The beginning of the year represents a clean sheet for many people and there is no better time to reflect on past performances, assess goals, and make positive changes with elite sports nutrition from Citreus Catering.

Throughout Christmas and New Year, we often find ourselves unwittingly indulging in calorie-rich foods and alcohol. Subsequently, on the back of the festivity’s excess indulgencies, there is a propensity to reset and adopt a healthier eating pattern in January.

Even those performing week in and week out, at the top of their game, suffer a nutritional imbalance at the hands of seasonal temptation, and the phenomenon of people starting new diets in January is no different for top athletes. 

Adopt a healthier lifestyle through diet and elite sports nutrition.

The start of a new year often symbolises a fresh beginning and a time for self-improvement. Athletes can also see January as an opportunity to make positive changes in their lives and adopt a healthier lifestyle through diet and elite sports nutrition.

An Elite Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Since the 1960s, athletes and coaches have recognised the impact of elite sports nutrition on performance, and by 2019, the renowned Sports Nutrition Guidebook was on its 6th edition – https://www.human-kinetics.co.uk/9781492591573/nancy-clarks-sports-nutrition-guidebook/ .

Written in the 1980s by internationally respected and trusted sports nutritionist Nancy Clarke, the Sports Nutrition Guidebook gives a good account of what to eat and why, providing professional athletes and elite sports nutrition enthusiasts with real-world advice, combining the latest research and information on what to consume before, during, and after exercise.

In the 40 years in which she specialised in sports dietetics, Clark helped thousands of casual and competitive athletes, enjoying speaking to teams, clubs, and health professionals as a way to teach people how to eat to win.

At Citreus Catering we help to keep the wheels rolling, and our goal is to cater for winners – https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/gbcyclingteam .

The Importance of Elite Sports Nutrition

The importance of elite sports nutrition has been recognised and emphasised for several decades, but it gained significant attention and evolved into a specialised field in the late 20th century.

The understanding of the relationship between nutrition and athletic performance has grown over time, with scientific research playing a crucial role in shaping the field.

As sports science and our understanding of human physiology advance, elite sports nutrition is likely to continue evolving to meet the changing needs of athletes and the demands to reach physical perfection.

Harry Kane

Bayern Munich and England footballer Harry Kane gives us an idea of the benefits of elite sports nutrition in his detailed appreciation of chef, Dan Sergeant who uses food like a progressive alchemist to heal, recover and perform at the highest level.

Harry Kane is one of many high-profile athletes who has helped bridge the gap between chef and enhanced performance, bringing the knowledge and skills of a professional chef to the forefront of elite sports nutrition, stating – I try to get as many nutrients as I can from food. I balance protein and carbs, leaning more towards carbs before a game. On lighter training days, I might cut out carbs for a meal and go for protein and veg. The aim is to remain lean but also ensure you aren’t missing out and I have enough energy.”

Considering the physical demands, endurance requirements, and the need for rapid bursts of energy during a game, elite sports nutrition is particularly crucial for footballers.

We often speak about the importance of good, quality food and healthy eating but when Harry Kane teamed up with Dan, about nine years ago, the international footballer fervently proclaimed how his career had been transformed with the help of a professional chef who harbours nutritional acumen for elite sports – https://www.englandfootball.com/articles/2023/May/31/Harry-Kane-on-how-eating-healthily-helped-transform-his-career#:~:text=Kane%3A%20%E2%80%9CI%20work%20with%20a,around%20eight%20or%20nine%20years.

Food is the aim of The Greater Game

Aimed at 12-16-year-olds following evidence that 1-in-5 children leave primary school classified as obese,  The FA launched ‘The Greater Game’ – https://fcbusiness.co.uk/news/the-fa-launches-the-greater-game-programme/ – a purpose-led programme that aims to use the beautiful game as a vehicle to boost the health and wellbeing of young people across the nation, inspiring them to make at least one healthier action per week.

The programme has four pillars: Move, Think, Sleep and Eat, all of which help create holistic health and wellbeing.

What can the best chefs achieve for top athletes?

