Olympians eat and drink approximately 8,000 times throughout every four year Olympic cycle. Every single one of these influences the biochemistry of the body, sometimes to a large degree, sometimes only subtly.
However, each one of these alterations on biochemistry will lead to an effect on the athlete’s health, or fine tune the adaptation to training or enhance performance.
Our job as Performance Nutritionists is to Unleash the Power of Food so that we can shift those biochemical changes in the direction which enhances performance.
In order to do this, the Performance Nutrition team design individualised nutrition plans for athletes, which are based on that individual athletes goals, needs and training program.
This plan needs to then be transferred to a plate of food, and the most common question we get from athletes is “Do you have any good recipes we can use?”
We started to engage with chefs to come up with some enticing recipes that would be good, quick, easy, tasty and useful for athletes to use.
As the list of recipes began to grow, we quickly realised we had a resource that could be used not only by the elite athletes we work with but actually the wider public too.
We worked in collaboration with the National Lottery to pull our recipes into a website and then found a clever way to use the elite athletes themselves to promote good eating and highlight how they eat themselves.
The result is The Food Champions website.
It boasts 40 healthy, delicious, nutritionally balanced and easy to prepare recipes focused on eight sports including athletics, cycling and swimming.
Recipes range from the likes of Cav’s Mountain Climb Cherry, Fig & Almond Flapjack (cyclist Mark Cavendish), to be eaten during a long ride to boost performance; to Nicola’s Knockout Chicken Kebabs (boxer Nicola Adams), which can help to burn fat as part of a training regime.
Each recipe is designed to deliver an ‘exercise outcomes’, so that you can look around the website for what your own goals are and find a recipe which fits the need.
They are all pretty tasty recipes too!
These recipes have value for many people.
They are all relatively quick and easy to make and you don’t need to be a Michelin Star chef to cook any of the recipes so hopefully that allows more people to eat a good quality diet.
Ultimately the recipes aim to make the scientific expertise we apply to elite athletes accessible to a much wider audience, give the public an opportunity to learn from the eating habits of Olympic athletes and integrate some of these tips into their own dietary and training regimes.
We hope they are widely enjoyed!
To visit the Food Champions website, Click Here