Food of Champions – How nutrition has played a pivotal role in the success of Liverpool FC
As Liverpool FC lifted the Premiership title a couple of weeks ago, it marked the culmination of a rebuild that started when Jurgen Klopp took the helm just a couple of years ago. With a preferred playing style, Klopp undertook a root and branch review of training methodology that encompassed all facets of soccer science and performance.
A high intensity, high press with lots of running is the hall mark of Klopp’s Liverpool team, and in order to achieve this players needed a change in their psychological, physical and nutritional requirements. One particular change at the core of the rebuild was the introduction of a new Head of Nutrition, Mona Nemmer who was reported as being Klopp’s best signing of the 2016 season.
Nemmers introduction to the team, overseeing the dietary requirements for all individuals has enabled the players achieve phenomenal results… four major trophies in the last twelve months. Mona Nemmer is a well-known nutritionist in Europe having been the Nutritionist at Bayern Munich before being lured to Liverpool. (It’s probably no surprise that Bayern Munich’s continued success in domestic and european competitions, winning the Bundesliga and Champions League in the 2019/20 season is partly attributable to the sound foundations that have been laid.)
Collaborative working with fitness staff, which we recommend is essential in a rounded program, has enabled Nemmer to develop tasty meals that compliment their training schedules and match day requirements. Personal diets that included many of their favourite foods plus new additions that worked around the player’s training schedule has helped to keep their energy levels high and enable the performance output that has seen them become Champions.
Nutrition is just one part of the science and performance jigsaw, but it’s such a significant role in the total of player well being. From the correct calorific intake that is required to sustain the physical demands, the vitamins and minerals essential for mental preparedness and the recovery cycle.
Another European Elite Nutritionist Dr Eirini Manthou and faculty member of ISSPF explains that nutrition is now a pivotal element of player development and performance. Targeted nutrition can boost performance and support the health of player through their training load. Additionally, Dr Manthou recommends that nutrition plans must be personalised to each player taking into account factors such as their position, their body composition as well as their likes and dislikes. Their individual plans must follow the training periodisation too. Watch an excerpt out of the recent lecture Nutritional Optimisation in Elite Soccer Teams.
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