What goes perfectly with steak and sore muscles?

Swerve those post-match pints for a relaxing glass of the red stuff. And while you’re at it, pour some in your bath, too. Your aching body will thank you...

When booze and football mix, it usually ends in a fight. But if you swap your pints for pinot, you’ll wake up feeling as good as new, rather than battered and bruised.

And we’re not just talking about dissecting your performance over a glass of claret – which can help fight heart disease and cancer, according to Harvard Medical School.

More after the break

Vinotherapie – bathing in red wine – is a recovery treatment increasingly being used by athletes to help rejuvenate their bodies. NBA basketball star Amar’e Stoudemire insists the spa therapy has helped boost his performance during pre-season.

Can it work for footballers? Andy Barr, director of conditioning for Stoudemire’s team, the New York Knicks, explains the theory behind this wine bath. “It’s claimed that the antioxidants in the wine help with blood circulation,” says Barr, who has also worked for Manchester City, Southampton and Bolton.

“The faster your blood circulates, the faster it delivers oxygen to your working muscles. It also flushes out lactic acid.”

But you need more than just a tub of fermented grapes to sooth your aching limbs, he warns. “To optimise recovery, have a protein shake within 30 minutes of playing, an ice bath as well, and a good night’s sleep.”

Don’t empty the contents of your wine cellar either, as the alcohol will dehydrate your skin. Instead, use tracts of red vine leaf to soak in the bath – while enjoying a small glass of claret, naturally. Cheers!

For more recovery tips see:
Recovery rules for football
Recovery: A how to guide
Shane Long's rules to recovery
Micah Richards: Recharge your batteries for the next game
Post match recovery starts here...
Bobby Zamora on recovery
Bedtime at the Theatre of Dreams
How to sleep yourself sharp

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