Soccer Stories: Getting energized for a game

One summer I switched up my meals before every game to see how food affected my performance and energy. I

One summer I switched up my meals before every game to see how food affected my performance and energy. I tried everything from grilled chicken, to pasta, to crudité.

I found that meat, even the leanest chicken breast, just sat heavy in my stomach. Anything with spices would give me heartburn when I ran, despite eating an hour or two before playing. Pasta ‘ with tomato not cream sauce ‘ worked for me, but only for the first half, as my energy would lag about 40 minutes in the game. I would have to have a sports drink to compensate. Cut up veggies weren’t enough calories for me and broccoli and cucumber, strangely, gave me gas cramps.

Vegetable soup was the best. I was hydrated, satisfied and my blood sugar never seemed to spike.

With the humidity as hot as it’s been, soup wasn’t going to cut it this week. To my surprise, my boyfriend made us veggie burritos for dinner before my 8 p.m. game. He would normally use this recipe. But our internet was down, so he went by memory and by what we had in our fridge. Here’s what he made.



1 tbsp canola oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 large zucchini, sliced and quartered

Seasoning to taste (We used Spike Salt-free Magic.)

Pinch ground cumin

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup wheat germ

3 large tortillas

1/2 cup organic salsa


‘ Heat oven to 400-degrees Celcius.

‘ On medium high heat, pour canola oil into sauté pan. Add onion, pepper and zucchini. Add seasonings and sauté until vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Slowly add cheese (except for about 1 tbsp) and wheat germ, and stir and remove from heat.

‘ Lay tortillas flat. Spoon filling evenly among the three tortillas. Roll tortillas into burritos and place on non-stick cookie sheet. Sprinkle remaining cheese as garnish. Cook in oven until cheese is melted. Garnish with salsa and serve.

Makes 3 servings. Per serving: 485 calories, 18 g protein, 19 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 64 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 20 mg cholesterol, 885 mg sodium.

I suggest eating half and leaving the rest for after the game as a recovery meal. Up to you. You can find tons of veggie burrito recipes here.


What to eat before you exercise

Foods that fuel

Rice and beef burritos