From a nutritional perspective, the first focus should always be on functional nutrition. This means eating correctly to maintain overall health, supporting the immune system and preventing injury. The second focus should be on performance nutrition. This is where specific fuelling for the exercise is taken into consideration, plus recovery and hydration plan.
Eat enough calories
The first priority in any training plan should be to eat enough calories. The only exception to this is where weight loss is a goal. It makes sense, especially during endurance training that more calories will be burned, therefore additional calories must be consumed. This is vital to maintain a positive energy balance. Not getting enough calories can lead to poor quality training, poor recovery, fatigue, weight loss and suppressed immune system to mention a few. Additional calories from healthy fats or carbohydrates could include; oily fish, avocado, mixed nuts and seeds, coconut oil, quinoa, rice, brown basmati rice, sweet potatoes, whole fruit etc.
As Ireland continues on the road to becoming Europe’s most obese nation avoidable deaths and diminished quality of life due to heart disease are still part of our health climate. Better heart health is achievable through lifestyle choices and, where applicable, preventative and remedial supplementation. Coronary heart disease involves damage and narrowing of arteries and veins resulting in the heart having a more difficult job to fulfill its function of pumping blood around the body resulting in an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Firstly reduce your exposure to the risk factors that predispose to heart disease. These include being overweight, smoking, excessive stress, insufficient exercise, raised cholesterol and diabetes.
A heart healthy diet includes lots of whole grains and vegetables, healthy fats from fish and vegetable sources, soluble fibre to both regulate the digestion and reduce cholesterol (oats and oat products like oat bran and oatcakes come to mind here) and heart healthy herbs such as garlic and turmeric.
Hawthorn is a very effective and quick acting remedy for high blood pressure.
If elevated cholesterol is a problem due to lifestyle or hereditary causes Red Yeast Rice (taken with COQ10 which is sometimes included in the supplement), Plant Sterol tablets (Irish made brand Zerochol comes to mind) and Soya Lecithin can all be beneficial.