Nutrition

World Cup Fever, What can we learn from the Eating Habits of a Top Footballer?

By May 31, 2010 October 20th, 2011 No Comments

They spit. And sometimes blow snot out of their noses in front of millions. I’m not talking about water bison on the nature channel, but of course a world cup footballer. Some of them are charming, eligible and good looking I’m sure, but they are all jolly fit and toned, so what can we learn from how they eat? Meticulous menu planning has been one of the biggest changes to footballers’ lives since England won the World Cup in 1966 when a diet of chip butties, ketchup, tea and a packet of Rothmans was still seen as acceptable preparation. Modern footballers like all professional athletes have carefully planned nutrition that usually incorporates the following:

  • Smaller meals more often for even energy levels and fat burning metabolic bursts
  • An all natural approach excluding saturated fats, cholesterol, processed carbohydrates and refined sugars
  • High energy foods before matches with steady energy release, like pasta, oats, and rice
  • Plenty of lean protein for muscle maintenance and building
  • Lots of vegetables

Eating foods like these also benefits ordinary people like us, making us fuller for less calories, giving us even blood sugar levels and so controlling cravings.Although take it easy on the pasta unless you are going to be exercising hard in about 2 hours time. The official shopping list of England’s world cup squad shows a distinct New Age influence too with seaweed sheets, pine nuts, sushi rice, organic chocolate and jasmine tea all making the cut — as have brown sauce and custard. The official list of food requested by the Football Association to fuel Fabio Capello’s finest inSouth Africa reflects modern fiery tastes with Tabasco sauce, Wasabi paste, chili dipping sauce and English mustard all in the line-up. Nutritionists said the choice of hot sauces reflected current thinking that footballers need exciting food to stop them getting bored with their carefully controlled diets. Tesco nutritionist Laura Street said: “Sports nutrition has changed since England won the World Cup in 1966 when no attention was particularly paid to footballers’ diets and meal plans. “It is always important to enjoy food but if the players become bored with what’s on the menu they’re likely to eat less and that will affect their performance.”

Capello is known to be obsessive about the importance of diet and has asked former Hollywood chef Tim De’Ath to draw up menus. He has devised the “perfect snack” for the players to eat — oatcakes with cottage cheese or salmon.

So we can see here that although the basic all natural approach (or wholefood diet as it is more widely known) may sound a bit boring there are plenty of ways of spicing it up; you don’t just have to eat brown rice, steamed veg and lean grilled fish and chicken. Although if you did eat this in small portions for a few weeks I can guarantee that you will lose size and probably weight!

Good luck with the world cup, just think of all the free shopping hours you have away from a grumpy man trying to

  1. speed up the shop
  2. moan about how bored he is
  3. point out that you have more than enough shoes
  4. lurk in the lingerie section

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