If you’ve ever played a team sport you’ve probably felt the thrill of winning, the burn of losing and imagined it all happening in a stadium of thousands of screaming fans. Go on, admit it.

That international stardom takes years of commitment, and is something well known to Sam Kerr, Australian soccer star and newly announced Powerade ambassador.

Playing not only for the Australian national team the Matildas and W-League team Perth Glory, Sam is also signed with US team Chicago Red Stars. Last year she was the top scorer in the 2017 US National Women’s Soccer League.

At just 24 years old she’s already been named a finalist for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year. Off the field, Sam spends much of her time advocating for women’s sport and has been awarded Young Australian of the Year for her efforts.

With the FIFA World Cup in full swing, Sam shared some pre- and post-game secrets to take your game to the next level.

1. Stretch  

Ahead of a big match, Sam said stretching is key for avoiding injury and preparing the body for 90 minutes of intensive physical activity.

Once she’s made it to the stadium, she’ll head out to the field and stretch, relaxing her hamstrings, groins, glutes, quads and calves before performing a series of routines with exercise bands to activate her leg muscles.

2. Hydrate

Alongside stretching, Sam Kerr also stressed the importance of hydration. Studies conducted by the NSW Institute of Sport show that in hot conditions, an elite adult soccer player can lose between 1-1.5 litres of sweat per hour they play, or two litres for a full 90 minute match.

2. Recover

Once the match is finished and Sam has made her way back to the locker room, she’ll curb her hunger from all that running with a small amount of protein to repair her muscles.

Sam and her team will then do their cool down routine involving some active stretching before she continues on her own with some static stretches.

To replenish fluids lost during the game, Sam usually drinks two 600ml bottles of Powerade before finishing her post-match routine with a light meal or fruit.

3. Relax

One of Sam’s main goals is to keep her body hydrated and fueled even when she’s off her feet. With an active lifestyle, Sam aims to spend two to three hours a day relaxing to give her body time to recover.

Whether you’re a champion footballer or simply stay active by going to the gym, Sam’s tips are ones to live by. And once you’re done, maybe it’ll be you in the stadium. Good luck!

Want to know more about Powerade? Read more about flavours and ingredients.