Nutrition Habits of Lionel Messi - 8th Highest Paid Celebrity of 2016

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi enters the Forbes World's Wealthiest Celebrities List of 2016 at number 8, with earnings of approximately $81.5 Million before tax. Tax affairs must be a sore point for Messi, because this reigning Ballon d'Or winner who has won FIFA's player of the year award five times was found guilty of tax fraud by a Spanish court.  On 6 July 2016, Messi and his father were handed suspended 21 month prison sentences, and respectively ordered to pay €1.7 million and €1.4 million in fines. But it is highly unlikely that Lionel will serve any time behind bars for this offense.

29 year old Messi is rated by some as the greatest player of all time and this is quite an accolade. As well as his prestigious awards, Lionel has also won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues with Spanish team Barcelona.

So we all know Messi is a very talented football player but more importantly what fuels the Majestic Messi? All will be revealed in the next few paragraphs.
Over the next few months, I will dedicate my time to researching the nutrition habits of the world's wealthiest celebrities in order to find whether there is a link between financial wealth and optimum nutrition, but what is stellar nutritition. Does optimum nutrition exist? Well I will explore this topic in another article and in my talk at the Takeaway and Restaurant Innovation Expo in September.

I have mentioned in the previous 'revelatory' articles on celebrities' nutrition habits that a loyal few of you have read and most of you probably would not have because you don't care for this information, that this 'must read content' is not guaranteed to be 100 per cent accurate. This is because the sources that I lift this nutrition information from regarding the celebrity in question are not necessarily correct and understandably only present a brief overview of the food the celebrity consumes. However I will do my best to contact each celebrity or their agent to obtain a semblance of truth but as I have expressed before, there is only a remote chance that they will respond to such a request.  So you will most likely have to put up with my regurgitated content from other sites and speculative assumptions with a dash of interesting/uninteresting observations and commentary.

So what is Messi's nutrition like?

Have a look at Messi cooking in the video above but I'm not quite sure what is in the pot and what he is putting into the dish. Any guesses? Beef perhaps?

You would expect Messi the footballing supremo to have a high energy power packed diet to fuel him through his tough workouts and rigorous football training so that he has sufficient stamina. As any sports nutritionist will tell you, an athlete's diet plan is key to his performance and it needs to support adequately the high level activity that they undertake.

According to one article either a write up in the independent, Daily Mail or the other one I came across, 10 days before a football match, Messi cuts down on carbohydrates and gradually builds his intake up in time for a match so that the body maximises the blood sugar available. This is the high protein low carb diet which also includes protein shakes 3 times a day and 7-8 glasses of water a day.

5 days before a football match, the above diet is supposedly introduced with vegetable soup which contains a high amount of turmeric, chili, coriander and ginger in order to thin the blood and vegetable soup results in increased blood flow. The effects of these ingredients is news to me.

A day before a football match, the afternoon meal is highly important and so Messi tends to eat fish/prawns/chicken and boiled potatoes with green vegetables and an orange. This is all very specific.

6 hours before a match, Lionel does not eat wheat related products because it can slow down his body according to his nutritionist and so he tends to have porridge or sometimes combines egg white for the ideal balance of proteins and carbohydrate.

70-90 minutes before the match, Lionel prefers to have seasonal fruits like a banana, mango and apple as they have a good quantity and less sugar content than some other fruits.

Italian nutritionist, Giuliano Poser divulged the contents of Messi's nutrition plan and has worked with Messi to improve his diet. Supposedly Messi lost 3kg in weight and cutting out pizza, sweets, bread and pasta from his diet helped achieve this.

Poser also gave five key foods that formed the foundation of Lionel's diet which were water, good quality olive oil, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Nuts and seeds were also in the nutrition plan and Poser stated that sugar was off the table due to its effects on muscles. Refined flours were also prohibited as it is a challenge to find uncomtaminated/healthy wheat but a little bit of salt in food was permitted as it is good for the muscles.

I think I did rather well in finding details on Messi's diet. Well it wasn't too difficult with the google search, 'Messi and Food'.  So we have covered what Messi possibly eats and on the face of it there is a link between wealth and particular type of diet. However, it is common knowledge that an athlete should really eat a certain way in order for them to maintain and reach peak performance levels in whichever sport they participate in.

Next up in the YouRCooK series on the nutrition habits of the top 100 wealthiest celebrities of 2016, is Musician Adele. Return to the YouRCooK blog tomorrow to be blown away by what another celebrity on the Forbes list might or might not eat.
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