural melatonin and anti inflammatory benefits. (2

You could also drink a casein rich protein shake or use a homemade smoothie recipe that blends in cottage cheese because it’s a good source of casein protein.

Casein has been shown to help to promote muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle breakdown during sleep (3).

Final thoughts

In conclusion, recovery drinks can be an important part of a soccer player’s post-game or training routine.

By providing your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, you can improve your performance on the field and reduce the risk of injury.

From chocolate milk to protein shakes and tart cherry juice, there are many great recovery drink options to choose from.

However, it’s important to remember that the best recovery drink for you may vary depending on your individual needs and goals.

With the right recovery drink and post-workout routine, you can optimize your soccer performance and feel your best both on and off the field.

What is your favorite post game recovery drink?

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