8 Top Tips For Peak Performance
1. Keep your Balance
Energy and nutrient needs vary depending on gender, age, body size and activity levels. A healthy, balanced diet is essential to all sports enthusiasts for meeting nutritional demands.
2. Common Sense
There are no shortcuts – effective training and sensible eating are key. If needed, a sports dietitian can tailor food, fluid and supplement advice to specific needs and goals. Remember, sports supplements are not recommended for those under 18 years of age.
3. Food Fuel
Fuel up 2-3 hours before training/match e.g. pasta or rice with tomato-based sauce and chicken; baked potato with beans and cheese; or cereal with milk/yogurt. If needed, top up energy with a carbohydrate-based snack 60 mins before sport e.g. cereal bar or fruit smoothie.
4. Protein Power
Protein foods (milk, lean meat, eggs, beans, lentils, cheese, fish, yogurt) should be included at each meal time. Consuming protein (20-25g) following an intense session is particularly useful to assist muscle growth and repair.
5. Drink Up!
Ensure adequate hydration when beginning a sports session by drinking fluid throughout the day. Rehydrate after sport to replace fluid lost; water or skimmed milk are good options.
6. During Sport
There is generally no need for an energy top-up during sport if the session duration is less than 60 mins, but continue to hydrate with water at breaks of activity.
7. Recover Well To Play Well
Effective recovery is essential to perform your best in the next session. If your next meal is some time away, aim to start refuelling within 30-60 mins after sport e.g. sandwich with chicken/tuna/cheese; low-fat/skimmed milk with banana; flavoured milk; or yogurt with granola.
8. Milk it!
Exciting research indicates a beneficial role for milk in post-exercise recovery.