With so much information on nutrition, it is difficult to know what is the best food for sports performance. For optimal performance, it is important to keep your energy levels up and view your food as fuel. The key here is preparation; plan healthy meals and snacks in advance to fit in with your training schedule.
At PledgeSports, we have dedicated a lot of time and research to bring you the expert advice you need to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Maria Donlon is a nutritional consultant, yoga teacher and the founder of LifeCleanse. Based on South William Street in Dublin 2, LifeCleanse offers individually tailored detox and nutrition plans, yoga classes and Urban Retreats. Visit LifeCleanse.ie for free recipes and practical tips to help you be as healthy, happy and strong as you can be. You can also follow LifeCleanse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Fuelling Your Body For Optimal Performance
As well as being great for energy on the go nuts are a good source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids and fibre. If you don’t like nuts or have an allergy or intolerance, seeds like pumpkin or sunflower also make good healthy snacks.
Chia seeds are ideal pre-training fuel as they are packed full of antioxidants as well as omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. They are such a great energy source that the Aztecs used to eat them before going into battle.
It is during this recovery, rather than when you train, that muscles get stronger as tiny microscopic tears that occur as a normal part of training are repaired and as a result, muscles are strengthened.
Amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein are what carry out this rebuilding. There are nine essential amino acids, considered essential because our bodies don’t produce them so we need to get these from food. Eating a protein rich meal after training is a great way to aid this process.
Quinoa is considered a complete protein, meaning that it provides all nine of these essential amino acids in a balanced ratio. It is also a really versatile grain which can literally be eaten for breakfast lunch or dinner.
If you’re stepping up your training your muscles might be feeling the strain. A nutrient that can help with this is magnesium. Magnesium is essential for muscle contraction and relaxation. It is also a key mineral in the body’s energy production so it is important that athletes get sufficient magnesium from their diets.
Pumpkin seeds and dark leafy greens like kale, chard and spinach are great natural sources of magnesium.
PledgeSports is a revolutionary crowdfunding & sponsorship platform dedicated to sport.
Got a story or idea you would like to post on our blog? We’d love to hear from you – get in touch via the email address above.