Sports Nutrition by Wholefoods Nutritionist Nicola Murphy

Most people think that sports nutrition is just for the elite, but rewarding yourself with a sugary treat post-gym won’t do your performance levels any favours. But, there are ways to fuel your way to a better workout, here’s how…

After burning glucose during exercise, the body uses fat as an energy source. Animal fats aren’t as easy to use as polyunsaturates, found in seeds and vegetables, so snack on sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and ensure you have plenty of healthy veg on your menu plan. Avoid white flour and sugar and use wholegrains (brown rice, brown pasta) and dried fruit for energy. These contain complex carbs that break down slowly to supply energy longer term, and are also sources of scrumptious nutrients such as iron, which keep your body in top form. Fresh fruit and veg and nuts and seeds are good sources of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, which speed up recovery time and keep your arteries supple. Joggers and cyclists, who exercise on roads and are therefore exposed to plenty of pollutants, will need to keep their sources of these antioxidants nice and high.


Tiring easily?
Check your C and E sources, and try a liquid iron supplement like Spatone for a quick boost. Cut out caffeine and don’t add salt to food or eat salty snacks. By doing this you will not only improve your energy levels but also make you less irritable and jittery!


Falling prey to frequent infections whilst training?
Over-training can deplete your immune function. Stock up on Echinacea like A.Vogel Echinaforce, vitamin C and zinc (Higher Nature and Quest do high doses). Don’t forget your fresh fruit and veg, and try to avoid refined sugar, which hampers your immune cells.


Cramping up during training?
Max your magnesium sources, with a liquid magnesium supplement and plenty of wholegrains, nuts and dried fruit, which are good sources of this handy mineral.


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