There are many different views on diet, some are excellent and some can be harmful. Our advice is based on the scientific facts of physical function; however when working out a dietary plan it is always useful to understand how much fuel you burn. Individual requirements will vary and these are only guidelines.
- Mix your diet up, ensure that it is well balanced and supplies the right amount of energy and nutrients
- Eat plenty of carbohydrates
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables
- Include proteins
- Hydrate your body
- Refuel immediately after exercise
Carbohydrates currently get a bad press, but one thing you should take into account before your decide to ditch the carbohydrates is that this is the muscles main source of fuel!
Estimated carbohydrate needs for athletes based on activity level. These are the recommended levels of carbohydrate intake based on duration of activity and body weight in kg. You should note that these are guidelines as intensity of activity is impossible to predict. This can be worked out on an individual level only – please contact us directly for this!
- 3 – 5 hours a week 4 – 5 grams per kg of body weight each day
- 5-7 hours a week 5-6grams per kg body weight per day
- 1-2 hours per day 6-8 grams per kg body weight per day
- 2+ hours per day 8-10grams per kg body weight per day
Examples of foods containing 50grams of carbohydrate include
- 2 medium banana’s
- 15 dried apricots
- 800ml isotonic sports drink
- 3 thick slices bread
- 500 ml fruit juice
- 1 large bowl breakfast cereal
- 200 – 250grams cooked pasta / rice
- 1 large potato
Refuelling after exercise is most effective within 20 – 30 minutes, the sooner the better to ensure that your muscles recover and replenish
Banana’ are ideal and a quick carbohydrate source, both during and after exercise. They also contain potassium salts which are lost during activity
It is crucial that the determined, healthy athletes begin training sessions and competitions well hydrated. It is easy to check whether your are hydrated or not!! Just look at the colour of your urine. If its clear then you are fully hydrated, the darker and more yellow in colour your are dehydrated.
If you wait until you are thirsty to drink then it is probable that your body is at least 2 pints dehydrated.
The choice of drink depends on intensity and duration of exercise. Low to moderate intensity exercise that lasts for less than an hour, with low sweat loss then the choice might be water. Moderate to hard training sessions which last more than an hour, with greater sweat loss choose isotonic sports drink or make you own. 200ml squash (not low calorie) 800ml water and a large pinch of salt.
The role of protein in our diet is to repair muscles and plays and important role in how the body responds to exercise.
Protein seems to be the dieters favourite at the moment, but let us squash the myths!! Large amounts of protein does not equate to large muscles!! Your body only needs and utilises relatively small quantities, strength athletes require higher amounts of protein, these being about 1.2 – 1.7 grams of protein per kg body weight per day. Compare this to an endurance athlete who needs about 1.2 – 1.4 grams per kg body weight per day. The general sedentary population only require 0.80 – 1.0 gram per kg body weight per day.
Diets encouraging protein as a source of energy i.e cutting carbohydrates and eating high levels of protein result in a condition called ketosis. Proteins are not a preferred source of energy and our body only uses them as a last resort.
Food Portions Providing 20g* Protein
- 2 medium slices of beef, lamb or pork
- 1 small chicken breast
- Medium fillet of fish
- 100gram of tuna in brine
- 1 pint semi skimmed milk
- 2 match box sizes of cheddar cheese
- 2 x 200grm pots low fat yogurt
- 3 medium sized eggs
- 1 large can baked beans
- 100 grams peanuts
- Quorn mince 165grams
For more information or to identify your individual requirements please contact 01509 218700 or 07973 782 647