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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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Nutrition Regimen for Weight Loss and Leaning Phase During Training

8 June 2018

Optimal performance in most sports is best achieved when your body is “light and lean” while being “strong and healthy”. This can be done through regular training and a well-balanced nutrition regimen. While under-fueling is the fastest route to over-training, over-fueling will not make you into a lean performance machine. The perfect balance takes action and attention towards your nutrition plans. If you train hard in the morning, this simple and easy-to-follow meal plan will be just right for you: Disclaimer: Portion sizes may vary depending on gender. Females typically need smaller portions than males. Breakfast at 8 AM: ⅓ - ½ cup traditional oats (made on water, add a dash of milk) and 3 egg whites scrambled Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates that will fuel you while giving you that dose of fibre that will keep your digestion healthy. Egg whites are also a low-calorie source of protein. Morning Tea at 10 AM ½ punnet of strawberries + handful of almonds It’s important to be smart when you snack. Get in a combination of the right nutrients, like your carbs for refuelling and almonds for your protein and fat needs. Lunch at 12 - 1 PM...

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8 Benefits of Strength-Training through the Ages

25 May 2018

On the 21st to the 25th of May, we are celebrating “Exercise Right Week of 2018”. It’s a movement that helps in inspiring those who don’t exercise to move more, demonstrate to all Australians the importance of seeking the right exercise expert for their requirement. This year’s theme is: “Motivation to Move”, and what better way to motivate everyone across all ages to start strength-training! Strength training is an important and beneficial type of activity that should be undertaken at nearly every stage of our lifespan. With inactivity comes muscle deterioration and weakening. This same process also occurs as we get older, a process referred to as sarcopenia which is an age-related decline in muscle tissue. Once we reach approximately thirty years of age muscle tissue and bone mineral density begin to deteriorate, which can lead to increased risk of injury, joint pain and falls. Strength or resistance training can assist with slowing this process. This is due to our muscle's ability to adapt when a “stimulus” or “stress” is placed on our body. In order to better tolerate this stimulus, the muscles respond by increasing in size, with supporting ligaments, tendons and connective tissue also increasing in strength. Resistance...

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Nutrition in Sports: Make Weight with these Diet Tips!

18 May 2018

In many types of sports, weight classes may matter. To address this, a long-term nutrition and diet management should be paramount. Optimising body composition ideally occurs during the latter part of the ‘off season’ and the early part of the competition season. However, some athletes need a quick-fix for weight loss to ensure that the competition's weight requirements are met.   A number of athletes, unfortunately, starve and restrict their diet and fluid intake without the supervision of a health professional. This drastically deteriorates their performance come competition day. So how should one cut weight in the quickest way possible? Check out these last-minute strategies! Low Residue/Fibre Diet This is a strategy where diet is manipulated to minimise fibre intake. It may produce as much as 300-750g weight loss by emptying the gastrointestinal contents.* Restricting Salt Limiting foods high in salt and avoiding adding salt to meals can help minimise fluid retention and therefore contribute to short-term weight loss. Fluid Manipulation A systematic manipulation of your fluid intake can help in making the weight -- however, some athletes abuse this method and in return causes a hit on their performance. Any weight loss that is 2-3% more than the body...

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