Dr. Barry Groves
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 02:52 CDT
A few days ago, England's Euro 2012 football team lost a quarter-final match to Italy on penalties. This scenario has happened so regularly that one might call it the 'England finish'.
It has also happened so regularly that it hasn't been difficult to see a pattern emerging for some years: England just run out of energy; they aren't able to sustain 90 minutes of football.
The question is: Why? And the answer, which I have been convinced of for some years, was their rubbish carb-based diet. I am no lover of football, so have never watched a game, but commentaries on news bulletins spell out the form. To précis it, the England team always seem to start the game full of bounce, have most of the possession and often take the lead, then it all goes wrong. At half time they fill up on Jaffa cakes - and are so rubbish during the second half that they lose. But this, is exactly what I would expect.
Carbs not only result in reactive hypoglycaemia (you run out of blood glucose), they also raise serotonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy and slows you down. This is why people are advised to have a carb meal before going to bed. But both of these conditions are the last thing you should eat if you have to work - or play football.