The LA Galaxy has made its mark on Major League Soccer (MLS), having won the MLS Cup five times, including 2014. How did they do it? In part, with good nutrition.
As Manager of Sports Science for the LA Galaxy, it’s Alex Savva’s task to make sure that the players are ready to perform optimally at the start of each game. Implementing a nutritional plan that incorporates Herbalife® products has helped him deliver his athletes the nutrients they need. “It’s all about tailoring nutrition for the whole day,” says Savva. “Because of the full range of pregame and postgame foods and supplements provided by Herbalife, we feel we have the best nutritional program in the MLS.”
Savva knows that some players are more knowledgeable about nutrition than others and makes adjustments accordingly. “We have a really broad span of athletes we work with, so we have to really tailor the nutrition to each one,” says Savva. That means regularly monitoring their body fat, lean body mass, bone mass, micronutrient levels and hydration, as well as performing other scientific tests and monitoring. Once they have a solid baseline on players, Savva and his team address food needs first, then how to use Herbalife® products. “Our players are working five to six days a week at super-high intensity, so good nutrition and supplementation has a huge impact on their recovery,” says Savva. “It’s like an insurance policy – it’s there when they need it.”
Before practices and games, players take Herbalife24® Formula 1 Sport, which is specifically formulated for the daily dietary needs of athletes and provides a foundation of performance. When they come to practice tired, they take Herbalife24® Prepare, Herbalife® N-R-G Nature’s Raw Guarana Tea or Herbalife® Liftoff®. Also, before each game, Savva and his team run a hydration test on each player. “As staying hydrated is critical to their performance, they regularly take Herbalife24® Hydrate,” says Savva.
After workouts and games, players take Herbalife24® Rebuild Strength, which helps them recover and rebuild lean muscle. “It’s best to keep it simple,” says Savva. “These guys don’t count calories. For the average person, diets might work, but these guys need to get extra protein, carbs and beneficial fats.” Savva also keeps a close eye on the overall mood of players, as ensuring they are in a good mood is also critical to their performance. If a player is quiet or “not into it”’ on a particular day, Savva and his team check in to see how they can help. Often, their mood is directly related to their sleep. “I want my players sleeping eight to nine hours a night, ideally,” says Savva. “I often recommend they take Herbalife® Sleep Now, especially when travelling.”
With the support of Herbalife, the LA Galaxy has created an environment at the club where nutrition and well-being are fostered and where athletes can thrive. “The partnership that we have with Herbalife has enabled us to do the things that we have done with our players,” says Savva.
Herbalife is proud to be the Official Nutrition Sponsor of the LA Galaxy and to play a part in fueling their victories on the field.
To learn more about the LA Galaxy nutrition and supplementation program supported by Herbalife, as well as general and sports nutrition, visit LA Galaxy’s Sports Science Blog.