Man Utd team up with SIS to focus on amateur football nutrition

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

A partnership between Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) and sports nutrition company Science in Sport (SiS) will extend nutrition know-how to amateur footballers across the UK and Europe.

The multi-year deal looks to support amateur footballers by offering nutrition expertise and products used by professional players to improve athletic performance and recovery.

"If we look at the data, it tells us that amateur footballers need more from the sports nutrition industry,”​ said Stephen Moon, CEO of SiS.

“They don’t know what’s out there, and they’re often not educated on how it can help them change their game.

“For teams where you might be playing a 90 minute game with no substitutes, a Science in Sport gel at half-time can help make sure you don’t run out of energy midway through the second half.”

Research by the company reveals the contrasting support between amateur footballers and their professional counterparts.

They revealed that amateur footballers are among the least involved in sports nutrition across the UK’s biggest participation sports, with only 26% of footballers using any form of sports nutrition products. This compares with 70% of endurance athletes.

SiS and MUFC history

SiS’ partnership with MUFC has its origins back in 2008 when the players and backroom staff began using their products, which include energy gels, high-energy carbohydrate, tablet and electrolyte drinks, as well as high-protein bars.

Further aspects of the partnership also include working relationships with the club nutritionists and players to develop products that meet each individual player’s needs.

Personalised nutrition plans that include these products are in the works as are the development of new products specifically for football.

“A professional footballer’s schedule is demanding and we need the players to have the right nutritional programme to give them the energy to give 100% in each game they play,”​ said Manchester United’s nutritionist Mark Ellison.

“For us, success is ensuring each player is able to keep going right up to the final whistle and then has the best nutrition products afterwards to help them recover from that match and prepare for the next one."

UEFA fuelling advice

The partnership coincides with the Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA) recently unveiled plan​to provide nutritional advice to amateur and professional footballers.

The 2018 UEFA Football Nutrition Consensus intends to be the reference point on instructing players on the intake, type, quantity and timing of foods, fluids and supplements.

Professional football clubs have long known the benefits of adequate nutrition prior to and after a football match.

Everton football club renewed its partnership with The Protein Works (TPW), who agreed to supply personalised nutritional bars and protein shakes for the 2017/18 season.

In 2016, London-based Tottenham Hotspur teamed up with Smartfish to supply high-dose omega-3 products for player recovery.

Elite sports nutrition

Nutrition knowhow in football has parallels to a selection of endurance and power-based sports.

In January​, sports nutrition firm BetterYou partnered with Leeds Rhinos, supplying the UK's Super League Champions with its range of transdermal magnesium and oral vitamin spray supplements.

Last year Pro Athlete Supplementation (PAS) sealed a sponsorship deal with the Wales Deaf Rugby Union, in which the UK-based sports nutrition firm would supply the Welsh national deaf rugby team with discounted supplements, energy drinks, water bottles and training vests. ​

PAS were official suppliers to the British and Irish Lions’ 2017 tour to New Zealand, with its ‘Real Deal’ protein bars, Excel Gels, its electrolyte drink with added BCAAs and Pro Zero Cola.

The nutrition specialists, based in Wales, are already suppliers to the Welsh Rugby Union.

To coincide with the launch of the partnership between SiS and MUFC, 100,000 trial packs will be given to amateur players.  The packs are available by logging onto the SiS website​ and signing up.

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