Sunderland Striker Jermain Defoe Returns to the Game Plant-Based
After a three-and-a-half absence from international football, Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe was recalled this month by manager Gareth Southgate, and on Sunday scored the first goal (and his 20th international goal) in the World Cup qualifier that resulted in England winning 2-0 against Lithuania.
The difference? Defoe, 34, states that he now has a “better understanding” of his body, and believes that “if you do things right and look after yourself then you have a chance” to keep up with the “intensity of games.” One of those things is diet:
“The key thing for me is recovery, giving yourself the best opportunity to perform in the next game, and I seem to have got that down to a T. There’s a lot of things I do away from training and away from match-day that help me perform, so I’ll just keep doing that. Everyone wants to feel fresh in the game – there’s no better feeling – so I just make sure I’m doing the right things and trying to tick every box: cryotherapy, massage, eating the right things … I’m trying to turn vegan.”
While The Guardian notes that Defoe “had long since been a convert to daily spinach, kale and nettle smoothies,” the striker has now cut out grilled salmon “along with eggs, dairy products and honey,” and states:
“I think I’ve managed [to adopt veganism] successfully. I don’t find anything hard to give up, as such, because I know the feeling scoring goals gives me. In terms of fitness and fatigue towards the end of games, I still feel good. I’m trying. I still enjoy training, the buzz is still there and I just want to play as long as I can. So I do the stuff that will give me the best opportunity to perform and score goals.”
If Defoe “maintains his goalscoring form in the top flight” we may see him at Russia 2018.
Photo Credit: www.thethaovietnam.vn