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
|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|