Archive for category Diet

What To Eat For Faster Injury Recovery

Nutrition for injury management and prevention

Injuries are a common occurrence in sport, but no one wants to be sidelined for too long. We know that following your physio’s rehab program will help you recover, but nutrition is also an important part of your treatment plan. A good diet is essential for performance and recovery from physical activity, but when we get injured its easy to forget all the normal diet habits while focusing on recovering. 

Food plays an important role outside of just fuelling your body. You may not know that food plays a significant role in inflammation, which is a key aspect of healing following an injury, so what you eat will impact your recovery. Food can also assist with rebuilding muscle, bone and repairing damaged tissue. So if you are currently injured or find yourself with constant niggles and aches, read below to learn more about the link between diet and your recovery.

Food and inflammation

When you are injured, your body produces inflammation. Pain, swelling, redness and heat draws healing chemicals to the injured area. The damaged tissue is removed, and a new blood supply and temporary tissue is built. Next remodelling occurs, where stronger, more permanent tissue replaces the temporary tissue. Inflammation is important in triggering the repair process during injury, but too much inflammation can delay healing and cause additional damage.

Strategies to help produce the right amount of inflammation can be extremely useful and this is where nutrition plays a big role. Choose anti-inflammatory fats such as;

  •   •  olive oil
  •   •  avocado
  •   •  fish oil
  •   •  salmon
  •   •  sardines
  •   •  nuts and seeds,

At the same time, avoid a high intake of pro-inflammatory food such as;

  •   •  processed foods
  •   •  take-away foods
  •   •  vegetable oils (corn oil, sunflower, safflower and soybean oil)

Once the body begins the proliferation and remodelling stages of healing (building of new tissue), a balanced diet is necessary. Ensure you eat adequate;

  •   •  protein
  •   •  low saturated fats
  •   •  a diverse range of fruit and vegetables
  •   •  low-GI carbohydrates (you will need less carbohydrates than when you were training, but more than a sedentary day)

Energy intake

It is common to reduce intake following an acute injury due to reduced activity levels and appetite, but energy expenditure may actually increase by 15-50% depending on the type and severity of injury. Reducing your intake could impact tissue healing and muscle wastage in the early stages of your injury, so guidance from a qualified sports dietitian can help you maximise your rehabilitation program by ensuring you are eating adequate protein, fat, carbohydrates and micronutrients.

Eat the rainbow for injury prevention

It might sound like a cliché but a 2017 Scandinavian study found that a healthy diet with a variety of fruit, vegetables and fish reduced the odds of new injuries in adolescent athletes. Fruits and vegetables come in a range of colours which all have their own unique make-up of micronutrients essential for health and enhancing recovery between training sessions. Even if injuries sometimes seem out of your control, getting into the habit of eating a variety of fruit and vegetables in adequate amounts is not only beneficial for your general health, but could also play a role in reducing your risk of injury.

 

 

Collagen and soft tissue injuries

Tendons and ligaments in the body are made of collagen cross linkages. Several studies have looked at the link between gelatin ingestion and injury prevention. Supplementation with gelatin has been shown to improve connective tissue structure and function, potentially improve joint health, and reduce pain associated with strenuous activity. Ingesting gelatin with vitamin C increases the effectiveness as they work together to increase collagen synthesis and improve collagen crosslinking, e.g. in tendon tissue.

The most current recommendations are: ingest a gelatin supplement (such as 15g of Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate) with at least 50mg of vitamin C one-hour before training to assist injury prevention. If injured, collagen can be consumed daily to aid recovery by increasing collagen and tissue strength.
These are general guidelines only, so more specific individualised advice, speak to Kelsey our Sports Dietitian.  

 

Vitamin D and bone health

Bone health is critical for everyone; we’re taught from a young age to include dairy products in the diet for their calcium content, but vitamin D is the other main nutrient that we need to build strong, healthy bones.

Runners particularly are at a high risk of bone stress injuries, as well as those in indoor sports (because they are away from sunlight/vitamin D opportunity), non-weight bearing sports such as swimming, or physique-sensitive sports such as diving, gymnastics and body building. Studies have found runners with higher vitamin D intake recover quicker from injury, and those with higher bone density have decreased frequency of bone stress injuries.

