If you’re a relative beginner in your chosen sport, you may not have really thought about the impact nutrition can have. From reducing muscle ache and general fatigue, to helping you to recover quicker after exercise, good nutrition has a big role in supporting your training and overall health.

Here are our top 5 tips to get you started:

  • Eat regular meals and never skip breakfast! Something like overnight oats with seeds and fruit is perfect for providing some slow-release carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals (iron, zinc, folate).

  • Include ‘wholegrain’ starchy carbohydrates at mealtimes – choosing options like granary bread, wholewheat pasta and brown rice instead of white versions will help give you a slow release of energy between your meals.

  • Water is generally enough to keep you going (without the need for sports type drinks or extra glucose) for exercise lasting up to and around an hour. About 400-800mls of water per hour should be enough to prevent dehydration, although you may need more on a hot day.

  • If you’re trying to lose weight, try to avoid having too many extra snacks – rather, time your exercise so you follow it up with your next meal. It’s easy to grab that pastry and coffee after your run, without realising you’re consuming more calories that you’ve just burned.

  • Protein shakes are generally not required. Studies have shown most of us eat enough protein (if not too much) from our diet. We can’t actually metabolise protein in amounts over 20-25g. Many protein shakes contain over 30g in a serving. Don’t be tempted by the marketing ploys of your gym or personal trainer. If you really do want to take protein shakes, the best time to have one is after a workout (whey-based shake) or before bed (casein-based shake).


Annemarie Aburrow

Annemarie graduated from the University of Southampton in 2003 with a first class honours in Physiology with Nutrition. She went on to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics at Cardiff Metropolitan University, leading to registration as a Dietitian. Between 2005 and 2013, Annemarie worked for the NHS in a wide variety of clinical and community roles. More recently, she has specialised in health promotion and prescribing support. She has particular experience in obesity management (both adults and children), diabetes, nutrition for the under 5s and nutritional supplement prescribing. In 2013, Annemarie left the NHS to set up her private practice 'Expert Dietitian'. She now works as a freelance Dietitian, offering private consultations in Hampshire, telephone and Skype appointments, corporate nutrition consultancy and bespoke training. She has a growing portfolio of project work, including working with her local council to provide nutrition training and expertise to Early Years settings, article writing, work with schools and running training/workshops. Annemarie is a member of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).