What do Footballers Drink? Their Beverage Preferences Revealed

Footballers lives usually come under the full glare of the media spotlight for a whole host of different reasons.

While most of the attention they bring can be attributed to their relative performance on the pitch, they sometimes find themselves in the headlines for peculiar reasons.

This brings me onto my main point and the basis for today’s brief article.

I was sat in my bedroom one lazy evening and I asked myself…

What do footballers drink?

Now their dietary programs are meticulously crafted and regimented by the nutritionists and sports industry specialists that work for their clubs.

I thought it would be quite fascinating to do a bit of research to determine if there are any stark differences or similarities between what they drink and what the average joe consumes.

So, without further ado, here are the results of my findings…


1. Mate tea

what do footballers drink - mate tea

Now this one really caught me by surprise.

In fact, I had no idea it even existed prior to stumbling upon it right at the onset of my research.

The drink is of South American origin and is a herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of a plant called the llex paraguariensis.

Its health benefits are said to be great due to the fact that it is high in antioxidants and naturally contains caffeine, which is just like normal tea.

Healthline also posits that yerba mate tea helps with loss of body weight and and belly fat, as it decreases the total count of fat cells and reduces the quantities of fat that each cell holds.

So, it therefore no longer comes as a surprise that famous professional footballers have taken up consumption of the herbal drink.

Below is an embedded tweet which shows Lionel Messi himself gulping down on the stuff!

From this you can see that the drink is multi-faceted as even though its usually served as a hot beverage, it can also double up as an iced tea as well.

It’s preparation in a nutshell involves partially filling a gourd with dried yerba leaves, before pouring hot but not boiling water into the cup.

After a few minutes, the leaves absorb the water to make the tea complete, at which point you can use a straw to drink to your heart’s content.

Here’s a useful video tutorial that illustrates how easy it is to prepare the drink:


2. Water

what do footballers drink - water

What do footballers drink, you say?

Well, water is actually really obvious, but still worth mentioning particularly because of the associated health benefits.

It’s paramount for athletes of their stature to remain hydrated before, during and after the game.

Water is an essential nutrient that the human body comprises over 60% of, and it’s needed to keep our bodies functioning smoothly.

Just think of processes like digestion, lung function, joint lubrication and body temperature regulation all requiring this crucial element.

Additionally, this study posited that a marginal loss of sweat as a percentage of overall body weight can cause a noticeable decrease in physical performance.

Which is why you’ll often spot a goalkeeper having a sip of water in the tunnel before both teams come out for the pre-match handshake.

Also, in cases where humidity levels are so high, the football governing body FIFA intervenes by scheduling water breaks in between halves so that players can recuperate safely.

I even recall the presence of water breaks across Europe’s top divisions when football first returned without spectators after the coronavirus shutdown.


3. Protein shakes

what do footballers drink - protein shakes

Believe it or not, footballers are also known to partake of protein shakes.

Their use isn’t just limited to the huge body builders and weight lifters that you see flexing their muscles all over social media.

Proteins perform multiple jobs like hormone and enzyme manufacture, and without them, muscles take longer to repair which leads to a build up of fatigue and boosts the chances of injury aggravation.

Ultimately, these drinks are absolutely vital for a footballer’s recovery process, especially because the top athletes have tight playing schedules that revolve around playing intense competitive matches every three or four days on top of regular training sessions.


4. Isotonic sports drinks

what do footballers drink - isotonic sports drinks

Think of all your Gatorades, Lucozades, Powerades and so on.

It’s often quite the sight to see some of these superstars quickly gargling and then spitting out these isotonic drinks from water bottles in between games.

A phenomenon that I admit I’ll never understand!

Nonetheless, these liquids contain necessary electrolyte ions that are absolutely imperative for nerve and muscle function, and without them performance levels can dip dramatically as muscles can contract and weaken without the proper blood sugar balance.


5. Alcohol

I’ve included this one purely for a laugh!

My mind is taken back to a specific Bayern Munich trophy presentation, where one of the players was chasing one of his team mates with a jug of beer in hand.

It was a funny sight to say the least, as Ribery appeared so desperate not to get drenched.

Footballers do loosen up every now and then, particularly during the off season.

And there are quite a few gripping stories from players which reveal the adverse effects that this recreational drink has had on some of the lives of these professionals.

Samuel Waihenya
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