Nutrition meets high performance on Sada Cruzeiro

Bárbara Meirelles, Team Celeste Nutritionist, talks about consistent, individualized care for the cast

Barbara Meirelles is a nutritionist at Sada Cruzeiro | Photo: João Guilherme/Agência i7/Sada Cruzeiro

It’s not easy to reach the top, and it’s even harder to stay there for years. At Sada Cruzeiro, current Superliga champion and four-time club world champion, in addition to technical and tactical work, physical preparation and physiotherapy, nutrition is a great ally of high performance.

Bárbara Meirelles has been a nutritionist at Sada Cruzeiro since 2021 and closely monitors each of the team’s athletes, always keeping an eye on what each needs to achieve the best performance.

In the return period, which begins the seasonthe look is even more specific, analyzing what has changed over the holidays and what athletes need to focus on to get in shape as quickly as possible.

“We are trying to see how the boys have come back from vacation as they are reducing the training demand a lot – bodybuilding – and we are doing an assessment to see how they are now compared to the end of last season. We take advantage of this pre-season phase to improve the physical part as much as possible, because during the season we only worry about maintenance,” explained Bárbara.

And all the work goes far beyond the food. The wide gaze helps to understand aspects ranging from the physical to the emotional. “We evaluate everything, the question of sleep, emotional, intestinal, if they have pain or something they want to improve. Sometimes they put on a few extra pounds on vacation, so we are looking for fat loss and an increase lean body mass. We give this very global orientation so that we can reach the peak of performance, “continued the nutritionist.

What can and cannot be done on match days

In season, some days require more careful feeding than others. In the case of Sada Cruzeiro, these are match days which, with a tight schedule, are constant. As the duels are not always in Riacho, in Contagem, the preparation starts well in advance, with the schedule sent to the hotel, for example, so that everything the athletes eat is well digested and does not disturb them on the short.

“On match days, we think about the preparations that we send to be made in hotels, and we avoid preparations that require more of the gastrointestinal system to be digested or that cause discomfort. For example, milk-based , cream, fried foods or carbonated drinks that can cause this discomfort.We believe in a cleaner diet with better digestibility.This way we know that they will have what they need, without any digestive problems. , like nausea or bloating”, explained Bárbara, who conducted consultations with each player on the day of the re-presentation. “After the match, in the locker room, they have already prepared the necessary supplements”, he said. he commented.

Good night’s sleep and emotional up

In addition to food, sleep quality and emotions matter a lot and should be considered when creating a meal plan and tracking during the season.

“All the pillars make a big difference in the athlete’s performance,” said the nutritionist. “Think about the issue of sleep, for example, which helps with muscle recovery and injury control. It is important to know if the athlete has trouble falling asleep, if he wakes up several times during the night, if he wakes up ready to come to training,” commented Barbara.

“Emotionally, there is also a lot of correlation. Sometimes we become more anxious, we eat more and we crave sweets more. These are all individual parameters that we must monitor and protect in every way that make a difference in performance,” concluded the nutritionist.

Sada Cruzeiro makes his season-only debut on September 12, for Campeonato Mineiro. Until then, he continues his pre-season work, focusing on physical preparation, physiotherapy, nutrition and technical/tactical work on the pitch.

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