Soccer

Lionel Messi's nutritional secrets revealed

Lionel Messi's doctor says the soccer star's sustained excellence is partly the result of a healthier diet that features five elements he calls the "super gasoline" of nutrition.

Soccer star's doctor stresses 5 keys to healthier diet

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during a La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sporting Gijon. (Alex Caparros/Getty Image)

After Argentina lost the final of the 2014 World Cup to Germany, many blamed team captain Lionel Messi for the result.

Some said the star striker, who turned 27 during the tournament, was already past his prime, while others claimed his drop in form was the result of a weight gain.

However, the Argentine maestro turned things around in 2015, leading Barcelona, his club team, to a slew of honours, including its fifth Champions League title. Once again, Messi was single-handedly tearing apart defences. He even looked thinner, reportedly losing more than seven pounds after visiting a sports doctor, Giuliano Poser.

Messi's return to form raised questions regarding his new nutritional habits, and Poser has finally spilled the beans — sort of. In a Spanish-language interview with Mundo Deportivo, the Italian doctor claims there is no special formula.

In fact, Poser, whose specialty is kinesiology (the study of the movement of the body), says Messi's improved play is simply the result of a healthier diet, one that features five main elements, which he calls the "super gasoline" of nutrition:

  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables

The key, however, says Poser, is to ensure that these ingredients are "free of pesticides, herbicides and so forth, as they can cause great harm to the body."

The one food to avoid at all costs, says Poser, is sugar. "It's the worst there is for the muscles. The further away you are from it the better."

For Messi the results have spoken for themselves. He's even recommended Poser's diet to international teammates Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín — both of whom have also had strong club seasons. 

But even the greatest, it seems, sometimes need a cheat day. For Messi that appears to involve a plate of toast and dulce de leche.

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