veggies

If you are a footballer regardless of gender, level, standard or age I suppose you have received advice and instructions about your diet. I take my diet very seriously. I am always interested in the opinions of the experts and I do my best to put into practice, their lessons and advice. It would be noticed without doubt, particularly at inter-county level, if you were not eating healthy and nutritious food, such are the demands on the body. The engine relies on the fuel and the advantages are clearly visible during periods of hard training as we currently are undergoing. I have a few personal guidelines and below I have listed a few of them.

  • Instead of eating 3 big meals during the day, I eat 6 smaller sized meals. As a result I find I have more energy. Apparently if you eat too much at one time your body generates too much insulin and you become tired.
  • The day before a game is very important and usually I eat Spaghetti Bolognese with Whole-wheat pasta. On match day, I eat a small dinner 3 hours beforehand and I have a cup of coffee 45 minutes before it as well. I feel there is a buzz with it and I am more alert.
  • I abstain from alcohol during the league usually to give the body a chance and I have no desire for it approaching the championship.
  • I have to get at least 7 hours sleep every night.
  • According to the evidence, I need 140 grams of protein every day. This amount is determined by your weight and I get it from nuts, eggs, meat and fish for the most part.
  • I can’t go without porridge in the mornings. I would be starving with the hunger before 10 in the morning if I didn’t have it. We used to be told that we should be eating salad with salmon in the morning at one time, but I couldn’t accept or follow it.

I remember a few years ago attending the Gaeltacht in Gweedore for a fortnight. I couldn’t eat enough trash and we had a few pints now and again. I returned home on the Saturday and the following morning we did a hard training session in the field in Rhode. I struggled for the entire session and couldn’t catch my breath. With that, I decided on the spot I wouldn’t make that mistake again. Presently we have a brilliant monitoring system in the camp and huge emphasis is placed on diet. Recently our Doctor took blood samples, studied them and was able to inform us of anything odd or wrong. Anyway, over the course of a week I recorded everything that was put on the table and in my mouth and I also invited my friend Seán Hurley in Australia to do the same. I am of the opinion that he has to keep a sharp eye on his diet given his tough training system day after day. Would there be a significant gap between the two games or would it be easy to identify what was the diet of the professional player without knowing which was which? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear the opinions of experts or experiences of players if you can. Diet of Seán Hurley, Professional AFL Footballer

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Day off Friday Saturday Sunday
Breakfast- 2 slices of wholegrain toast, 4 poached eggs and a cup of tea. Breakfast- 4 poached eggs, two slices of toast and a cup of tea Breakfast- 2 weetabix and a banana, skimmed milk, and protein smoothie Breakfast- 3 poached eggs, two slices of toast, smashed avocado and a skinny Late Breakfast- Bowl of Muesli with two slices of wholegrain toast covered in peanut butter and a cup of tea Breakfast- Smoothie (Protein, blueberries, low fat ice cream, honey, low fat milk) and a muesli bar Breakfast- Scrambled eggs with two slices of whole grain toast, two pieces of bacon and a cup of tea
Mid-morning snack-banana and a handful of nuts Morning snack- Apple and a skinny Latte Morning Snack- Protein Bar Morning snack- handful of nuts and  a banana Morning snack- Banana and watermelon Morning snack breakfast out- 4 poached eggs, on two slices of wholegrain toast & smashed avocado Morning snack- Apple and low fat natural yoghurt
Lunch- Chicken fillet,Caesar salad and sweet potatoes, WPI shake Lunch- Chicken Caesar Salad, chicken wrap and a skinny latte Lunch -Chicken Caesar salad with two poached eggs on top ,WPI shake Lunch-Chicken Caesar salad Lunch- Lamb shank with rice, salad and bread rolls. WPI shake Lunch- Two Tuna salad wraps with a skinny latte Lunch- Chicken Caesar salad and a skinny late
Evening snack- smoothie (blueberries, Low fat milk , banana,protein,honey,Low Fat ice cream) Afternoon snack- Smoothie Afternoon snack – Iced Coffee Afternoon snack- protein smoothie Afternoon snack- Skinny Late and a low fat Muffin Afternoon snack- Banana and handful of mixed nuts Afternoon snack- handful of mixed nuts
Dinner – two salmon fillets (450g)with a balsamic salad and pumpkin Dinner-Sate Chicken(450g)skewers with low fat natural yoghurt Dinner- Chicken (450g) wraps with a balsamic dressed salad and roasted sweet potatoes Dinner- Teriyaki Beef(350g) and veg Dinner- Sweet potatoes with mince beef(450g), veg and a light sour cream Dinner- Homemade chicken and salad pizza with low fat cheese Dinner- Chicken pasta with a low fat sauce and cheese
Night snack -natural yoghurt with two weetabix Evening snack-slice of whole grain toast covered with peanut butter Evening snack- weetabix, blueberries and low fat natural yoghurt Evening Snack/treat- ‘Tutti Fruity’ Low fat ice cream with mixed fruit Evening snack- Chocolate Bar and a cup of tea Evening snack- Popcorn and a diet coke Evening snack- Low Fat ice-cream and mixed berries

