The WHY of Sports Nutrition
Do you ever ask yourself the question “Why do I need to bother about Sports Nutrition for my running?”
Do you ever think about what you eat and if it is helping or hindering your running performance?
In this episode we help answer these questions. We focus on the benefits of running specific nutrition such as:
- Energy to fuel our running
- Reduced risk of running injury
- Efficient recovery from training
- Increased running performance – the ultimate goal.
But we also outline the pitfalls of neglecting nutrition before moving on to give you ideas of how you could enhance your nutrition to support your running performance.
We also remind you of the importance of an optimal everyday healthy diet being in place CONSISTENTLY. This is the foundation on which sports nutrition is built.
Introducing the episode and outlining the key principles of Sports Nutrition to be discussed:
- General good health
- Provide energy
- Immune Support
- Recovery/repair from training
- Injury prevention
- Training adaptation
- Sports Performance
Considering scenarios when sports nutrition may or may not be required; e.g. what type of running? for what time are you running? At what speed are you running? Does it include skill-based running?? These and many other factors will determine whether Sports Nutrition is appropriate for your running training. Could it be that an optimal everyday diet is sufficient for your training? We discuss that here.
Considering the benefits of Sports nutrition in supporting the immune systems and highlighting the fall-out to health and running training if the immune system id suboptimal e.g. low energy, poor recovery from training, increased risk of injury and illness.
Looking at the impact of sports nutrition on training adaptations with a particular focus on body composition; thinking about food timing, energy balance, and adequate protein.
Focusing on the consequences of poor sports nutrition and its impact on running performance linked to low motivation, injury and recovery. A brief introduction to Overreaching and Overtraining syndrome is also given.
Introducing the Female Factors:
- Women tend to be more susceptible to AI conditions, therefore may be at more risk of compromised immunity. This could increase their risk of injury and illness in training if nutrition is not addressed
- Women appear to be at increased risk of injury besides men, especially of the lower limbs. One study noted that over a 2yr period 73% of women and 62% of men sustained an injury.
- There appears to be an increased risk in women age 50 or older and a lower risk among those 30 or younger – this could be linked to peri/menopause and the changes in hormone balance and bone density.
- Menopause can have an effect on body composition leading to some weight gain. This is because fat cells are known to be one of the principle Sources of oestrogen production following cessation via the reproductive system.
- Also, as we get older it is more difficult to lose weight, which may be linked to a reduction in Resting Metabolic Rate.
Considering some key nutrients and foods that would support ALL runners in reducing their risk of illness, injury and suboptimal running performance. Key considerations include:
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Introducing some additional nutrients to support soft tissue and collagen production including:
- Vitamin C
- There are so many benefits to Sports Nutrition, however we have highlighted several specific to running including: Immune Support, Recovery/repair from training, Injury prevention
- An everyday healthy diet is the best place to begin….but remember this needs to be in place CONSISTENTLY before considering nutrition specific for your running
- Remember Nutrition specific to Running may not be necessary for everyone, it will depend on so many factors including: distance, time out running and type of running e.g. easy/technical,
- If nutrition is neglected then it could potentially result in time out of running due to injury/illness, reduced energy and motivation to run, development of Overtraining Syndrome
- There are many key nutrients to consider for the prevention of injury, illness, poor recovery from training etc including: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Protein, Manganese, and Omega 3 FAs. So, ensure you include the food sources of these nutrients in your diet on a regular basis.
- Finally, The ultimate goal of SN is to enhance Performance…..so whatever your running goals are remember that what you eat may be the factor that decides whether you achieve that goal or not.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.
Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.
If you're ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.
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Aileen and Karen
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