Sports Nutrition – Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, nutrition is really important for anyone who exercises.

Sports nutrition specifically focuses on energy and hydration requirements in and around exercise. However, an athletes overall diet and hydration habits also need to be considered. Although the science underpinning sports nutrition is pretty sound, there are still some big data gaps for a lot of sports. Also, each and every athlete is unique in every way, so an individualised approach is needed. Athletes need to trial different nutrition strategies to assess what works best for them.

Having a nutrition plan can be beneficial for any person into sport or fitness, such as triathlon, marathon, rowing, surfing, surf life saving, golf, AFL, rugby, basketball, soccer, body building, cross fit or any other exercise.

Sports nutrition is very individualised because nutritional requirements vary depending on factors such as, the type of sport, genetics, training load, age, sex, climate, personal preference and an athletes current goals. I take all of these factors into consideration when developing sports nutrition plans for athletes.

I will generally address the following in a sports nutrition plan:

  • Timing of meals
  • Macronutrient composition, particularly around exercise
  • Energy requirements during exercise
  • Recovery nutrition
  • Overall energy budget on training vs non-training days
  • Hydration
  • Which supplements might be beneficial and which ones are marketing spin
  • Key micronutrients
  • General dietary advice for the individual

Good nutrition will assist you to:

  • Perform at your best over and over again
  • Minimise injury risks
  • Achieve your desired body composition
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Reduce the risk of dehydration or over-hydration
  • Minimise the risk of exercise-induced immune issues

I realise that an athletes nutrition is about more than just their diet. Absorption and utilisation of nutrients, lifestyle factors, environmental exposures, infections and genetics are all factors that affect an athletes nutritional status and overall health. This highlights the benefit of adopting a holistic approach to sports nutrition. I support, educate and motivate athletes to make beneficial changes to all areas of their life. Stress management and sleep are particularly important for athletes. Gastrointestinal  and immune issues are relatively common in athletes, but good nutrition strategies can treat these conditions, as well as many others. Holistic sports nutrition seeks to understand the individual, not just the science.

Nutrition is right up there with hard work and talent when it comes to performance!

Rick offers face to face and online consultations in sports nutrition.

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“Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” – Michael Pollan

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