Get Fit Like A Footballer | Strength & Power
Quite often a stronger footballer is a better footballer. Strength is essentially the muscle’s (or group of muscles’) ability to generate force and so more of this means you’re faster, more powerful and unlikely to be pushed off the ball in a tackle. But building functional strength (and not unwanted bulk) is so important in football which is why we asked Matt to detail the different kinds of protein found in our award-winning Whey Protein 360, our best-selling Vegan Protein and our freshly baked Protein Brownies. All so you can become a stronger, bigger and more powerful version of your current self on the pitch.
Not all protein is created equal. As far back as 1955 the British Journal of Nutrition was analysing the biological value of protein, a measure of the proportion of absorbed protein we take from a particular food and actually eat, digest and use. Basically, it's not about the food we eat. It's the food our bodies assimilate. On the scale of biological value (which goes up to 100) whey protein tops the chart with 96. Solving a timeless debate, chicken and eggs both come a close second with 94, and beef is rated a respectable 74. There are many other factors to take into consideration, but for now understand not all protein is same. Yes, the cheapest protein might be good for your wallet, but maybe not your muscles.
You don't build muscle in the gym ― you "stimulate" them. Repair and regrowth takes place in the kitchen. First things first, as you'd expect, most recipes dubbed "muscle building" will be protein-based. Protein is a macronutrient that's used by the body to repair and regrow. The Journal of Sports Sciences states that, "A considerable amount of evidence has accumulated during the past 15 years which indicates that regular exercise does in fact increase protein needs." How much is up for debate, but according to the same study, "Current evidence suggests that strength or speed athletes should consume about 1.2g to 1.7g of protein per kg of body weight per day." Understand this basic nutritional law ― and then understand the following more intricate food-themed magic ― and you understand the power of high protien snacks like Protein Brownies.
Vegan protein shakes have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. Why? Because as well as ethical reasons, they also make nutritional sense. See it’s widely known that athletes and anyone leading an active lifestyle has an elevated need for protein, carbohydrates and fats. These are the body’s macronutrients and we need lots of these in the diet. But recently nutritionists have shown it’s not just about eating the right quantity of food, but the right quality too. This is why research from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism stated, “Training places large energy demands on athletes and causes a high turnover of vitamins through sweat losses, metabolism, and the musculoskeletal repair process” and this is exactly why vegan protein shakes are being so widely used. All because research published by the American College of Sports Medicine states that plant-based, “Diets high in unrefined plant foods are associated with beneficial effects on overall health, lifespan, immune function and cardiovascular health.”
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.