Success starts with optimum fuelling
It is universally agreed that diet affects performance, yet everyone has different nutritional needs and each sport has its own unique nutritional demands. Whether you are exercising for fitness or for competition the food that you eat, and the strategies employed to make the most of your fuel, impact on performance as much as the training that you do.
With so much information about sports nutrition available online, in magazines and from your local gym or trainer, it is often difficult to work out what applies to you, your sport and your specific health needs. At Nutritional Therapy Works, we believe that there is no single diet that works for all athletes. Instead, we work with you to create a bespoke nutritional programme, based on the latest research and functional sports nutrition, to enable you to achieve peak performance.
The functional medicine approach to sports nutrition has moved traditional sports nutrition beyond focusing on the ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fats consumed into a more integrated approach to improving sports performance. This approach is based on the principle that optimum fitness is not possible without underlying optimum health and that intensive exercise unsupported by a tailored nutritional regime may actually be detrimental to both health and performance.
Fuelling the body: energy production, whether aerobically or anaerobically, is dependent on many vitamins and minerals, as cofactors for the energy pathways. Poor performance may mean that there is inadequate intake of these micronutrients or that the body’s requirements are particularly high and are not being met through the current diet. Dietary analysis, coupled with functional testing (e.g. metabolic analysis profiles, amino acids etc.), can help to pinpoint potential inadequacies, identify your specific calorie requirements and allow specific foods and supplements to be incorporated into your day-to-day diet in order to promote strength, immune health and endurance.
Nutrient timing: the latest sports nutrition research shows that when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Delivering the right amount of protein and carbohydrate at precisely the right times: before, during and in the minutes and hours after exercise, will allow you to push yourself harder during training, build endurance, increase muscle growth and optimise recovery.
Supplements: the sports supplement market is vast, with new products launching every day and newly released research often conflicting with, what seemed, established ideas. Choosing the right sports supplements has never been more confusing for even the most knowledgeable athletes and coaches. Nutritional Therapy Works can advise which supplements have solid research to back up their claims, which ones are right for you and your goals and which brands contain the best quality ingredients at the right levels for your needs.
Over-training and stress: exercise is a powerful stressor on the body that places increased demands on adrenal function, especially when glycogen stores are low or when blood sugar levels are imbalanced. The impact of cortisol on performance, and its effect on energy production and the immune system, means that supporting the adrenal glands and stabilising blood sugar levels are key to any sports nutrition programme in order to avoid burn-out and maintain that competitive edge. Functional tests such as adrenal stress hormone profiles are useful tools for evaluating biochemical imbalances which may be underlying reasons for reduced sports performance.
Body composition analysis: a bioelectrical impedance Body Composition Analyser is used to analyse your body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, hydration status and metabolic age. Track your progress towards your goal whether it is simply to lose weight or to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass.
Practical solutions: we recognise that it is important that any sports performance programme is designed to fit into your lifestyle, rather than the other way around. We work alongside you to create realistic and achievable programmes and provide example meal plans for different days of your training schedule, as well as recipes and shopping and cooking tips.
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