How supplements have impacted the game of football over the years

Over the past 20 years increased awareness and technological advancements in sports science have greatly impacted on the world of professional athletes. Supplements such as creatine and glutamine actively boost physical performance and recovery time, a key concern in the day-to-day life of a pro footballer.

Many footballers are given supplements from their clubs medical staff but the things they take are just as easy for you to get hold of. Take protein, for example. It naturally occurs in chicken and fish and is the building blocks of your muscles, yet eating such vast quantities of meat isn’t good for your health.

Instead, protein powders such as those available at, enhance muscle hypertrophy and in a way that doesn’t ruin your appetite. Most powders come in a whey protein concentrate that is quickly digested in the stomach and gets straight to work on those muscles.

However, often a simple protein powder isn’t enough to maintain the body after exercise and athletes usually top up with glutamine to regulate recovery. The amino acid beta-alanine is produced in skeletal muscles throughout the body and primarily aids the transport of nutrients, but also boosts cell growth and energy output.

A strong, regular glutamine production is great for the body but after major workouts you may not produce enough to stimulate the desired level of recovery to muscles, so the supplement is a great way of bridging the void.

Since the birth of sports supplements in the early 1990s professional football clubs have tapped into scientific advancements to push their players further. In England, the first manager and assistant to get it right were Sam Allardyce and Phil Brown at Bolton Wanderers.

The pair studied diet and supplements to form a scientific approach to gym training and post-match recovery, a plan that contributed to Bolton’s rise to the Premier League in 2001.

Getting your diet and supplement balance right is vitally important and now clubs have entire medical wards in their training grounds available for the fine-tuning of players. Regular, balanced supplement consumption turn good footballers into world-class athletes and now those same resources are available to everyone.


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