Feel like your nutrition regimen could do with a boost?
We caught up with former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion Sally Gunnell at the Tour of Britain to get her six top fuelling tips for runners.
“It’s integral to your day, even if you feel you haven’t got time,” says Sally. “A lot of people don’t like to do exercise on a full stomach so don’t head straight out after eating.
“Porridge is a great option. It’s high in protein which will keep you fuelled during exercise, it’s also easy to have on the go so it fits in with your busy lifestyle.
“Quark is another great product, I have this in a smoothie with coconut water, mango, spinach, walnuts and chia seeds, I put this in a Nutribullet which keeps all the nutrients in. This sets me up for the day, I can run, cycle and look after three kids on that.”
Manage the times you eat
“Make sure you give your food time to settle. I would recommend two hours before you head out. This is most prominent in the morning when you’re in a rush but it’s worth getting up a bit earlier for as you will notice the effects of exercising on an empty stomach.”
Fuelling correctly during exercise
“This depends on how long you plan to exercise for. If you’re going out for an hour for example make such you’re fully hydrated before, during and after. If you are looking at more an hour’s exercise then taking something like a gel is worthwhile.
“They’re great when I need that extra boost, they also have the added bonus of keeping me hydrated. They are also easy to carry, it’s something I wouldn’t leave without if I was looking to exercise for long period of time.”
“Another essential is obviously to hydrate properly. A common mistake people make is to wait till they are thirsty before taking in water. That’s often too late.
“When doing exercise it’s important to also replace the electrolytes you lose through sweat. Electrolyte tabs are great at retaining your natural salts after exercise, I make sure I take one in my running belt every time I go out for a run.”
Refuelling after exercise
“Even if you’re exhausted after exercise it’s vital to refuel quickly afterwards. You have a small time window to do this, around about 20 minutes, leave it longer then you could feel sick or dizzy after exercise.
“I would recommend a recovery drink. This will quickly replace the carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during exercise. The high-quality protein in the drink will also help the recovery process.”
Back at home
“After you have done your exercise and you’re back at home, make sure you chose the right nutrients to help your body recover.
“My recommendation would be taking on high-quality protein. This could include fish, chicken or a supplement. This will ensure you always have the building blocks available for constructing and repairing muscle.”
Sally Gunnell was speaking on behalf of CNP. For a healthy, nutritious start to your day try the new Team Sky High Protein Breakfast range at www.cnpprofessional.co.uk
What tweaks have you made to your fuelling plan recently? Let us know in the comments!