A balanced diet is not just about calories; the source of those calories will influence the overall quality of your diet and the true nutritional value.
Ideally we should be aiming for 50% of our calories being provided by carbohydrates, 35% by fats and 15% by protein. That really isn’t very helpful, when we can’t visualise those calories to start with but there’s a useful Public Health England graphic known as the eatwell plate …
Energy bars are convenient, portable sources of – energy, of course! Whilst it’s almost equally straightforward to carry a few nuts or seeds and some dried fruit, the handful of rolled oats won’t go down very easily unless they are bound together with some kind of syrup.
How do sports bars compare with supermarket offerings?
Chia seeds, goji berries, wheatgrass, white tea… the list seems to get longer every week as another ‘superfood’ hits the headlines. Some less exotic everyday foods fit the bill, some may have even more antioxidants than the superfoods and many may already be in your fridge, freezer or cupboard.
I’m often asked what makes a good breakfast. As with any meal, it should comprise balanced amounts of carbohydrate, fruit / vegetables, protein and fat. There are many options available to fulfil those criteria however one of the simplest, and most nutritious, is porridge.
Porridge, and oat-based muesli, contains something called oat beta-glucan which is a soluble form of fibre.
Recovery after exercise such as running, walking or cycling involves a number of different physiological processes. In the short term (3 to 4 hours) rehydration is the number one priority, so we need water and some electrolytes. The second priority, the replacement of glycogen fuel stores, requires carbohydrate. But what about protein?
Recovery is about restoring glycogen (fuel) stores and muscle protein. After a race or a heavy training session, you will have depleted your muscle and liver stores of glycogen, potentially to quite low levels, and carbohydrate foods are essential in replacing those stores. Even without any overt injury, running causes micro-level damage and a net breakdown of muscle protein. Dietary protein is needed to support the increased rate of muscle protein turnover that will counteract this damage. Continue reading →
At this time of year you may be training for a Spring race, perhaps a marathon or a shorter distance. You’ll have a training plan that leads you to increase your mileage and/or put in some speed sessions. If you are increasing your training mileage you’ll need more energy. If you are training harder, and for longer, you’ll be increasing the physiological stresses on your body and you need to take precautions against those stresses having adverse effects on your overall health.