Performance Nutrition for Soccer Players

Next Level Podcast with Host Tavis Piattoly, MS, RD, LD

Bob Seebohar- Podcast

Bob Seebohar, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, METS
Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, the former Director of Sports Nutrition for the University of Florida and most recently served as a sport dietitian for the US Olympic Committee.

Bob has great insight on how to fuel soccer players in order to facilitate peak performance. In this podcast, he will discuss the challenges of a soccer player's diet and hydration strategies.

Bob has a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science, a master's degree in Health and Exercise Science and a second master's degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. He is a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a High Performance Triathlon Coach. As a nutrition coach, Bob specializes in enhancing health and improving performance by improving metabolic efficiency and using nutrition periodization, which provides varying nutrition recommendations to each specific athlete based on training cycle changes and body composition and weight goals.

Bob has worked with a variety of athletes from sports including triathlon, duathlon, ultra-running/cycling, track and field, marathon, mountain biking, road and track cycling, cross country, swimming, football, tae kwon do, motocross, tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, rowing, skeleton, sailing, paralympic sailing, canoeing and kayaking. He has worked with all ages and abilities of athletes including high schoolers/juniors, recreationally active adults, professional athletes and Olympians. Bob currently consults as a sport dietitian for US Sailing (Olympic and Paralympic sailors) and the USA Triathlon National Team.

Practicing what he preaches, Bob has been an athlete his entire life growing up playing competitive soccer for 18 years. He also coaches youth and collegiate soccer for six years. During that time, he was the head coach for Colorado State University women’s soccer club where he led them to be national champions. In 1993 he turned to endurance sports and has competed in many endurance events including the Boston Marathon, six Ironman races, the Leadville 100 mile trail race, the Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race and in 2009, Bob became a Leadman, completing all six of the Leadville endurance events in 7 weeks. Currently, he is specializing in short course triathlon training and competition to see how fast he can get!

In this podcast you will learn:

  1. What is Bob's background of playing soccer?
  2. The challenges Bob sees regarding nutrition for soccer players?
  3. Nutrition principles a soccer player should consider that could elevate his or her performance
  4. Why soccer athletes have difficulty gaining weight and the nutrition principles he recommends for soccer players who are trying to gain weight
  5. Nutrition for Soccer Tournaments and what to avoid and common mistakes being made
  6. How to fuel the body during tournaments?
  7. Hydration recommendations for Soccer Players?
  8. What form of hydration is best: Water, Sports drinks, or both?
  9. Bob’s new eBook on Performance Nutrition for Soccer Players: Gain the Advantage.
  10. Goals of his new eBook?
  11. Topics discussed in the eBook?
  12. Where can our listeners purchase his ebook?

Links and Resources Discussed in This Episode

0:00 Generation Ucan Sponsor


  • Generationucan.com
  • Code: mysportsd to get 10% off your order


Podcast Transcript

0:18 Tavis Piattoly Introduction

2:54 What is Bob's background in playing soccer?

  • Bob grew up playing soccer starting at the age of five. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the team, the sprinting, and the movement of the ball. He was involved in club teams and summer club teams throughout high school and The Orange Planet Club team at Colorado State University, prior to being the coach of Colorado State’s women’s team for a few years.

4:37 The challenges Bob sees regarding nutrition for soccer players

  • One challenge would be the frequency of eating. For young soccer players, they may not be getting into the habit of eating the meals and snacks that they should. For high school and collegiate soccer players with sporadic schedules, preparation may be a challenge.
  • Additionally, some may be going into practice dehydrated or malnourished, therefore, the foundation nutrition really isn't there.

6:07 If an athlete goes 6-7 hours without eating, does that increase their risk for eating more and affect their body composition?

  • Yes. Not only will this affect their body composition, but if they tend to splurge on one meal because they’re hungry, they can start gaining fat weight. With gaining fat weight, they may be going into practices, games, or tournaments feeling heavy. This will have an impact on both play and their thermoregulation skills. Bob recommends smaller, more frequent feeding throughout the day.

7:10 Nutrition principles a soccer player should consider that could elevate his or her performance

  • First is foundational nutrition, which is supporting your body's energy needs throughout the day, through school, through practice and recovery.
  • Second, is nutrient timing relative to practices. Soccer athletes participate in fitness conditioning off the ball, including running, agility, and coordination training. In order to be prepared for what is thrown at them in practice, having a little nutrition and hydration two hours before practice can improve their performance.
  • Third is hydration. With being in school, working, etc, some soccer athletes forget about hydration. Being dehydrated before training sessions, especially if they're over an hour and a half to two hours, is going to be detrimental to their performance.

9:02 Why soccer athletes have difficulty gaining weight and the nutrition principles he recommends for soccer players who are trying to gain weight

  • Body composition within soccer is age-specific and position-specific. Skipping meals is one barrier to gaining weight. Bob sees a lot of high school soccer players have two dinners, one when they get home from practice and another one in about an hour or two later. That's not the best opportunity to affect body weight. We like to evenly distribute those calories throughout the day. Not only could that support the practices, but also support positive body weight gains.

10:34 Nutrition for Soccer Tournaments and what to avoid and common mistakes being made

  • Bob’s first recommendation is nutrition preparation. When his kids have tournaments, he keeps a cooler stocked with snacks, lunches, water, and ice.
  • Second, Bob often sees soccer players over drinking and under consuming food in between matches. Moderating the hydration and making sure that they are getting some calories in between matches throughout the day is important.

12:42 Generation Ucan Sponsor

13:37 How to fuel the body during tournaments?

  • Preparation

14:18 Hydration recommendations for Soccer Players? What form of hydration is best: Water, Sports drinks, or both?

  • Bob looks at the first part of the day. Every soccer player is going to wake up a little dehydrated and malnourished, so he looks to see if there is an opportunity for a smoothie in the morning. Fruits and vegetables have a high water content to help with hydration.
  • Bob is a big proponent of water with a sound foundation nutrition plan.

15:52 The benefits of fruits and vegetables for training

  • In addition to having a high water content which is beneficial for hydration, fruits and vegetables also have fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and carbohydrates.

17:30 Bob’s new eBook on Performance Nutrition for Soccer Players: Gain the Advantage

  • Bob created this eBook to help make soccer nutrition information available to families and to athletes in an easy to read way. He felt that this was a great opportunity to provide one dedicated resource for young soccer players.

19:22 Topics discussed in the eBook

  • Bob discusses topics including foundational nutrition, meal plans, periodizing nutrition, preseason, competition season, and offseason nutrition, nutrient timing, and supplements. 

22:07 Where can our listeners purchase his ebook?

  • Mysoccernutrition.com

22:33 Tavis Piattoly Closing Remarks

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