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Outside the Box

Outside the Box: Is Soup Good for soccer players?

Off the back of an impressive away win in the league cup over Ashford Town, which saw the women of Worthing Football Club reach the quarter-finals of the cup, the victorious ladies returned home to a warming selection of soups from Free & Easy, as week 11 of Outside the Box provided each player with a Free & Easy Organic Sweet Potato & Chia Seed Soup 400g and Free & Easy Organic Low Salt Sweet Potato & Quinoa Soup 400g to take home and try - a big thank you to Paul at Free & Easy Foods for sending these soups!

What is Free and Easy?

Free and Easy is a Healthy Food Brand that provides home cooks with a helping hand when it comes to creating nutritious meals. What really stands out with the Free & Easy range, is that their entire selection of products support the individual dietary choices of each and every Worthing Women’s FC player. They are made without artificial additives and preservatives. They are free from wheat, gluten and dairy, and have no other allergens like Nuts and celery. Most importantly they are all vegan and vegetarian friendly - regular readers of Outside the Box will know that the Worthing Women’s team consists of a fair few players who consume plant-based diets.

Why is soup good for soccer players?

Free & Easy foods consist of hearty ready meals, delicious cake mixes, warming curry pastes and innovative sauces, all of which could prove useful for a footballers diet. However, I decided to go with Free & Easy’s Fragrant Soups because it’s important to note that even though they might not be the first Food that comes to mind as nourishment for a footballer, they are still a liquid food that can work as a hydrating, post-workout fluid. Furthermore, these soups have been made with high quality organic ingredients, while Free & Easy Organic Low Salt Sweet Potato & Quinoa Soup has been exclusively made as a low salt option. Another advantage to eating soup is that it can work on an instinctual level by offering the Worthing Women's players with a sense of warming comfort and relief after playing in particularly colder environments during the winter season. But it’s the two added ingredients of both soups that I really want to focus on, and make a worthy case as to how I see Quinoa and Chia Seeds supporting those physically active footballers down on the West Sussex coast.

Is quinoa good for athletes?

Yes! Quinoa is the perfect post-workout food and a great substitute to Pasta, Rice & Noodles as it is low on the GI scale. It is easy to digest, Gluten Free, high in dietary fibre, and full of protein that helps to improve muscle repair and recovery time. Quinoa contains all of the 9 essential Amino Acids too, which are vital for building muscle.

Worthing Women’s soccer players should consider quinoa as a component to their pre-match meals, as it will still provide them with all the sustained Energy related benefits of other carbohydrates like pasta, but will do so without leaving that heavy feeling in their stomach’s.

Are chia seeds good for endurance athletes?

You'll be hard pressed to find a food that's more packed full of nutrients than the chia seeds in Free & Easy Organic Sweet Potato & Chia Seed Soup. Don’t be fooled by their small size, as chia seeds act as a healthy fuel source for endurance athletes. This bonafide superfood supports optimum performance with a rich source of protein, omega 3 and Calcium. Chia seeds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties too, making them essential for sports recovery.

Conclusion: Why Free & Easy is the ‘souper’ choice for Worthing FC.

Whether you’re an elite football player or not, there really is nothing better than a piping hot bowl of soup to warm you up on a particularly cold day. However from a soccer player's point of view, Soup can be so much more and the perfect pre-or post-exercise option for hydration. It is easy to digest and ideal for the stomachs of players that feel the effects of pre-match nerves. Even private chef Rachel Muse, who creates bespoke meals for many of the elite players at Southampton Football Club, has revealed that she prepares soups for her clients to increase their daily protein intake

Soup may not always be the first choice of fluid to consume by the women of Worthing FC during physical activity but it is clear that it can be well suited to varying types of training required to play at the elite level of women’s football. For example, if a Worthing player’s fuel requirements are high they should definitely try Free & Easy Organic Sweet Potato & Chia Seed Soup, which uses low GI ingredients as a source of sustaining carbohydrates.

Make sure you’re following Worthing Women’s Football Club on social media, @WorthingFCWomen on Twitter and @worthingfcwomen on Instagram to see how they get on with Free & Easy soups for the remainder of the London & South East Women's Premier League season.