The information in this blog is taken from a presentation done for my triathlon club by Dr Kevin Currell, Senior Performance Nutritionist, English Institute of Sport/British Triathlon.
Kevin’s main philosophy on dieting has 4 main elements: Performance, it must be evidence based, individualised and simple.
Fats: enable the immune system to function properly, provide the building blocks for muscle, important energy source
Vitamins: key nutrients to support a strong immune system
Minerals: support repair within the body and help prevent injury, key nutrients for the body to cope with training
Antioxidants: help the body cope with the stress of training, stimulate metabolism and recovery
Protein: provides the building blocks for muscle
Carbohydrate: the main fuel during any exercise
How to fuel recovery:
Boiled Rice + Chicken + Tomato
•Jacket Potato + Tinned Tuna
•Bagel + Cooked chicken breast
•Pasta Salad + Chicken Breast
e.g. running. Inflammation and muscle breakdown is up, immune function and carb stores are down. Running is stressful!
Post run food e.g.
Protein: This helps to repair the muscles quickly and effectively.
Proteins are the building blocks of the muscle.
• Antioxidants: Help the body to cope with the stress put on the body
• Good fats: These also help the body to cope with the stress put on
• Carbohydrate: Provide the fuel for the muscles to repair themselves
Pro Inflammatory foods
• Foods high in saturated fats
• Cakes and pastries
Anti Inflammatory Foods
• Fruit – especially berries
• Nuts and seeds
• Wholemeal pasta, bread and rice
• Olive oil
• Dark Chocolate
OPTION 1 e.g.
500 ml Recovery Drink– Immediately after
Handful nuts + dried berries and yogurt –
within one hour after running
500 ml Milk – Immediately after running
Glass Cherry Juice + Peanut butter recovery
bar – within one hour after training
500 ml Whey Protein Berry Smoothie –
Immediately after training
Handful of nuts – winthin one hour after
SLOW recovery: protein, slow release Carbs, good fats, antioxidants
Slow recovery means Less Stress, Better Weight Management, More Nutrients, Don’t eat carbs on their own!
E.G. slow recovery meals:
· Salmon fillet and cous cous + salad
· Chicken breast, brown rice, roasted veg, olives
· Stir fry beef, pine nuts, noodles and roast veg
· Chicken and Quinoa risotto and salad, balsamic olive dressing
· Prawns + wholemeal pasta, roast veg, tomato sauce
· Chicken breast, wholemeal pasta, pesto
No Added Sugar Muesli
No Added Sugar Granola
Jumbo Porridge Oats
Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
Potato (eat only if steamed or mashed)
What’s What in the food groups?
Choose wholegrain options where possible
Ensure a good protein source in each meal
Handful of nuts
Tablespoon Olive Oil
Tablespoon of Ground Flaxseed
Add good fats to at least two of your meals per day.
Have 8-10 portions of fruit and veg
Have 3-4 portions of red meat
70% Cocoa and
Blueberries (and most other types ofberry)
Berries are an excellent antioxidant.
Pre exercise eating guidelines:
• Try and have a main meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) within 3 hours of the start of training.
– Carbohydrate based meals
– Avoid meals high in fat
• If you have not you need to have a sugary snack in the hour before you train e.g:
– Cereal bar
– Toast and jam
– Malt loaf
Pre swim snacks could include: Sports Bar, Muffin, Flapjack, Pancakes, and English Muffins
Recovery: timing is key. Some food within 20 mins, and a main meal within 3 hours
Its interesting because someof the principles outlined here are ones that I already adopt within the 3-2-1- diet plan that i already operate. For example:
What i am still learning, though, is the food groups, and how the combinations work together. As i wasn’t at this talk, but recieved the notes / info afterwards, I wasn’t able to ask my usual barrage of questions! So internet research and reading it will be I think! Lots to learn still!