• Characteristics of master athletes
    Blog,  Fitness,  Sports nutrition

    Characteristics of master athletes

    With increasing interest in health and wellbeing, the number of master athletes continues to increase. The characteristics of master athletes seem to indicate a net benefit of lifelong physical activity. What are master athletes? “Master” is a nice word to refer to older athletes. The actual cut-off date depends on the sport (and, in some cases, on the country) but in general anyone 35 years or over competing in sporting events can be considered a master athlete. Characteristics of master athletes Aerobic capacity Maximal aerobic capacity is measured using VO2max. Even though this declines with age, it is important to note that master athletes retain more aerobic capacity than sedentary…

  • How to prevent and reduce DOMs
    Blog,  Fitness,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    How to prevent and reduce DOMs

    If you have ever engaged in exercise, chances are you have experienced delayed-onset muscle soreness, a.k.a. DOMs. In this article we explore how to prevent and reduce DOMs. What is DOMs Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMs) describes the tenderness and soreness that may be experienced after exercise. It normally peaks 24-72 hours after exercise and goes away after 5-7 days (1). DOMs typically occurs after performing exercises one is not used to (i.e. unaccustomed exercise) and/or eccentric exercise (i.e. controlled lengthening of muscles) (1, 2, 3). The most commonly cited potential causes for DOMs include lactate build-up in muscles, inflammation, muscle spasm, muscle/connective tissue damage, increased muscle temperature (1, 3). There…

  • YoPRO Perform yoghurt
    Blog,  Nutrition,  Product reviews,  Sports nutrition

    Product review: YoPRO Perform yoghurt

    YoPRO Perform yoghurt is a great high protein, low fat, no added sugar post-workout snack for active individuals. With 20 grams of protein per serve, it is possibly the highest protein per serve option in the market. YoPRO Perform As their name imply, YoPRO Perform yoghurt is specifically formulated as a post-workout snack. The Perform range also includes nut protein bars, not included in this review. Like the original YoPRO line of yoghurt, all Perform products are high in protein (20 grams per serve), low in fat and have no added sugars. In addition, YoPRO Perform yoghurts have branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and probiotics. These yoghurts are currently available at…

  • Why do we keep breaking World and Olympic records
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    Why do we keep breaking World and Olympic records?

    If you watched the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games you would have noticed there were many records broken, often by the same athlete. Why do we keep breaking World and Olympic records? Of course there is no one answer to this question and this is not meant to be a prescriptive article, but more of a thought process around the fact that records are broken all the time. The great and humble Georges St Pierre said that MMA fighters of today are better than fighters of his generation and future fighters will be better than current ones. It is a fact of sports because all the disciplines that support athletic performance…

  • Exercise, gut health and gastrointestinal issues
    Blog,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    Exercise, gut health and gastrointestinal issues

    Exercise is generally regarded as beneficial for health. Gut health is not an exception, athletes tend to have microbiomes with increased composition and/or function. However, too much exercise can be detrimental. This is an overview on exercise, gut health and gastrointestinal issues. Exercise and gut health Most people will agree that exercising is beneficial for health. When comparing the microbiomes of exercising individuals (including athletes) with those of sedentary individuals, scientists have found: More bacterial diversity and/or richness, generally regarded as beneficial to health More short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) metabolic pathways, important for intestinal integrity and other aspects of health Increased metabolic pathways of amino acids (including branched-chain amino acid,…

  • Protein requirements for female athletes
    Blog,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    Protein requirements for female athletes

    Are protein requirements for female athletes the same than those of male athletes? Although it makes sense to think that body composition, energy metabolism and sex hormones may play a role in nutrient requirements, there are no fast and hard rules, but sensible guidelines as detailed below. Protein requirements for female athletes In theory, female athletes should have slightly lower protein requirements than their male counterparts because oestrogen causes exercising female bodies to increase fatty acid oxidation and decrease amino acid (and carbohydrate) oxidation (1, 2). Moreover, protein catabolism is higher in the luteal phase when oestrogen and progesterone are high (1). On the other hand, some studies seem to…

  • Muscle cramps during exercise
    Blog,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    Muscle cramps during exercise

    Muscle cramps during exercise are relatively common and have been investigated for decades but remain a mystery. Scientists have identified potential risk factors, causes and solutions but evidence is not very solid. Exercise-associated muscle cramps Also known as EAMC, these are cramps that happen during or immediately after exercise (1, 2). Muscle cramps occur in a wide range of athletes participating in a variety of disciplines. These are most commonly reported in endurance-type sports and team sports (1) although this could be due to research bias. EMAC are usually a minor inconvenience but they can vary in intensity and duration, with a very small percentage of the population experiencing severe…

  • Fibre in sports nutrition
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    Fibre in sports nutrition

    In a previous post, I highlighted the relationship between fibre and health. In general, dietary fibre is good for you. However, the role of fibre in sports nutrition is a little more complex. Fibre in sports nutrition When talking about dietary fibre intake in the context of sports nutrition, we need to think beyond health. It is also important to consider weight and body composition, performance during training and competition, and recovery. As a reminder, the recommended daily intake of dietary fibre is 25 grams per day for most adult women and 30 grams per day for most adult men. Regulation of energy intake Dietary fibre intake increases satiety. Therefore,…

  • How to improve body composition
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    How to improve body composition

    As seen previously, improving body composition can confer a competitive advantage to some athletes. Hence the interest of athletes and coaches on how to improve body composition. In general, improving body composition means decreasing fat mass and increasing fat-free mass or muscle mass (a.k.a. lean body mass). Besides training protocols and periodisation, there are nutrition approaches that can achieve a favourable change. How to improve body composition Body composition can be improved using a variety of nutrition approaches. Broadly speaking, they can be categorised as dietary manipulation (e.g. tweaking energy intake or macronutrient levels) and supplementation. Note that not all research in this area is done on athletes. Some studies…

  • body composition
    Blog,  Sports nutrition

    Body composition in sport

    Body composition in sport receives much attention from athletes and everyone in their teams, from coaches to dietitians. This is because certain levels of body mass and fat levels are regarded as important for performance and/or aesthetics. What is body composition? Generally speaking, body composition refers to the relative amount of different tissues in the body. Most of the time, the main focus is body fat content. However, it is well known that other tissues such as bone and muscle are also important for athletic performance. For example, muscle is essential for generating power (1). Body composition in sport Body composition is important in those sports known as weight sensitive.…