Fuelling up for performance

Liverpool manager J├╝rgen Klopp is well known for what he calls a pressing style. Opponents of the football team know what they are up against in theory. The Liverpool defenders will play what is known as a high line, so as to limit the progress of the opposing team’s strikers. But the high line does not merely do that. It means there are more players within a remaining space, the playing area is more compressed, which is where the action happens. The team continues to pressure the opposing players into giving up possession of the ball through making a mistake, and then then suddenly their opponents half is crammed with loads of players.

The pressing style requires a lot of sprints from the players to put the ball player under pressure, and certainly in order to do that you would have to expect they fill up and have the right amount of nutrition. What kind of food is the right kind?
Traditionally food high in carbohydrates such as pasta have been favourites. Like distance runners from Somali also swear by ughali, a kind of food that is high carb. But high carb must be balanced. Carbohydrates take a long time to break down, and the resources required by the body to do so can cause its performance to be impaired. Ever experienced the post lunch slump? What is happening is that your body is hungry because it needs calories. You feed your body by eating, but the problem is that in order to break down the food you have just eaten, your body needs calories – so for a spell it is running on empty, which is why you experience the slump. And what can you do about it? Quite simply, don’t eat when you’re really hungry, eat before you get to that stage.

If you were ever in a music band, you know that concerts can last for over two or three hours and before you get on stage you have to fuel up, and then during the break also fuel up as well in order to finish the concert on a high. But don’t be like one of the members of the band The Drifters (Rudy Lewis), who ended up binge-eating to his death! (You can read more about The Dfiters from the Piano Lessons N8 website.)

So here’s a lesson to take away – stay fuelled up for the activities in your life, but don’t binge! Just eat enough for what you need to do. And the timing is important!