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Tralee Triathlon Club Lecture Series – Sports Nutrition

Aoife Hearne

What a super turn out for our second lecture this year! Full house last night in the Sólás Building, IT Tralee for Operation Transformation’s own in-house dietician Aoife Hearne.

Audience at Sports Nutrition Lecture

Sports Nutrition

Aoife spoke for an hour on the subject of nutrition for the endurance athlete covering  topics such as nutritional requirements, what to eat & drink to satisfy those requirements, when to eat & drink it and how to plan your nutrition for both training and recovery.  The lecture was very comprehensive and the audience was brought up to date with the current advice as regards sports nutrition. There was then a Q&A session at the end of lecture.

Aoife Hearne & Jackie

From the outset Aoife stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy functioning immune system. The most effective way to ensure this is by getting enough sleep, taking probiotics (Yakult) daily and having a nutritious diet that ensures an adequate intake  of vitamins C & D. 

She discussed hydration requirements, how to tell if you are getting enough or too much. She followed this by explaining each  kind of macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein and fat), why it was important and when and in what quantities they should be taken. What to eat before, during and after exercise. How to plan your meals and snacks around training. What are good food choices. How to spot overtraining and much more … Too much to go into detail.

Aoife Hearne - Tralee Triathlon Club Lecture

Here are a just a few bits of advice from the lecture:

Types of Carbohydrate: You need to take in carbs before a workout for energy during the workout and you need to take in carbs afterwards for recovery. The type of carbs taken before exercise should be high in fibre and low in sugar to ensure a slow release during the workout whereas the type of carbs consumed after a workout should be high in sugar and low in fibre to ensure quick delivery to the muscles to aid recovery.

Protein: An athlete needs approximately 100g (depending on your weight) of protein per day for growth and repair. Because the body can only take in 20g  – 25g of protein at a time it is important that protein intake is well spaced out over the day into meals and snacks. It is no use having one or two meals high in protein when the body cannot absorb all of that protein.

Recovery: For recovery you need salt, sugar and protein. Water by itself is not enough. One myth that Aoife debunked was the 20 anabolic window in which protein should be consumed after exercise. The advice now is that your carbohydrate requirement should be taken within 30 mins of exercise and your protein requirement needs to be fulfilled within the next 24 hours (not 20 mins).

For further information on nutrition and diet Aoife advised checking out the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute’s website.

TTC Committee & Aoife Hearne

Thanks to Aoife for a very informative evening.

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Norman Fitzgerald

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