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Tweaks in training and nutrition have Serge Gnabry on a tear

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Going vegan seems to have worked wonders for Gnabry.

Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Heidenheim - DFB Cup
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 03: Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates his first goal during the DFB Cup quarter final match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FC Heidenheim at Allianz Arena on April 03, 2019 in Munich, Germany.
Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Heidenheim - DFB Cup MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 03: Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates his first goal during the DFB Cup quarter final match between FC Bayern Muenchen and 1. FC Heidenheim at Allianz Arena on April 03, 2019 in Munich, Germany.
(Photo by A. Beier/Getty Images for FC Bayern)

Serge Gnabry has been on an impressive run of form for Bayern Munich recently. In the last three games across all competitions, the 23-year-old has scored three goals and provided two assists. Thanks in part to his increasing fitness levels, he’s also started and played at least 80 minutes in each of those respective matches.

In a recent report captured by tz, Gnabry talked about some of the adjustments he’s made in both his personal training and nutrition to help get himself into peak shape. Throughout his career, his suffered from a handful of various muscle injuries, but he’s only missed a total of five matches across all competitions this season (not including the DFL-Supercup) with some thigh and adductor problems. By stark contrast, he missed 11 matches through injury with Hoffenheim last season, which was a disappointment after only missing five matches with Werder Bremen the season prior to that.

About a month ago, Gnabry decided to switch to a vegan diet because he had been intrigued by documentaries he had seen and research he’d done on his own. He revelead the decision in an interview with Bild (via Bundesliga.com):

At the moment I’m enjoying it, I’m feeling well as well. I had conversations with friends, watched documentaries. I just want to give it a try. I don’t know whether it’ll last forever. The chefs at the DFB and Bayern know.

Bayern’s head chef, Alfons Schuhbeck, also commented on Gnabry’s decision to switch diets and how much they’ve been helping him stay on point:

Serge has been vegan for a few weeks now. We’re helping him along the way and make sure that he’s well fed. As a high-level athlete, he has to look at where he gets his power from. It’s important to eat protein-rich food. Lentils and peas are crucial.

In addition to making changes to his diet, Gnabry also revealed that he’s been implementing yoga in his personal training regiment. Per the tz report, he’s been doing yoga multiple times a week and has been working extensively with Bayern’s neurological trainer, Lars Lienhard to improve his reaction time and mind to muscle connection. It’s made a noticeable impact on the pitch. In addition, he’s been strict with his sleep schedule and has also started reading a lot of biographies on successful athletes to help keep himself motivated.

As a community of writers and readers here at BFW, humility is important, and specifically remember noticing a BIG difference in Gnabry’s strength, balance, and fitness during Germany’s win over the Netherlands during the international break. I had completely skimmed over the fact that Gnabry had switched to a vegan diet, and made a reference to protein shakes, and the majority of protein powders available aren’t vegan friendly, though there are vegan protein powders that typically have a higher amino acid profile:

For the record, Nitro Tech by MuscleTech is not vegan friendly.

Netherlands v Germany - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
STRENGTH from Gnabry vs. the Netherlans
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images