Football NewsSunday 20th November 2016

Premier League: Liverpool nutritionist explains what food makes Klopp's side tick

Premier League: Liverpool nutritionist explains what food makes Klopp's side tick

Liverpool's performance nutritionist Ted Munson, who works for a company called Science in Sport, has revealed the exact eating habits of Jurgen Klopp's side this season.


Munson explains how players in different positions need very different meals, for example a striker like Daniel Sturridge would eat protein to ensure physical power is at its peak, while midfielders like Jordan Henderson eat a more carb-based diet as they cover more ground.

“There are positional differences that will make a difference to a diet,” Munson told the Telegraph. “With GPS tracking you can now highlight differences in the metabolic needs of a player. 


"A full-back will use more energy than a player in another position, for example. It’s a completely different role and needs a different type of athlete. Full-backs who are sprinting up and down more than others will burn most energy.


“Strikers might need more power to challenge centre-halves, so you would increase their protein intake to strengthen muscles to hold the ball up. Those who cover more of the pitch, like midfielders, might take more carbohydrates.


“That kind of data takes time to collect and a huge buy-in from the club. Nutrition is marginal gains. Players can coast by without thinking about nutrition – I’ve seen that – but they’re missing out in particular on maybe five to 10 per cent, particularly at a time where a game could be won or lost in the last 10 minutes.


“A lot of clubs have now gone into creating food stations – protein stations, hydration stations, etc. Psychologically, when you’re hungry you will pile on your plate more of what you see first. A day before a game you will see more carbs available.”

Munson, who has worked with the likes of Andy Murray, Chris Hoy and much of Team GB, went on to say that proteins and fats take a lot of time to digest, so food like eggs are banned on match-days.

 “Broadly, research suggests protein and fat takes a lot of time digest and you don’t want too much volume in a player before a match day,” he added. “It’s about educating players as to the decisions they take ahead of games"


Below is a typical match-day dietary routine compiled by Munson:


9am: Breakfast

Eat: Carb-based, usually cereal, porridge or toast.

Drink: 500-1,000ml of fluid, which include electrolytes to help absorb and retain fluids

1.45pm: Warm-up

Eat: An energy gel

Drink: 500ml sports drink.

3.45pm: Half-time

Eat: An energy gel, preferably one containing caffeine

5.15pm: Post-match

Drink: 500-1,000ml of water and a tablet to boost the immunity system

6pm: Post-match meal

Eat: Should be eaten within an hour of the game, with a nutritional format of 60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fat.