Get Fit Like A Footballer | Mobility & Recovery
Football is a sport played at many paces over many directions over many minutes and matches. Changes in direction are rapid and sometimes unpredictable and the sheer amount of stress placed on the body is unlike many other sports. Which is why mobility and recovery is key and is also why many people argue football is no longer won and lost on the pitch. No, if you ask a performance nutritionist it’s won or lost in the fridge, cupboards and anywhere food is served to the players. Also if you ask a physio matches are won and lost during pre-hab and re-hab. That’s because nutrition, supplementation and therapy today are barely recognizable from the days where oranges were served at half time and support staff administered the magic sponge.
You’re never going to drive your 5-a-side team to victory if you shy away from 50-50 tackles. Luckily, Vitamin D calcium-clads your bones to boost their strength and help fight fractures. According to research by the St. George Hospital, Sydney, a 2000IU dose boosts parathyroid hormone, which regulates your body’s calcium levels and reduces your injury risk when training or playing sport. Next Vitamin D3 has been shown to boost testosterone in men, which in turn has been shown to ramp up your muscle-building potential, speeds fat-loss and boosts fertility. Research conducted by the Medical University of Graz found total testosterone levels increased in men who supplemented Vitamin D over the course of a year.
Glutamine may be the best thing to add to your football bag. A big shout we know. But research from the University College of Dublin found the immune-boosting properties of glutamine were so impressive, it was used to treat patients with inflammatory conditions. Putting 5g in your shake to support a healthy immune system and fend off injury and illness is especially vital for those undertaking rigorous training schedules. Add to this the research from scientists from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the University of São Paulo in Brazil set out to determine how intense long duration exercise could lead to immune suppression through a decrease in the circulating level of plasma glutamine and how the decrease in plasma glutamine concentration as a consequence of intense long duration exercise was reversed, in some cases, by supplementing the diet of the athletes with amino acids.
Protein Granola is an amazing recovery food. Why? Because it naturally has a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Which the often quoted nutritional bible, “Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition” (by John Ivy and Robert Portman) recommends. Secondly, the biscuit-like texture has also been scientifically formulated too. To quote research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, “Emphasis has been placed upon eating the optimal amount and best type of carbohydrate at the proper times” (Edward F. Coyle, 2001). Essentially this shows that the quality of the carbohydrates you eat, not just the quantity, can have a profound effect on your training. For this reason many athletes forgo the usual dextrose and maltodextrin post workout and instead opted for a nutrient dense base made from berries and muesli. Rich in vitamins, minerals and smaller phytonutrients, these are the smaller micronutrients that are often overlooked when training but those that can have a positive impact on our immune system, fat loss and many other benefits.
THE 4 AREAS OF FOOTBALL FITNESS
The best footballers in the world are also incredibly well-rounded athletes. There is no “chink in armour” when it comes to their strength and conditioning, food or fitness. Which is why we’ve broken down the 4 key areas of footballing fitness and categorised them below: Endurance, Speed, Strength & Power and Mobility & Recovery.