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It’s no secret that one of the key ingredients to success in endurance sports like triathlon is nutrition. Nutrition is crucial for peak performance in training and racing; it plays a key role in aiding recovery and maintaining immunity and it can make or break a race!
For long term health, wellbeing and to see success in your chosen sport, it’s vital not to overlook your nutrition. You wouldn’t put the wrong type of fuel in to your car and expect it to run efficiently, why would you sabotage your training efforts by fuelling your body with the wrong nutrition?
Here is part 2 of 5 key recipes for peak performance:
Training for endurance events, like triathlon, often means backing up one session with the next. It can be pretty intense, particularly when training is at its peak. This means that recovery between training sessions is crucial.
This is where protein comes in.
Protein has many functions in the body, including muscle building and repair, and helping to reduce muscle soreness after exercise, making it a key nutrient in recovery (Lowery, L and Forsythe C, Protein and Overtraining: Potential Applications for Free-Living Athletes, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 3(1):42-50, 2006).
Protein also plays a key role in maintaining immunity and preventing infections often associated with hard training. Studies have shown that athletes who consume protein after training/racing have fewer medical visits, including fewer bacterial and viral infections (Campbell, B et al, International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2007, 4:8).
However, not all proteins are created equal.
Ideally, to ensure an adequate intake of protein it’s recommended to have high biological value (HBV) protein, that is protein that contains all the essential amino acids in an easily digested form, at each meal and snack. HBV protein sources include milk (and other diary products), eggs, lean meat, poultry and fish.
This doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble if you’re vegetarian.
Plant sources of protein, including legumes, nuts and grains are not normally considered HBV proteins as they don’t contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need. The trick here is to make sure that you’re eating enough plant-based protein sources, together, at any one meal to create a meal that then essentially contains a more complete protein profile. So for example, a way to combine plant-sources of protein together would be to have rice with legumes at the one meal.
Putting it in to practise –
Within about 30minutes after training or racing start the recovery process with a protein shake.
Place all ingredients in to a blender, blend and serve.
Then follow this up by making sure to include protein at subsequent meals and snacks.
Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au
Place the beef in a shallow glass dish. Add about 3 tbspoons balsamic vinegar and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for about 30minutes.
Combine the tomato, capsicum, onion and remaining vinegar in a medium bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat frying pan and lightly spray with olive oil. Add the beef to the pan and cook for approximately 2-3minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to plate and cover with foil. Set aside.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the cannellini beans and cook, stirring and mashing with a fork for approximately 2-3minutes. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and stir to combine.
Spoon the cannellini bean mixture on to a serving plate. Top with steak and spoon over the tomato mixture.
Serve with steamed green beans and carrots.
Lowery, L. and Forsythe, C., ‘Protein and Over training: Potential Applications for Free-Living Athletes’, Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. 3(1): 42-50, 2006.
Campbell, B. et al, ‘International of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise’, Journal f the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2007, 4:8 doi:10.1 186/1550-2783-4-8.