Soccer season is here, and while you watch Real Madrid play this weekend, you may find yourself wondering what their health regimen is. After all, in order to train as hard as these athletes do to play as well as they can, they must do everything in their power to keep their health at top performance. In this article, you’ll learn the top five things you need to incorporate into your diet to train like a La Liga player.
- Supplementing Your Diet
For a large majority of people, dietary supplements are an optional addition to an already healthy diet. Vitamins and probiotics are not something that generally needs to be added to your regimen as long as you’re already eating balanced meals. But for an athlete, it’s important to make sure each aspect of your health is in top shape. A calcium supplement may be called for in order to support bone density, or you may want to add an iron supplement in order to avoid fatigue.
That’s why many La Liga players will add a supplement, like Unify Health Labs Multi GI5, to their regimen. These kinds of supplements will help support digestion, healthy weight management, and can even boost energy, which can be vital for the extensive exercise necessary for athletic performance.
- Balancing Your Nutrition
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is undoubtedly a huge part of performing well as an athlete. But what specifically do La Liga players like to eat to stay at top performance? Surprisingly, quite a few players have turned to plant based and vegan diets as a way to optimize their nutrition. There is some evidence to suggest that a vegan diet can help athletes to out-perform their omnivorous opponents, both in strength and endurance. Top players, such as Lionel Messi, believe that meat is too difficult to digest and eating large portions will slow an athlete down over time, while Marcos Llorente has praised the benefits of a paleo diet, which avoids wheat and dairy products.
Whatever your dietary choices, it’s always advisable to consume lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains, since the body uses the complex carbohydrates from these foods as fuel. Eating processed foods regularly is inadvisable, since they provide inadequate fuel for an active lifestyle. Excessive sugar is also a good thing to avoid, as well, and it may be a good idea to replace sugary snacks with nutrient-packed nuts and seeds.
- Timing Your Meals
When you eat is almost as important as what you eat. Before a match, players will typically want to consume a low GI food, so they can avoid having low blood sugar during peak performance times. Eating a carbohydrate will give them the proper kind of fuel to play well, and should be eaten a few hours before the game begins to avoid nausea. A sports drink should be the only thing consumed within the hour before a match.
After the game, players will need to replenish their depleted stores. A match burns a lot of calories, so they’ll need to eat something immediately afterward to fill up again. A high carbohydrate, high GI food is ideal, such as a banana or a sports drink. A few hours after the match is the time for a big, high carbohydrate meal, with something like pasta or bread. If you’re doing a lot of training or playing a lot of games, it might be hard to keep your carbohydrate stores full, so having a high-carbohydrate sports drink on hand is often a good idea.
- Hydrating Effectively
Last, but not least, you have to make sure you’re properly hydrated if you really want to perform like your favorite athletes. A La Liga player can lose up to three liters of sweat during a match, so drinking plenty of water before, during, and after games is vital to replace those fluids and stay healthy.
By incorporating these dietary tips into your own nutritional habits, you’ll be able to mimic your favorite players and perform better, whatever your goals may be.