You Are What You Eat: Sports Nutrition Isn't Just For Pro Athletes

Posted by Bear Strength on

There’s no outrunning a bad diet – and if you want to really see the results of your fitness efforts, then good nutrition is key.

Want to get the low down on what you should be chowing down on to fuel those workouts? We quizzed health expert, Tazmin Proctor –former Welsh 100m and 200m Champion, fitness model, advanced nutritional advisor and owner of clean eating café, The Pure Kitchen in Cardiff –for her advice.

“The demand for sports nutrition has boomed in the last two years – and it’s no longer restricted to elite athletes. There’s been a huge transition in the way people approach their workouts and general health and fitness goals.

“Clean eating and correct nutrition is essential for anyone embarking on a fitness journey or gym regime – and eating like a sportsperson has become incredibly popular. Even if it’s not to accompany strict training regimes – us regular people increasingly want to emulate our favourite athletes – we see how good they look and feel and we want a slice of the action.”

But why is sports nutrition so important? Tazmin explains:

“A lot of people think you can go to the gym and eat what you like. Unfortunately this is not the case. Good nutrition is key when you’re exercising as your body is constantly reinventing itself. Every minute it is breaking down its tissues and replaces itself with new ones, which it obtains from the food you eat – so you literally are what you eat! This process happens faster when exercising so it’s imperative that you give your body the right fuel it needs to function to the best of its ability.”

So what are Tazmin’s top tips when it comes to fuelling those workouts?

- Keep track of your macros. The correct balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates is essential when exercising – and will vary depending on the type of sport or activity and your overall diet goals.

- If you're trying to lose weight (or, more importantly, body fat) you need to burn more calories than you eat. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving up treats, but just to be smart with your choices – I love vanilla protein pancakes with fresh berries or overnight oats with berries and honey when I need a sweet fix.

- Make sure you are consuming the right amount of protein to suit your activity levels. A great deal of energy is used up to digest protein so this will help keep your metabolism elevated.

- Fibre is essential for healthy weight-loss or weight-management. It not only slows down digestion but also helps you absorb nutrients more efficiently. The best sources of fibre come from greens, whole grains and nuts. Struggling to hit your daily intake? Try making a green juice with mineral-rich wheatgrass, broccoli, cucumber, celery, kale & apples – it’s a nutrient powerhouse and also happens to taste pretty damn delicious, too.

- Planning a tough workout? I love sipping a beetroot juice – it’s been known to aid endurance, lower blood pressure and combat dehydration.

- I always say “everything in moderation”, but the best time to have a cheat meal – or to eat something that is less healthy and nutritious – is after an intense workout. Your body will be more sensitive to insulin at this time, which means it’s less likely to be stored as fat.

Need a little inspiration to get started? Here’s what our #TeamBearStrength ambassadors love to eat when training:

CrossFit Athlete Kelly Friel: Spinach pancakes, almonds

Jiu Jitsu Champion Ffion Eira Davies: Acai berry bowl

CrossFit Athlete James Burns: Lean chicken, blueberries, yoghurt with honey

Snowboard Cross Champion Rory Ewart: Chicken and vegetables with chilli and tomato sauce, anything with sweet potato

CrossFit Athlete Becky Standen: Roast meat with vegetables and potatoes, sushi

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