Friday, December 31, 2010

Carbohydrate Loading - More than just a bowl of pasta

In the last post we looked at the need to begin endurance exercise with the maximum possible level of stored carbohydrate if we want to maximise performance. In exercise of over 2 hours, studies show a performance benefit of around 8% with complete carbohydrate loading compared to only partially loaded stores. For so many sportspeople I’ve met, their idea of carb loading is simply eating a big bowl of pasta the night before a race. But what you’ll see here is that it’s much more than that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sports Nutrition for Performance – Carbohydrate before and during Exercise

In the last post I described a current theory of fatigue during exercise that seems to best explain what occurs during exercise. In the next series of posts, I’ll examine how you can use nutrition to delay fatigue and improve performance. In this first post, I’ll look at carbohydrate and how maximising what you can get during endurance exercise will improve performance. I’ll assume at this point that you have already read the posts on carbohydrate and fatigue. If not I’d strongly suggest you read these first.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sports Nutrition Basics – Fatigue

It doesn’t seem so obvious, but one of the most basic aspects of sports nutrition is to understand how fatigue limits performance during sport. Think about it – nutrition is often promoted as helping to delay or prevent fatigue, or improve athletic performance. So if this is correct, then there must be an interplay between nutrition and how the body develops or experiences fatigue.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sports Nutrition Basics - Protein

If there’s one topic in sports nutrition that causes the most confusion, rumours, urban myths and products marketed to athletes it’s protein. Protein is an essential part of an athletes diet, however with all the “advice” out there it’s hard to work out how much we need, what type we need and when we need it. Today we’ll look at the basics of protein and try and sort out the myths from the facts.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sports Nutrition Basics – Carbohydrate 101

In the last post I looked at the different fuels used by the body during exercise, and the pros and cons of the main two fuels used in exercise, fat and carbohydrate. Today let’s look at the main fuel source used during exercise, carbohydrate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sports Nutrition Basics – Fuel Sources During Exercise and Sport

One of the most important things for any athlete to understand in the area of sports nutrition is the basics of nutrition as a fuel source during exercise. Understanding this will help to make sense of how we eat for training, how we prepare for competition, how we optimise recovery from training and competition, and how we gain and lose weight.
What I will describe here is what we refer to as the macronutrients. As the name suggests, these are the nutrients that we eat in large quantities, but importantly they are the ones that we can use as an energy or fuel source. Energy is measured in calories or kilojoules - they are two different measurements like centimetres and inches are two measurements of distance. It is the total energy (regardless of which nutrients it comes from) that determines whether we are gaining, losing or maintaining a stable weight and body fat.