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Fuel for Winning? The secret ingredient to catering for sports teams

Air Partner - 10 Oct 2017

When asked about diet and nutrition services ready for the 17/18 football season, the answer is easy. ‘There has never been a more exciting time, or a time when the diet and nutrition world, have so much to offer players.’ Matt Lawson, Sports Dietitian


Many commentators rightly debate and discuss the evidence for and against certain types of diet depending on the goals that need to be achieved. Nutrition is fast becoming the number one issue for sports teams; how do they optimise dietary intake, how do they start good dietary practices early enough in athletes to better develop them for the future? How is this implemented when travelling for overseas tournaments or pre-season tours? 

Having worked with sports teams and elite athletes travelling to many destinations for over 50 years, at Air Partner we know that getting the right nutrition and staying hydrated plays a key role in optimising any athlete’s performance and we work closely to ensure that this is in place on the runway and in the air.

As soon as a charter is booked, we work with the club and often speak with the teams’ nutritionist where we discuss their specific catering requirements and often source particular products and brands in line with their diets.   

Intricate planning is often required to make sure enough bottled water, fruit juice and green tea is loaded to keep the players hydrated, and enough snacks like fruit and cereal bars are available, as players may need to eat every two hours throughout the flight. We work with airline catering to ensure that the quality is in line with what is required for quality performance.

An example of diet for competition, says Matt Lawson

‘Break’ the overnight ‘fast’

Eat little and often – every 2/3 hours

Go for slow releasing, low GI foods with good quality

Aim high eat 9 portions of fruit and vegetables a day

Drink 8 glasses of water a day and 2 cups of green tea”

More often than not, it is not just the players on the aircraft, so we will look to cater for the management and VIPs who often want a different selection of options to eat and drink during their journey.  Moreover, we must not forget that some teams work closely with certain sponsors and we make sure this is taken into consideration when bespoking the menu for the team.

Many might not be aware of the level of detail our dedicated managers will go to, to ensure that all these details are in place and ready for each flight. There is much more to transporting sports teams and athletes than meets the eye, as they need to remain in peak physical condition at all times. You need to get into their mind-set to know what they need to eat before they train.  At Air Partner, we try to act as an extension to the teams.

If you would like to discuss aircraft charter, please contact our specialist sports division on sports@airpartner.com