Vitamin D can be obtained mostly from safe exposure to the sun, and in smaller amounts from some margarines or milks fortified with vitamin D. You can also ingest it from mushrooms that have had sun exposure. Using a vitamin D supplement depends on your body’s levels of vitamin D, so this should be discussed with your doctor or sports dietitian before commencing.

Fatigue and injuries

Research in soccer matches found that injury risk increases towards the end of each half of the game. This is when players are fatigued, decision making and fine motor skills are impaired and running biomechanics are modified. The findings are transferrable to other sports – if you are fatigued towards the end of your game or race, you are more likely to injure yourself. Fuelling and hydrating adequately are the best measures to prevent injury by delaying onset of fatigue. Appropriate fuel and hydration plans that help you to maintain exercise intensity for longer and reduce fatigue need to be very personalised because they depend heavily on you, your body and the activity or sport that you are participating in.

Get Your Personalised Diet Plan Now

Injuries are all too common in sport, exercise and even normal activities. Whether its rugby, running, swimming, gymnastics or even just DIY and gardening, injuries are a regular occurrence. Given the powerful effect of nutrition on our general health, its no surprise it also plays an important role in your recovery from injury. So if you have an injury, past or ongoing history of injuries, or even someone you know is constantly injured, make sure you book an appointment with our sports dietitian. Kelsey can provide you with a personalised injury management nutrition plan to assist your rehabilitation program and get you back into your sport, exercise and regular activity faster. Contact reception on 9280 2322 or head to our online bookings page to book in your first session with Kelsey. For more info you can also see our Dietitian’s page.

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Probiotics and Prebiotics – what’s all the fuss about?

Have you ever wondered what people are talking about when the words probiotics and prebiotics get thrown around? It seems every food company these days is marketing their products on TV, magazines and bus stops as being beneficial for gut health due to their prebiotic content. But what does it all mean and do you need to be including them in your diet? Read below if you want help making sense of it all!  

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that live inside the digestive tract, and are found in bacteria, yeast or fungi. Probiotics are the good kind of bacteria that keeps the digestive system healthy, helping to break down food as it enters the system, and has also been found to be beneficial in relieving constipation, aiding recovery from diarrhoea, reducing harmful bacteria that lead to gas and bloating, and supporting the immune system. Probiotics can be taken as a supplement form or found in food products. If using a probiotic supplement, look for one that contains at least 10 billion CFU’s (colony forming units), check the storage recommendations on the label, and take the probiotic with breakfast for at least a month to be able to see the effects on your health. There are various strains of bacteria that will have benefits for different conditions, so your doctor or dietitian will be the best source of information when looking for a supplement.

Top food sources of probiotics:

  • •  Yoghurt and kefir
  • •  Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and miso
  • •  Kombucha

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible carbohydrate found in certain foods. These food components pass through the digestive system relatively unchanged and arrive in the large bowel, where they become food for the good bacteria living in there. Prebiotics help to balance the digestive system and maintain regularity by providing fuel for the beneficial bacteria that live in the body.  

Top food sources of prebiotics:

  • •  Plant foods including: bananas, onion, garlic, leek, asparagus, artichokes, tomatoes, green vegetables
  • •  Whole grains: whole oats, barley, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans)
  • •  Nuts and seeds

Tip: the prebiotic fibre in these foods break down over time and with cooking, so try enjoying them fresh and raw wherever possible!


Want more diet advice?

Our dietitian Kelsey Hutton can help you with all your nutrition & diet needs including;

  • •  weight loss
  • •  nutrition for recovery from injury 
  • •  sports nutrition
  • •  training & race-day meal planning & recovery
  • •  diet for conditions including diabetes & heart disease
  • •  nutrition for all-round health, energy & well-being

To contact Kelsey call us on 9280 2322, email us for more info or book an appointment online.


 

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Nutrition For The Female Athlete – Part 3

Eating Advice For Active Women 

In Part 2 of this blog post series, we covered the hormone changes that occur in the first phase of the menstrual cycle, the follicular phase. This week we will go into the second phase of the cycle, the luteal phase.

Hormones during the second phase of the menstrual cycle

The luteal phase occurs from day 14-28, assuming a 28-day cycle. We know this phase all too well as this is when PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms occur! Be aware of food cravings, especially if your symptoms sideline you from your usual workouts.

