Premier League players have to adhere to certain guidelines. These include refraining from using phones before bedtime, consuming a substantial amount of sushi, and enduring ice baths while wearing compression shorts.
Dr. Mark Gillett, a 53-year-old medical advisor to the Premier League since 2018, revealed to The Telegraph that the athletes’ sporting mentality has drastically evolved over the years, thanks to scientific advancements.
Nutrition plays a vital role in their regimen. “Recovery after a match is crucial,” explained Gillett. “The sooner they refuel, the better. Food in the dressing room, personal drinks, protein wraps—chicken or vegetarian options. Electrolyte drinks. Sometimes they might need a pizza, especially after strict dieting for several weeks. But there has been a significant shift towards whole foods rather than supplements.”
Gillett further disclosed that players have a meal on the team bus after the game, consisting of sushi or high-quality meat with some pasta. According to the expert, this is an effective measure to counteract player fatigue following matches.
However, nutrition is just one aspect of a broader analysis of players’ health, fitness, and performance. Gillett emphasizes the importance of “sleep hygiene,” with some clubs even installing specially designed mattresses in players’ homes to help them adjust during overnight trips.
Gillett explains that reducing phone and laptop usage one hour before bed is crucial, while “blue light” is significant for players. Many Premier League stars wear blue-light-blocking glasses at night to block the rays emitted by electronic devices that could disrupt sleep.
“We work with each player,” added Gillett. “There are sleep experts working with individual players. You don’t want devices telling you when players start worrying about that. It’s more about intuition and overall awareness.”
Gillett also highlights the significance of cold showers, an effective way to alleviate post-match fatigue. This method aids in quick muscle recovery, and Gillett advises players to wear compression shorts while taking ice baths.
Despite the displayed quality in Premier League matches, Gillett still believes that the league has a long way to go in achieving the optimal physical fitness level for players.