If you hold down a regular job during the week, the weekend may be your time to get out and enjoy the elements in your chosen sport. It may be that you are a runner, cycler, swimmer or aspiring triathlete – either way, good nutrition is important not just on the weekends when you’re exercising, but also during the week.
- The following tips may give you some initial advice:
Eat regular meals and never skip breakfast!
- Try to include ‘wholegrain’ low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates at mealtimes – choosing granary bread, wholewheat pasta and brown rice instead of white versions will help give you a slow release of energy between your meals
- Water is generally enough to keep you going (without the need for sports type drinks or extra glucose) for exercise lasting around an hour
- If you’re spending your Sunday afternoons doing longer endurance runs / cycle, you will need additional snacks / nutrition during the session. The amount you require will depend on the intensity. As a minimum, you’ll need to consume 30g of carbohydrate per hour – the equivalent of 5 jelly sweets, a sports gel or the amount in a 500ml bottle of standard sports drink. After your training session, you’ll need to refuel – a 600ml bottle of flavoured milk would be an easy and portable choice
- If you’re trying to lose weight, try to avoid having too many extra snacks before and after your sessions – rather try to time your exercise so that it happens in between your main meals. You may also need support to look at adjusting your carbohydrate intake to help with fat loss
- Protein shakes are generally not required. Studies have shown most of us eat too much protein from our diet. Please we can’t actually metabolise protein in amounts over 20g. Many protein shakes contain over 30g in a serving. Don’t be tempted by the marketing ploys of your gym or personal trainer