Everyone who’s into football or otherwise knows that Barcelona star Lionel Messi is always in shape during football season. So what is the secret behind Messi’s amazing form? It might not come as a surprise to you, but Messi follows a strict diet which he attributes to his athletic physique and his spontaneity on field. As reported by Sport360, Messi’s food diet was revealed in a Mundo Deportivo interview with his Italian nutritionist, Giuliano Poser. Poser is the one responsible for drastically changing Messi’s diet since 2014, and the results are pretty clear to us, given his recent outstanding performances on field. So, here are the foods that need to be credited with the fitness of one of the world’s greatest football stars:

Water

It’s been said time and again that always drink plenty of water! You can even live without food if you have to but you can’t go less than a week without water. On an average one loses 250 milliliters of water just through breathing. The old rule of thumb is that it is mandatory to consume 8 glasses ( 2 liters) of water a day. As an athlete or a sportsperson it is accepted that performance declines with dehydration. The best way to get water into your body is by drinking plain water.

Olive Oil

It’s no coincidence that olives and sports go hand in hand, given their celebrated history with the olympics. At it’s most basic olive oil provides energy, something that athletes or sportspeople don’t want to be without. Olive oil is made up of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids in the form of oleic acid, a few saturated fats, and some polyunsaturated fats such as linoleic acid. These fats are important to people who are involved in high intensity sports because along with carbohydrates, the mono and polyunsaturated fats act as fuel to build energy and enhance their performance. Compared to the sedentary who should consume no more than 15% of their calories from fat, athletes need anywhere from 20%-30%.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are great to be consumed any time of the day but they are most effective when included during breakfast. The vitamins and fiber content in whole grains is much higher than normal cereals and this keeps your tummy satisfied and your energy levels up throughout the day. Many sportspeople swear by whole grains is because they provide the required amount of plant based protein and fiber which lowers the risk of obesity and helps in maintaining a proper BMI.

Fruits & vegetables

If you are a sportsperson yourself , you need to understand the importance of eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods impart endurance, performance and stamina and are packed with micronutrients. These micronutrients like iron and magnesium play an important role in maintaining health and optimizing performance, producing energy and help in tissue recovery during training. Certain nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E help in maintaining the integrity of the immune system and muscle contraction and strength.

Lionel Messi has been in great form since 2014, thanks to his Italian inspired diet (Image courtesy: Getty)

Besides this, Posner states that “Nuts and seeds are also great, however it is better that he keeps away from sugars. It’s the worst thing for the muscles. “Poser also explained how some South Americans consume far too much meat and he tries to advise his clients against this.“The amount of meat normally eaten by Argentinians and Uruguayans is too much, as it is difficult to digest.”

“My methods are not in doubt, everyone can see Leo week in, week out.” Messi has obviously consulted with one of the finest nutritionists in the sports world, and the 29 -year- old is now plating up on the same ingredients one might expect from southern Italian culture. But either way, the effects are pretty evident, with Messi looking in prime shape as he fast approaches his thirties.

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