WP Remix
Ideas for Athletes & Coaches Preparing for Real Competition


Here are some notes from a great Louise Bourke talk at the AIS last week. Louise is one of Australia’s leading sports nutritionists - she’s no dummy!… but these are key points for the athlete’s nutrition.

Strategies to Loose Weight and Body Fat

There is no single successful strategy - the plan must be tailored to the individuals’ needs and goals.

Biggest problems with loosing weight:

  • Too much food/large serving sizes
  • Too much fat
  • Too much energy - dense, low ’satiety’ food
  • Poor eating behaviors
  • Overdoing sports needs [eg, assuming you need to eat a lot protein bars]

What can you do for weight loss?

  • Have the right sized proportions for you
  • Make meals more filling or slow to eat - salads, fiber, lower GI foods, very hot & spicy foods.
  • Reduce fat intake
  • Avoid easy to consume foods kike drinks and sugary foods
  • Know your real food requirements for training, taper and competing

Sports Nutrition and Protein

  • Gaining protein (and therefore muscle) in the body is all about accumulating situations of increasing protein synthesis vs breakdown over the day [ie, training, then eating the right stuff].
  • It’s all in the timing - there’s a good response when you consume protein in the hour after resistance (and endurance) training.
  • Maximal response occurs with about 20g high quality protein ingested just after training. 10g is ok for those looking to loose weight.
  • Optimal weight gain requires high energy intake (incl. protein).

If you eat too much protein:

  • Expensive!
  • Kidneys will suffer
  • Bones will suffer
  • You will increase your ability to breakdown protein for fuel [and you don't want to breakdown your muscles].

Hydration for Athletes

Sports Drinks

  • Things that help you drink - good taste, a little salt in the drink (which helps keep fluid in the body) and a good plan to replace what you’ve sweated out.
  • Urine output is important too - the body needs to urinate during the day as a regular part of good health.
  • Caffeine has been overrated as a substance that induces dehydration.

Why Drink a Sports Drink?

  • They encourage you to drink more because they are a little salty and taste better than water.
  • They fuel your muscles and brain.

When to Drink a Sports Drink?

  • For quality workouts - high-intensity sessions, especially long sessions.
  • When you need to increase your energy intake to gain weight - it also helps stop protein breakdown during long sessions.
  • When you are in a high volume phase of training - it may protect your immune system.
  • Look after your teeth by brushing well and rinsing your mouth with water.

Recovery Nutrition

  • Refueling, rehydration and protein synthesis can’t occur without nutrition - fluid, carbos, protein.
  • Effective recovery only occurs after eating the right things.
  • Some athletes over-focus on expensive sports foods and supplements, but everyday foods are cheaper and often better.
  • Schedule a meal just after a session where possible.
  • Include a ‘rainbow’ of colors of fruits and vegetables every day.

Supplements for Athletes

  • Advertising messages are often confusing.
  • Adequate attention must be paid to all the ‘big ticket’ items that must can maximize performance - there are no short cuts. ‘Old fashioned’ things like a balanced diet, training and recovery strategies remain as important as ever.
  • Supplements can be contaminated with substances that could produce a positive drug test - check them with your authority.
  • Probably beneficial supplements include caffeine, iron supplements, carbohydrates, proteins - a study showed that relatively low levels of caffeine (700mls of coke) enhanced endurance cycling performance. Louise suggested starting an event without caffeine in the system, taking it toward the middle of the event when it might be needed most. Try caffeine strategies in training as it may affect recovery and sleep. People respond differently to this drug.
  • Little benefit from carnitine, chromium picolinate, ginseng, co-enzyme Q10.

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