Got enough energy?

Daily eating patterns are important because they help us to build the body we need to complete our desired task. Whether it is competition sports, playing with friends, kids or grandkids, training at the gym, or simply undertaking our daily tasks, the major role of the daily diet is to supply us with the fuel and nutrients we need to get through the day. Healthy eating not only helps you maintain a great physique, but keeps you in good shape internally so you can look and feel your best!

The major role of the daily diet is to supply us with the fuel and nutrients we need to get through the day.

A balanced lifestyle is about balancing energy intake (food) with energy output (work). Eating provides us with the protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other compounds required for optimal function and health, which directly contributes to our muscle mass and body fat percentage and affects the function of hormonal and immune systems.

A balanced lifestyle is about balancing energy intake (food) with energy output (work).

Goals of training nutrition

In relation to the goals of sports and training nutrition, I have outlined 8 important points athletes should consider to achieve the best results:

  1. Meeting energy and fuel requirements
  2. Achieving the ideal physique, body mass, fat percentage, and muscle mass required for good performance
  3. Achieving adequate adaptation and recovery between training sessions through correct nutrition
  4. Optimal refuelling and rehydration
  5. Practicing of competition nutrition strategies so that beneficial practices can be identified and fine tuned
  6. Maintenance of optimal nutritional health by meeting increased nutritional needs
  7. Making informed decisions regarding the use of supplements
  8. Eating for long term health

Nutrition and running events

I know there are a number of our clients that enjoy middle distance and long distance running so I though it would be appropriate to focus on some dietary advice specific to this type of event.

The predominate energy system used in these events is the aerobic energy system.

The predominate energy system used in these events is the aerobic energy system. The 800m event uses approximately 60% aerobic energy and 40% anaerobic energy, the 5000m uses approximately 95% aerobic energy, and a marathon (42.195 km) uses >99% aerobic energy (ie: the longer the distance of the run, the higher the percentage contribution of aerobic metabolism to total energy cost of the race). That means that the longer the event, the greater the demand placed on the body’s fuel stores.

The longer the event, the greater the demand placed on the body’s fuel stores.

Surveys of male long distance runners have shown that the typical daily intake of carbohydrate appears to be ~7-8g/kg of body mass, and protein of ~1.5g/kg of body mass and reported intakes of micronutrients have been shown to exceed typical dietary levels. Leading up to race day, carbohydrate loading is used to increase the bodies store of glycogen (energy) in the muscles and liver to have enough fuel to use in the event.

I hope this information has been helpful to those of you that need some advice in this area. For any additional help with specific nutrition or sports training (or healthy practice in general) come and speak to one of our highly qualified personal trainers and exercise physiologists for all your needs. We also liaise with dieticians and nutritionists so if you want a tailored eating plan please don’t hesitate to let us know.

See you in the gym!

Michael