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Eating for Performance: Periodising Intake & Protein Intake

Nutrition is key to fuelling a top notch performance. What and when you eat is important for an optimal training session. If you’ve recently increased the intensity of your training, you have to tweak your nutrition to match what your body needs to perform at its best.

Eating for performance is more than just meeting dietary guidelines set out for the general population. What does this look like? Jessica Spendlove shared with H2coco five key things to focus on with your nutrition to help you eat for performance. This article covers the first two.

Jessica Spendlove is a sports dietitian who works with some of Australia’s leading professional sports teams including Cronulla Sharks, GWS Giants, Giants Netball and Sydney Kings. Jessica became a dietitian to help people become the best versions of themselves. She believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and so, she works with each client to help them optimise their health and performance according to the client’s needs, wants, lifestyle and individual goals. 

According to Jessica Spendlove, you need to focus on these key things when eating for performance:

1. PERIODISE YOUR INTAKE (TO MATCH YOUR TRAINING)

According to Jessica, one of the most important elements to an elite training program is periodisation. This means some sessions, and training ‘blocks’ are much harder than others. It also includes scheduled rest days and ‘down’ weeks. These intermittent intensities, durations and types of training are important to maximise performance in every area.

It is, therefore, important to be adjusting intake to match their output. Different training sessions mean variations in nutritional requirements. For the harder, more intense sessions you will use more glycogen (fuel). This means you should be taking on more nutrition prior to and immediately after those key sessions to optimise performance and adaptations to training.

    

One thing you can do before, during and after an intense training session is to drink H2coco Pure Coconut Water. People dub coconut water as nature’s sports drink for a reason. Pure coconut water has naturally occurring electrolytes – what you need to function at optimum physical levels. Pure coconut water also has naturally occurring sugars that will help you go farther and stronger into your training sessions before reaching exhaustion. After your session, drinking H2coco Pure Coconut Water can replace depleted electrolytes and glycogen, allowing for better hydration and faster recovery. To find out more about the benefits of H2coco Pure Coconut Water and the other delicious flavours in our coconut water range, check out this page.  

Some nutrients and foods should be adjusted more than others. For example, carbohydrate intake should be adjusted based on the type of training, as opposed to protein intake as this should remain relatively constant day to day for someone who trains most days.

2. PROTEIN – TIMING, DISTRIBUTION, TYPE

Most people understand protein is the key nutrient involved in muscle growth. However, it is important to realise it is not only about the amount of protein you eat. It is also about the type of protein you consume, when you eat it and the frequency.

Research has shown that most people can maximally use around 20 grams of protein at a time for muscle protein synthesis, which is very easy to achieve. Therefore, providing the body with 5 to 6 doses of optimal protein across the day will switch on the muscle protein synthesis pathway more frequently, compared to just having 2 to 3 meals with large amounts of protein. This means you should think about redistributing some of your protein at lunch and dinner into breakfast and snacks.

Research has also shown that the ability to gain lean muscle mass is elevated for 24 to 48 hours after a resistance training session. This is why it is important for someone who is training most days to keep a relatively constant protein intake as their body is always in a state of gaining lean mass and strength, and also always in a mode of recovery. 

Stay tuned for the next blog post for more tips from Jessica Spendlove about getting the right nutrition for optimal performance.

Keep up to date with Jessica Spendlove from Health and Performance Collective.
Instagram @Jess_Spendlove_Dietitian & @health_performance_collective
Email Jess@jessicaspendlove.com
Website www.jessicaspendlove.com & www.healthandperformancecollective.com