* WPI – Whey Protein Isolate supplement “Monthly we are checked for ‘skin-folds’ by the clubs dietician. They are a good indicator to the fitness coaches of the type of diet everyone has. Since coming to a professional club I have been wary of products I buy when shopping. Most of my dairy products such as cheese, milk yoghurt and ice cream are ‘low fat’ as you can see from my week’s diet. The massive training load means I have a much larger appetite to that of what I used to have at home. So the right foods are crucial to my recovery over here. I haven’t mentioned water in my diet but I can assure you a water bottle never leaves my hand unless I’m training. I drink approx 5 litres of water a day as I find it very easy to become dehydrated in the heat of Perth. The protein I am on (WPI) is specific to me, as it is just a recovery protein with no weight gainers in it. Others who need to lose or put on weight would be on different types of protein. Every morning before training we undergo urine tests. If your score indicates you are not adequately hydrated, you are required to take a hydration shot before beginning.” Diet of Brian Darby, Inter-county Footballer

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
07:00 Porridge with Melon, cinnamon, flaxseed. 3x Scrambled egg. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon. 2x fish oils 07:00 Porridge with Melon, cinnamon, flaxseed. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon. 2x fish oils 07:00 Porridge with Melon, cinnamon, flaxseed. Boiled egg. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon. 07:00 Porridge with Melon, cinnamon, flaxseed. Boiled egg. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon 2x fish oils 07:00 Porridge with grapes, cinnamon, flaxseed. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon 08:00 Porridge with blueberries, cinnamon, flaxseed. Boiled egg. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon. 2x fish oils 09:00 Porridge with blueberries, cinnamon, flaxseed. Boiled egg. Green tea with Echinacea & Lemon. 2x fish oils
11:00 Banana, Walnuts, Protein Ball 11:00 Banana, Walnuts, Protein Ball 11:00 Banana, Walnuts 11:00 Almonds, 0% fat organic natural yogurt. Banana 11:00 Homemade scone, apple, walnuts 10:15 Slice of homemade brown bread & an orange 11:15 Orange and a coffee
12:30 Sandwich with homemade brown bread, Ham, rocket, cheese. Orange 12:30 Sandwich with homemade brown bread, smoked salmon, rocket, hummus. Orange 12:30 Pasta with light cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, spinach. Orange 12:30 Spelt bread, bacon, organic cheese, rocket, guacamole. Orange 12:30 Chicken curry with brown rice. Pear 12:30 Beef Stroganoff with rice 13:30 Scrambled egg, tuna, rocket, cherry tomato and brown bread
15:00 Sandwich with homemade brown bread, Ham, rocket, cheese. Apple. Walnuts   15:00 Sandwich with homemade brown bread, chicken, rocket, cheese.Apple.Wnuts 15:00 Cashew nuts and slice of brown bread with hummus 15:00 Spelt bread, boiled ham, organic cheese, rocket, guacamole. Apple 15:00 Orange 16:00 Apple and Brazil nuts 15:00 Roast Beef, broccoli, potato, cauliflower
17:00 Chicken fillet, sweet potato, broccoli & carrots 17:00 Pork chop, whole-wheat pasta with light cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, spinach 17:00 Smoked Haddock with sweet potato & carrots 18:00 Tilapia fish simmered in onion, mustard seeds & kokum curry with rice 17:00 Whole-wheat Spaghetti Bolognese. Spinach, carrots, garlic, onion. Coffee 17:00 Sirloin Steak with onions, sweet potato wedges and peas 19:00 Homemade brown bread sandwich with roast beef, organic cherry tomato and spinach
19:30 Slice of homemade brown bread, chicken & rocket 19:00 Tea with slice of brown bread and marmalade 22:10 Vol au vent with sweet potato, green beans & mixed vegetables. Vits and fish oils with protein shake 21:00 Cup of tea and digestive biscuit 22:20 Lasagne, sweet potato, green beans, spinach & broccoli Vits and fish oils with protein shake 19:00 Tea with slice of carrot cake 21:00 Low fat Natural organic yogurt with cashews

