Eating to improve sporting performance
These days there are so many diet-related myths and claims flying around that it can be easy to get confused about what you should be eating. Carbohydrates and fats are just two of the food groups which are constantly being vilified, resulting in many people cutting out these food groups with harmful effects on their overall health and performance. So, without getting too scientific, let’s take five minutes to bust some of these myths and make sure you are fuelling your body in a way that optimises your sporting performance…
1. Carbs are your friend!
Carbohydrates have certainly been given a bad name over the past decade when in fact, they should be the highest nutrient source for athletes! During exercise, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose which is the body’s primary energy source and in addition to this, they are essential to recovery.
Does this mean my post-workout snack should include carbohydrates?
Consuming the right nutrients after exercise is vital in helping your body rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow the proteins in your muscles that may have broken down or damaged. Contrary to many myths, carbohydrates are key to this recovery process, particularly in endurance sports. This makes our ‘Baked Oatmeal with Buckfast Cherries’ the perfect post-workout snack. Foods such as this should be consumed as soon as possible after exercise as this is when your body is best able to rebuild glycogen and protein. Luckily our baked oatmeal is best served cold so all you need to do is grab a spoon and head straight to the fridge after your workout!
2. There is a reason for all the hype around protein
In recent years we have seen a growing trend of putting protein into every food possible from cereal to cookies. Many of these protein-added foods have large amounts of sugar and sodium to make them taste better, meaning they might not be as healthy as we are led to believe. Of course, protein is essential. However, when adding protein to your diet, quality is just as important as quantity.
How can I make sure I am consuming enough protein?
Protein deficiency is rare in the western world but if you are an athlete who is training to improve your sporting performance then you will require significantly more than the average person. This is where protein supplements can be healthy. Our muscle gain plan is packed full of high-quality protein as well as low-sugar and low-sodium supplements which are perfect to fuel you through your training.
3. Not all fats are bad
Fat is an essential part of any healthy, balanced diet but it is important to know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats. Eating too much saturated and trans fat can raise “bad” cholesterol in your blood. Therefore, it is important to choose your fats wisely.
Which foods contain healthy unsaturated fats?
You should make sure to incorporate enough good fats in your diet, particularly while training for endurance sports and body-building. Our chicken fajita salad is topped with sliced avocado which contains ‘good’ monounsaturated fat and likewise, our peanut butter protein squares are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids which can help lower “bad” cholesterol.
So how can we help you?
We can calculate the exact amount of calories you need to achieve your goals.
Simply fill in some basic details including your height and weight, and what you want to achieve and we’ll tell you how many calories you’ll need each day.