What Arsenal Players Eat & Drink to Stay Match-Sharp
Mikel Arteta is slowly but surely building a team that the fans can be proud of. He of course learnt his trade under one of the best managers in the world in the form of Pep Guardiola as well as all the tricks of the trade when it came to sport science and nutrition.
It is the latter that we are interested in, as we delve into the diets and nutrition plans of some of Arsenals top stars, to see exactly what it is they feed and water their bodies with to keep them at the pinnacle of the game.
Arsenal legends of old probably ate drastically different diets to those that are consumed by the Premier League stars of today, as fry ups and all-you-can-eat buffets have been banished
Héctor Bellerín – On Loan and Meat Free
It came as something of a shock when the versatile Héctor Bellerín was loaned out to Real Betis in his native Spain, as Arsenal fans always saw him as a reliable performer, despite him admittedly never setting the world alight.
He apportions part of that consistency to his vegan diet, which he started to follow around the beginning of 2016. Since then, he has talked at length online about the benefits that come with cutting out meat and other animal products, such as reduced muscle inflammation and the quicker recovery times that come with it.
Part of the reason for Bellerín being farmed out to the La Liga side is because of his ongoing injury woes, which in some quarters have been blamed on his choice of diet. However, it is very difficult to say whether it is his diet or other mitigating factors which are causing his recurring injuries.
Wenger and Emery put Thought into Nutrition
Of course, it was not Mikel Arteta who started the foodie revolution at the Emirates, with managers like Arsène Wenger and Unai Emery both being particularly obsessed with ensuring their charges were fuelled to perfection. In the case of Wenger that focus was proven to be well founded as he built the most impressive team the club has ever known, delivering for fans literally every single week. The rest of the league has now caught onto the fact that collagen drinks are better for muscle recovery than protein shakes, that foods like green leafy veg and fish can lead to better concentration and memory, the latter being useful for players who normally struggle to remember a complex tactic or formation.
Such sports science-inspired approaches have now been built upon by the current management team at the Emirates, who owe a lot to trailblazers like Wenger and Emery.
The sustainability of vegan diets for pro players is still up for discussion with some nutritionists suggesting that vegan players should also take supplements to balance their diets
Rehydration of a Different Kind
Perhaps the biggest change that has come about at the Emirates and all other top level football clubs is that alcohol is most certainly off the menu. Once again this was Wenger’s doing at the Arsenal, as managers and fans alike got sick and tired of lethargic players moping around the pitch having been spotted by the paparazzi the night before in a town centre night club.
These days it’s not just beer and wine that are off the menu for pro footballers, but sugary drinks as well, such as Coca Cola or anything that has added sweeteners. This is because they can have the opposite effect of rehydrating a player as well as providing excess sugar that then turns into fat. Instead, players should only ingest water or specially formulated liquids put together by their club nutritionists, who at Arsenal is James Collins.
Supplements Help Fight Deficiencies
As well as selecting the diets that the squad consume, Collins and his team also have to take into account all the different dietary requirements that individual players have. This means he is a big advocate of using dietary supplements if a player is struggling to maintain the requisite levels of a certain vitamin, mineral or protein.
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