Clint Dempsey: Eat like a star

The Seattle Sounders and USA hitman on nutrition and dodging takeaways

What do you eat and drink during the week, and how important is it to follow a strict diet?
It is not too crazy and strict. You try to eat vegetables and fruits, and of course, lots of carbs. The club gives you vitamins, while I personally take glucosamine for my joints. You have to watch what you eat as every two weeks Fulham do body fat testing to check it is under 10%. I do OK, but I’m always right on the edge.

How important is water and energy drinks?
I always drink a lot of water to stay hydrated and help keep the muscles from tearing. Every now and again I’ll have a Coke too, that should be fine. After training we will have a Protein shake as well.

More after the break

Do you feel sluggish if you have junk food or a beer?
It doesn’t really affect you that much, just make sure it is in moderation. You don’t have to be so strict that you have to ban yourself from eating or drinking something. You have to live your life, it is too short to keep yourself away from things you enjoy. I will have an occasional beer or glass of wine, or even a dessert.

Have you ever had a Chinese take-away on a Friday night and regretted it during a game?
No, never before a game, that’s the time when you have to be strict with yourself. Earlier in the week, especially after a game, you can cheat a little bit, but leading up to a game you have a home cooked meal or if you go to a restaurant something very healthy. I eat a lot of pasta, a shrimp or lobster linguine.

For more football tips see:
Diego Forlan: My 24-hour food diary
Jordi Alba: Feed your engine
Simon Mignolet’s big game nutrition plan
Javi Garcia: 5 foods I can't live without
Sebastien Bassong: 5 foods I can't live without
Micah Richards: 5 foods I can't live without
Joe Hart: 5 foods I can't live without

Promo sitewide