Last week was a very exciting one for me (I don’t mean Christmas) as I attended the international sport and exercise nutrition conference. It was a jam-packed programme of speakers from all over the world covering topics from gut and brain health and exercise to blood lipids to managing type 1 diabetes in athletes. I never thought I would attend a conference as good as this and get to listen to the people behind the books and journal articles that got me into nutrition in the first place. The very first book I read and used for my dissertation on sports nutrition, “The Biochemical Basis of Sports Performance”, was written by Ron Maughan, the man behind the whole conference – very exciting! The Australian sports dietician Louise Burke spoke to us about high fat diets and sport and her work with the Australian Institute of Sport. Louise is the woman behind every sports nutritionist’s bible, “Clinical Sports Nutrition” and helps to write the recommendations for nutrition in sport.
There was too much to write down and so much to remember but here are a few of my take home messages from the fantastic couple of days…
1) Regularly sipping water throughout exercise reduces the rate of perceived exertion
2) The importance of maintaining muscle mass into old age should not be underestimated
3) Whole grains can be a fantastic source of nutrients for athletes and should not be cut out of the diet unnecessarily
4) Carbohydrate “availability” should be considered above carbohydrate “intake”
5) If exercise is performed before a meal, more protein in the meal is used – cool!
6) A high GI has been shown to increase liver fat content. There is also an association between a higher GI/GL diet and increase incidence of type 2 diabetes
7) Obesity is the number 1 burden on Britain at the moment – ranked above the war on terror – scary
8) Train high, sleep slow – i.e. training on high carbohydrate but going to bed with low carbohydrate levels or fasted
9) Gluten-free products in supermarkets are a whopping 40% more expensive than regular products, and many people use them unnecessarily
10) A 2 HOUR MARATHON IS POSSIBLE!!!