Introducing Sports Nutritionist Charli Robinson from Thrive Nutrition Co! Charli has a Bachelors degree in Food and Nutrition and a Certificate in Sports Nutrition. From your average gym goer to high level competitive athletes, she is passionate about helping athletes of all levels feel good, look good and perform well in their sport.
How important is recovery nutrition after training?
During a training session our bodies deplete glycogen stores (energy) and our muscles get tiny little tears in them. It is very important to our health and recovery that we nourish our bodies with food to replace this lost energy and repair our muscles.
What’s the best source of food to refuel after training?
Glycogen (energy) is sourced from carbohydrates and our muscles are repaired by protein, so I would always suggest to have a good balance of carbohydrate and protein after a training session. Sweating during a training session will also deplete electrolyte levels. Not having enough electrolytes reduces power, strength, agility, skill and concentration levels. Electrolytes are also needed to repair muscle tissue so it is important that we replenish these too. If children are having a well balanced diet they should be getting enough electrolytes in throughout the day to not worry about this, for adults I would normally recommend an electrolyte drink depending on their activity level.
Can you provide some snacks or easy meals post training?
Believe it or not chocolate milk is one of the best things you can have after a training session. It has a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, water and electrolytes, which are all depleted during a training session. Other options would be bolognese with pasta, chicken and rice, eggs on toast or a protein shake and a banana. However, I don't like to recommend supplements to anyone under 16.
How important is hydration for recovery?
During a workout we also deplete our body's water levels. Children are made up of approximately 65% water and it is used for nearly every process in our bodies. In terms of recovery, water is important as it removes toxins from the body that can build up during a training session. It is also used in the digestion of protein and carbohydrates, which we need to recover.
What are some nutritional advice you can give to gymnasts or gymnastics mums?
Nutrition can get complicated but it doesn't need to be. Ensuring you and your child are eating a well balanced diet with lots of lean protein, fruit and vegetables should cover most of your bases. Generally speaking, good nutrition can be seen through your mood and performance. If you struggle to concentrate or have low energy levels then you could be lacking something. Its good to check in with yourself and how you are feeling and recognising what your body might be lacking.