Debunking Nutrition Myths & More With Emma Clarke
In our first chat with Emma Clarke Nutrition, we broke food down to a digestible (ha) level with easy-to-understand nutrition facts, how to stay motivated to cook and plenty more.
Seems like it was a hit so we’re back to debunk some myths, talk pre and post-workout nutrition, and where to start your food journey.
PTP: In relation to food and fitness, what would you say are the key differences between good pre-workout and post workout nutrition? And what are some examples of what you could eat before and after a workout to get the most out of it?
ECN: Both pre-workout and post-workout nutrition is key for performing at your best & recovering your body optimally! For pre-workout nutrition, you want to be focusing on consuming carbohydrates before your workout as this provides your body the most efficient fuel to exercise at your best! For post-workout, you want to focus on not only including a quality source of protein to aid in muscle repair and recovery, but also consuming carbohydrates to replenish your muscle glycogen stores. Some examples of good pre-workout snacks 30-60 minutes prior to your workout include crumpets with honey/jam, banana, LCM bar, raisin toast and medjool dates with peanut butter. Examples of post-workout meals include oats, smoothies, eggs on avocado toast, pasta with protein & veggies and loaded sandwiches with fruit.
PTP: Have you noticed any false preconceived notions that people have about nutrition and fitness that you’d like to address?
ECN: A big misconception is the idea that ‘clean eating’ results in better athletic performance. It’s the idea that only eating whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding any processed food leads to improved performance. This is not always the case, especially for someone with high energy demands such as endurance athletes or athletes training multiple hours a day. In order to meet high energy demands, foods that are more processed are often needed to ensure the athlete is eating enough to support their body and performance.
PTP: What would you say to people struggling to know where to start and what their diet should consist of to achieve their individual fitness goals?
ECN: The best place to start is ensuring you are eating a wide variety of foods and including all the important nutrients that our bodies need to thrive & perform at their best. Include a source of protein at every meal, add a source of complex carbohydrates, ensure you’re eating a wide variety of fruits & vegetables and don’t forget to add in your healthy fats. Seeking out support from a qualified nutrition professional is always a good idea too!!
PTP: What are a couple of your go-to healthy recipes that you love?
ECN: I am loving making salads for the week at the moment and usually prepare a large salad and add it to my lunches and dinners. My favourite right now is my pear, rocket and quinoa salad!
PTP: And if you don’t mind, would you be able to share with us what you eat on an average day and how your fitness is incorporated into that?
ECN: I always eat oats for breakfast, I cannot go a day without it haha! I train in the morning at 9am for up to 2+ hours, sometimes more and sometimes less. I fuel in between my session with lollies or sports drinks. Lunch is always different. Eggs on toast, loaded nourish bowls, oats again. Snacks also vary but some of my favourites right now are apple & yoghurt dip, crackers, veggies & hummus, nut bars and fruit. Dinner is usually protein such as chicken, lamb, tofu or fish paired with carbohydrates such as sweet potato or rice and veggies! Oh and dark chocolate every single night. This is what works for my body and everyone should find a way of eating that supports their health and performance goals and that works for them!
PTP: Lastly, did you have any other advice or tips about sports nutrition that you’d like to share?
ECN: A lot of people seem to gravitate towards the supplements first when they are looking at improving their nutrition and sporting performance. But often what isn’t set in stone first is eating enough food in general! Supplements act as the sprinkles on the cake! But without the actual cake, how do you expect to have the sprinkles? The key to performing at your best besides training appropriately and recovery is ensuring you’re eating enough food!