Between 8am to 10am
Sebastien Bassong: “I can struggle with my weight sometimes so I never eat anything heavy in the morning. I like to feel light and fast on the pitch. I usually have cereal, a banana, eggs and some apple juice. Something sweet gives you power and sharpness on the pitch so you can react quickly.”
Mike Watts, Norwich City’s head of performance, strength and conditioning: “The most important meal of the day. Sebastien’s breakfast is designed to ‘break the fast’ and set the energy patterns for the day. This breakfast provides a good carbohydrate-to-protein ratio to aid recovery.”
“Porridge with a scoop of whey protein is a great way to drip-feed the body with fuel, giving you lasting energy to set you up for the morning’s training.”
10.45am to 12.15pm
SB: “I drink plenty of energy drinks during training to keep my energy levels up.”
MW: “This is the only time the players should have access to electrolyte replenishing drinks like Lucozade or Powerade, which replace salts and sugars lost through sweating.”
“Aim to drink a quarter of the bottle (125 millilitres) once every 15 minutes.”
SB: “We have a shake after training to help our bodies recover. It’s important for repairing muscles so we can train harder and achieve peak performance.”
MW: “We encourage players to drink a recovery shake within 20 minutes of training. It’s high in GI carbohydrates, which help create glycogen [a key source of energy] and protein to restore muscles. Then we give them multi-vitamins to supplement their diet.”
“CherryActive supplements are packed full of antioxidants and high in GI sugar, which aid tissue repair. Melatonin, a hormone found in Montmorency cherries, will help your sleep cycle.”
12.15pm to 12.45pm
SB: “I like to have rice or pasta. Africans eat a lot of rice – I’ve been raised on it – and I think it makes really strong people. Both rice and pasta are high in carbs, which is good for a footballer.”
MW: “All the players’ meals are low in sugar, salt and fat. They have a choice of rice or sweet potato for their source of carbohydrates. They’ll also have a selection of vegetables to choose from to go with either chicken or steak.
“Get yourself a plate of meat, veg and carbs. Try to avoid white pasta because it will spike your blood sugar levels. Don’t eat to fullness. Always leave some room as this helps the body process the food.”
SB: “I really like yoghurt with a bit of granola. It’s simple, tastes nice and the calcium in the yoghurt helps to build strong bones.”
MW: “We recommend the players have something like granola with yoghurt, a protein smoothie or a lean protein sandwich. A lot of players will have a takeaway option at lunch, which they heat up for an evening snack.”
“Go for fresh turkey with avocado in a wholemeal wrap. Eating is all about preparation. Stock healthy foods and you’ll eat healthier.”
SB: “Even when it comes to dinner I like to have a small portion. Chicken breast is one of my favourite things to have. It helps me feel strong for the next day.”
MW: “We don’t want the players to have anything too heavy in the evening so I advise them to have some steamed vegetables or a salad with grilled lean meat. Poached eggs are a great vegetarian option.”
“As long as you cook with fresh ingredients that are low in sugar, salt and fat you can have pretty much anything at dinner time. We like to serve the players healthy pizza, burritos with wedges, paella, lasagne, cottage pie, Asian noodle salad with chicken or Middle Eastern chicken stew with sweet potato.”
AFTER DINNER SNACK
SB: “The sports science guys give us shakes to have in the evening. They fill you up to prevent you from snacking and they also repair your damaged muscles.”
MW: “We give the players casein shakes to help recovery, especially if they’re injured. It also contains a slow-release protein that prevents them from starving while they sleep.”
“Milk is a simple but effective snack for this time of day and it contains casein. Be careful, though, as milk does contain more fat than the casein shakes we give the players.”
BASSONG’S BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
It’s all bananas, berries and honey for the Cameroonian
Basic ingredients (serves six)
• 1 cup of blackberries (or mixed berries)
• 1 banana
• 2 and a half cups of skimmed milk
• 1 tablespoon of manuka honey
• 1 cup of cooked oats
• 50g of whey protein isolate powder
How it helps
This will set you up for the day. It contains slow releasing GI energy from the oats and the protein kick from the whey protein maintains lean muscle. The fruit contains antioxidants and the natural sugar in the honey and fruit will not only fuel your body and brain, but give your taste buds a workout. The milk will give the smoothie a really nice texture and contains calcium and protein. Calcium prevents dietary fat being absorbed by your body, helping you to shed a few pounds.
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