Maximise Your Performance
A key priority for athletes and super sporty individuals is to establish a well-planned training diet that can be easily modified to match the body’s needs. Whether it’s a change in training load, a new body composition goal, or special competition requirements, a good base diet is an essential component of your overall plan.
In all sporting circumstances, fuelling your body correctly will provide essential nutrients and energy to enhance training adaptations, support optimal recovery after exercise, and avoid excessive food-related stress.
Getting the timing right
Timing the intake of key nutrients can improve the gains achieved by hard work in the gym. Eating or drinking something rich in carbohydrate before training can provide fuel for the session to maximise quality and intensity of the session. After training, having a combination of protein and carbs will boost the recovery processes, and help you back-up your next session in top condition.
Usually your Accredited Sports Dietitian will develop a number of nutrition strategies for each different training session that you do. For example, before a resistance training session: a snack 30–60 minutes prior to the session and recovery eating soon after the workout may be recommended. For longer, endurance based sessions, carbohydrate is needed during the session to sustain intensity and performance, however, the amount needed is scaled to the session and your personal goals. In some cases, there may be a benefit in‘training low’, with low carbohydrate availability before/during the session.
There are a number of scenarios possible and working with an Accredited Sports Dietitian can help to maximise your training and performance outcomes, by devising a plan to suit your daily routine, training schedule, personal goals and preferences.
Increasing Muscle Mass
An individual’s muscle mass is determined by a variety of factors, including genetics, training, and nutrition. Endurance or strength athletes with heavy training loads generally have increased energy requirements, so a well-chosen nutrition plan will usually provide adequate nutrients to support muscle mass.
While the media and well-meaning ‘experts’ may encourage mega-doses of protein for muscle gain, most athletes will easily meet their requirements through a balanced diet and the timing of their protein intake is a more critical factor.
Protein is used to provide energy, and once the body’s protein requirements are met, surplus protein is not used for any further muscle gains. Therefore clever timing and spread of protein is an important strategy for optimising gains in lean muscle, rather than simply eating huge amounts of protein in one sitting.
Supplements are also commonly touted as the must-have solution to increasing muscle mass. Unfortunately, the supplement industry is poorly regulated and there is a lot of misinformation and inaccurate claims made. The support of an Accredited Sports Dietitian will not only help you identify fact from fiction in the supplement industry but also provide guidance on appropriate strategies for their use.
Need help? Get in touch with your nearest Sports Dietitian.