Home Lifestyle Ever wondered what your star athletes eat? Here’s what’s on a Buccaneer’s...

Ever wondered what your star athletes eat? Here’s what’s on a Buccaneer’s plate

Ever wondered what your star athletes eat? Here’s what’s on a Buccaneer’s plate

The link between good health and good nutrition is well established.

The foundation for improved performance is a nutritionally adequate diet.

According to a study, “Key factors influencing the food choices of athletes”, what athletes eat can affect their well-being, performance, body composition, gastrointestinal comfort, and the amount of energy they have for training, competition, and recovery.

Despite the crucial impact diet has on health and performance, athletes may not always make the right food decisions.

There are a limited number of studies that have explored individual and interpersonal determinants of food choices in athletes.

According to a recent study, despite competing at a high level, athletes lack extensive knowledge of nutrition and how to effectively use nutrition education.

A dietary analysis revealed that an athlete’s household diet was deficient in energy, carbohydrates, and calcium as well as vegetables and dairy products.

Sports performance can be improved by a proper diet. Additionally, it takes a lot of stamina to run for 90 minutes during a competition.

A soccer player's body has to be adequately refuelled with energy. In addition to constant practice, diet also plays an important role, on and off the field.

So, what do the newly crowned MTN8 champions, Orlando Pirates FC eat before a soccer game?

Jabulani Makhubele, executive chef of the Protea Hotel by Marriott, Johannesburg Wanderers, unpacks what the Bucs eat in preparation for a match.

“The meals before the game are full of low-GI and wholegrain carbohydrates, the proteins are mostly grilled, skinless chicken breast with a light seasoning of salt and pepper, grilled fish, and little to no dairy and, despite the Buccaneers knowing this, absolutely no pastries allowed before match day,” said Makhubele.

Included in the team’s diet is good old spaghetti bolognese with a sprinkle of grated cheese; some players ask for raw or boiled eggs, but nothing beyond that. Makhubele said the players and other members of the team are down-to-earth and don’t make outrageous requests.

Ever wondered what your star athletes eat? Here’s what’s on a Buccaneer’s plate
Terrence Dzvukamanja and Chef Jabulani Makhubele. Picture: Supplied

We all agree that local is lekker, which is perhaps why Makhubele insists that all the items be freshly purchased from local suppliers.

He said his crew could easily prepare any meal requested because of their excellent working relationship with the football club's management, their understanding of the team's needs, and the fact that they received the menu at least two days beforehand.

“When I see Orlando Pirates playing well and succeeding, I can’t help but feel that my team and I played some small role in that,” said Makhubele.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.

Original Article