What the best chefs can do is provide a pillar of research and information for top athletes on how to eat before, during, and after exercise; sports drinks and energy foods; popular trends like keto and gluten-free diets; when and how much carbohydrate to eat; meal patterns that fit specific training schedule; sustainability; and digestive issues.

Top chefs like Dan Sergeant can provide practical tips regarding vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, low-FODMAP, and bariatric diets. Chefs can help athletes with eating disorders such as anorexia and binge eating disorders.

Chefs who specialise in elite sports nutrition can resolve confusion about meal schedules, what to eat daily, and make healthy and informed dietary decisions for athletes and those with busy families who often have to eat on the go – something sports nutritionist Nancy Clarke wrote about in the Sports Nutrition Guidebook, over 60 years ago.

What Citreus Catering loves about Nancy Clarke’s nutritional guide is that it provides practical suggestions for eating on the go, and making good choices in any restaurant, café, drive-through, or convenience store. She details how to refuel for optimal recovery, and what athletes need to know about relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) – something skilled chefs like ourselves can help with.

With 89 family-friendly recipes, Nancy Clarke places emphasis on fuel performance and what can be accomplished in a kitchen with a serving of elite sports nutrition knowledge.

Maximum Benefits from a Citreus Catering Meal Plan.

Whether you’re preparing for a competition or simply fueling your active lifestyle, elite sports nutrition helps athletes to get the maximum benefit from a regular meal plan.

Why settle for your current athletic level when a good fueling program can help you perform even better?

Food Focus on Elite Sports Nutrition

The heightened focus on elite sports nutrition can be attributed to the realisation that optimal nutrition not only enhances performance but also aids in recovery, reduces the risk of injuries, and contributes to overall well-being.

As sports science and research methodologies advance, so does the understanding of the specific nutritional needs of athletes.

This century, we have seen an increased awareness of hydration, electrolyte balance, and the importance of timing and composition of meals for athletes, trickling down to a younger generation that wishes to emulate their sporting heroes.

Elite sports nutrition continues to evolve, incorporating the latest scientific research on supplements, micronutrients, and the impact of dietary patterns on performance and recovery. Athletes at all levels increasingly recognise the importance of proper nutrition in achieving their goals.

Here are some key considerations for elite sports nutrition:

  1. Carbohydrates – a primary source of energy, fueling both aerobic and anaerobic activities. When feeding for optimal energy levels, we recommend a diet rich in carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
  2. Protein – essential for muscle repair and recovery, we advise on lean protein sources from turkey, chicken, fish, eggs and locally sourced plant-based protein options, particularly for post-training meals.
  3. Hydration – dehydration can impair performance and increase the risk of injury. We recommend proper hydration before, during and after training, emphasising the need for electrolyte intake during hot and humid conditions.
  4. Pre-match nutrition – we provide meals with a balance of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of proteins and low-fat food to ensure that energy levels are sustained, with consumption ideally 3-4 hours before a match. We also include a detailed list of acceptable snacks, closer to the game, such as bananas and homemade energy bars.
  5. Recovery – rapid recovery is essential and we suggest consuming a post-match meal or snack with a combination of carbohydrates and protein within 30-60 minutes after the game to help replenish glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery.
  6. Vitamins and Minerals – an adequate intake of the right vitamins and minerals supports the immune system and helps to prevent injury. Again, meals with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds provide supplementation if deficiencies are identified.
  7. Body Composition – for agility and performance, a professional chef can provide meal plans using elite sports nutrition as an appropriate balance between muscle mass and body fat, supporting both strength and endurance.
  8. Individual Plans – Citreus Catering recognises that every athlete is different and the elite sports nutrition may vary based on individual requirements, sport/field of expertise, age, training schedules and personal metabolism.

In summary, a well-balanced elite sports nutrition plan is crucial for athletes to optimise performance, enhance recovery, and support overall health.

A regularly monitored nutrition strategy can contribute to sustained success on and off the field of play.

Get ready; on your marks…. Contact Us!

Contact us to help tailor a personalised nutrition plan that addresses individual requirements and goals, to significantly improve your success – https://citreuscatering.co.uk/contact-us-citreus-catering-nottingham-weddings-events/ .