Why Is McDonalds Partnership With A Professional Football Team A Bad Idea?
Recently, Falkirk FC started a partnership with McDonalds who will be supplying the first team with post-match recovery meals. Having previously worked with the first team at Falkirk Football Club providing nutritional advice as well as being a supporter of the club it saddens me to see this partnership for a number of reasons.
Aside from the obvious, why are professional football players eating fast food as a recovery meal? What other issues could arise from this?
As an elite athlete, macronutrient and energy demands are very high and as a result this must be replaced after training or matches in order to be in good shape for the next session. In this partnership, McDonalds are supplying their ‘meals under’ menu for the players which is the lower calorie options they have available. One of the big issues is the energy demands on the players and eating the low calorie foods may mean players are not actually getting what they really need.
In football, there are a wide variety of different positions, shapes, sizes and weights of player in a team and as a result, the varying demands for recovery are huge. I had a look at a typical meal from the McDonalds ‘meals under’ menu and they are coming in at around 65g of carbohydrate which for the majority of professional football players this will be too low to provide what they require. As a result, this could lead to early fatigue, insufficient nutrients for muscle repair + growth, increased muscle soreness, reduced immune function, reduced gains from training and reduced performance.
Another big issue I have with this is the potential impact and example it is setting for children. As we are well aware, there is a big problem with obesity in the UK and fast food is one the big contributors. A lot of parents may face the issue of their children wanting to go to McDonalds after football training or just when they are out at the shops etc and having to try and tell them it is not good for them. Now this problem may be much harder as some children will look up to players as role models and it they are now going to see them being given McDonalds following a football match which is giving out the wrong message in my opinion.
I sadly feel this has been a very clever move by the marketing team at McDonalds as it is a very good way at making people believe it is a healthy option, therefore selling more of their food, particularly to the younger generation.
Professional football players should have a personalised approach to their recovery, taking into account things like position, goals, body composition, training schedule and sweat rate rather than everyone accepting the same free food from a fast food restaurant.
If you are interested in optimising your performance through a personalised look at your nutrition contact me to find out how I can help you or your team.