To keep his competitive edge and perform at an elite level as an international soccer superstar, Jesse Lingard places a high priority on nutrition and fueling up with protein-packed American-grown pistachios. As one of the world’s premier soccer players, Lingard shares his tips for dealing with the rigors of playing professional soccer and his approach to nutrition in an interview with Dr. Mike Roussell, nutrition adviser for Men’s Health and global nutrition ambassador for American Pistachio Growers.
Roussell’s interview with Lingard touched on topics ranging from recovery and nutrition, plant-based diets and high-protein foods like pistachios, and the importance of inspiring future soccer stars and other athletes.
Professional soccer players are among the world’s most fit athletes. Soccer games are long, grueling 90-minute affairs, requiring elite soccer players to burn as many as 2000 calories or more. Maintaining optimal playing weight and making sure they get all the right foods and proper nutrition can be a challenge for players like Lingard.
At one point in his career, Lingard switched to a vegan-only diet, but found that he was always hungry. “At first, I tried to go full vegan straight away, but after five days, I’m starving during the game,” Lingard said. He realized that a better approach is a gradual transition to a vegan diet, something that Roussell said is a prudent for anyone.
“Plant-based foods, they are always going to be a good fuel component and put you into a really good mode going into a game,” Lingard said. He routinely eats fresh fruit, like bananas and berries, for quick bursts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Because they are so portable and they don’t require any cooking, pistachios have become one of his favorite “go-to” snacks before matches and during half-time. “I take them to games and snack on them to give me a bit of energy and recovery.”
While the days leading up to a match are important in terms of game preparation, training and diet, Lingard stressed the importance of recovery after games. “Food is very key with recovery. Especially after a game, it is important to get the right food,” he said. “You have to regain to recover faster after for the next game.”
Roussell explained that pistachios contain protein, anti-oxidants and amino acids that help the body refuel and recover before and after physically-demanding activities. “For an athlete, where you’re talking about muscle recovery and muscle growth, you need those complete proteins because they’re basically amino acids and things your body can’t make, so you have to get them from your diet,” Roussell said. Pistachios are packed with essential nutrients and minerals, and they are the richest source of potassium of all the nuts.
Lingard said his knowledge of and regard for proper nutrition has evolved from the time he was kicking a soccer ball around as a kid. Armed with his nutrition knowledge, he told Roussell that it has raised the level of his game.
While the physical demands of professional soccer are immense, the mental stresses, too, can affect players. Roussell asked Lingard what he does between matches to step away from soccer to give his mind a break and refresh mentally. Lingard’s mental health wellness routine includes taking walks, reading, and going to the gym, but he has one sure-fire way to vanquish the mental fatigue after a tough match – going back home. “You know, I see my daughter. She takes all the stresses away from me. She’s a joy to have and I love seeing her every week when I go back to Manchester,” Lingard said.
What advice does Lingard have for future aspiring soccer superstars Learning about good nutrition is important as well as developing a good work ethic, and making sacrifices and good choices. “If you have the right people around you and guiding you in a positive light, I don’t see why you can’t make it,” Lingard told Roussell. “But obviously on the lot, this is going to take hard work and dedication. That’s the most important thing.”
View the video interview with Jesse Lingard at this link americanpistachios.in/meet-our-ambassadors/jesse-lingard
To learn more about the game-changing nutritional benefits of American pistachios, go to www.americanpistachios.in. American Pistachio Growers is a non-profit trade association representing more than 865 growers and member processors in California, Arizona,
and New Mexico.
American-grown pistachios are available on all major e-commerce platforms in India under different brands. You can find them by simply searching “California pistachios”. These pistachios are also available with leading dry fruit and nut store. Prices differ brand wise and you can choose to buy whichever you like best.