Women’s World Cup Nutrition Tip

By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women’s Soccer

As the remaining teams in the tournament contest the round of 16, the players spend their off days training, resting and refueling. Many soccer players and their parents misunderstand the role of protein in a sports diet. According to Food Guide for Women’s Soccer, many wrongly believe protein should be the foundation of their sports diets. While you do need adequate protein, it should be a accompaniment to the carb-based meals that fuel your muscles. Smaller amounts of protein—about 10% to 15% of your calories—can adequately build and repair muscles, make red blood cells, enzymes and hormones, and allow hair and fingernails to grow. This translates into a small-to-medium portion (20 to 30 grams of protein) at each meal.

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