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Welcome to Optimal Soccer, your one stop spot for all the nutrition information you need to take your game to the next level. I created this site to give players the knowledge and information I’ve gained through years of research, studying and testing. It’s overwhelming the amount of nutritional information out there, with most of it either being not tailored towards soccer players or being completely wrong. I am here to correct it and share my findings with you all.

hamstring

Note from Casey: Hey guys, I hope you’re as excited as I am for this post. Paul French, from Pain Free Football, has kindly taken some time to talk with us about an awesome new recovery method that is sweeping the soccer world. He explains it more below, but just know, the way you always thought to recover and “stretch” a muscle is about to be turned on its head. Make sure to leave a comment below to ask Paul any questions, and also head over to their site to check out how to further expand your recovery tool belt.

There’s a big change coming in the sporting world. It’s a change that will extend the careers of ageing athletes and improve the recovery times of injured stars. The cool thing is that you guys get to read about it before anyone else. In fact, read this article through and you’ll be able to try it for yourself. [click to continue…]

habit building

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

We all know that to get really good at something, you have to do it a lot. As Aristotle noted, we are what we do. Do you play hard at practice everyday? Do you eat healthy to support your work on the field and in the gym? Do you put in extra hours when it comes to shooting, fitness and footwork?

These are questions you have to ask yourself, since you are what you repeatedly do. If you want to be a fit, healthy, elite soccer player, then you need to do things repeatedly that will get you there. You need to build the habits of an elite footballer if you want to be an elite footballer. [click to continue…]

Muscle Recovery Techniques

Muscle recovery is one of the most important aspects of our body as soccer players, and we need to start addressing it as such. Every gain we have actually happens during our recovery rather than during our training. This is true for muscle growth, endurance and even learning skills and techniques.

While recovery is important for all aspects of soccer, this article is focusing on everything you need to know about optimizing your muscle recovery. Taking the techniques and tips in this article seriously will help you feel less sore, gain more muscle, practice and workout more and harder and overall improve your game.
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cristiano-ronaldo-shirtless-white-shorts-7tyvygfx

Gaining lean muscle is one of the goals of most people in general, but especially soccer players. Gaining muscle helps soccer players run faster, jump higher, shoot harder and generally force their dominance on weaker players. If there are two players of equal skill, but one is stronger than the other one, it is obvious who the better player is. Simple as that.

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bayern-munich-champions-league-winners-2013-hd

I feel like explaining nutrition is important to soccer players should be obvious. But it’s not, and this frustrates me. It frustrates me because it’s not specifically the players fault, or even the coaches fault. It’s the diet industry’s fault. If you google “Soccer Nutrition”, the top page is filled with differing views, and most of them are WRONG! People are just following the old, “common sense” practices, which are actually hurting our players.

These include that soccer players should eat high carb, low fat diets. Players still think that wheat is the best place to get carbohydrates from. This is causing inflammation in our bodies. Low fat is wreaking havoc on our hormones because we think dietary fat = body fat (it doesn’t).

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toast-beer

It’s apart of the culture, but nobody really wants to address it… soccer players drinking. It’s there, especially in college. I am writing this article to discuss the concerns that players should have when indulging so they can better assess whether it is worth it or not. If they do decide to indulge, I’ve added the best ways to prevent the dreaded hangover that typically follows.
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Soccersunset

Did you know that up to 80% of people in the United States are deficient in vitamin D? This isn’t a problem just for American’s either, since vitamin D deficiency is largely based on sunlight exposure. If you’re more than 30 degrees north of the equator (North of Atlanta, Georgia or the Mediterranean Sea) then you receive zero vitamin D from the sun between November and March, and since vitamin D is extremely rare in foods, chances are you are deficient in vitamin D (1).

But is being deficient in vitamin D really a problem for you? I’m guessing most of you feel fine… but is fine really enough? Especially when I have some studies lined-up to talk about that show that higher levels of vitamin D increases muscle growth, improves muscle recoveryreduces injuries, boosts testosteronereduces body fat and overall improves athletic performance. 
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paleo-breakfast

We try to eat perfectly to optimize our game all the time, but often times it’s difficult to be 100%, and sometimes it keeps us sane to be at about 85-90% perfect and to let us falter a little. If you can’t do 100% all the time, you should at least try to do it for game days. If you follow the principles below, you will come into a game mentally and physically prepared. Taking your game day nutrition seriously will give you the solid foundation to display all the hard work you’ve been putting in at practice.
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Soccer Field Night

Besides playing soccer itself, diet is the most important aspect of a soccer player’s game. It’s simple, soccer demands energy from your body and what you eat decides what kind of energy you are giving your body, and what you put in your body can affect every aspect of your game. Eating correctly can improve your endurance, sleep, recovery, motivation, mood and the list goes on and on. Most players and coaches do not realize the negative effects of not taking diet seriously. One reason for this is that it’s a complicated field of knowledge with an overwhelming amount of information, and a surprising amount of it is straight up wrong. Lucky for you, I have spent years swimming through the information, reading studies and carrying out various tests to figure out what is truly the best diet for a soccer player. [click to continue…]

Cooked salmon

Fat are the delicious food that we have always been told are bad for us, which has caused hesitation about indulging in them. However, do we know why we have been hesitant, where the confusion has come from and what sort of havoc this has caused, not only for soccer players, but also for our society in general? Probably not.
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