A couple of Fridays ago I had the pleasure of attending a day of talks hosted by the British Dietetic Association and the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr). Some of the best sports/performance nutritionists, all in one room.
We had presentations from key researchers in protein requirements, omega 3s and hydration, the nutrition team behind the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year, and the performance nutritionists from Scottish, Irish and English rugby. It was great to get an insight into everything that goes on behind the scenes of huge events like the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup and see how nutritionists make sure everything is in place to keep the athletes tip top.
I learned that it can sometimes be better to think of protein intake on a meal-to-meal basis as opposed to a daily intake, to ensure that protein intake is well spread throughout the day. This is certainly something that I’ll be looking into in more detail. It was also interesting to hear some more in-depth research on omega3s and whether they are all equal. One thing I did take away was the knowledge that plant sources of omega 3, such as walnuts and flaxseeds, don’t provide enough of the essential fatty acids to benefit human health; this only really comes from marine sources like oily fish.
So the advice? Get your omega 3 from oily fish or cod-liver oil, although walnuts and flaxseeds are great sources of fibre and other nutrients!