Interview | Daphne Corboz

Daphne Corboz has had a stellar 2018 so far, the 24yr old dual US and French national who spent two seasons with Man City before joining the Sky Blues in the US has recently been on loan with FC Fleury 91 where she caught the attention of the senior French National team manager Corrinne Diacre who picked her for their friendlies earlier this year. 

After a such a successful spell in France, Daphne has been re-called to the States to re-join the Sky Blues midfield alongside their new signing, two-time FIFA player of the Year Carli Lloyd.

We stole Daphne for a few moments to quiz her on her diet & nutrition as an elite athlete and pro footballer...

So Daphne, what sorts of meals are you having and when are you eating prior to a game? "I like to eat 3 hours before kickoff. I usually stick to pasta, some protein and a banana, but I’ve found that my body can adjust to other pre-game meals if need be. While playing for Manchester City, I would eat beans on toast with eggs before games and felt good to go come kickoff! I need to eat a lot before a game to withstand the efforts for 90 minutes". 

Do you carbo-load before a game then? "I’ll usually make an effort to eat more carbs building up to a game, but I don’t “carbo-load.” I love rice, which is a great way to incorporate carbs into meals building up to games". 

Do you tend to eat much after playing? "After I play, I tend to eat whatever the clubs provide for post-game food. I’m currently playing in France and we are given ham and cheese on a baguette - it’s quite yummy!"

Protein bars and shakes are big business at the moment, do you go in for a recovery shake or bar after playing or training? "I used to be strongly against protein bars and shakes because I prefer to get my protein through “real food,” rather than supplements. I did, however, drink protein shakes after games in the NWSL and saw some value in it. My final verdict on the matter: indifferent".

Do you tend to eat much at the gym at all? "I don’t eat much at or after the gym. Perhaps this ties into my indifference of protein supplements; I usually will wait until my next meal to get all my post-gym nutrient needs, rather than eat something during or after the gym. I have found the importance of refueling with nutritious food, because if I don't, my body struggles to recover, which is manifested by soreness". 

Have you got a cheat meal at all? A number of footballers we've spoke to go for pizza or ice cream...? "I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a go-to “cheat meal,” but I love ice cream. And maybe any meal without ice cream is a cheat meal because you’re cheating yourself out of something delicious? Just a thought. In all honestly, I try very hard to ignore my constant desire for ice cream and limit it to post match".

So as a pro footballer, what sorts of meals are you relying on the most at home?  "I have a few different meals that I rely on most when I’m at home. I often make a big salad with a healthy mix of vegetables and protein. I also make mushroom or broccoli risotto with chicken a lot".

Have you got a favourite recipe? "I don’t have a favourite recipe, but one of my former teammates bought me a cook book when I was learning how to cook. I did every recipe in the order of the book and now I have an arsenal of new skills and recipes! Thanks, Jen!"

Are there any foods you try to avoid? "I actively avoid pre-made or processed food. I try to make everything myself; whether it be meals, dressings or sauces, I like to use fresh ingredients and shop local whenever I can". 

Every athlete talks about the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated; do you find that to be an important factor? "Hydration is really important - think everyone that is around me would tell you that I always have a water bottle with me. I really only drink water and interestingly have never drank coffee".

Moving away from nutrition for a moment, was it ever difficult to manage being a full time student and an elite athlete? "At Georgetown, I spent a lot of time on the field, in the gym and in the library; I didn’t have a lot of time for much else.

Unfortunately, sleep was the thing I often ended up sacrificing in my busy college schedule. In hindsight, I am glad I was able to perform academically and athletically at such a high level, because I realize the importance of sleep and recovery. Growing up I always balanced my academics with my athletics, so I learned early on how to manage my time and to be organized and disciplined. It makes it much easier when you enjoy what you are doing so; fortunately, I was studying something I found very interesting, and football has always been my passion".

Do you have any unusual pre-game rituals?  "I always put my left sock, shin guard and cleat before my right. Other than that, I don't have any other superstitions and I try to just really focus on the game the hour and a half or so before kickoff".

Finally, do you have a favourite place to play? "It’s fun to play in front of the home fans and put on a good performance for the supporters. For me, it’s always nice when my family get to watch me play".

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