Sports and nutrition

Dietitian Heather Miller who holds clinics in Balla, Castlebar, and Ballindine, this week talks about sports and nutrition.

An essential nutritional requirement for everyone, whatever their level of sporting ability or intensity, is a well balanced diet.

Getting the balance in your diet right:

Eat a variety of foods in your diet.

Eat plenty of starch-rich foods which slowly release energy, eg, wholegrain/wholemeal breads, pasta, basmati rice, and wholegrain cereals.

Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day — fresh, frozen, dried, and juices all count.

Cut down on the fat and fatty foods in your diet. Try to include olive oil when cooking. Use oily fish, ie, salmon, sardines, two to three times each week to attain omega 3 levels.

Eat protein-rich foods two to three times each day: eg, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and pulses, cheese, quorn, tofu. Seeds are excellent for zinc , selenium, and omega 6, which will boost your immune system and energy levels.

Dairy — use low fat diary products.

Sweet, sugary, foods should only be used in small quantities; they can be useful sources of carbohydrate if your energy requirements are high.

Start refuelling with carbohydrate foods as soon as possible after exercise.

Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day as well as before, during, and after exercise. Hydration and recovery are the key to improving performance.

Most people do not need to take supplements if they are eating a balanced diet. Athletes should consult with an accredited dietitian before taking supplements of any kind.

If you would like Heather Miller to give a talk to your sports group, school, or indeed book a private consultation give her a call on 087 172 3664 or email [email protected]


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