I like to think that most of us, whether we are athletes or not understand the importance of good nutrition. However many, especially athletes do not understand the power that can be released in terms of energy and performance if they eat the right nutrition suited for their body and its physical and mental demands.
Have you heard of Robert Lewandowski? He was a scrawny football player who was sought after by Blackburn who then became "the Body" and an ultimate goal scoring machine within the Bundesliga. How? Well for one, his wife is a Sports Nutritionist (lucky guy) and two, he took on a nutritional plan that was tailored specifically for him and his body, no-oneelses.
He removed inflammatory foods such as gluten, cows milk, sugar and alcohol which can promote gastrointestinal issues, leading to decreased nutrient absorption, food sensitivities/allergies, depleting the body of essential nutrients it needs to maintain, repair and provide structure as well as the production of energy required for performance, recovery and overall health and wellbeing. No matter who you are, the effects of inflammatory foods are the same.
His approach to nutrition is a personal commitment to himself, its a way of eating that aims to reduce inflammation. Inflammation that can have a major impact on health. Whilst nutrition is extremely individualised and different for every athlete, he, with his Sports Nutritionist, has unlocked what works well for his body. Unlocking his full potential and allowing him to have an amazing career in his field.
Is his approach the best approach for every athlete? In some respects yes, with the removal of inflammatory food, but lets us remember that each athlete has had a different life, experienced different stressors, been exposed to different toxins and maintains a different lifestyle, all of which plays into how their body reacts, performs and recovers.
Whilst there is many an athlete out there, who may seem to many, naturally gifted, such as Lionel Messi, there are very few athletes who excel in their field that will stand the test of time due to repetitive and recurring injuries. In the world of football we know of torn hamstrings, groin injuries and ACL injuries that sideline many a player or place an abrupt end to their career. My personal opinion as to why they cannot stay in the game injury free or can't quite achieve their fitness level back when they return - a lack of effective recovery wherein their body isn't just rehabilitated and supported through physical movement but it is supported with good nutrition to help with the phases of injury management, rehabilitation and general health.
This is where I come in as an Integrative Sports Nutritional Therapist. I help individual athletes and the general population with consuming a wholesome diet that is based on them and their individual biology, upon the restoration of any underlying body systems that may not be functioning optimally and preventing the body's efficient use of nutrients for performance, recovery and overall health and wellbeing.
The body may need to be supplemented from time to time with good quality nutrients such as collagen that declines after the age of 25 and plays a significant role in supporting, repairing and maintaining muscles, tendons and ligaments. As well as its involvement in skin health, gut health and joints.
At the end of the day, does anyone, whether an athlete or not know which foods to avoid or reduce as they may be promoting inflammation in their body? What about increasing those foods that help to reduce inflammation?
Here's a question for you, whether you are an athlete, fitness enthusiast or not. Do you ever feel fatigued for no reason? Experience persistent gut issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhoea)? Suffer from chronic skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis) that just won’t clear? If so, then we have some work to do! In order for you to feel like the very best version of you, whether in life or on the field, optimal health must be achieved first.
'One Size Fits All' Approach to Sports Nutrition is No More
The one size fits all approach to sports nutrition simply doesn't work any longer. Body's are unique due to genetics, biochemistry and yes a balanced diet is needed and perhaps some supplementation with vitamin and minerals to support it's needs are required to. Supplements may have been and may still be frowned upon by sports scientists but for an athlete to be at their very best, supplementation, which is legal, may be needed.
Experiencing fatigue, issues with body composition, development of an autoimmune disease, muscle and joint pain on a daily basis, or problematic skin issues are not just a part of ageing or genetics. It means that something within the body has been thrown out of whack and it is creating a domino effect with symptoms presenting themselves on the surface.
My approach to Sports Nutrition and health takes a look at YOU, the individual. I think I have made it clear that our bodies do not operate the same.
Our genetics, daily stressors, lifestyle, gut health, and for fitness enthusiasts and athletes, training demands are different and these are just a few factors. The only fact that remains consistent across the board, is that approximately 80% of our immune system lives in our gut (hence why nutrition is so critical!!!), even more so during this pandemic and with the prospects of a second-wave.
Some of us are fighting to get through training or each day and this may be due to having varying degrees of nutrient deficiencies.
Some may have food sensitivities/allergies or intolerances that have been bothersome for years but have gone untested. Whatever symptoms they have been experiencing or however they have felt, they have just assumed this to be their norm.
Some have a gut that is not functioning optimally due to medications, poor diet, alcohol, high levels of physical and emotional stress, toxins and environmental exposures. Gut health is paramount and has to be addressed.
Here's an example that may help you to understand Integrative Sports Nutrition on a deeper level. Chocolate milk is commonly used and recommended to athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages as the drink of choice post workout due to its carbohydrate and protein content.
You drink the chocolate milk after your workout because there is a mountain of research to support its use post-workout, BUT every time you drink it, you experience strange gurgling noises in your stomach, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, excessive mucous production or a skin flare up (eczema).
Do you really think this is benefitting your body in anyway?
Your immune system is trying to tell you something isn't right. When the immune system is not happy, health, wellbeing, performance and recovery may suffer. Is your reaction a genetic intolerance to lactose? Or is it a food sensitivity to casein or whey? You won't know unless you work with me so that we can get to the root cause.
It’s Time to Get to Know YOU and how your body operates
It’s finally time to dig deeper into discovering exactly how YOUR body works.
Let’s work together to help you figure out the best nutritional approach for your biology. Let's make you the very best version of you.
At the end of the day, I want you to understand that an individualized nutrition protocol can be the difference to how you feel, whether you lose or gain weight, sleep well, manage stress, whether you feel energised or lethargic, how you perform and recover.
If you are an athlete this could be the difference between excelling during a training session, in competition or the difference between a shortened career full of injury or an extended career full of energy and personal bests.
Building a solid foundation of good nutrition cannot only help you look, feel and perform at your very best, it may prevent the development of any chronic disease.
Are you ready to improve your health, wellbeing, performance, recovery and increase your energy?
If yes, browse the tab "work with me". I have you covered on every level from 1-2-1 consultations for an individualised and unique approach to your health and wellbeing, as well as sporting performance and recovery.
Online plans for immediate purchase covering Digestive Health, Detox and Kicking your Sugar Habit that are affordable, can be done in the comfort of your own home and which host lots of valuable information via downloadable PDFs, health coaching tools and recipe packs. Plus I am alway on hand to support you.