Nutrition 

Food for Tournaments / Competitions

We train our moves, skills, strength, technique, endurance………and every other part of our sports. I believe that training your nutrition, hydration and rest are critical to performance and MUST also be trained.

As I always say, ‘there is no one size fits all’ and different sports need personalised nutrition plans.

 

Some factors that need to be considered are

 

-Travel

-Ability to bring your own food/water

-Time of tournament/competition

-Time between events and the ability to get food/water on board

-Time of weight in (if any)

-Availability of food and quality on site

-Nerves – some people are not able to eat anything during events

-How well you have practiced your nutrition during training (trying out a new food during a competition may cause digestive issues and hinder performance)

If you are lucky enough to be involved with an experienced coach / trainer or @nnsportcoach they will cover all this off allowing the athlete to focus on what they do best. If not, you will need to do a bit of research yourself.

It is critical that you are properly hydrated and nourished leading up to the event. Obviously if it involves a weigh-in then this must be factored in as well as refeeding and rehydration.

Despite what some ‘experts!?!’ say humans need all three macronutrients Protein, Carbohydrates and fats (in different quantities at different times) for optimal nutrition. During events we need to be very conscious of our digestion and its effect on performance. Also, the type of event – explosive, endurance, strength or a mix of all three will need a different mix of macronutrients.  We need to factor in that different macronutrients take longer to digest and might be better avoided.

Here are some snack/light meal ideas that might suit some

  • Scrambled egg on toast (wholemeal if possible but not essential)

  • Boiled eggs / egg sandwich (maybe not before a bus journey with teammates!!!)

  • Banana on its own or with a nut butter or banana sandwich

  • Porridge (hot or cold like overnight oats) with or without some berries

  • Apple or Pear with a small amount of nut butter

  • Toast and jam

  • Protein balls (homemade or from Jo’s @absnutfoods)

  • A handful of nuts and raisin-trail mix

  • Smoothie with porridge oats, berries, 30g protein powder, fruit…

  • A bowl of cereal like Weetabix with full fat milk and berries or honey

  • Cheese on toast or crackers

  • Dried fruit and nuts

  • Greek yogurt with fruit

  • Fresh fruit – apples, pears, oranges…

  • Peanut or any nut butter on toast, crackers or rice cakes

  • Smoothie with full fat milk/Greek yogurt, oats, berries, seeds, fruit…..

  • Chocolate/ Vanilla milk – great for recovery

These are only a tiny example of pre/post training/match fuel. If there is nothing here that you like or can’t eat contact me directly and we can explore other foods that might suit. 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITION FOR THE NEW SEASON.....

'it's not about who's gifted.....it's about who's left'

 

As with all nutrition there is no one size fits all. It is critical for any athlete or sportsperson to be eating well but even more importantly to be fuelled pre and post training/match/event.

Try drive a car without petrol and see how far you get!!!  

 

Sports Performance is about 1% better hydration, nutrition, training, recovery, sleep....in fact every aspect of day to day life which will soon add up to 5-10% advantage on your opponent.

 

Now is the time to test what foods work or don't and also crucially what time or how close to training you can comfortably eat. Waiting until the season kicks off and trying food out before a match can cause serious digestion problems like stomach cramp, nausea and badly affect performance. Again, there is no one size fits all. People can eat anything from 30 mins to 2 hrs before training. That’s a big time difference and it is trial and error. Some people can’t eat at all due to nerves if it’s a big match/game/competition and then we all get caught out at times and it’s too close to training/match/competition to eat!

 

A few tips before the training/match

  • Hydration = We are on average 65% water ( muscles 70%) so drink at least 250 mls every 30 mins before the event. Being just 3% dehydrated can lead to a 10% drop in performance.

  • Try to eat a balanced meal 3-4 hours pre event including quality protein, carbs and fats.

  • The key is to eat a light meal/snack the closer to the event you get and my advice is not to eat any closer to 30 mins before throw in.

  • The body requires carbs and protein but NOT fat close to the event as fats (including good fats) digest too slowly.

