Training opportunity – Off season sports nutrition by Fiona at Optimal Fitness

For many athletes in Dubai this time of year is considered “off season” as most local races have concluded for the time being, especially the long-distance endurance races.

As a Sports Nutritionist I see this as a golden opportunity to really focus on getting your nutrition optimized.

Firstly, you can take a look at your base diet, what you are eating day in day out, and of course what you are drinking! As it’s off season for many, I am seeing more athletes back on alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to have the occasional tipple BUT it does cost more than Dirhams in your wallet. I’m talking about the cost in the form or empty calories consumed but moreover the cost of diminished sleep. You may think that your glass or wine, beer or G & T helps you sleep but sadly it does not. It will knock you out for sure and you think you may have had a good nights’ sleep but in fact studies show otherwise. Those of you wearing sleep tracking devices cannot argue with this.

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Looking further at your baseline diet depends on what your specific goals are. Are you aiming to shed weight before the start of the next season, or do you have gastrointestinal upset, or irritable bowel syndrome?

Then now is the time to address these issues, from optimizing your gut function or healing your gut to optimizing your immune system, especially in light of the current covid pandemic.

At this time of year (for those not racing) training tends to be focused on more steady training with fewer high power or intensity output sessions. These lovely slower paced “zone 2” sessions are ideal for training in a fasted state to improve fat adaptation. And fat adaptation takes months to achieve not weeks.

At the same time, as the temperatures increase sweat rates increase and sodium losses increase, so now is the time to play around with finding the sweet spot for perfecting your personal hydration strategy.

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If you have previously had issues with dropping energy levels, loss of power or had gastrointestinal upset during racing, then now is the perfect time to be trying out new strategies and practicing race nutrition options well before the new season begins.

It is also a great time to be trying out different brands to see if something suits you better. Products are constantly evolving, changing and improving their formulations. Or maybe you fancy making your own hydration beverages and energy bars/gels, or just try real food as an option.

If you would like further information about sports nutrition, Fiona Brenninkmeijer is a highly qualified Integrated Sports Nutritionist with Functional Medicine training as well as being a Certified Performance Coach. Fiona is available for consultations in person at Optimal Therapy, call +971 4 361 2406 or WhatsApp +971 50423 3302.

Fiona also offers zoom consultations if you prefer. Please drop Fiona an email to make an appointment or schedule a quick call to discuss your needs.

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Posted on 30th May 2021