16 Oct World Food Day: Check out the diet of a former AFL star
The diet of a professional athlete can vary wildly depending on their chosen sport.
On World Food Day, we asked a former AFL star what his daily diet consisted of when attempting to keep in shape during the season.
Players were subject to a seven-site skinfold test and, in terms of body fat, were not allowed to go above 45mm. That meant keeping an eye on biscuit intake when relaxing at home.
The squad generally ate often but in smaller amounts, to let the body break down the food a little easier. And the players mostly ate all meals while at the training ground, too.
Five vegetable, two fruit
The nutritionist at the club would make the players stick to a rule of five vegetable and two fruit per day. That meant that a huge intake of greens, including broccoli, cabbage, green beans, and mangetout.
Fruit was also permitted to boost sugar levels. Blueberries, apples, and bananas were the main selections.
Any athlete needs major sources of protein for muscle-building and maintaining a peak physique. The usual protein-rich foods were all on the menu: chicken, tuna, and steak.
However, one, in particular, caught the eye – kangaroo! Apparently, kangaroo is an incredibly lean protein meat and very popular Down Under.
Carbohydrates of choice
When it comes to professional sport, where there’s protein, there’s carbs. Arguably, they’re the most important energy source for any athlete partaking in intensive exercise.
Brown rice, pasta (any kind) and sweet potato were the carb of choice for this former Aussie Rules ace.
We’re told it was generally frowned upon. But immediately after a game, players could eat whatever they liked. Especially after some of them had covered about 17km.
In the dressing room post-game, pizza and burgers would be waiting for the players so they could replenish their bodies with huge calories quickly.
It’s not all bad, this professional sport lark.
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