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CK’s Soccer Protocol

  • In development.. 20% 20%

Working subtitlebait: How a 38 year-old soccer player keeps up with MLS pros and players half his age after a decade away from the game.

  • Catchy points:
    • Most consistent player
    • No major injuries
    • Quick recoverability
    • Still improving

The Gist

This is an outline of my gameday soccer protocol, plus a few side notes. Click on any of the links to scroll directly to the details about the specific points, or just scroll down the page for all of the details.

Soccer Morning Routine

My morning routine depends on the match time and the time I wake up.

  • If match time is in the afternoon and I’m able to proceed casually (at least four hours prior to kickoff):
    • Full general morning routine
    • Breakfast
    • Walk
    • Soft tissue work
    • Shake
    • General supplements
    • Electronic muscle stimulation
  • If match time is earlier and I don’t have enough time for my full morning soccer routine:
    • Abbreviated general morning routine
    • Soft tissue work (as needed)
    • Shake
    • General supplements

Soccer Pre-Game Routine

My pre-game routine generally begins about 45 minutes prior to leaving my home for the match:

  • Prepare warm-up and in-game hydration
  • Prepare soccer bag
    • Clothing
    • Shoes
    • Shinguards
    • Tape
  • Tape ankles and get dressed in warm-up gear
  • Coffee (as needed, and depending on match time)

Soccer Warm-Up Routine

My warm-up routine actually begins in the car on the way to the field:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Electronic muscle stimulation
  • Pre-game supplements

Once I arrive at the field, my warm-up routine consists of:

  • Getting fully dressed in soccer gear
  • Core stability exercises
  • Resistance band work
  • Shuttle runs
  • Getting touches on the ball

Soccer In-Game Routine

My in-game routine will vary depending on how much I play:

  • If I play a full 90 minutes or close to it, during halftime I will:
    • Drink most of my energy drink
    • Lay down on my back
  • If I spend a lot of time on the sideline, I’ll do the following periodically:
    • Resistance band work
    • Shuttle runs
    • Get touches on the ball

Soccer Post-Game Routine

My post-game routine will vary depending on how I fatigued I feel:

  • Barefooted jog in the grass
  • Stretching
  • Post-game shake
  • Breathing exercises
  • Beers with teammates
  • Stretching
  • Magnesium + sulfur oil
  • Soft tissue work
  • Electronic muscle stimulation
  • Massage chair

Soccer Practice Protocol

These are the components that I will employ for my soccer practices.

If I Was A Pro Soccer Player

This is a wishlist of sorts, as well as additional thoughts on what I would do if I was a professional soccer player who was able to tap into the resources of a professional club.

The Details

Soccer Morning Routine

Full Routine

Full general morning routine
Breakfast
Walk
Soft tissue work
Shake

My soccer shake is probably the least researched component of my soccer protocol. When I first began playing more competitvely after my decade-long hiatus (2013), I stuck with an intermittent fasting protocol and played my games in a fasted state. I felt great most of the time since I was already used to doing high intensity training while in a fasted state. However, the more fit and active I became, the more I realized that I needed to provide sufficient fuel for my body, so I started throwing together a shake to load up on some nutrients before my games.

I am continually tweaking the contents of my shake, and I will eventually do a deeper dive into creating a more researched shake, but here it what is has evovled to thus far:

  • Heaping handful of greens like spinach
  • Handful of a mix of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
  • Handful of strawberries
  • MCT oil
  • Collagen powder
  • 1/2 serving of whey protein powder
  • Splash of kombucha
  • Splash of milk
  • Green tea as needed for consistency

This makes for about two pints, so I will pour out one pint to drink about two hours before match time. Then, I will add another serving of whey protein powder and drink the second pint after the match, more or less as a post-workout shake or meal replacement.

If you are sensitive to FODMAPs, you may want to limit or skip the berries (especially blackberries), kombucha, and milk. You should also be weary of the contents of your protein powder(s). You don’t want to run into digestive issues during your game.

The fruits and vegetables I use are organic.

The kombucha I use is homemade.

The milk I use is Organic Pastures Whole Raw Milk.

The MCT oil I use is Bulletproof Brain Octane. Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil provides for a clean dose of fat that is metabolized rapidly and produces a quick source of energy. The tail of the MCT chain can contain a range of six to twelve carbon atoms (C6, C8, C10, C12). Bulletproof Brain Octane contains only high-quality C8, or caprylic acid, which is metabolized faster than C10 and C12, but does not cause the digestive issues that is common with C6.

