The role of nutrition in supporting a healthy lifestyle is well known. More recently we have become increasingly aware of the importance of nutrition for optimising and maintaining sport and exercise performance, and it is an area of growing interest.
Why is it important?
Nutrition can influence many things; not least mood, sleep, and every-day bodily functioning. However, fundamentally, what you eat and when affects your energy levels and how your body is able to use it. As an athlete it is important to learn how to fuel the body effectively to help perform at your best. Nutritional assessment will identify strengths and weaknesses in your current dietary habits, offer you guidance for how it can be improved, and ultimately help you to take more responsibility of what goes into your body.
One size does NOT fit all
The physiological demands of sport and exercise activities can be very different. As a result the energy and dietary requirements to support these are also different. For example the needs of a dancer will not be the same for a rugby player, which will be different again to an endurance athlete. Therefore your diet should be appropriate according to the activity that you take part in. It is also important that nutrition is individualised for each person, with consideration of personal goals and objectives (for instance weight management, supporting hypertrophy, or maximising recovery). Finally the most successful dietary plans are those that are tailored to take into account your lifestyle, food preferences and tolerances, and can be easily applied to suit your day-to-day life.
What are the benefits?
Optimal nutrition can
- Promote health and well-being
- Reduce the risk of illness and injury
- Support cognitive function (improve mood and concentration)
- Appropriately prepare for performance
- Fuel performance
- Enhance recovery
What can you expect?
Typically 45-60 minutes, initial nutrition consultations involve:
- Body composition assessment
- Please bring suitable clothing to ensure your comfort and to enable full assessment ie. a sports bra and shorts
- Dietary behaviour assessment via questionnaires
- Discussion of personal goals
- Provision of a food diary and activity log, and instructed on how to complete it
- You will be asked to keep a log for a number of days
Following the initial consultation and completion of your food diary and activity log, a full dietary assessment will be carried out and a thorough and comprehensive report provided. The personalised report will include information regarding your body composition, a detailed breakdown of your diet, as well as advice and recommendations for how current regimes can be improved for performance in a practical, safe, and effective manner.
Periodic monitoring of your diet and body composition is recommended to track progress, flag any potential issues, keep individual records up to date, and to continually reassess a nutrition program; particularly as specific goals change. Each subsequent session lasts typically 30-45 minutes.