Soccer is incredibly exciting to play, but an intense game will deplete the body of the necessary fluids it needs to function effectively. Knowing what to drink before and during a soccer game will prepare you for what’s ahead and ensure you’re playing at your optimum capacity.
A player should drink 400 to 500ml (13.5 – 17oz) of water two hours before a soccer game and the same again 15-20 minutes before the game starts. During a game, a soccer player should drink 150-200mls (5 – 6.8oz) of water, glucose electrolyte drinks, or diluted fruit juice for every 15 minutes of activity.
Before a game, a player should make sure they are well hydrated, and during the game, they need to replace the fluid they are losing.
In this article, I’ll show you:
- What type of drink you should be drinking
- The amount of fluid you should be drinking
- How the amount can vary from player to player
How Much to Drink Before a Soccer Game
In the hours before a soccer game, your entire focus is on the game.
I know when I’m about to play, I’m thinking only of what I can do to be ready for what’s ahead and how to prepare myself adequately.
One of the key elements of being ready is making sure that what you drink beforehand will set you up for success on the field.
Fitness and nutrition experts say that a player should drink 400 to 500 ml (13.5 – 17oz) cool water two hours to two and a half before an event. This should then be followed up by another 400 to 500ml (13.5 – 17oz) 15-20 minutes before the game.
Pre-hydration before a soccer game is so important.
Rather than starting a game at a deficit and battling to bring their fluid levels back up to where they should be, it is better for a player to pre-hydrate and start on the front foot.
The average person should drink two or three cups of water per hour, depending on the event, temperature, and climate. Because a soccer player can lose about 133-207 ml (4.5-7.0 oz) of water every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise, they need to drink higher volumes of water than this.
For this reason, players should also aim to consume 1.5 to 3 liters (1/3 – 2/3 gallon) of fluid above their average intake the day before a game.
As this isn’t natural when you’re not thirsty, you’ll have to intentionally make this happen.
I used to set an alarm to remind myself to have a drink. You may want to consider doing the same.
I’d also recommend emptying your bladder 15 minutes before the game if necessary. After all that water, you don’t want to be caught out on the field!
What Type Of Drink Is Best Before a Soccer Game?
Water is the best drink to consume before a soccer game. It is beneficial for hydration, avoiding cramps, protecting joints, organs, and tissues, preventing muscular fatigue and regulating temperature, among other things. Isotonic drinks are preferable during and after a game.
Although there are a wide variety of drinks available, water is still the best option.
Other drinks such as isotonic drinks, smoothies, protein shakes, and even milk have their place during or after a game as a recovery option, but before the game, you’re better focusing on hydration pure and simple, and the best choice for that is water.
How Much and What to Drink During a Soccer Game
Having hydrated effectively before a game, the next thing to consider is what to drink during a game.
During a soccer game, players can drink 150-200 ml of plain cold water, glucose electrolyte drinks, or diluted fruit juices for every 15 minutes of activity. Although water is effective at rehydration, diluted fruit juices, electrolytes, and glucose drinks can be beneficial for providing energy.
Generally, a player needs fluids and energy during a soccer game. Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium can be easily lost from sweating a lot during a game.
One of the best ways to replenish the body is with diluted fruit juices, electrolytes, glucose drinks. These can all be beneficial to provide energy.
I personally used to drink diluted fruit juice with a little bit of salt and sugar added to it, and that worked great for me.
You may also consider coconut water, sugarcane juice, or drinks made out of salt, honey, water. These can be consumed to maintain water and electrolyte balance.
Although water is an adequate option if you don’t have any of these alternatives, the combination of glucose and sodium in these other drinks combine to promote rapid absorption of fluids in the small intestine. This helps replenish those lost fluids quicker.
All these types of drinks replace lost electrolytes as electrolyte balance is essential in the normal functioning of human beings.
Players should also generally drink cool fluids during the game as cold liquids get absorbed by the body faster than the water, which is at room temperature.
I also recommend slowly sipping the drink rather than gulp the entire bottle. Too much in one go can give you an uncomfortable stomach.
You should also continue to drink fluids even after the game.
Again, water is a good option to ensure rehydration, but recovery drinks such as isotonic drinks, healthy smoothies, and protein shakes should be considered to replace the energy and electrolytes lost.
The Amount a Player Should Drink Varies From Player to Player
Although I’ve given some exact figures in this article, you probably don’t need me to tell you that every soccer player is different. The fluid needs of a player during a game depend on the intensity and duration of the game and the temperature and humidity.
The amount of fluid needed to replace water loss varies not only from person to person but also from day to day.
Different individuals have different metabolism, activity level, environmental condition, and hydration status.
In a hot environment, a player can lose approximately 30-35ml of water every minute.
For a really accurate assessment of how much fluid loss has occurred during a game, you may want to weigh yourself before and after a game.
Fluid loss can be recognized by loss of 1 kg of body weight being equal to approximately 1 L of water loss. So weight can be measured before and after the event to know how much water loss has happened and how much should be replenished.
To understand how fluid intake fits into professional player’s training, you may want to check out my article – Soccer Training Workouts or How to Get in Shape for Soccer.
You may also be interested in finding out whether long-distance running or cycling is good for soccer players.