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27th Dec 2016

The menu for Liverpool football club’s cafeteria sounds absolutely delicious

The players don't go hungry.

Ben Kiely

The diet of a Liverpool football player sounds just as delicious as it is nutritious.

Jurgen Klopp bringing gegenpressing over to Anfield means that the players require the best fuel available in order to increase their energy efficiency. The meal plans the club’s new head of nutrition, Mona Nemmer, has introduced appears to do just that without sacrificing flavour.

The 32-year-old, who was introduced to sports nutrition when she was hired to cater for Germany’s national youth teams, revealed what the Liverpool players chow down on at Melwood in a fantastic interview with the New York Times.

The club cafeteria travel to find the best suppliers of meat and seafood, sourcing their fish (including Atlantic cod loins) from Scotland. game (such as venison loin with an herb and nut crust and roasted plums) from Norfolk and the organic meat from Chester. For seasoning, sea salt is used rather than the chemically treated table salt.

Nemmer tailors meals to specific players based on position, body types and cultures. For example, she explained that Brazilian players such as Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho have a different breakfast culture to the Europeans and therefore start off the day a bit differently while certain players focus more on protein with others requiring different types of minerals and electrolytes.

“It is no good telling them to eat apple, some golden raisins and oats for breakfast if they cannot find them,” Nemmer notes, adding that the players can pick and choose from a variety of healthy options in the cafeteria that now has “the feel of a marketplace.”

Fresh pasta with a range of homemade sauces are available to players after games and Nemmer travels with the team to away games to provide meals on the team bus and make sure the hotel the hotel the team are staying in stick to her diet plans.

While deep frying isn’t practiced, she tries to make sure that the players aren’t limited too much in terms of what they can eat. For example, if you have a sweet-tooth, you’ll be catered for come dessert time.

“We can have a chocolate pudding, of course, but we can choose rice or almond milk, no powder, use a good quality cacao, molasses instead of sugar. Then you have a totally different product.”

However, she has done her best to stamp out some of the players’ bad habits. She explained that Adam Lallana, James Milner and Jordan Henderson used to get their half-time boost from something sweet-based, but now they consume a “slug of apple juice laced with caffeine” instead.