Created on 04-08-2014 at 18:30 PM
Team hotel. Portland. Second floor. The aroma of pasta, steak and vegetables. Out of the lift, turn right and there are the players in the middle of the dining room - alongside Mona Nemmer, the FC Bayern nutritionist. The 29-year-old has been part of the support team for nearly twelve months and the future promises even closer co-operation, because one thing is crystal clear for FCB and Pep Guardiola: The right diet is the third crucial factor for success along with training and recovery.
FC Bayern are already well placed with the star chef Alfons Schuhbeck and his team on board. Nemmer, who previously worked with Germany youth teams for many years, has now joined the team. “My area of work at Säbener Strasse is more scientific and I really get involved when we’re on the road,” explained Nemmer in an interview with fcbayern.de.
That is certainly true here in Portland with the qualified nutritionist working with the local hotel chef in preparing the food and drink for the FCB squad. “There are four meals a day. There’s a lot to do,” said Nemmer. She really enjoys working with the first team: “This job is incredibly varied. It’s fantastically exciting.”
Pasta as 'life insurance'
It is not always easy to get top quality food on foreign trips. But Nemmer found the USA provides “outstanding options” in this respect. “We didn’t bring much with us. There’s a huge choice here.” The co-operation with the hotels in New York and Portland has worked out brilliantly. “When I arrived the hotel manager came to me and said: 'Here are the fridges. We’ve bought everything you asked for.' You can’t do better than that.”
The players all have individual food requirements. Pasta is the number one choice or “my little life insurance” according to Nemmer. Meat is always cut freshly in the dining room. “Not just for the type of event,” said Nemmer with a smile, “but rather to guarantee the quality levels.”
Nemmer has an important role to play during the time in the USA and that includes dealing with the effects of jet lag. The right diet helps. On the flight from Munich to New York the order of the day for the Bayern stars was: Drink lots of fluids! No matter whether it’s water, tea or juice. But no alcohol of course. And a lot less caffeine.
Battle against jet lag
Food with a lot of protein. “It’s easier to digest and keeps you awake. A pick-me-up,” said Nemmer. The return journey to Germany on Wednesday straight after the MLS All-Star game will be an even bigger challenge, as watches and clocks must be put forward by nine hours. “We’ve fiddled around a bit. We can’t prevent jet lag with the right diet but we can perhaps reduce the effects a bit.”
Nemmer always does her job with a passion. She says diet is not only a decisive factor in professional sport but it also “goes towards promoting your quality of life.” She’s off again now. Franck Ribéry and Co. are on the training ground but they will be very hungry in 90 minutes. There’s lots to do.