The collagen powder I use is BulkSupplements Hydrolyzed Collagen (Fish) Powder. Taking collagen before exercise is beneficial for tendon health. Tendons aren’t very metabolically active, so by getting collagen peptides into your bloodstream before you increase your bloodflow from exercise,  you will enhance the nutrient delivery to your tendons.

For additional options and more detailed information about these ingredients, check out my Supplement Protocol.

General Supplements
Electronic muscle stimulation

Abbreviated Routine

Abbreviated general morning routine
Soft tissue work
Shake
General Supplements

Soccer Pre-Game Routine

Prepare Warm-up and in-game hydration

I fill up three 20oz Que Bottles with various nutrients to stay properly hydrated on match days. I like these bottles because they are light, collapsible, and made of food-grade silicone. I originally purchased mine on Kickstarter, and two of my bottles turned out to be too flimsy and sprung leaks; but they have a lifetime warranty, and the replacements I recieved are much more robust.

Water
Sole water

Sole is a saltwater solution. All you need to do is fully saturate water with natural salt. If you use high quality salt like pink Himalayan sea salt, you will get the benefits of all the nutrients it provides. The Himalayan salt I have been using lately is The Spice Lab Pure Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt.

I fill a used olive oil bottle (similar to a wine bottle) with filtered water, pour in about three fingers worth of the Himalayan salt, cork the bottle, flip it over and back to shake it up gently, and then leave it be to let the salt dissolve. If there is still some salt on the bottom the next day, I’ll shake the bottle up a little more. If there is no salt left, I’ll add a little more and then shake the bottle again. You’ll know that the water is fully saturated when theres some salt left on the bottom that doesn’t dissolve anymore.

I pour in 1/2oz of the Sole in a bottle and fill the rest with filtered water to make my Sole water drink.

More info: How To Make Sole

Energy drink

My energy drink contains the following:

  • 1oz organic lemon juice
  • 1oz apple cider vinegar
  • 1oz sole
  • 1tsp organic honey
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 scoop exogenous ketones + amino acids
  • Mushroom extract

I start by adding in my daily morning tonic components: 1oz organic lemon juice, 1oz apple cider vinegar, and 1oz sole. The lemon juice is from organic lemons that I squeeze myself every week. The apple cider vinegar I use is Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother. The sole is the same solution I detailed under the “Sole water” section above. I use these ingredients mostly for mineral replenishment and hydration support.

From there, I add in about a teaspoon of organic honey, two teaspoons of chia seeds, and half a serving of an exogenous ketones + aminos blend. The organic honey I use is either raw local honey from the farmer’s market or L.R. Rice 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey. The exongenous ketones + amino acids blend I use is Perfect Keto’s Keto Perform. I throw in these components mostly to boost energy.

The base of my energy drink is a solution made of mushroom extracts: Four Sigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend. I fill up the rest of the bottle with this solution. Mushrooms are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can consume. There are way too many benefits of mushrooms to list here.

For additional options and more detailed information about these ingredients, check out my Supplement Protocol.

Preparation of soccer bag

Tape ankles and get dressed in warm up gear

Coffee (as needed, and depending on match time)

Soccer Warm-Up Routine

On the way to the field

Breathing exercises
Electronic muscle stimulation
Pre-game supplements

At the field

Getting fully dressed in soccer gear
Resistance band work
Shuttle runs
Getting touches on the ball

Soccer In-Game Routine

If I play a full 90 minutes (or close)

Drink most of my energy drink
Lay down on my back

If I spend a lot of time on the sideline

Resistance band work
Shuttle runs
Get touches on the ball

Soccer Post-Game Routine

Jog barefooted in the grass

Stretch

Post-Game Shake

Go out with teammates for some beers

Stretch

Magnesium + MSM Oil

After I take a shower, I slather magnesium + MSM oil all over my body. Magnesium is one of the most abundant elements in your cells and helps the body regulate over 300 enzymes. In terms of recovery, magnesium promotes nitric oxide production, which helps your arteries relax (vasodialate) to enhance blood flow to your tissues. Magnesium is better absorbed through the skin (transdermally) so a topical application is recommended.

MSM stands for methylsulfonylmethane, which is  a sulfur compound that provides immune boosting properties, reduces inflammation, and regenerates connective tissues. There is also preliminary evidence that suggests it can enhance the absorption of other topically applied agents. This is why the combination of magnesium and MSM in topical form seems to be beneficial for physical recovery. The idea is similar to taking an epsom salt bath, but using oil topically is a lot easier and saves water, to boot.

The magnesium + msm oil I use is Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Ultra with OptiMSM.

Soft tissue work

Electronic muscle stimulation

Massage chair

If I Was A Pro

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