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National Nutrition Week, 16-22 October 2016.

Sports Nutrition

Physical Activity and Supplements

Surveys across the board show that about 50% of athletes report taking supplements, though what is defined as a supplement is not clear. What is clear is that although many top athletes take supplements, supplementation is not a prerequisite for being the best in your chosen activity, or even for reaching your personal best, since the other 50% of athletes don't use them!! Never the less, some supplements (such as vitamins and minerals) can play a valuable role in a winning diet.

Post-Event Recovery

Refuelling is a key priority in recovery from physical activity. Muscle glycogen storage occurs at a slow rate and it takes about 24 hours for muscles to restore depleted fuel stocks back to their resting levels.

During event - fluid and food intake

Dehydration is a gradual effect. For every increment of fluid loss there is a small rise in your body temperature and heart rate, and an increase in the perception of how hard you are working. Skills and concentration are also impaired. In other words as the fluid deficit grows, there is a continual decline in performance. You may be unaware of small and subtle changes and may only recognise the damage when it becomes extreme. Optimal performance means being at your best, not just escaping serious problems.

The Pre-Event Meal

The pre-competition meal provides a final opportunity to top up the muscle and liver fuel stores. A high-carbohydrate, low fat meal is the best choice. You might like to adapt one of your everyday meals to suit your event timetable, or you may have some special pre-game eating rituals. Larger meals should be consumed 2-4 hours prior to your event whilst lighter snacks can be consumed 1-2 hours beforehand. For events later in the day you might like to combine these strategies.

Fuelling your Body

The fuel requirements for events of up to about 90 minutes in duration can be met by the normal muscle glycogen stores of a well trained individual. (Glycogen is the body's ready source of energy stored in the muscles.) To fuel up, all you need is 24-36 hours of rest or lighter training, and a higher carbohydrate diet. Although a high carbohydrate diet should already be on your menu, you may like to reinforce the focus on "fuel foods" on the day prior to competition. 

Nutrition for everyday activity

The current National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that Australian adults put together at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most or preferably all days of the week.

Sports Nutrition

Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, nutrition is fundamental to your athletic performance. The right diet will optimise your energy levels and help your body recover more effectively.
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