Oxford University Athletic Club

Nutrition

Why nutrition is important
  • Aids muscle growth and improves performance
  • Greatly reduces the risk of injury
  • Improves recovery
Useful links
Food types

Carbohydrate:

  • Essential for energy for training and recovery. Protein is not a substitute – it gives you very little energy
  • ~600g per day for a 75kg athlete (6 – 10 g / kg / day)
  • Equivalent to 2.4kg pasta / 2.1kg rice / 1kg granola

Protein:

  • Essential for muscle growth and recovery
  • 20g immediately post training
  • A further ~100g throughout the day for a 75kg athlete (~1.6g / kg / day total)
  • Meat (preferably lean and white meat), dairy, eggs, nuts, beans

Zinc:

  • Essential for protein synthesis. Commonly deficient in male athletes
  • Meat, nuts and seeds, fish, cheese, leafy green vegetables
  • 100g steak, 160g all bran, 60g liver

Calcium:

  • Decreases the risk of stress fractures. Commonly deficient in female athletes
  • Higher requirements for athletes – due to muscle contraction and sweat
  • Dairy, tinned fish with bones, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, dried figs
  • 100g cheddar, 130g sardines, 350g yoghurt

Iron:

  • Essential for transporting Oxygen. Commonly deficient in female athletes
  • Red meat, white meat, dried fruit, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, and leafy green vegetables
  • 65g Special K, 140g sesame seeds, 190g quinoa, 410g steak, 550g beef mince

Hydration:

  • Dehydration greatly impairs physical and mental performance
  • 5% dehydration reduces performance by 30%
  • Carry a bottle with you all day and while training. 1-2 litres per hour
  • Urine should be pale yellow / clear

Alcohol:

  • Drinking alcohol reduces muscle synthesis rates and reduces testosterone production
  • Drinking 24 hours before a race reduces performance by 11%
  • Sports-related injuries are more than twice as common in drinkers than in non-drinkers
Other important factors

Timing:

  • Better to spread most intake over the day – eating 2.4kg of pasta for dinner won’t deliver all your carbohydrate needs!
  • Quick-release carbohydrates and protein post-workout

Competition day:

  • Take carbohydrate-based snacks, easily digested protein (e.g. BCAA) and fluids
  • Be careful to avoid foods that will upset your stomach or give you gas

 

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