As a goalkeeper, you may spend less time than a midfielder exerting yourself on the field, but you still need to be fast, agile and strong. Like all soccer players, what you eat can mean the difference between a good player and a great player, according to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. A goalkeeper's diet needs to be high in carbohydrates for energy, with adequate amounts of protein for strength.
Getting enough calories improves performance and prevents fatigue. Goalkeepers don't need as many calories as the players in the field, the website Goalkeeper Training HQ points out, but, no matter your position, calorie needs vary depending on training schedule, physique and gender. In general, active women need 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day, and active men need 2,400 to 3,000 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. Monitoring your intake and weight may help you determine your daily calorie needs.
Carbs, Protein and Fat
To maintain energy levels and power, it's important that your diet contains the right amount of carbs, protein and fat. Carbs are an important source of energy and should be given priority in the diet. Fat also provides energy, but eating too many high-fat foods, such as french fries or fried chicken, may slow you down. Protein is important for muscle building and strength, but as long as you eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups, you're probably getting an adequate amount of protein to maintain muscle. Tailor the percentage of nutrients to meet your specific needs. In general, you should get 55 to 60 percent of calories from carbs, 12 to 15 percent from protein and 25 to 30 percent from fat.
Goalkeeper's Main Meal Menu
Your diet should include three main meals. To maximize energy levels to improve speed and agility for blocking those kicks, you need to load up on carbs two to three days prior to a game, aiming for 8 to 10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight, or 580 grams to 730 grams of carbs for a 160-pound player. A carb-loading breakfast might include a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, a banana and a glass of orange juice. For lunch, load up on whole-wheat pasta with turkey meatballs, steamed carrots, an apple and low-fat yogurt. At dinner, you might enjoy roasted chicken with asparagus, a baked sweet potato and fresh pineapple. Include mostly complex carbs -- whole-wheat bread and pasta, brown rice or beans -- in your diet because they provide 40 to 50 percent of your energy, according to nurse Diana McKenzie, a health consultant for Strikers United.
Eat a snack two to three hours before a game or practice. Eating too close to game time may cause abdominal distress, which may distract you from keeping your eye on the ball. The meal should be high in carbs and low in fat, such as a turkey sandwich with an orange or a bagel and a low-fat yogurt. To promote muscle recovery and replenish energy stores, eat a carb and high-quality protein -- meat, milk or soy food -- immediately following your game or practice. A post-game snack might include low-fat cheese and crackers or a hard-boiled egg and a banana.
- Utah Youth Soccer: Training Archives: Components of a Good Goalkeeper
- FIFA.com: Nutrition for Football
- Strikers United: Eat Right to Play Right -- Nutrition for the Soccer Player
- Goalkeeper Training HQ: Diet
- Health.gov: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: NSCA Sports Nutrition