Sport and Nutrition

Physiotherapists are known for seeing our patients as whole people, not just as their injury or

Are you eating a balanced diet?

condition. What you eat affects your likelihood of certain injuries, your recovery from injury, as well as your general health. The best nutrition for you depends on what you want to achieve physically – both for appearance & for sporting performance.
Here are some core concepts:
– Recommended daily calorie intake to maintain weight for the average moderately active person = men 2500 kcal, women 2000kcal.
– Minus 500kcal (max) per day to loose weight safely. Follow the link on our Facebook page for meal plan examples with Jane Plan – you could win a week free!
– You should not cut out whole food groups completely – this may lead to loss of key nutrients for health. It’s more about tweaking the ratio of each food group you are having as well as the quantity, for your needs.
– Generally speaking – carbohydrates give us energy to store and to burn, protein builds and repairs the tissues including muscles, and fat is necessary (cholesterol is literally a building
block in every cell wall of the body) in small, preferably unsaturated amounts.
– Carbohydrates (carbs) are not the enemy – you just need to be eating the appropriate amount depending on how much energy you are expending.
– Fat has more calories gram for gram than carbs.
– We should all aim to get our five portions of fruit & veg a day, cut down on salty, fatty or sugary foods & eat oily fish twice a week.
Sports Nutrition:
– There are 3 main components to sports nutrition – fuel for training, recovery, and the promotion of training adaptations over time.
– Carb loading to provide fuel for resistance or endurance exercise can be beneficial from a few days to a few hours before an event, giving greater energy reserves. Consuming carbs in a liquid or gel form with an electrolyte enriched drink during an endurance event can also improve performance.
– In recovery from exercise ideally we want to have a combination of fast release carbs &protein as well as fluid. To restore, rebuild and rehydrate.
– On average, to promote appropriate physical adaptations, those training for endurance sports e.g. marathons should eat a higher carbohydrate diet than average Joe, whilst those training for strength and power sports e.g. sprinting or weightlifting should have a higher protein diet.
– When it comes to supplements the Journal of Sports Science informs me that the only proven benefit to performance has been found with the combination of creatinemonohydrate and resistance training. Always read the labels of supplements carefully and seek professional advice if you’re concerned.
So for those training for the London Vertical Rush 42 floor stair climb – this is a power event– therefore the day beforehand you will want to slightly increase the amount of carbs you eat (e.g. pasta for supper the night before) to get your muscles loaded with energy. Try not to eat much in the hour before the event to avoid feeling sick. You may want to try having a coffee an hour before as caffeine has been shown to improve performance – and it’s recently been taken off the band list so you won’t be ‘doping’! And in the hours after finishing have a combination of protein and carbs such as a glass of milk and a banana (if you can’t stomach a meal) or something like chicken and rice/ pasta and tuna.
Don’t forget there’s a free training class at Tower 42 on 7th, 11th & 15th February & good luck!
For more tips, info and links visit the Back in Action website and follow me on Twitter@julietphysio
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