Category Archives: Sports Science

How to Eat for Maximum Performance

Guest post by Anita Bean

Whether you are a competitive athlete looking for those ‘marginal gains’ or you simply enjoy working out for fitness, a great nutrition plan will help maximise your performance. It can help you train harder and longer, and speed your recovery between sessions. Here are a few tips to keep you well fuelled:

1. Fuel upStirfry

Of all the foods you could have before a workout, prioritize ones rich in carbohydrates, especially if you will be training for longer than one hour. Include some protein (chicken, fish, cheese, egg, beans) as well as a small amount of fat (olive oil, cheese, avocado) in the meal. Both help lower the overall glycaemic index (a measur
e of how rapidly the blood sugar levels rise) of the meal, provide sustained energy and improve performance. A meat and veg stew with potatoes; a pasta, tuna (or bean) and veg bake; or a chicken & veg stir-fry with rice would be ideal.

2. Eat 2 – 3 hours before exercising

The optimal time for your pre-exercise meal is 2 – 4 hours before training. If you work-out at 7pm, plan to eatbananas between 3 and 5pm. No time to eat a meal? A granola bar; a slice of toast with peanut butter; a handful of nuts and dried fruit; or a banana 30 minutes before you train should give you enough of an energy boost.

3. Begin well-hydrated

It’s important to begin each workout properly hydrated if you want to put in a good performance. Aim to drink 5-7 ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight about 4 hours before exercise – equivalent to 350 – 490 ml for a 70kg person.

4. Avoid dehydration

waterIf you’re exercising for less than an hour, there’s no need to consume anything other than water during your workout. For most conditions 400 – 800 ml per hour will prevent dehydration as well as over-hydration. Listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty.

5. Fuel on the go

If you’re working-out for longer than an hour, consuming carbohydrate either in the form of a drink or as food provides your muscles with a ready supply of blood glucose for immediate energy. This spares glycogen stores and helps you to train longer. Aim for 30–60 g of carbohydrate per hour – equivalent to 400 – 800 ml cordial (diluted 1 to 6), or an isotonic sports drink; 2 bananas or 50g dried fruit. If you’re exercising hard for longer than 2 – 3 hours, a dual energy source drink (glucose and fructose) may help increase your stamina.

6. Replace fluids

Weigh yourself before and after your session to get an idea of your fluid losses. The International Olympic Committee recommend drinking 600 – 750 ml of fluid for each 0.5 kg weight lost.

7. Refuel

fruit and yoghurtIf you plan to exercise again within 24 hours, begin refuelling within two hours of your workout. Your recovery snack should contain carbohydrate to replenish depleted fuel (glycogen) stores, as well as 20 – 25g protein to repair and rebuild the muscles. Milk (all types), flavoured milk and low fat milk shakes are ideal, or make your own recovery shake from milk, fruit and yoghurt. If you don’t plan to exercise the next day, simply ensure you get enough protein and carbs over the next 24 hours.

 

Food for Fitness 4th Ed

 

Food for Fitness 4th ed by Anita Bean

The new edition of this book is the ultimate resource for anyone who is serious about sport or fitness. It has been updated to include the very latest nutrition research for exercise and performance. Food For Fitness dispels popular myths and gives you the tools you need to reach your maximum performance, as well as 65 easy, delicious recipes, and sport-specific menu plans.

 

 

New In: Exercise Anatomy Books

Been to the gym for a workout or for a session with a personal trainer and wondered what muscles you’ve actually worked out? Heard the name and then wondered where exactly those muscles are? Want to know how to improve your workouts to target those muscles?

Well, your prayers have been answered. The ‘Anatomy of …‘ series is a great range of books providing anatomical illustrations of various exercises tailored to give you the best workout depending on your needs. Each book contains:

  • annotations identifying the active and stabilising muscles
  • concise how-to instructions for each exercise
  • identification of the specific muscles that benefit the most from each exercise
  • a glossary of anatomical terms.

Bloomsbury Sport are pleased to announce the publication of three new titles in the series:

9781408189979 9781408189986 9781408189993

Others titles in the series:
Anatomy of Exercise
Anatomy of Cycling
Anatomy of Running
Anatomy of Core Stability
Anatomy of Stretching
Encyclopedia of Exercise Anatomy (coming soon)

Runner’s Knee, Tennis Elbow, Skier’s Thumb?

When it comes to sport and exercise, “No pain, no gain” may be a catchy phrase, but pain can often be the first warning sign of an injury so it’s important to listen to your body.

  To be on the right track in regards to managing treatment whether it be for ankle sprains, shin splints, groin pain, slipped discs or torn hamstrings, it’s worth checking out The Complete Guide to Sports Injuries by Christopher M. Norris.

 

 

The book is packed full of helpful photographs and diagrams to aid both understanding and technique in treating sports injuries, with practical guidance on massage, taping, hot and cold. Norris also gives great advice on structuring rehabilitation through exercise therapy to help with recovery through the healing process.

If you’re a sports coach, fitness instructor, student, physiotherapist or sports massage therapist, then this is the ideal introduction to understanding and treating sports injuries.

 

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