"If a player wants to become a vegetarian, the first question I want to ask is:'Are you doing it for moral, religious or performance reasons? Or, it's just because you just watched the Netflix movie "The Rules Change "(The Game Changers)?'"
As a professional sports nutritionist, Matt Lovell has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of elite sports, having worked for Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa. According to Lovell, elite football players are becoming more and more interested in eating vegetarian food. "The Rule Changer is a very convincing work." He explained, "but I think it is more like a promotional film than a documentary."
作为专业的运动营养学家，马特·洛维尔（Matt Lovell）在精英体育领域拥有近20年的经验，曾在曼彻斯特城，热刺和阿斯顿维拉工作过。据洛维尔说，精英足球运动员对吃素食越来越感兴趣。 “换规则者是一项非常令人信服的工作。”他解释说：“但我认为这更像是宣传片，而不是纪录片。”
"Whenever a major documentary is broadcast, we always notice similar phenomena, such as "What is Health" a few years ago." Another Premier League nutritionist said, "The players are interested in these films, some Players also want to be vegetarians, but if they have a picky appetite, they will soon find that the food choices are too limited. They will probably stick to it for a few weeks and then they will not be able to sustain it."
But Arsenal defender Bellerin is different from most players: since 2016, he has only eaten vegetarian food.
Bellerin admitted that his decision to become a vegetarian is indeed related to watching the documentary. "I watched a lot of videos on the Netflix website. They describe the way animals are treated roughly and if we eat too much meat, it can cause harm to the planet."
Interestingly, according to sources, in the beginning, Bellerin did not eat vegetarian food for moral reasons. The Spanish player heard that a vegetarian diet may reduce inflammation in the body, reduce pain levels, and help the body recover. Over time, he gradually learned about the moral and environmental impact of vegetarianism. This made his choice of vegetarian food more determined-for Bellerin, vegetarianism has become a way of life.
However, in recent years, due to Bellerin's difficulty in maintaining good health and athleticism, some people have questioned his choice. At the Arsenal club, some people worry that Bellerin's eating habits may hinder him from getting rid of injuries and getting back to his best form.
Arsenal is very particular about nutrition and related work is led by Richard Allison, a performance nutritionist in the club.
Arsenal has two chefs at the training base, and another chef with the team, who will accompany the team to the away game. Every morning, the Gunners players can use the iPad to order any food they want. The club even considers developing specialized technology to track player training data in real time, so as to provide players with targeted dietary advice after training.
At the training base, Arsenal has a dual-energy X-ray bone density meter that can scan players' body fat, lean tissue and bone density. Arsenal will announce the results of the players' physical tests on the training ground and encourage players to make changes when necessary.
In fact, Arsenal has always supported Bellerin's choice and will provide him with a vegan meal. Affected by him, more and more Arsenal players have begun to become interested in vegetarian food, and even asked the club not to add milk ingredients to their milkshakes.
When Bellerin first started to become a vegetarian, he was very happy with the results, because the pain and inflammation in his body were relieved almost immediately. But it was not until two months later that Bellerin told his mother about his new eating habits. "Mum didn't expect it at all. She asked me:'What are you talking about? (If you eat vegetarian food) where can you get your energy to play football?'" Bellerin revealed, "but the doctor said,'Ector (Bellerin), In the past 15 years, I have never seen a blood test result as good as yours.'"
"If you decide to become a vegetarian, you can almost always see positive effects in the short term." Lovell said, "If you start to look at diet from a health perspective, you will definitely agree with the fact that vegetables should be The cornerstone of everything you do... Plants are rich in phytochemicals that have natural anti-inflammatory effects. Most people do not eat enough vegetables, so if you suddenly increase the amount of vegetables you eat, you will definitely be able to absorb more nutrients and take in a small amount. Minerals, inflammation in the body will become less than in the past."
Many nutritionists believe that when players change their eating habits, they tend to choose more reasonable foods more consciously. Eating more vegetables can improve the player's digestion; nutritionists also pointed out that the alkalinity in vegetables helps resist the lactic acid produced by high-intensity exercise.
But at the same time, vegetables cannot completely replace animal protein. "It's not that you can't eat meat." Another top nutritionist explained, "(For the players) the correct way is to eat more fruits and vegetables to make your eating habits healthier."
Lowell added: "In "The Rule Changers," several American football players abandoned processed fast food and switched to natural foods, which made their bodies healthier and their minds smarter. Of course. Yes. But you have to remember that it is not easy to completely change the eating habits. They may feel good in the first few months, but once they do not do well in some areas, this approach may cause problems. "
For example, the levels of calcium and vitamin B12 in players tend to decrease; if iron is lacking in the diet, it may lead to anemia, making players more prone to fatigue or injury. Omega 3 fatty acids in fish food are also very important.
Elite athletes need to consume a lot of protein, and compared with protein from meat, the value of plant protein seems to have caused some controversy. Certain high-protein vegan foods (such as beans) have high fiber content, which makes people feel full, so it is difficult for athletes to get enough protein from vegetarian food.
In addition, being a vegetarian may also make it difficult for athletes to obtain a full amino acid profile. Some experts believe that this will hinder muscle growth and may even hinder the health of tendons and ligaments.
Taking these conditions into account, nutritionists will provide advice and guidance to the players. In the Premier League, most players who eat vegetarian food will regularly test their blood and take dietary supplements. "It's almost essential." Lovell said. "I have never seen any vegetarian who does not take supplements-they need it to correct certain imbalances and deficiencies in the body."
考虑到这些条件，营养师将为运动员提供建议和指导。在英超联赛中，大多数吃素食的球员都会定期检查自己的血液并服用膳食补充剂。 “这几乎是必不可少的。”洛维尔说。 “我从未见过不吃补品的素食者，他们需要它来纠正体内某些失衡和不足。”
But as a vegetarian, Bellerin is too religious. He said last year: "I never take nutritional supplements."
Considering Bellerin’s experience in the past 12 months, some people are frustrated with his persistence... throughout the Premier League, Bellerin appears to be very different; although many players are studying the benefits of a vegetarian diet, Few people do not eat meat at all.
Lovell once worked with former England striker Defoe. Defoe is often described as a vegetarian, but he has publicly admitted that he also eats animal meat products, especially before the competition. Defoe, now 37, plays for the Scottish team Rangers. He eats a vegan diet four days a week, but he eats meat, such as salmon, the night before and on the day of the game.
This phenomenon is becoming more and more common. Many athletes promote vegetarianism, but they occasionally eat fish, chicken or other meats.
Unlike Defoe’s situation, because Bellerin is too "hard-core" and thinks that vegetarianism is an ethical choice, there is almost no room for flexibility in his eating habits...In a sense, only when Bellerin When Lin returns to the game and finds his best form, he can completely dispel people's doubts.