The Chelsea Diet

Most Girls love a good diet; a number of the ladies at Chelsea4Girls are always on some sort of fad diet but what actually works? Their founder, Clare Smith thought you would take a look at how the Chelsea squad watch their waste-line and keep so fit whilst playing under such pressure.

Premier League teams promote a public image of their highly professional, tee-total athletes fueled on concoctions of supplements and vitamins. Teams of ultra-qualified nutritionists meticulously plan tailored diets for each player.

Chelsea have fantastic facilities at their training ground in Cobham and their whole diet & training regime is looked at on a daily basis to best suit the players & the team.

Chelsea’s Head of Sport Science, Nick Broad recently said:

“We have to work with the players to accommodate the players’ needs in terms of tastes and their cultures,” said Broad. “Players are happy about that and we meet each other half way.”

“We don’t drink with meals, I wouldn’t imagine all the players are tee-total but I think we have to treat players as adults and I think if we were too authoritarian with the players there would be a backlash and rightly so.”

“Where things have changed is that there has been a better understanding of the demands of the sport.”

“When I first started all of the science and the research was taken from endurance sports and just shoved into team sports without any real thought.”

Chelsea promote a 1/3 food philosophy of a balanced diet to incorporate energy foods (carbohydrates), recovery foods (protein) and protection foods (fruit and vegetables) applied to every meal for the under 9s up to their senior team and staff.

Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are brought in from the local farm down the road in Cobham and supplements, in partnership with Lucozade Sport, fuel the English champions, as well as 18 of the other 19 teams in the league.

Nutrient found in

◦Simple carbohydrates: Sweets, cakes, soft drinks, jam

◦Complex carbohydrates: Rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, cereals, fruit

◦Saturated fats: Butter, margarine, cheese, pasties

◦Unsaturated fats: Sunflower oil, salmon, nuts

◦Protein: Milk, chicken, eggs, fish, yoghurt

◦Vitamins and minerals: Fruit, vegetables, dairy products

◦Fibre: Seeds, peas, beans

◦Water: Foods, drinks, formulated sports drinks

Footballers need increased energy to gain that extra edge, and that’s most commonly found in carbohydrate. In a healthy diet, 55-60% of it should come from carbohydrate, but for footballers, it’s even higher – as much as 70%

Players need other nutrients too and it’s not easy to get the perfect intake of carbohydrate from eating a regular three meals a day. The way to do it is by snacking – snacks play a crucial role in a player’s diet, especially if eaten immediately after training or a match. That’s when the energy stores in the muscles which have just been working are best refuelled.

Because playing football is a physically demanding activity, it is essential that players eat a healthy, balanced diet at all times. This helps them get the best results out of both their practice and actual matches by preventing injury and keeping energy levels high.

It may be obvious but many people forget that one of the simplest and best things footballers can do to improve their gameplay is to drink plenty of water. Research suggests, due to all that strenuous exercise footballers can lose up to seven pints of fluid during a match.

Dehydration is therefore, one of the main problems which can have a negative effect on footballers performance.

It appears the food the players enjoy before each match is a far cry from the burgers, hot dogs and panini’s that is served up on the terraces at the Bridge.

Article by: Clare Smith

Twitter @chelsea4girls

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