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What to eat for your position

“The need for focus and concentration, coupled with explosive movements, agility and flexibility mean a keeper would benefit from a couple of specific supplements in their diet," says Herbalife nutritionist Dana Ryan, who has worked with LA Galaxy, Flamengo and a host of other clubs. "Creatine – available in small quantities in foods like red meat – when taken as a powder supplement (3-5g a day) will aid your body’s phosphocreatine energy systems, helping to improve muscular strength and short-term power.  Also caffeine taken about 30 minutes before a match or training will help with mental focus.”

“Strength and power are very important across the back four and while natural food sources such as meat, cheese and eggs from a balanced diet are essential for muscle development, supplementing with additional protein (whey) will help these players. The mechanical load placed upon a defender’s body during football (tackling, heading and sprinting especially) means you need to consume additional protein to rebuild damaged muscle fibres.” Intake recommendations suggest around 1.4-1.6 g of protein per kilo of your body weight - so for a 75 kg player this would be 105-120g a day, spread out to include 25-30g in each meal."

“Ample carbohydrates are needed for these players as they are constantly tapping into their glycogen stores. Fast-digesting, easily absorbed carbs from sports drinks that deliver high GI (glycaemic index) nutrients will help maintain energy levels – with an estimated 30-60g of carbs per hour being the optimal amount for footballers. BCAA (Branched-Chain amino acids) supplementation can also be helpful to help make sure damaged muscle fibres are repaired and strengthened. I recommend Herbalife H24 Rebuild Strength – a high protein recovery drink with added BCAA."

“Endurance and explosiveness is essential in this role. Consuming adequate low-GI  carbohydrates throughout the day will provide additional stamina, but these are slow-digesting carbs that drip-feed energy (porridge for breakfast and wholegrain pasta as part of a pre-match meal) along with daily creatine supplements for that burst of speed can help accomplish these goals.”

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