Good nutrition powers performance
Here in our hubs we see the amount of effort that goes into your training, whether that’s in the gym, the studio, or out on the pitch. The graft and the hard work you put in is impacted greatly by what you do off the pitch and outside the gym. It’s what we all do to nourish and comfort ourselves, to refuel and relax. Eating and drinking.
What we eat and drink from the moment we wake up and throughout the day has a massive effect on how we feel, how we perform, and how we workout. Good nutrition is essential to wellbeing and affects the results we get from training and playing. It’s such an important element of a healthy lifestyle. It was a wise person who once said, “You can never outrun an unhealthy diet.” Being active is great, but it won’t undo unhealthy eating and constant snacking on fatty, salty, sugary treats and drinks.
Let’s look at how a balanced diet will power performance and support you to fully reap the rewards of all the hard work that’s put in, in the hubs.
Rise and dine
Start the day the right way with a healthy breakfast. Choose complex carbs, such as whole grain cereals and fruit with a source of protein such as eggs, milk, yoghurt or nuts. A good breakfast replenishes blood sugars after sleep and sets you up for the day. Ditch the donuts and the white bread and try wholegrain options or porridge instead.
Cut the carbs, it’s simple right?
Wrong. Although low carb diets have been all the rage, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our bodies. Simple carbs like sugar, sweets and processed foods are best kept for occasional treats. Choose beans, vegetables (including potatoes, but not deep fried!), fruits and whole grain flour, rice, bread and cereals as quality sources of carbs, vitamins and minerals.
Protein to keep us lean
Essential for building and repairing muscles, protein is often associated with exercise regimes. Choose lean meat, poultry, fish – tinned salmon and tuna are fine – dairy produce, beans, lentils and eggs. Try to avoid processed meat products such as sausages and burgers to limit the amount of fat and additives you consume.
Variety is the spice of life
When it comes to choosing fruit and vegetables try to include as many different colours as possible in your “at least” five a day. Try snacking on dried fruits and having cut fresh raw veg such as carrots, cucumber and peppers in the fridge to eat with low-fat dips or humus. A good way to ensure balance in your diet is to check to see if a third of your plate is vegetables, a third carbs and a third protein.
Time it right
Time is precious and lives are busy, but take time to plan, shop, cook, prepare and eat well to avoid grabbing a bad food choice on the go! Eating a healthy meal an hour or two before your workout, your training, or your game is ideal. Often, we dash to the hub straight after work, on an empty stomach and start to feel drained as we train. To avoid this, eat a light option such as wholemeal sandwich, or a piece of fruit – a banana is perfect – an hour before you start. Always eat after you workout too. A snack of fruit, nuts, a protein bar, or a drink of milk is ideal if it’s going to be a while before you eat a meal. Call into the hub café where we have plenty of good options for a healthy light meal, snack and sodium-containing drinks.
Refresh and hydrate
Drink water, often. Avoid sugary drinks and moderate your alcohol intake to recommended levels. Always bring a water bottle and top up at our stations.
Food for thought
At LU we want you to be the best you possible. We hope that these nutrition tips serve as a reminder that it’s what you put in your body every day, not just what you do on the pitch and in the gym, that will support your health and wellbeing for the long term.