In the Summer edition of the Gymnast Magazine, English Institute of Sport (EIS) Performance Nutritionist Mhairi Keil, who works with British Gymnastics’ performance programme, shares some advice for those wanting to improve their nutrition to help boost their training.
How important is nutrition to a gymnast during the day?
On a day to day basis, the foods that a gymnast eats during the day not only supports energy levels and brain function whilst at school, but it also prepares the body for their training sessions after school. Eating the right foods will ensure they have the energy to maintain training whilst also assisting with concentration and learning of new skills.
On a long term basis, this day to day intake impacts on growth and development not only of the muscles, but also the bones and the brain, and is therefore really important to them as an individual as well as an athlete.
What kinds of foods are best for a gymnast?
A combination of foods that provide good quality carbohydrates, proteins and fats, will also ensure that their intake of vitamins, minerals and important antioxidants are more than sufficient.
Along with great food how important is hydration over lunch?
The body is made up of 60-70% water. A loss of body water stores through sweating, breathing, going to the toilet etc. can impact on energy levels, concentration, body temperature regulation and muscular performance.
It is therefore key that gymnasts try to include plenty of fluid options throughout the morning, during lunch and early afternoon, to ensure they are well hydrated in preparation for training.
Check out our full interview and some top recipe ideas by clicking here.