Diet advice food for thought
WAIS DIETITIAN SPILLS THE BEANS
THROUGH the Local Sports Stars program, Community Newspaper Group is giving recognition to people and programs that encourage others to get involved in and excel at sport. This week we look at the importance of diet in reaching one’s full athletic potential. DENISE S. CAHILL reports. WA Institute of Sport dietitian Emily Eaton has to consider body composition and energy exertion when she advises athletes on what they should consume before, during and after training and competitions.
Eaton focuses on the sailors, kayakers and cyclists at the Mt Claremont facility.
She said there were different nutrition strategies for different sports but the fundamentals were the same and even applied to amateur junior athletes.
“In general, before training athletes should eat something that provides them with carbohydrates… fruit is an easy option or a sandwich, fruit toast or trail mix,” Eaton said.
“The key during training is hydration. After training the key nutrition is protein and carbohydrates for muscle repair and glycogen refuelling. Most athletes have a meal within an hour of finishing training, whether breakfast or dinner.”
WAIS sailor Rome Featherstone (17), who recently returned from Adelaide where he and his Sydney partner won two national events, eats plenty of pasta.
“Two to three hours before sailing I’ll have a sandwich or pasta and then I’ll have protein after,” Featherstone said.
“For dinner I’ll have pasta with protein and sauce.”
Once a month, Featherstone treats himself to his favourite food – a chocolate brownie.
WAIS kayaker Luke Morton sticks to a strict diet of meat and vegetables and trains twice a day, six days a week.
Morton is preparing for the Junior Worlds in Romania.
Eaton runs regular group sessions with athletes in the WAIS kitchen that are particularly important before they go away for a competition or training camp.
“Before they travel we brush up on their skills because they often don’t cook much at home and when they’re away they must fend for themselves,” she said.
“They’re out of their usual environment and it can be difficult overseas because there’s different food available.”