How Flinders University nutritionists helped West Adelaide eat like champions

West Adelaide footballers had a helping hand winning the 2015 SANFL premiership, in the form of meals plans prepared by expert dieticians from Flinders University.

In a first for the SANFL Flinders sports dietician Dr Kathryn Jackson and final year Dietetics and Nutrition student Annabel Murphy collaborated with West Adelaide to provide tailored nutrition to help them achieve the best results possible on the pitch.

West Adelaide Football Manager Andrew Marks said earlier in the season that he hoped the new menu would give his players the edge over opponents. It appears to have paid off.

“It is becoming common amongst AFL clubs to hire a full time chef to provide their players the appropriate meals that are of benefit to improve their performance,” said Andrew.

“The SANFL, being the second best league outside of the AFL, is always looking to replicate AFL ideas in our semi-professional setting.

“Our players train after work and during preseason every night of the week looking for the edge over their opponents.

“It’s for that reason that we have worked with Flinders University… to develop the ‘Eat Like A Champion’ initiative.”

Jason Porplyzia, who returned to West Adelaide after ten seasons at the Adelaide Crows, said his experience at the highest level had shown him the importance of good nutrition for player performance.

“An important aspect of being a professional athlete is making sure you take care of your body,” he said. “To encourage this we need to ensure players have the best education and can make great choices in regards to their diet and nutrition requirements.

“This important step for any aspiring player is made considerably easier through initiatives like ‘Eat Like A Champion’.”

Flinders University is a Brand South Australia member.