What did Emile Heskey, the famous soccer striker who played for Newcastle Jets, eat to perfect his performance.
PLAN FOR THE LONG-TERM
If you want to stay at the top of the game for almost two decades, like Emile did, you can’t afford any dietary problems. You MUST be at the top of your game!
“I take a mix of supplements each day: a multi-vitamin, chlorella, Coenzyme Q10 and spirulina. It keeps my immune system strong and helps me feel energized. ”
Spirulina is the real star in the group and research in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that it improves exercise endurance by almost 10 per cent (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010119). Its rather unpleasant flavor means tablets are probably the best way to take it.
Intense double training sessions every day mean Heskey needs nutrient-dense, long-lasting energy sources and fresh juices fit the bill perfectly.
“There’s a juice bar on every street corner, which gave me the idea to make my own,” he said. “One of my favorite energizing juices is celery, apple, cucumber, kale and ginger. Just put it through the juicer…”
These ingredients aren’t full of fruit sugars (fructose), so they’re slow digesting and supply a long-lasting source of energy.
A CHAMPIONS BREAKFAST
The demands of intense long-lasting 10AM training sessions require the right food at breakfast to make getting through them possible.
“At 7AM I’ll have a cup of porridge with almond milk and manuka honey,” said Heskey. “I have a fruit smoothie made of banana, mixed berries, dates, cashew nuts and almond milk.”
Research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that almonds increase beneficial gut bacteria, meaning choosing almond milk over cows’ milk can improve nutrient absorption (Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080627163121.htm).
Note: Manuka Honey isn’t just any old honey. It has very specific health properties that aren’t found in any other type of honey. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/manuka-honey-medicinal-uses.
SPLIT YOUR DAY IN TWO
Heskey trains twice a day, so fast and complete recovery is critical to his being the best he can be.
“After the morning session I eat watermelon, orange, apple, pear or 300-gram piece of fish, a cup of quinoa and loads of green veggies, such as spinach, kale of broccoli.”
Watermelon is one of the secret ingredients as suggested by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry as it reports that watermelon eases post-workout stiffness (Source: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf400964r).
EAT LIGHT! STAY FIT!
Protein is essential to repair muscles as we all know but Heskey picks the kinds that work best for his body.
“I don’t eat red meat and prefer to stick to fish, choosing between salmon, tuna, snapper and tilapia,” he explains. “Even before a big game, I’ll have a big portion of fish and some brown rice with a huge serve of mixed green leafy vegetables.”
The fish is the easiest meat-based protein to digest and won’t weigh-down his digestive system when he’s ready to do what he does so well – play soccer – at maximum peak performance!
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