LA Galaxy players utilize nutrition at every step in the workday. Their performance is primarily based on whether or not they prepare their bodies with the best fuel and recover their muscles with the right nutrients.
The day begins around 8:30 am in the team lounge. This is where the guys can select a premier quality breakfast before the 10:00 am training session. Pre-workout nutrition should emphasize easy-to-digest carbohydrates, lean proteins, and hydration. Some available options for our players include steel cut oatmeal with chia seeds and berries, avocado toast with pasture raised eggs, ham and spinach omelets, and Greek yogurt with freshly made cashew granola. The guys eat and socialize in the lounge, ensuring they get their morning coffee, tea, and water for energy and hydration. We recommend about 16-32 ounces of fluids before the session. Water is the priority, but milk, 100% juice, coffee, and tea all count towards hydration.
After breakfast but before heading to training, the guys “weigh in” on a designated scale and record their weight. This is the first step in monitoring how much sweat the athletes lose during the session—more on this later!
Training usually lasts around 1.5 hours, and intensity varies depending on the game schedule. In regards to nutrition, the goal during exercise is maintaining hydration status. Water breaks happen every 15-20 minutes, and the players take a couple of gulps of water each time. Tougher sessions and/or hotter days result in heavier sweating and therefore, more sweat loss. This increases the need for sports drinks. We use CR7Drive from Herbalife Nutrition to provide quick carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes to replenish any lost through sweat.
After the session, the players receive personalized recovery shakes, using Herbalife24's Rebuild Strength, to aid the recovery process. While we personalize the shakes by adding certain ingredients specific to players’ individual goals, every shake includes the important base components of post-workout nutrition: carbohydrates to replace energy stores in muscles, protein to repair and build muscle tissue, and fluids to rehydrate.
When the team returns to the training room, the first thing they do is “weigh-out” and record this weight. The difference between the pre- and post-training weights is used to determine how many pounds of sweat they lost during training. Many factors determine how much an athlete sweats, but it is important for each individual to understand their personal hydration needs. We track the weights to see if the players are getting enough fluids during training or not. For every pound of sweat lost, we recommend adding at least one 16-ounce bottle of water to their daily intake. This can be a lot of additional fluids if an athlete loses 4 pounds in one session!
After treatments or work in the gym, the last step of the work day is getting in a balanced meal. A buffet-style lunch is served around 12:00 pm each day in the team lounge. We provide a rotating menu of various cuisines that have been strategically planned to match the training schedule. Each meal focuses on complex carbohydrates, lean protein, plenty of vegetables and healthy fats. A sample menu is lemon garlic salmon with roasted sweet potatoes, grilled mixed vegetables and a side of mixed berries. This meal provides all of the necessary nutrients for recovery so they are prepared for the next session.
Lastly, the guys grab snacks for the afternoon (mixed nuts, protein bars, Greek yogurt, superfood smoothie pouches) and water for the road. Dinner is up to them, but the majority of the day’s nutrition is taken care of at the office!
Nutrition for the Win!
Brooke & Nicolette
Use this chart for your own nutrition to fuel around exercise:
|TIMING NUTRITION FOR YOUR WORKOUT|
|What To Eat/Drink:||When To Eat/Drink It:|
|BEFOREWORKOUT||Easily digested carbohydrates|
Water (1/2 bottle)
30 – 45 minutes prior to workout
For light workouts of an hour or less:
For high-intensity workouts or those lasting over an hour:
Every 15 min, drink 4 gulps of fluid
Carbohydrates to replenish energy
Protein to assist muscle recovery
Fluids/Electrolytes to replace sweat
(water, sports drink)
Refuel within30 – 45 minutes
Follow with a balanced meal1– 2 hours later
(carbs, lean protein, healthy fat)