NUTRITION,LIFESTYLE& SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Nutrition, Lifestyle & Sports Performance Medicine by Amanda Heading
"The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well"
Hippocrates, Father of Medicine
Sports Nutrition is a vital cog in the wheel of sports performance, alongside training, rest and recovery.
The basis for optimal performance is good health. If you want to perform well in your sport, your body needs to be functioning well at every-day level first. You’re asking your body to go further, faster, stronger or with more power. And if your basic health isn’t as good as it can be, how can you perform at your best?
Sports nutrition doesn’t simply consider your macros and calories, or the latest sports drink or energy bar. Food is not just fuel. Key concepts of sports nutrition involve micronutrient intake, all those vitamins and minerals which act like keys to unlock the potential in your body, as well as your phytonutrient intake to address the inflammatory effects of hard, repetitive training. It looks as the quality of your food, not just the quantity. It considers whether you’re fuelling yourself for success.
And it looks at your ability to digest and absorb these nutrients, the status of your immune health to withstand the rigours of training, gastro-intestinal resilience during competition, the efficiency of energy production, cardio-vascular capacity, inflammatory and oxidative stress levels, as well as the propensity for injury and recovery rate.
Your context matters
And it looks at you, the athlete. It considers any underlying health issues you may have which might negatively impact your ability to train and compete to your optimal capacity. It looks at your competition schedule and the demands on your time for training, rest and recovery within the everyday pressures of your life context. It considers your mental resilience and motivation for training. It looks at what you eat, when you eat and how you eat (and drink). It considers the supplements and sports aids you might take. It considers when, how much and how well you sleep.
Basic testing via your GP or more advanced private laboratory testing may be recommended to identify insufficiencies or confirm a course of action.
And then there’s Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics: this is the ultimate in personalised sports nutrition whereby any genetic imbalances are identified and then supported using nutrition, lifestyle interventions and if appropriate supplements, in order to achieve your maximum potential.
Ready to explore your optimal potential?
You might consider coming to me to optimise your training towards a specific competition or to address persistent injuries, excessive fatigue or gastro-intestinal issues. You might be recovering from an operation or illness and need support getting back to full fitness. You might be at a life-stage whereby your training isn’t providing the performance returns you expected. You may have been diagnosed with a health condition, potentially compromising your ability to train or compete. Or you might simply want to gain that competitive edge over your peers.
Whether you’re training for your first Couch to 5K or competing at international level I’d love to help. I’ve competed in various sports including adventure racing and ultra-running races and I enjoy identifying those small wins which can make all the difference.
I understand the frustrations of injury and performance stagnation but recognise that if we change our approach to nutrition and training, we can maximise the potential we have, no matter what life-stage or level we’re at. It’s the athlete in me (read more here), driving me on.
Ready to work together?
If you’re ready to commit to improving your performance, please get in touch - I’d love to help.
‘Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together’