Virtual weigh-ins & ready meals: Man Utd nutrition during lockdown

MANCHESTER UNITED have revealed their nutrition regime during lockdown, which includes Instagram cooking lessons, home deliveries of bespoke ready meals and a virtual weigh-in.

Steve McNally, the club’s Head of Sports Medicine and Science, spoke about the programme during an interview with United’s official website, which you can watch at the bottom of this page.

He said nutritionists Mark Ellison and Tom Whitehead had done a “great job” in organising a nutrition plan for the players before the start of lockdown.

“They (the players) all have individual nutrition programmes anyway - that’s part of our normal programme - so we carried those on,” said McNally, who has worked for United since 2006.

“But we did have to tweak those a little bit, because they are not working as hard as they normally do, in terms of their training or the games, so their energy intake needs to be less than they would normally have.

“When you are bored it’s easy to comfort eat - we are all probably doing - but the basic rule is that if you don’t buy the stuff in the first place it’s not available to just pick. Make the right choices in your shopping and you are less likely to reach for the wrong thing at the wrong time.

“The nutritionists are doing a weekly weigh-in as well. They’ve got a scheduled weigh-in every Friday morning with set parameters, similar to what we do at the club. They can’t check their body fat levels unfortunately, but we will see what they are like when they get back.”

McNally, who has been the only member of staff at the Aon Training Complex since the start of lockdown said “a lot of the boys have home chefs” but that they had “had to go as part of the lockdown”. This has meant United making other arrangements.

“The nutritionists have the boys on an Instagram page looking at cooking lessons, so a number have developed a new skill and one or two have got injured in the process," added McNally.

“For those that haven’t got the facilities to cook at home to that level, or the skills or the motivation, we have got some high-quality ready meals from suppliers we use for trips to away games for example, so hopefully they are not going without the required quality of food.

“We want them to get access to the best-quality food and have managed to source a number of high quality-food suppliers willing to do safe home deliveries. They can choose a bespoke Manchester United hamper or a food pack.”

United players have also been given a link to a free Open University course called Science of Nutrition and Healthy Eating. This involves 24 hours’ study over a period of eight weeks, with topics including the digestive system, nutrition and food labelling.

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