 

Here are a few quick and easy pre-event snacks

  • Scrambled egg on toast (wholemeal if possible but not essential)

  • Boiled eggs / egg sandwich (maybe not before a bus journey with teammates!!!)

  • Banana or banana sandwich

  • Porridge (hot or cold like overnight oats) with or without some berries

  • Apple or Pear with a small amount of peanut butter

  • Toast and jam

  • A handful of nuts and raisin

  • Smoothie with porridge oats, berries, 30g protein powder, fruit…

 

There is a very true saying that  ‘we can only compete as well as we can recover’

If our recovery takes too long or is not done properly it will affect us in our day to day lives and our ability to train or play/compete in your the next match/event

Recovery is twofold firstly nutrition and secondly quality rest/sleep (I will do a separate info sheet on sleep)

So we will focus on the nutrition and refueling the body post training/match/competition

Training and playing sport literally stretches and strains our muscles and depletes the body of essential vitamins and minerals so we need to get them repairing as soon as possible and it is Protein that will do this. We also need Carbs to restore our glycogen (fuel stores).

We need to hydrate but we need more than just water. We need to replace lost vitamins and minerals so a sports drink with electrolytes and salts is great. Coconut water is also good.

Try to eat within 20-30 mins after training/match. If it is late at night something light is better as a heavy meal will affect your sleep.

 

Here are a few quick and easy post-event snacks

  • Banana (yes, the humble banana is great pre/post event!) with peanut butter

  • Eggs -scrambled/poached/boiled (again eggs are ideal pre/post event)

  • A bowl of porridge or Weetabix with full fat milk and berries or honey

  • Cheese on toast or crackers

  • Dried fruit and nuts

  • Greek yogurt with fruit

  • Fresh fruit – apples, pears, oranges…

  • Peanut or any nut butter on toast, crackers or rice cakes

  • Smoothie with full fat milk/Greek yogurt, oats, berries, seeds, fruit…..

  • Chocolate milk is very good (but in my opinion horrible!)

 

These are only a tiny example of pre/post training/match fuel. If there is nothing here that you like or can’t eat contact me directly and we can explore other foods that might suit. 

Russian Fluffy Pancakes

225ml of buttermilk (I use kefir milk)

1 tsp Baking/Bread Soda

2 eggs (organic if possible)

2tsp caster sugar

250g flour of your choice

oil to cook

Put the buttermilk/kefir into a bowl and sprinkle the bread soda on top and leave for 3-4 mins to allow the mix to bubble

Whisk the egg, sugar and a tiny pinch of salt into the buttermilk. The batter should be thick.

Heat a large pan add some oil and drop a big spoon of the mix into the pan. Cook until golden brown and flip over. Cover the pancakes with a tea towel to keep warm. Top with fruit, berries, Greek yogurt or anything else you desire.

 

PLEASE SHARE RECIPES

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Smoothies
They are not a substitute for whole seasonal foods but great on the go or if you are too rushed for breakfast
Because everything is blended the nutrients are    absorbed quickly and ideal for pre/post workout   or exercise
There are thousands of recipes from the really  tasty to the down right disgusting!
Try keep the sugars to a minimum and to avoid a spike in the blood sugar levels don't over do the amount of fruit but add more veg instead, use the 80/20 rule. I mix and match whatever  I have but  some of my staples are ......
*Mixed seeds - ground up as they are easier to digest and they are full of protein and will fill you up
*A handful of organic porridge   oats -low GI carbs
*Kefir milk - brilliant pro-biotics  
*Greens like Kale or fresh spinach - Vitamin K  and essential minerals            
*Fresh raw beetroot- packed with nutrients and antioxidants

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Scrambled Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  •  Chopped cooked ham

  •  Handful of Spinach 

  • 12 large Free Range eggs

  • 1 chopped onion

  • 1 chopped red /yellow pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 180°. 

  • 2. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add All the ingredients 

  • 3. Spoon  muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
     

  • Freeze option: Cool baked egg muffins. Cover and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and freeze until firm. Transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags; return to freezer. To use, place in greased muffin pan, cover loosely with foil and reheat in a preheated 180° oven until heated through. Or, microwave each muffin on high 30-60 seconds or until heated through.

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