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Nutrition consistency is the key to endurance sports performance
Training consistency is vital to prepare for an event and eating good quality food consistently is key if you want to train, recover and perform at your best.
This is easier said than done but with experience in sports nutrition, we’ll outline the best strategies so you can reach your physical potential.
Eating good quality nutrition means eating real whole, minimally processed foods. This includes fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs and dairy. Generally, if it can be eaten by an animal then you’re on the right track.
Good Food and Treats
Consistency means eating real food 80% of the time. If you eat 5 meals including snacks each day this is roughly equal to 7 treats a week. Eating treats and drinking alcohol can be part of a normal healthy diet but there is a limit to how much you can get away with.
For example, your meals might be in line with our Health by Science Plate, but you may like to have a glass of wine on the weekends or go out for the odd meal.
Getting into good habits during the week means that social events at the weekend will not have so much of an impact on your goals.
If you are able to eat good quality nutrition 80% of the time then you will be successful.
In our experience, there are two ways of achieving this:
This involves planning your meals for the week ahead, creating a shopping list, buying the ingredients and then preparing your homemade meals.
Pros: The most sustainable and economical way to get good quality nutrition.
You have full control over what you eat to achieve your ideal macronutrient breakdown.
Cons: Achieving this consistently requires an advanced level of planning, preparing and learning from mistakes.
Being able to plan and prepare skillfully is key. If you’re willing to pay a little extra, companies like Hello Fresh and Gousto delivers tasty recipes with just the right amount of fresh ingredients as often as you like. Using companies like negates the need to plan your meals via supermarket shops.
However, you pay for the convenience and so is not as economical as planning and preparing the recipes and ingredients yourself.
Companies like Mindful Chef, Fit Kitchen and Everdine deliver high quality, pre-prepared ready meals to your home or work. You can also buy nutritious ready-made meals from some local supermarkets such as the M&S Balanced For You range.
Pros: By far the easiest way of getting good quality nutrition consistently, especially when paired with good choices from local shops. They are also great for controlling portion sizes, as they come with just the right amount of macronutrients and calories.
Cons: The more convenient the more you pay (£4 to £7 a meal). They taste great but don’t taste quite as good as a good homemade meal. Most meals can be stored in the freezer and can last up to 3 months.
Personal Trainer & Physiotherapist
Health by Science sports nutritionists, Edinburgh.
Learn about Stuart Maytham