Imagine you have a shiny new Ferrari sitting in your driveway and the fuel gauge is on low. Do you refuel with regular unleaded or high octane performance petrol? It’s a Ferrari, of course you only put the best fuel in!

Your body is no different. Top quality fuel is required for an athlete before participating in a grueling training session. The right fuel and you will fire on all cylinders, be able to concentrate and pick up new skills and hit the ball for six! The wrong fuel and you will feel sluggish, tired and distracted. Wearing the baggy green did not happen from under-performing at training.

So, what is the right fuel for training? Energy foods, or carbohydrate. Good quality sources of carbohydrate are:
• Wholegrain and wholemeal breads, wraps, rolls and muffins
• Grain and wholemeal crackers and crispbreads
• Cereals such as oats, muesli, porridge, Weet-bix and wholegrain breakfast cereals
• Grains such as rice, quinoa, pasta, noodles and cousous
• Potato, sweet potato and corn
• All types of fruit
• Yoghurt and milk

To be better prepared for training sessions, use this checklist:
– Have you eaten an energy food at every opportunity today? At breakfast, first and second breaks.
– Did you have a high quality energy food snack approx. 2 hours before training? You should eat this as soon as you finish school before tutoring to allow time for digestion. Great examples are:
o A sandwich
o A piece of fruit & a yoghurt
o A milk drink e.g. Up & Go and a muesli bar
o Crackers with spread and a juice
o A wrap
o Muesli with yoghurt

– Have you drunk at least 2 water bottles (1.5L) before starting training?

Poor quality fuel such as chips, chocolate, lollies and soft drink is best left for parties and special occasions. Let’s create a team full of Ferrari’s primed with top quality fuel ready to train hard and get results!

Ally Smith and Lauren James
Eat Smart Nutrition