The Best Halftime Snack for Youth Soccer Teams

Orange Slices and Grapes - (Photo: Bananawonder.com)

Halftime is always a reflective period for any soccer team.  Whether your star striker earned a first half hat trick and your team is coasting to victory, or whether your team is hanging on by the thinnest of threads, this is the time that the coach will have a good chat with the collective team to inspire a good second half.  This is also the time to replenish the body of each player so that they will have the energy to continue playing at a high level throughout the rest of the game.  So what is the best halftime snack to propel your team to victory?

There has actually been much debate recently in the sports world about what is the best food to enhance your stamina and re-energize you.  Veering from the traditional orange slice, many nutritionists have suggested that high-carb snacks such as pretzels are best to maintain energy.  Others have professed the importance of sports drinks like Gatorade, which are high with electrolytes and sugars.

However, opinions on the matter differ greatly and depend on whom you ask.  Some people claim that fruit, although high in sugar, actually slows down the digestive system and negatively impacts second half performances.

Some say that granola bars or power bars are the best intakes to improve performance.  Such items are a bit expensive, and probably have too many nutrients to help such small bodies.  They may just cause cramps as players try to digest the bar.

I for one am a traditionalist and feel that the orange slices, or other types of fruit are wonderful for halftime snacks.  Other popular choices are bananas or grapes.  These fruits are high in sugar and also are a refreshing way to cool down from the first half.

The one talking point I would stress is that you should find out for yourself which snack best helps your team.  You can try different snacks during practice and see which ones made your players feel better or worse.  This way you will know what snack could potentially give your team a boost heading into the latter stages of the game as well as which halftime snacks to avoid because they are detrimental to your players’ well-being.

Snacks are fun and provide a great way to re-energize your team.  The effects usually aren’t felt for a good half an hour after eating, so the benefits to your players will likely arise right at the end of the match, which highlights its importance.  You want your players to have that extra burst to win a game at the death, so pay attention to what your players are eating at halftime and find out what works best.

 


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