This phase is the high hormone phase with progesterone at its peak. Progesterone increases the body’s core temperature, lessening tolerance to heat during workouts and increasing sweat which causes the body to lose more sodium. Because of this you need to really make sure you stay on top of your hydration when working out in the hotter months of the year in the second phase of your cycle!

During the luteal phase, the body uses carbohydrate less effectively for energy, instead utilising fat. If you are trying to reach high exercise intensities or need to perform at your best during this time, extra carbohydrates around training sessions may be necessary for you to be able to exercise at your best. Protein breakdown also increases, so its really important to make sure you are recovering adequately with protein sources after a workout.

Examples of high protein snacks to enjoy post-workout includes plain yoghurt with nuts, a fruit smoothie made with milk, yoghurt and fruit, or some boiled eggs. 

Try having red meat or salmon for dinner post-workout to aid your recovery and help you get in your essential nutrients during this time of the month.


This image summarises the main nutrients the body will use during your workouts at each phase of the cycle.

 

If you are looking for an effective periodised nutrition plan to suit your cycle and training demands, our sports dietitian Kelsey Hutton can give you everything you need. Your initial assessment with highlight your goals, current nutrition levels & areas to focus on. Your personalised plan gives you a practical & effective way to fuel your body with everything it needs for peak performance.

Contact reception on 9280 2322 or head to our online bookings page to book in your first session with Kelsey.

 

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Nutrition For The Female Athlete – Part 2

Eating Advice For Active Women 

In part 1 of this blog post series, I talked about the concept of the female athlete triad. Menstrual dysfunction, low energy availability and low bone mass can affect active women without the right nutrition and exercise plan individualised to their needs. Now in part 2 & 3 of this blog post series, I will discuss hormonal changes across the menstrual cycle that can have an effect on exercise and nutrition.

Hormones during your 28-day cycle

Every females cycle will differ, but assuming a 28-day cycle, there are 2 phases – the follicular phase (day 1 -14) and the luteal phase (day 15 – 28). Day 1 of the cycle is when menstrual bleeding begins.

During the follicular phase (day 1-14), the hormones progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest, with estrogen slowly rising until ovulation occurs on day 14. Testosterone levels are also raised slightly, so muscle building is optimised. Energy levels are at their highest in this phase, and your body is able to effectively use carbohydrates as an energy source in this phase, so you can reach higher exercise intensities during training. As estrogen peaks towards the end of the follicular phase, changes in collagen structure means tendon and ligament tears are more likely to occur, so its important to ensure you are particularly careful with your exercise warm ups and technique.


 


 

 

Increases in strength and energy during the follicular phase means you can take advantage of your body being able to use carbohydrates more effectively as a fuel source and to aid muscle growth and recovery. Think about including carbohydrate foods as a pre-workout meal and including high fibre carbohydrate sources with your meals. Some examples include a banana smoothie before your workout, and brown rice with stir fried chicken and vegetables for dinner. Sleep is also a key consideration during this phase, make sure you are getting enough sleep after your big training sessions to aid recovery!

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series which will go into the hormone changes across the second phase of the cycle and the impacts this can have on exercise performance.               

If you are interested in a periodised nutrition plan to suit your cycle and training demands, our sports dietitian can provide individualised guidance. Contact reception on 9280 2322 or head to our online bookings page to book in a chat with Kelsey.

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Nutrition for the Female Athlete – Part 1

Eating Advice For Active Women 

This is the first part of a 3-part series covering some nutrition considerations that relate specifically to women during exercise. For female athletes, weekend warriors and regular exercisers, hormone changes across the month can dampen motivation to exercise and can affect performance. This 3-week blog series will delve into the hormones that are impacted during the menstrual cycle, dietary strategies to assist performance at different stages of the cycle, and a concept known as the ‘female athlete triad’.  

 

The Female Athlete Triad

The female athlete triad is an interrelationship of menstrual dysfunction, low energy availability (with or without an eating disorder), and decreased bone mineral density.

Particularly common in young female athletes, amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation for 3 months or longer, can lead to decreased bone health as bones lose calcium due to lower estrogen levels. Over time, this can lead to increased risk of fractures/breaks, bone mass loss, osteopenia and osteoporosis. A loss of menstruation often occurs when there is low energy availability. The body is using all its energy for metabolic processes and for training/exercise/competition, so may not have enough energy left to cover other daily demands such as menstruation. Low energy availability doesn’t just affect those with low body fat percentages or with diagnosed eating disorders, it can exist in those with adequate body fat levels! This can occur from an imbalance of training demands and food intake, especially when there are time constraints and other commitments involved.

