Arsenal duo quit meat over muscle fears

Posted by - March 11, 2009 - Arsenal, Oddballs

Van Persie and Toure think their careers are at steak

Robin Van Persie and Kolo Toure have both cut meat out of their diet because they believe eating it causes muscle injuries. The Sun reports that both Arsenal players have significantly reduced their meat intake and think it has prevented them from picking up injuries.

Van Persie revealed: “Someone told me too much meat has a negative influence on muscles. I was a big meat eater and had steak three times a week. Now I only eat meat once in the week and never a day before the match.

“I spoke about it with Kolo as he also had meat every day. He stopped immediately and since then he hasn’t had any muscle problems.”

OK, first things first. You don’t give quotes from anonymous sources to The Sun, that is their job! So who is the mysterious steak hater?

And rather than direct you to some Wikipedia dietery page, we will leave you with this quote from The Sun’s resident doctor, Carol Cooper, who said: “Meat have a negative influence on the muscles? What a load of rubbish! Elite sportsmen need meat. They need protein for muscle strength.”

  • res doc

    Actually, they don’t !!! They need carbohydrates more! Especially before a match.
    Most athletes eat a carbohydrate laden meal before the physical activity that they will be doing. The meat/protein thing is for during the week. I would agree that it is perhaps the crap that is in the meat that is causing the problems for them, not the meat itself.

    Additionally, you can’t argue with the fact that they are remaining injury free cutting out all of the added protein. Muscles can be fed with SUGAR. Ask your resident physician to look it up. You can start by possibly asking her if she remembers anything about the Kreb Cycle, Pyruvate dehydrogenase and other glycolytic phenomena, then you can possibly chat about gluconeogenesis while you’re at it.

    I think the boys from Highbury (Now Ashburton) may have caught on to something that others should look into.

  • Darryl

    Rosicky must eat a hell of a lot of meat!

  • Jonny

    res doc – you come acroos as extremely arrogant but make little actual sense. rather than telling people to go and look things up perhaps you would do well to form a more structured response?

    You CAN argue with the fact they have remained injury free – it could be merely coincidence or attributable to thousand other factors. This is why we do trials in science (rather than basing it on the responses of two footballers!). if there is a significant peer-reviewed study somewhere proving the link between reduced injury in sportsmen who have a low meat diet that would be very interesting. I doubt it exists though because it’s bollocks. This is fairly typical faulty logic which is extremely prevalent – “I stopped eating meat and NOW I have less injuries” – ergo sum the meat in my diet was to blame! This is how homeopathy got so successful that we chumps pay for it on the NHS!

    However, you are right carbohydrates are vital for explosive exercise but then protein (mostly acquired from meat) is needed for muscle repair. As ever the answer is a balanced diet and eating the right things at the right time. Oh and not to believe everything you read!

  • Rob Parker

    Welcome to Off The Post – The best medical journal on the planet!

  • george

    There is a new documentary coming on HBO out about factory farming you might be interested.

  • Safety

    The idea that footballers are ignorant about their bodies or diet and exercise (especially the racehorses of the Ashburton stables) is nonsense. Some footballers might be thick but one generalisation is much truer: they are all obsessed with themselves (and particularly about avoiding injuring themselves). Going back to monkey glands and creatine, there have always been dietary novelties that give a perceived edge to performance. Sometimes one could even suspect certain diets as placebo strategies to get your head right or a mind game tactic (Fergie was very anti creatine).

    RVP says he’s cut back meat to once a week and Toure has stopped his previous regimen of eating meat every day (but he’s probably still eating some meat). And they were talking about red meat I suspect. They probably eat fish and poultry and I imagine they use protein shakes as well. I think Carol Coopers bombastic response probably has more to do with maintaining the media portrayal of Arsenal as effete foreign dilletantes (with their suspicious foreign ways that might be gaining some kind of sneaky unfair advantage over honest British battlers who train by carrying rocks up hills and eat steak and chips every day), than it has to do with good dietary advice. It was in The Sun after all and not in the BMJ