by Winnie O’Blindt

There’s not much longer to wait until the Premier League returns and the Arsenal squad’s pre-season campaign got underway earlier this month.

They have been enjoying some friendly matches in Singapore and the Emirates Cup in a bid to regain the same match fitness that saw the Gunners win the FA cup in May and ran out 4-0 winners against a Singapore XI. Arsenal then beat Premier League opposition, Everton, 3-1 in order to win the competition.

They also beat Ligue 1 side Lyon 6-0 and Bundesliga runners up, Wolfsburg, 1-0 during the Emirates Cup.

However the competition will be much more difficult to beat come August 9th.

As well as a full set of friendly fixtures, Arsene Wenger will have a vigorous training schedule in place for the squad. One thing that is sure to part of the player’s preparations though will be a carefully executed diet. Wenger changed the culture in English football when he arrived in England in 1996 and introduced a healthy diet he had seen reap the rewards during his time in Japan.

Things have changed more since then though and all Premier League clubs will have dieticians that work out exactly what each player should be eating based on their body and performance needs on the pitch. Whereas we are often see images of the players in training, the diet of the players remains a mystery to us.  We wanted to find out more about what the Premier League players are eating and used an interactive tool to help us identify it.

The Word Sports Food Fight includes some stats that may come as a surprise. For example the average player will consume 3800 calories per day. This is 800 more than the average man yet players seem to keep a lean shape so that they can perform at a high level.

Whereas the average Joe won’t burn off the majority of the calories they consume, players need to have a large intake.  The demands in football are so great that players can run up to 9.5 miles during a match. This will also involve a lot of cutting, tackling and sprinting and players which will burn on average 3000 calories per game.

The source of the calories consumed by footballers is also important and players will need to get their energy from the right places. A diet that is full of carbohydrates would be found on the Arsenal menu as they would eat large amounts of cereal, pasta and bread. In order to achieve the high energy levels during training and matches they would also require a sugar rush that is provided from muffins or ice cream.

The educational piece also allows you to see how the diet of a footballer differs from athletes in other sports. You can see how sports that require a lot of power such as Rugby or NFL would have diets that consume more calories than footballers but the demands don’t require them to run or use as much energy.

It can also be used by any young athletes who are looking to increase performance. Take a look at the interactive for yourself to find out what you should be eating based on the demands in your chosen sport.