 

 

Signs and symptoms of the Female Athlete Triad

  •   •  Delayed menarche in young females (absence of first menstruation by age 16 years)
  •   •  Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation for more than 3 months)
  •   •  Weakened immune system – you may find yourself getting sick more often
  •   •  Reduced performance and recovery
  •   •  Poor bone health (determined by bone mineral density below normal)
  •   •  Low moods or irritability
  •   •  Restriction of food intake or certain food groups, or skipping meals regularly to achieve weight loss 

If any of these signs or symptoms sound familiar to you, our sports dietitian can provide guidance on managing your health while fuelling exercise demands. Contact reception on 9280 2322 or head to our online bookings page to book in a chat with Kelsey.

Now that you know what the female athlete triad is, the next blog post will focus on hormone changes across the menstruation cycle and how this can impact performance. Luckily, there are dietary strategies that can be used to optimise performance at different times of the month.  Stay tuned!

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Eating Tips To Battle Cold & Flu This Winter

After a long summer it seems the Australian winter is finally upon us; the time of year when cold and flu symptoms are on the rise. It seems as though everyone around you will have advice for how to beat your cold or flu, from drinking honey, ginger and lemon teas, or jumping into a sauna to relieve congestion. It can be hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the abundance of remedies, so our dietitian has some simple and reasonable advice for you to follow this winter.
Food can play a really important role in preventing and reducing the severity of colds and flu, which is no surprise because 80% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract. Healthy gut bacteria, proteins and other chemicals are just some of the warriors in the digestive system that help to fight off infections. Before illness comes on, it is important to eat a healthy diet to provide the immune system with these nutrients it needs to fight off infections. Here are just some of the foods that help to protect your immune system and should be included in the everyday diet:

BERRIES

Berries are a great source of Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that has antimicrobial properties, protects immune cells from damage and contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin C can also help to reduce duration and severity of colds. Frozen berries have the same nutrition value as fresh berries, so it doesn’t matter if you buy frozen.

CAPSICUM

Capsicum contains twice the amount of Vitamin C as citrus fruits. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to help fight infections. Include capsicum in stir fries or salads.

BROCCOLI

Broccoli contains Vitamins A, C and E which are antioxidants. Antioxidants assist in preventing cell damage and reduce risk of certain illnesses. Broccoli is best when cooked for the shortest time possible, to keep in the good nutrients

ONION, GARLIC AND GINGER

These all have anti-microbial properties, helping to prevent illness. Use these together when cooking stir fries and pasta dishes.

YOGHURT

Yoghurt is a good source of probiotics to keep your gut healthy and boost immune function. Choose the unflavoured varieties for benefits e.g. plain Greek yoghurts or plain Chobani/Yo-Pro yoghurts

SALMON

Salmon is high in Omega-3 (essential fatty acids) which will help to maintain healthy cells and assists with reducing inflammation, particularly important for recovery for those with heavy training loads.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are high in a nutrient called selenium that helps to protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage. Deficiencies of selenium have been associated with increased risk of illnesses. Incorporate brazil nuts into your diet a few times a week to reap the benefits.

 

But what happens when you do get a cold or a flu?

Being sick will often result in a decrease in appetite, so every meal consumed while sick is an opportunity to choose nutrient rich foods that will help to fight off infection and speed up recovery. Some foods that should be included in the diet during a bout of cold or flu includes:

Citrus fruits, tomatoes, pumpkin, capsicum and sweet potatoes

What do citrus fruits, tomatoes, pumpkin, capsicum and sweet potatoes have in common? These foods are all high in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that has been found to assist with reducing the severity and longevity of colds by protecting cells from damage. Try a roast vegetable tray with tomato, pumpkin, capsicum and sweet potato, or snack on some oranges or mandarins.

Garlic

Garlic has antimicrobial properties so acts as an antibiotic that can help to reduce the severity of your cold.

Vietnamese Pho

Chicken soup has long been a favourite of Mum’s everywhere to help fight off a cold, but Vietnamese Pho is another great option! This big bowl of warming soup will help to rehydrate you by providing plenty of fluid and electrolytes and provides a source of protein. You can even order extra meat to boost the protein content!

