Dietary basics

The cornerstone of any nutritional plan is a high-quality day-to-day diet. Given that even some elite athletes struggle with dietary basics, this is where you should start.

In this section, you’ll find scientifically-validated information on what constitutes an optimum diet and how to put together an eating plan that will keep you healthy, support your training and racing, and help aid recovery.

Magnesium for girl power!

in Dietary basics

All athletes know (or should know) that nutrition is an important part of ensuring optimum muscle mass. Exercise breaks down muscle tissue, which is repaired and rebuilt during recovery – providing sufficient protein is available. But while many athletes focus on protein, research shows that – for girls at least – the mineral magnesium could... MORE

Zone Diet: cut back on carbs and you risk...

in Dietary basics

Have carbs had their day? Imagine a diet that promises ‘(depending on your initial state of health and wellness), increased energy gradual and permanent loss of body fat improved mental acuity…a more restful sleep pattern (and decrease in the amount needed) decreased joint and muscle pain improvement in your cholesterol profile’ surely this must be... MORE

Zinc & Performance

in Dietary basics

Why athletes may need more zinc in their diet Although it plays a role in protein metabolism and growth, zinc has never really been associated with enhanced aerobic performance. But all that may be about to change following a recent American study carried out for the US Department of Agriculture. Fourteen young healthy men were... MORE

Why might an athlete need more iron?

in Dietary basics

You may have iron in your soul, but have you enough in your body? Nutritional advice for female athletes is a growing area of interest, and indeed concern, for dieticians and sports nutritionists. Much of the concern is centred on the various subclinical eating disorders. However, a rather more subtle, yet no less important issue... MORE

Vegetarian Athletes

in Dietary basics

If you’re a vegetarian athlete, here’s how to ensure you have a balanced diet Many people – athletes and non-athletes – restrict or avoid meat or other animal products for religious, cultural or health-related reasons. The recommendation of a diet rich in carbohydrate may lead many athletes to one form of a vegetarian diet. There... MORE

The zone diet: is it suitable for athletes?

in Dietary basics

Dieting to improve performance Is this the latest offering from the sci-fi channel? No, Zone is one of the popular diets that has taken the world by storm and is targeted, among others, at athletes. But is it really suitable for active people? Dr Louise Burke, head of the Australian Institute of Sport Nutrition, has... MORE


in Dietary basics

It’s not just what you eat… …but how and when you eat it, according to new UK research. For most athletes, maintaining optimum weight is vital to performance, especially as excess weight in the form of fat is an instant recipe for slower times. Although maintaining a daily calorie balance (calories consumed equal to calories... MORE

Strength Training Diet

in Dietary basics

Hormones and strength – why low-fat, high-protein diets might not be best after all At a glance: Low-fat, high-protein nutrition has long been considered as ‘de rigeuer’ for strength athletes; But a new study indicates that higher fat and lower protein intakes are associated with increased levels of muscle-building anabolic hormones in strength athletes; Some... MORE

Should athletes use fat or carbohydrate as fuel?

in Dietary basics

The fat ‘fuel tank’ is much bigger than the carbohydrate one but that doesn’t mean it should be filled more often Many runners, for instance, are talking about the possibility that increased dietary fat might help them run faster, and some have actually boosted their fat intakes in hopes of trimming their 10-K and marathon... MORE

Sports Nutrition: Dietary Basics

in Dietary basics

Optimum nutrition for athletes – what can we learn from recent studies Ask sportsmen and women what they think are the key issues in sports nutrition and the importance of optimising carbohydrate intake, using protein to aid lean tissue growth, or specific ergogenic aids like creatine will probably feature in their responses. But, according to... MORE

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