Top 10 Recovery Foods for Endurance Sports

Recovery snacks for endurance athletes - yoghurt and berries

As a runner, cyclist or triathlete, do you know that physiological adaptations from endurance training happen during the recovery period rather than during the training itself? The purpose of training is to create the stimulus for those adaptations to occur, eg by stressing the aerobic system or muscles. Your body then makes the appropriate physiological and bio-chemical adaptations while at rest, eg increasing the number of mitochondria in muscle cells where energy is produced or synthesising proteins to create additional muscle tissue. Continue reading

Developing your Ironman race nutrition plan

Ironman nutrition plan

If you have already done an iron-distance triathlon, you will know the impact that getting your nutrition right or wrong can have on your race. It is thought that between 30-50% of long distance triathletes experience gastro-intestinal problems while racing. Issues can include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, flatulence and abdominal discomfort. That’s a lot of unpleasant race day experiences. So, if you are new to Iron-distance triathlon, it’s important to take the time to develop a nutritional plan well before race day and to use your long bike and run training to practise it.

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Racing in the Heat: Nutritional and Hydration Strategies for Endurance Athletes

racing in the heat - nutritional and hydration strategies for endurance athletes

Are you a triathlete, runner or cyclist who has chosen a race this year where you are likely to be competing in temperatures significantly higher than those you are used to and for at least three hours or considerably longer? Examples might include the Ironman™ World Championships in Kona, the Marathon Des Sables, or any half or full iron distance triathlon, marathon, ultramarathon or endurance cycle event that usually takes place in temperatures over 30⁰C. If so, this blog is for you. Continue reading

Recipe: Colourful Fish Salad

recipe for colourful fish salad for endurance athletes

“Lack of time” is one of the top reasons that my clients give for not preparing homemade meals or eating as healthily as they would like. This is not surprising when they are likely to be combining many hours of training each week with a demanding full-time job and little time to shop or prepare meals. If this sounds like you, read on for a simple, quick but highly nutritious recipe that can be eaten for lunch or supper, or even as a post-training brunch if you fancy it. Continue reading

Some Breakfast Ideas for Endurance Athletes

Light breakfast with boiled eggs and cup of coffee, isolated on whiteSome people like to eat the same breakfast every day, some people like to try different foods. If you are training and competing in endurance sport, it’s a good idea to vary your breakfast according to the timing and type of training session you do. This helps you to consume carbohydrates, protein and fats in different amounts, and eating different foods over the course of a week also broadens your intake of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients which support good health. Continue reading

Recipe: Thai Green Curry

Thai food may well be one of your favourite choices for eating out or getting food delivered in, and it’s a relatively healthy option. But why not make a Thai green curry at home? It makes a tasty dinner and works well after an evening training session.

thai green curry recipe Continue reading

Some Nutritional New Year’s Resolutions for the Endurance Athlete

For my last blog post of 2017 – or the first of 2018, depending on when you are reading this – I thought I would draw up a short list of suggested New Year’s Resolutions for endurance sports participants to help you improve your diet and nutritional practices in 2018, with a subsequent benefit to performance. I’ve kept the list deliberately short and hopefully manageable: Continue reading

Preventing Christmas weight gain for the endurance athlete

Christmas beer

You’ve trained hard all year, and I hope that over the next couple of weeks you might be taking it a bit easier and enjoying some much deserved downtime. OK, maybe you have a short festive race planned or a long ride, but the chances are that your training volume is going to decrease for at least a few days as you spend time over Christmas with family and friends. If you are putting in fewer training hours, you are going to be burning fewer calories, and all at a time when the temptation is to indulge in all that festive food – often packed with sugar and saturated fat. So there is certainly a risk that you might gain a few pounds, and that’s going to be in the form of fat, not muscle.

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Carbohydrate and Protein Timing for Endurance Athletes

Clock face

The optimal time to eat and drink prior to, during and after exercise is an issue that all endurance athletes must contend with if they want to maximise benefits from training or perform at their best in races. It’s also been the subject of many research studies over the last 20 years or so, which has sometimes led to conflicting conclusions. So, it is good to see the well-respected International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) produce an updated position stand on Nutrient Timing recently (2017) 1, which makes practical recommendations for athletes about when to consume carbohydrate and protein. Continue reading

Recipe: Warming Veggie Curry

vegetarian curry recipe for endurance athletesThis curry makes a perfect winter recovery meal after a chilly bike ride or long run. The potatoes and five different vegetables provide carbohydrates to replenish muscle glycogen stores, while the hard-boiled eggs, peas and red lentils provide protein to support muscle recovery.

The various vegetables and spices add extra nutritional benefits to help keep you healthy through the winter months:

  • Potatoes, red pepper and onion are great sources of vitamin C to support immune function.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-microbial garlic helps to fight bacterial infections.
  • Ginger has been shown to help reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
  • Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable containing glucosinolates that help support your body’s detoxication processes.
  • This curry is also high in fibre to help maintain a healthy digestive function.
  • Lastly, the salt in the Bouillon powder will contribute towards replenishing sodium lost in sweat, as will the natural sodium in the plant foods. Continue reading