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Performance Food

Performance Food

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When you’re pushing to the top, the margin between victory and defeat is often quite small. A good, balanced diet can make the difference. Here’s 5 really simple food categories that can drive the most from your body.

 

Carbohydrates for Fuel and Recovery

Carbohydrates are the most energy efficient fuel. Pasta, Rice, Cereals, Potatoes, Carrots, Corn, Fruits, Milk, Honey and Bread can produce 50% of your energy requirements in the early stages of exercise. Without it, fatigue sets in effecting stamina and endurance. Eating Whole Grains, Fruits, and Vegetables and steering away from sweets and processed foods is your recipe to High Performance. 

Compete at Your Peak for Longer with Carb-Loading

A High Carb diet combined with Exercise Tapering build’s extra Glycogen levels in the muscles and liver for use during competition allowing us to exercise at peak for longer. Cyclists, Runners, Long Distance Skiers, Swimmers, Triathlete’s and Football Players all report benefits. Here’s some High Performance hints; 

  • Athletes competing for longer than 90min’s benefit from Carb-Loading
  • Exercise Tapering and Carb-Loading are inter-dependent. Do both for best results
  • Be prepared to put on a few kg’s during Carb-Loading with extra Glycogen and Water storage in the body 
  • Avoid foods high in Fat and Fibre and stay focused on High Carbohydrate and Low Fat. Sugars, Cordials, Sports Drinks, Honey etc assist a Carb Loading diet
  • Carb-Loading can cause stiff and sluggish muscles early in an event due to water retention. Loading over 3 days helps minimise these effects
  • The Female body can be less responsive to a High-Carb diet

 

Drinking Water Reduces Fatigue

Even mild Dehydration can cause Muscle Fatigue.  Staying Hydrated and continuing to replace lost fluid reduces cramps and fatigue. Here’s some High Performance tips; 

  • Water keeps the body Cool, moves Nutrients, clears Toxins and absorbs Sugar. Really important for  Performance and Injury Prevention
  • Be preventative by drinking at regular intervals. Thirst is not always an indicator of fluid deprival
  • Taking in too much water can Retard Performance so it’s important to experiment with your body
  • Chilled Liquids are absorbed by the body faster
  • Sports Drinks can provide Carbohydrate, Mineral and Electrolyte replacement. They’re best consumed post event and for events lasting longer than 60 minutes

 

Fats are a Great Energy Source

Omega-3 fats found in Fish and Monounsaturated Fats found in Meats, Nuts, Seeds, Avocados and Milk products have all been linked to High Performance. Fats help our body process Vitamins, Phytochemicals, Brain Function and our Nervous System. Here’s a few High Performance tips when consuming fat; 

  • Fat can contribute up to 75% of your Energy
  • Unsaturated Fats from non-animal sources are best for High Performance diets. Meals and snacks with Olives, Avocadoes, Seeds, Nuts and Fish are helpful. Oils such as Olive, Sunflower, Vegetable and Fish are also beneficial.
  • Stay away from Trans Fats and Partially Hydrogenated such as donuts, cookies etc..
  • The right balance of Omega-3 often found in Fish and Omega-6 found in a variety of Seeds and Nuts help Reduce Recovery Time between sessions
  • Fat is slow to digest so avoid consuming it up to 6 hours before an event
  • Dieting for Fat restriction to meet a weigh-in will limit your competitive performance
  • Caffeine can accelerate the rate of your Fat Metabolism. Adversely it’s also a Diuretic and can lead to Dehydration and coordination problems

 

Athletes Need Protein

Eggs, Wholemeal Bread, Pasta, Grilled Fish, Low Fat Yoghurt, Cottage Cheese, Soy Milk, Lentils and Rice are all rich in Protein to stimulate Muscle growth and repair. It helps move Amino Acids around the body for strength, power and gains. Here’s some hint’s; 

  • Protein is good to consume for up to 24 hours before your event and immediately after
  • For best results following exercise, combine Protein with Carbohydrate! This stimulates Insulin and the use of Amino Acids
  • Use what you consume. Excess Protein is stored as Fat and can lead to Dehydration amongst other things
  • A Protein-Carbohydrate snack or meal after a workout promotes Muscle Repair and restores Muscle Glycogen levels. Flavoured Yoghurt, Milk Drinks, Sports Bars or a sandwich with cheese or chicken can help here

 

Dont forget Your Fruit and Vege's

Fruit and Vegetables contain a range of Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants for strength, recovery and healthy immune, brain and nerve function. Here’s some High Performance hints;

  • Vitamins and minerals help unlock food to be converted to energy
  • Fruit and vegetables add A’s, B’s, C’s and E’s, Magnesium, potassium, Iron and Folate to your diet
  • Fruit is a great source of Carbohydrate. Great to snack on
  • Topping up on Vitamin’s, Mineral’s and Antioxidant’s in tablet form may provide some benefits as the body is placed under higher levels of intensity and stress
  • Like all foods, regulate your intake as greater quantities can be toxic and retard your performance.

 

Remember, not all bodies are equal so you need to find the right balance that works for you. A good, balanced healthy diet will always leave you better positioned for High Performance.

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