England’s Secret Weapons for Euro 2024 Glory

England’s Secret Weapons for Euro 2024 Glory

It is the team behind the team — no, not the backroom staff — but the cocktail of supplements that could power England to victory here in Germany, with pickle juice helping see home Sunday’s 1-0 win over Serbia.

When Kieran Trippier went down late in the game and needed treatment, there was a fear that England could be forced to complete the game with yet another stand-in left back.

However, one sachet of pickle juice later and the cramp that had felled the Newcastle star was very quickly easing. How? Well, a reaction to the juice in Trippier’s mouth and throat would have sent a signal to his brain, and the information then transmitted through his body is for muscles to relax and loosen.

Within seconds, Trippier was back on the pitch and playing his part as England protected their slender advantage in their Group C opener in Gelsenkirchen.

He had also taken a high-carb drink known as a ‘fuel bomb’, but it was the pickle juice curing the cramp, its high sodium count said to be the key ingredient. If players take them before bed, it also avoids a 3am wake-up call when muscles can often spasm.

England hope a number of secret weapons can fuel their bid to become European champions 

This was England dressing room two hours before their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia

This was England dressing room two hours before their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia

The above graphic shows exactly what is available for the players in the dressing rooms

The above graphic shows exactly what is available for the players in the dressing rooms

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The pouch is not particularly pleasant — it contains potassium and vinegar — but when it stops cramping 40 per cent quicker than water, it is momentary distaste worth enduring.

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England staff believe it could become even more important during the knockout rounds, if games run into extra time and with temperatures expected to rise in the coming weeks.

The use of pickle juice is most prevalent in tennis, however, and Carlos Alcaraz was aided by its powers during his five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in last year’s Wimbledon final. Andy Murray’s US Open first-round opponent Corentin Moutet even got into a row with officials when it was not available during their game.

But beyond pickle juice there is a whole host of goodies helping England’s players this summer, as our picture from inside the team dressing room reveals.

There are the usual stimulants such as Powerade and Red Bull, but also some Science in Sport Isotonic Gel, which delivers a quick and easily digestible supply of carbohydrate. As the product’s website declares: ‘Delivering additional carbohydrate during exercise is known to improve performance, race times and delay the onset of fatigue.’

Trippier was drinking pickle juice, which helps athletes ward off cramp. Above, tennis player Daniil Medvedev places a bottle of the drink on his table during the 2022 Australian Open

Trippier was drinking pickle juice, which helps athletes ward off cramp. Above, tennis player Daniil Medvedev places a bottle of the drink on his table during the 2022 Australian Open

Then there are Xplode caffeine shots, costing just £24.99 for 12, enough to cover the starting XI and one for Gareth Southgate. 

WHAT GOOD DOES PICKLE JUICE DO? 

Pickle juice has been a secret weapon of athletes for years, but recent exposure in the Premier League and Australian Open has brought it into the limelight.

The briny liquid has many health benefits, according to wellbeing website Healthline.

These include: soothing muscle cramps, hydration, controlling blood sugar, preventing gut problems, and replacing electrolytes lost during exercise.

However drinking too much is a very bad idea – it is extremely salty, after all – with Healthline recommending just 1/3 of a cup to treat cramp; hence the tiny bottle Lucas Torreira drank from.

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As the product information states: ‘A powerful pick-me-up to give you energy when you need it the most, Xplode energy shots pack 200mg of caffeine along with zero fat and zero sugar into one tasty drink —perfect for a pre-training energy boost or before a big game.’ Players swear by such caffeine shots, which sharpen concentration.

But there are more traditional means of fuelling and refuelling at the team’s base in Blankenhain. Pasta, rice and chicken have been consumed in great quantity, while Harry Kane has asked chefs to serve up his favourite sushi dishes. 

Not that those chefs are allowed to divulge such culinary secrets. The team in the kitchen had to sign non-disclosure agreements before England’s arrival that prevented them from discussing anything they see behind the scenes.

Danny Schwabe is a German Michelin-star chef who provides the food which is then inspected by England’s own chefs before being served to the players.

He took a break to cook dinner for some of us reporters this week as part of an evening organised by Weimarer Land staff. 

Based on that delight, England’s players will certainly be eating well in Germany, and maybe the tastes of Schwabe and his team are the pay-off for pickle juice.

One of the juice’s other benefits is the ability to cure hangovers. 

That being the case, the entire nation and not just England’s players will be reaching for the magic potion come July 15, should Kane have lifted the Henri Delaunay trophy the night before.

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