The answer to this question in the past would have been “not very much,” but the standards of physical fitness required by footballers in order to compete at the top level in the modern era are far greater than they were in the past.
The days when drinking alcohol and other bad habits were an acceptable part of a footballer’s lifestyle are long gone, and along with this supplements like Creatine, Whey Protein, Glutamine and Caffeine, sold at places like Maxishop have become part of the footballer’s diet and training regimen.
These are entirely different from the kind of banned substances and stimulants that can get sportspeople into hot water, and are designed purely to assist serious physical exercise. For example a Whey Protein supplement can boost the immune system, and speed the growth of muscle. This makes it useful in helping footballers both to avoid illness and to recover more quickly following physical injury. Creatine on the other hand, helps to build muscle and body strength, alongside exercise, helping to improve physical endurance levels and improve power levels.
As the name ‘supplements’, given to such products indicates, they are intended to assist the body before and after physical exercise, and they can be extremely important to footballers nowadays. The modern game is much faster and more physically demanding than ever before – requiring far greater levels of fitness to be able to compete and maintain performance levels at the very top.
These supplements can assist the body in absorbing these demands, but can also help the recovery from injuries. With players being so highly paid these days clubs need them to be able to recover quickly from injuries, and supplements which aid muscle growth can help with the process alongside physical therapy, making them vitally important to football in the current era.