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Are You Deficient in Magnesium?

14 September 2018

Having sore muscles and cramps after working out, lacking sleep, and over-fatigue -- of-of these are linked by magnesium deficiency. Especially in athletes, lacking in magnesium can even lead to a serious impairment in performance. A study of elite runners in 2012 even found that it was magnesium, and not sodium or potassium, that was most depleted during the race. While magnesium does play many important roles in the body, unfortunately, the prevention/reduction of exercise-induced muscle cramps is not one of these. It is easy to be confused considering the heavy marketing for magnesium supplements and the prevention of cramps, but to date, the scientific research suggests that there is no strong link between exercise-induced muscle cramps and magnesium supplementation. While oral magnesium does not appear to have any beneficial effects in athletes with adequate magnesium, supplementation may improve performance in individuals with a diagnosed deficiency. Those undertaking a high volume chronic training load (e.g. long distance runners) or those with a restricted energy intake may be at risk of magnesium deficiency, although this is not common and you should always get this checked out with your GP before supplementation. It is worthwhile noting that the intestinal absorption of magnesium...

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5 Tips To Boost Your Immune System

17 August 2018

Winter is sitting just around the corner. The days are getting shorter and the mornings are getting cooler. It’s also around this time that your immunity starts to fall short and the body becomes more prone to viral infections. Although there are many medications available to aide in your winter blues, proper nutrition can ultimately give you the immunity boost that you need. Here are the 5 best tips for boosting your immune system: A boost in vitamin C Boost your intake of foods high in vitamin C. Fruits and veggies including oranges, capsicum, dark leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach), broccoli, berries, kiwi fruit, mandarins, tomatoes and chilli are all high in vitamin C. They also are great additions to a cold-busting diet. Take in some probiotics Including yoghurt in your diet each day provides you with a good dose of probiotics to help boost your immune function. Top your morning muesli with some, mix with fruit as a snack or tuck into a tub as a recovery snack after training. No need for supplements or superfoods to strengthen your immunity Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables are still the best remedy to boost your immunity. A diet rich...

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Nutrition Regimen for Weight/Muscle Gain when Training

10 August 2018

Today’s society and culture focus on the fact that in order to look good, you need to be tone and bulked. However, for some, this isn’t just a walk in the park. Other than the intense regimen for training, another key factor would be in what they eat. This isn’t simply a call for binging on carbs and protein. Strategic weight gain is best achieved by optimising your nutrition. If you allocate your time of training in the evening, this simple and easy-to-follow meal plan guide will be just right for you. Meal Plan for Weight/Muscle Gain During Training Disclaimer: Portion sizes may vary depending on gender. Females typically need smaller portions than males. This is a sample eating plan and is a guide only. To seek assistance with diet and individualised meal plans please get in touch with Optimise Nutrition. You can also find more tips and sample meal plans on our FREE 20-page booklet called “A Guide To Healthy Eating”.

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Tips for Vegetarians on Muscle Building

3 August 2018

Most athletes take note of their protein intake. However, for vegetarian athletes, upping your protein intake can be challenging. The conventional belief that ruled professional and amateur athletic training programs was that consuming meat was the only way to build muscle. Today, we know a balanced vegetarian diet that assists muscular development. Well-planned vegetarian diets that meet energy needs and contain a variety of plant-based protein foods. These include soy products, other legumes (beans and lentils), grains, nuts and seeds can provide adequate protein for athletes without the use of special foods or supplements. Consideration must be made for the type of vegetarian diet an athlete follows: Vegan – a vegetarian diet that excludes all animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and other dairy products, and which relies on plant protein only to meet protein needs. Lactovegetarian – a vegetarian diet that excludes meat, poultry, fish and eggs but includes dairy products, a source of protein. Lacto-ovo vegetarian – a vegetarian diet that excludes meat, poultry and fish but includes eggs and dairy products, sources of protein. Athletes need to eat small amounts of protein throughout the day. This ensures the nutrient is available when their...

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How To Eat Healthy When Eating Out?

27 July 2018

It may come as a challenge for some to eat healthily while going out. There’s just too much temptation from the wide-array of food selections to the pressures from friends to try out different things. Although occasionally indulging isn’t bad, it’s important to stick to your healthy eating patterns whenever you’re eating out. Dining at restaurants or going out for lunch shouldn’t be an excuse to sabotage your diet. Want to find out what tricks you can pull so you can eat healthier? Here are the top tips for healthy dining out: Aim to select a venue that has various healthy options and choices on the menu. Avoid ordering a 3-course meal, alternatively, skip entree (have a salad instead) and opt for the main dish. Avoid dishes containing fried foods and or creamy sauces dishes (high in energy/ poor quality fats). Always look for options on the menu that contain predominantly vegetables and/or salad and don’t be shy to ask staff to minimize sauce/dressings. Avoid ordering chips/wedges or dense carbs (such as bread, risottos, and pasta) with main meals. Select healthier alternatives like cooked/steamed veggies. Aim to order sauteed/steamed/grilled/ poached or bake protein sources (lean beef, veal, pork, chicken, or...

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How To Hydrate During Exercise?

