The Do’s and Don’ts of Caffeine in Soccer

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Rising early for practices or games can lead youth soccer players to experience afternoon slumps of low energy. Chugging a coffee or energy drink might seem like the simple solution to this dilemma, but it’s important to know the best caffeine option for your body before you drink something that may negatively affect your performance.   

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

The first thing to consider when choosing an energy drink is the caffeine percentage. Many brands don’t include this on the bottle or can, but when they do, it's usually a higher number than advertised. Be aware of how much caffeine you can personally handle without becoming jittery! This will help you when shopping for energy drinks. Adults can typically intake the equivalent of 5 espresso shots of caffeine per day, whereas players under 12 years-old should steer clear of caffeine completely. Teens between 13 and 18 years-old can average about 80 milligrams of caffeine per day or less. Consider how certain drinks will affect your player based on their age!

Coffee Vs. Energy Drinks

There’s a lot of controversy over whether coffee or energy drinks are healthier. Coffee has zero calories when consumed without cream or sugar, so if you’re looking to cut caloric drinks from your diet and prefer a more natural option, coffee can be a great choice. However, there are critics who argue otherwise. Your best bet is to do as much research as you can, and then make an educated decision based on that research.

If you’re not sure how to determine if a drink is loaded with extra sugars, check to see if you can pronounce the ingredients on a label. If there’s a long string of artificial ingredients that you’ve never heard of, it’s a sign that there are too many additives.

Natural Caffeine Choices

Jitters can sneak up quickly, especially for players with a lower body mass. Shaky hands and legs can hold you back from playing your best, so try finding a happy medium between coffee and energy drinks. For a boost of caffeine that’s organic and plant-based, sip on an unsweetened bottle of Runa Clean Energy. For a low-calorie option that’s packed with vitamins and made from green tea and coffee beans, try adding some EBoost energy powder packets into your water. Powder packets are convenient for on-the-go games and practices, and they’re easy to slip into water when you’re feeling slumped!

QueensCast loves helping youth soccer players excel on and off the field! Check out our blog for some of our favorite drills, suggestions to help you stay properly hydrated, and tips to save money as soccer parent, and so your player can reach their full potential.