Supplements that reduce the severity and duration of colds can be really useful, particularly when you don’t feel like eating a lot! The following are good quality supplements that I recommend you to use while sick:

  • Luckily, we can get a lot of vitamin C from food, so it isn’t always necessary to have Vitamin C supplements daily, but they can be helpful once you do get sick. Vitamin C supplements come in many forms so choose one that is of good quality and is non-acidic (so you don’t feel sick/get reflux when using).
  • Probiotics help restore gut bacteria after illness, supporting a healthy immune system. Look for a good quality probiotic with 40-50 billion CFU’s (listed on the product).
  • Zinc has an antiviral effect in the body and is usually obtained in the diet from poultry and red meats. If you find you are eating less than normal while sick, a zinc supplement can come in handy to assist with reducing the longevity of your cold.

Lastly, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to eat a healthy and varied diet to protect your immune system. Make sure you rest and eat well when sick, using supplements if needed to help reduce the longevity and severity of colds and flu. Book in an appointment with our dietitian to find out more about how a healthy diet can positively affect your wellbeing.


This article was written by Kelsey Hutton, our Accredited Practising Dietitian.

To book an appointment with Kelsey or to ask her a question call her on 9280 2322 or contact the clinic.

 


 

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Three Diet Tips To Beat The 3pm Slump

Read this is you are sick of relying on coffee & sugar to get you through the afternoon.

How often do you find yourself feeling fatigued & craving a pick-me-up snack by mid-afternoon at work? You can feel it coming on – the heavy eyelids, you stare at the screen but keep losing your train of thought, you re-read the same paragraph 3 times but can’t quite seem to remember the point. Well, before you reach for the muffin & coffee, Kelsey our accredited dietitian has some tips to help you get your energy levels up again.

1. Make sure you eat a proper breakfast

Starting the day with a breakfast that includes low GI carbohydrates, protein & healthy fats is ideal to help keep your blood sugar levels stable & improve satiety across the day. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to reach for sugary snacks later in the day & consumed overall fewer calories than those who skip breakfast. Eggs on wholegrain toast, or plain yoghurt with a high fibre cereal are some great options.

2. Try a balanced lunch

Eating a balanced lunch definitely helps to prevent the 3pm slump. Low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potato or wholegrain breads will provide a slow release of energy to keep you going for the next few hours. These options are a great source of fibre too, so will keep you full for longer as your body takes longer to digest! Pair this with some chicken, meat or fish, plus some salad or vegetables, & you have a satisfying, balanced lunch. Try a chicken & salad multigrain sandwich, or reheat a brown rice stir fry.

3. Prepare some healthy snacks

Being prepared with some healthy snacks when 3pm rolls around is really helpful to keep you going for the next 2-3 hours of work, especially if you find yourself buying sweet, sugary snacks all too often. Try out some of these snacks that are great sources of protein & healthy fats. They keep energy levels stable & beat those 3pm cravings. Keeping these options in the office kitchen is also a great excuse to get away from the desk for 5 minutes.
   • Plain yoghurt with berries & a small handful of almonds
   • Boiled eggs
   • Veggie sticks with hommus
   • Multigrain crackers with cheese

Healthy Work SnacksNo time to prepare snacks for work? Keeping a packet of trail mix, roasted chickpeas or protein balls in your desk drawer can be a handy option to make sure you have some nutritious food on hand when the cravings hit! 

 


Looking for an Accredited Dietitian? Email us for more info about dietitian services at Central Performance.


Kelsey Hutton Joins Central Performance

Kelsey is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) with a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (Hons) from the University of Newcastle. Her work motivation comes from helping clients develop healthy eating habits that have a positive long-term health impact, whilst finding enjoyment from food without the need for strict diets.Kelsey has a huge interest in sports nutrition & is currently the assistant dietitian at the NSW Waratahs. She delivers individual consultations, group education sessions, cooking classes & skinfold assessments. She loves helping individuals reach their sporting goals through optimising their nutritional intake & recovery protocols.

As an Accredited Practicing Dietitian Kelsey can help you with:

   • Weight loss

   • Diabetes & pre-diabetes management

   • Nutrition for sports performance and recovery

   • Cardiovascular disease, blood pressure & cholesterol management

   • Women’s health

   • Food allergies & intolerances

   • Paediatric nutrition


Kelsey is fully registered with all health funds & medicare.


 

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