18 July 2018

After long sweat sessions in the gym, don’t you feel the desire to thirst your burning quench? That’s not too surprising as water loss during exercise can be very significant. During high-intensity physical activities, dehydration occurs due to the increase in heart rate and body temperature. Studies show that a loss of fluid equal to 2% of your body mass is sufficient to cause a detectable decrease in performance. This can induce a higher risk for nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal problems during exercise. Is It Really Important to Hydrate? Water serves to maintain blood volume, regulate blood temperature, and allow muscle contractions to take place. The body’s primary mechanism to maintain body temperature during exercise is by sweating. Drinking fluid during exercise is necessary to replace fluids lost in sweat. This action will reduce the risk of heat stress, maintain normal muscle function, and prevent performance decreases due to dehydration. In most cases during exercise, the rates of sweat loss are higher than the rate you can drink, so most athletes experience fluid deficits. Fluid guidelines should be followed by athletes and gym-goers to reduce the deficit and poor performances associated with dehydration. However, it should be noted...

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Carbohydrate Loading and What It Does to your Body

6 July 2018

One of the most notable sports nutrition practice is the concept of Carbohydrate Loading. It’s a technique used by many endurance athletes, especially runners, to maximize their energy, by packing them in form of glycogen in the muscles and liver. It’s generally recommended for athletic activities that require endurance longer than 90 minutes. Carbohydrate in an Athlete’s Diet The composition of carbohydrates in an athlete’s diet during carbohydrate loading is a key component in their overall diet. When they intensify their carbohydrate intake, consuming high glucose and starch content are the best-recommended forms. Usually, pasta, bread, rice and potatoes are massively part of their dietary regimen as they have high caloric and glucose content. One can also eat noodles, yoghurt, creamed rice, custard, juices, and even ice cream as carbohydrate option. Carbohydrate loading should be done 2-3 days leading up to an athletic event. The number of carbohydrates consumed may vary. Around 525-750 grams of carbohydrates should be eaten by male athletes while 300-480 grams should be consumed by female athletes. Is Carbo-Loading Necessary? The body is designed to store enough energy good for 90 minutes of exercise. Beyond the 90-minute mark, energy level severely drops and fatigue may set...

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Can You Drink Alcohol While You Are Training?

26 June 2018

On long and hard training days, sometimes it feels like a nightcap is necessary. It’s so easy to just sit back and relax, with a little booze in hand. But if you’re training for a big sports event or trying to improve your athletic performance, having even a little bit of alcohol may be detrimental to your progress. Alcohol hinders two major mechanisms in your body. First is through your hydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to become dehydrated as your kidney pushes to produce more protein. What’s worse, if you exercise after, sweating can lead to even more dehydration in your body. Proper hydration is important in training this helps to keep your blood flowing and helps to circulate the needed energy and nutrients around your body. Second, alcohol interferes with your energy metabolism. Breaking down alcohol requires a lot of effort, and the liver has a harder time producing as much glucose, resulting in having low levels of blood sugar. In exercising, short-term energy storage in form of glucose is necessary to give you that burst of energy. Less energy storage will eventually equate to a poor performance. Here are more effects of alcohol on your body....

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What Should You Eat After Working Out?

25 June 2018

After a hard day’s work at the gym, one of the inevitable feelings is hunger. It’s the natural response of your body after expending so many calories. But have you given much thought to your post-workout meals? Refuelling after a workout is as important as what you eat before you hit the gym. To understand how the right foods can help you after exercise, it’s also important to know how your body is affected by physical activity. Exercising makes your muscle use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles partially losing glycogen and some of the muscles end up broken and damaged. Post-workout, your body tries to restore the glycogen and repair muscle proteins. This can be sped up by eating the right nutrients after working out. The best nutrients to help restore your muscle is a combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Benefits of Post-Workout Nutrition: Restore glycogen stores Enhance recovery Decreases muscle protein breakdown Increases muscle repair   To guide you, here’s a sample post-workout meal plan: Post-workout Snack: Immediate post-workout nutrition - consumed within 25 minutes post training Post-workout fruit: ½ serving Banana Sultanas/ current/ raisins Prunes/ dates Pineapple Post-workout Protein ½ cup Cottage...

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Jeff Horn and How Nutrition Shaped His Performance

13 June 2018

Jeff Horn started from small beginnings, but he has risen to the top and fought to become one of the best boxers of our time. Even as a relative newcomer to the sport, he already won his first Australian title in 2009 and repeated that feat in 2011. Eventually, he rose in the ranks and represented Australia at the 2012 London Olympics. He reached the quarter-finals of the light-welterweight bracket. His rise to fame was in light of his win against one of the top-ranked boxers, Manny Pacquiao, in 2017. This has driven him to the spotlight in the world of boxing. How the Proper Nutrition Helped the Australian Champ To ultimately catapult him to the top, Jeff realized that his best performances in the ring are grounded on proper nutrition during training. “I wake up in the morning and actually feel like doing something, instead of feeling sluggish all the time”, says Jeff when he has been asked how eating right has made him feel in tip-top shape. On standard training days, he has a high-carbohydrate and fibre-loaded breakfast to start the day. He follows up with a high-protein post-workout refuel. For dinner, he has a high-fibre high-protein meal....

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