Lauren Barnes is a professional soccer player who has played in Australia, Sweden, and the United States. She currently plays as Defender for OL Reign in the National Women's Soccer League. Lauren is passionate about sustainability and seeks to incorporate her sustainability efforts into the sports world. As an ambassador for Nuzest, we recently caught up with her to learn more about her journey as an athlete, and more. Let's take a moment to get to know Lauren Barnes.
Q. For those of us who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
A. My name is Lauren Barnes and I'm originally from Southern California. I love the outdoors, especially the ocean and have spent the last four years living in the Pacific Northwest. I love being a vegan foodie and spending time with my friends. I currently play professional women's soccer for Seattle Reign FC in the NWSL.
Q. How long have you been involved in soccer?
A. I have been playing soccer since I was 4 years old.
Q. When did you start playing soccer and how did you discover it was your passion?
I started playing soccer at age four because I wanted to be just like my older brother. I didn’t discover that it was my passion until much later in high school, as I was always part of many different sports and activities growing up.
Q. What advice would you give to those just starting out in their soccer careers?
Always seek out opportunities to improve, whether that’s during or outside of your team training.
Q. What are your fitness goals?
A. My fitness goals for the upcoming season is to be stronger and faster. I will focus on building muscle, staying on a healthy nutritional diet and running.
Q. What is your training regimen like?
A. During the season, I will practice five times a week with a game on the weekend. During that week, I will also have two strength and conditioning sessions as well. At the beginning of the week, we will have harder cardio-focused practice and then begin to taper off closer to the game. Most practice will be 1.5 hours long with a weight session lasting about 45 minutes.
Q. What is your split of cardio to strength training?
A. We practice six times a week and double two of those days with strength training.
Q. How do you prepare day-of an event?
A. To prepare properly for an event it always starts with the night before. I make sure to have a dinner that consists of lots of protein and carbs. I believe getting an ample amount of rest is also very important. In the morning I make sure to get up and have a big breakfast- vegan protein banana pancakes. Throughout the day l try and conserve as much energy as possible by staying off my feet and resting. I will prepare my pre-match meal about 3-4 hours before kick-off, a quinoa porridge with fresh fruit and my favorite Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest. Then, I continue to rest and stay off my feet. About 1 hour before kick-off, I will have a small snack- almond butter and banana.
Q. With soccer being such a demanding sport, what does your health and wellness routine look like? What is your fitness routine?
I prioritize my sleep and nutrition so I can ensure that I give myself the best chance to recover between training sessions and games. In terms of fitness, we typically train about five days a week, do two gym sessions, and have a match during the regular season.
Q. What is your favorite pre-workout meal?
A. Vegan protein banana pancakes
Q. How about post-workout?
A. Banana, almond butter, and Rich Chocolate Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest
Q. How do you incorporate Nuzest into your active lifestyle?
I incorporate Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest into my daily meals, usually adding it to my breakfast in oatmeal or pancakes. I also use it in between training sessions to help recover and repair my body.
Q. What is your favorite Nuzest product?
My favorite Nuzest product is the Rich Chocolate Clean Lean Protein powder.
Q. Do you have a favorite recipe you like making with Nuzest?
Yes, pre-game protein pancakes are my favorite go-to meal before a game!
Q. What is your favorite thing about Nuzest products?
My favorite things about Nuzest products are definitely the flavors and how easy it is on my stomach. I have never tried a protein powder that tasted so good in smoothies or just on its own.
Q. What are your favorite foods to stay fit?
A. Anything fresh and from the Earth
Q. How do you eat healthy while traveling for work?
A. The way I eat healthy while traveling for work is meal preparation and packing foods from home. I will pack nuts, Nuzest protein powder and research nearby grocery stores such as Whole Foods to get the proper meals I need.
Q. How does your diet compare in-season to out-of-season?
A. I don't see much of a difference from season to out-of-season diet. Out of season, I’m still training very hard to stay fit and push the limits to prepare for next season. Which means eating consistently just like I would during the season. High protein, fresh and wholesome foods.
Q. What advice do you have for the serial dieter?
A. Everyone’s body is different and I would focus on finding what works best with your body. Whatever helps you feel the healthiest and strongest and try and stick to a consistent nutritional diet.
Q. What are some career goals you have for yourself?
My biggest goal has always been to win a National Women's Soccer League title with OL Reign. In addition, I want to make OL Reign the most sustainable club in the NWSL.
Q. Is there a lesson you have learned from being a soccer player, and if so, what is it?
The most important thing that has gotten me through my soccer career is having balance. Having other interests and passions outside of soccer allows me to come to trainings and games refreshed and ready to perform.
Q. What is the #1 tip you would give to someone looking to pursue a career in soccer?
A. Focusing on both the mental and physical aspects of the game. I believe the mental side of the sport is so important because there will be so many ups and downs that will test your strength. Learning to stay positive and push through adversity will is a great way to pursue a career in soccer. Want more from Lauren? Check out her next article, Getting Season Fit with Lauren Barnes.
Connect with Lauren Barnes today by visiting her Instagram page @Luuuuluuu.