Written by briandarbymedia1

Leargais agus tuairimí faoi mo shaol agus breise. Spórt, eachtraí polaitiúla agus an nuacht is deanaí sa bhaile agus thar lear. B'aoibhinn liom do thuairimí phearsanta féin a chloisteail agus iad a phlé. "Bíonn dhá insint ar gach scéal" :)

7 comments

  1. Question for Mr Darby, I am a 21yr old gaelic player in Donegal, what are your training times in relation to each day’s meal intake; i.e. how long before and after training do you eat?

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    1. Hi Cian,

      Thanks for your question. I have my pre-training meal 3-4 hours before training although personally I don’t like to leave it much longer than 3 hours. Try to have your post-training meal asap after training. If you don’t feel like eating have something small such as a banana, water, lucozade and handful of walnuts or almonds.

      Beir bua,

      Brian

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  2. Hi Brian
    looking at your diet, and just wondering how it relates to your training/gym schedule and that of your jobs working hours during the day?
    mainly looking at times you’d exercise at?

    thanks
    david

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    1. Hi David. Thanks for your question. Once you are in a routine of training and eating it is very easy to maintain. As we work regularly between gym and outdoors I try to maintain a balanced diet throughout the week. In other words I don’t change diet radically from one day to the next depending on what training we are doing. Once I am getting in enough energy rich foods and protein I feel the benefits energy and recovery wise. Little and often throughout the day, ideally at 6 different stages. Pre training or match meal 3 hours beforehand. If in gym try have a protein snack 1 hour beforehand. Hope this answers your query. Many thanks

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  3. Hi Brian,

    Looking at your diet and I noticed that you don’t take fish oils in the morning on a daily basis. Is there a reason for this and the way you only take ‘vits’ twice a day. Another thing I was wondering was could you share your recipe of guidelines for making the protein ball.

    Thanks,

    Tadgh

    Like

    1. Hi Tadgh,

      Many thanks for your question and I hope you enjoyed the article. I was delighted to get your question.👍

      The only reason I don’t take fish oils or vitamins on Wednesday or Friday mornings is because we get them as part of our recovery after training on those nights. Now there would be no problem taking maybe one in the morning and taking two more after training but that’s the only reason. I take “Nordic Naturals Fish oils” and they come highly recommend.

      My wife Paula has a huge interest in healthy baking and makes the protein balls. The recipe and procedure is laid out below.
      3 cups oats blended, 1 cup Rice Krispies,(optional) 1 cup chopped nuts & dried fruit ( I mix almonds & cranberries)
      1 cup protein powder, 2 cups peanut butter or almond butter, half cup honey… I heat the peanut butter and honey first then add to dry ingredients..mould into balls. Store in a Kilner jar or airtight container.

      If you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Check out my website http://www.briandarby.ie and if there is anything else I can help with just ask.

      Best regards,

      Brian Darby

      Like

  4. Hi Brian,

    Looking at your diet and I noticed that you don’t take fish oils in the morning on a daily basis. Is there a reason for this and the way you only take ‘vits’ twice a day. Another thing I was wondering was could you share your recipe of guidelines for making the protein ball.

    Thanks,

    Tadgh

    Like

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