It’s all about education
How would Harry Kane’s diet differ from Jordan Pickford’s?
For instance, while midfielders usually cover the longest distances (10-13 km – about a quarter of a marathon) per match, goalkeepers cover very short distances (around 1 km).
Player tracking technology
Nowadays, technology is helping sport nutritionists to adjust the diet for each player. Professional football clubs utilise global positioning satellite (GPS) systems to monitor the players’ speed and distances covered during training sessions and motion camera tracking (MCT) systems in competitive matches. The further and more intensely they run, the more carbs they will need.
Home comforts are key
For instance, England shipped a load of food and ingredients to Russia in 2018, including Jaffa Cakes, teabags, mustard, chocolate, tomato sauce, herbal teas, oatcakes and hundreds of baked bean tins.
Any food causing a possible digestive side-effect could hamper performance so nutritionists have to check and test all the food provided to footballers.
They can also assess sweat rates during training at different temperatures and environments to adapt hydration more individually.
Don’t just take our word for it…
Sport nutritionists are becoming common within professional football teams as coaches are fully aware of the key role that nutrition plays to achieve the best of their teams. Arsene Wenger once said:
“Footballers cannot afford to practice every day in the pursuit of becoming a star and then end up eating something that destroys all the good work that they put in the ‘visible part’ of their preparation.”
Pep Guardiola also shares this view and he requested a team of nutritionists when he joined Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Which was backed up when his midfielder Fabian Delph declared that changing his diet helped to kick-start his career:
“I stopped eating red meat but still eat other meat,” he said. “I have changed my diet in terms of getting it more balanced, more healthy by eating more greens, more vegetables – and I’ve cut out sugar. It’s helped me tremendously. I kept picking up muscle injuries. I was obviously getting older. I have always trained with crazy intensity. We have got a fantastic nutritionist at the club, and he has helped me tremendously.”
Fancy a career offering nutritional advice to the stars?Study a range of courses at Plymouth
“I look back on my time at Plymouth as a time of enjoyment and personal development. Although the course was very challenging, it enabled me to pursue a career I feel passionate about.”
– Claire Davis, BSc (Hons) Dietetics graduate