1/2 Jenner St, Nundah, Queensland 4012

Nutrition for the Professional

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Nutrition for the Professional

When we think about what you’re attempting to achieve, let’s not underestimate the challenges at play. From social media feeds to YouTube to your inbox and now we have added your pantry and fridge to those purpose built distractions from your workload. The promise of instant gratification with one mouthful of that sweet biscuit or the escape from the overwhelming task with that packet of salty peanuts. No longer do vending machines and water coolers provide us with that escape, we’re now in our own home just metres away without any perceived restriction, so how are those that are winning doing it? What’s working and what isn’t?

Professionalism starts behind closed doors when no one is watching, all the little things that go into becoming that professional that makes everything look easy and exceeds expectations, that professionalism can start at your next meal! The truth is specifics between individuals of ‘what to eat’ will vary based on work type, movement, taste preference, circadian rhythm, genetics, location, season; the list goes on. We want to move beyond ‘what’ to eat, to get through and look at how you’re eating.

Below are professional principles that can help you achieve your optimum, they aren’t some secret sauce but a formula that if applied consistently becomes the backbone of the well nourished human.

  1. Fuel the body first, and performance will follow. There are so many pre-workouts, supplements, cheap and nasty ‘convenient’ solutions out there to give you the edge! We have all felt the spike in output that can of red bull or 5th coffee, but none of us would probably label that as sustainable or even healthy. If you want to last the distance over a day and sustain your energy, we need a consistent release of glucose into the bloodstream. That involves low GI carbohydrates, not a surge, overstimulation and then the inevitable crash. Swap the can of V for some muesli or a sandwich.
    Thinking longer-term means Protein for the maintenance of your muscle mass. Your posture, skeleton and overall quality of life has improved with the maintenance of your muscle mass. Protein in your daily intake allow amino acids into the muscle cell and lower GI carbohydrates (examples: oats, multigrain bread) to ensure that amino acid doesn’t get broken down to use for energy. Working with some individuals we can see that caffeine, for example, can have performance-enhancing effects however in others it can lead to over-arousal and decreases inaccuracy, this is where that individual approach to the specific ‘what to eat’ is best. Think about it though, a professional prepares adequately, nutrition is a part of that, don’t make it an afterthought or let convenience be the decision-maker, your body and health deserve better. 
  2. Hydrate - there is no point in training yourself to be dehydrated, as little as 2% dehydration has been proven to impact performance in athletes. Let your body be your guide, straw coloured urine is the golden rule! Not a mate that told you 3L minimum. Everyone is different and smashing 3L of water before bed and being kept up half the night visiting the loo won’t help anyone tomorrow. Consistent sips throughout the day and making your water bottle a non-negotiable on your desk puts you in the driver’s seat! Water is by far the best fluid to be consuming, for some individuals who are heavy sweaters we may need to consider electrolyte replacement however this isn’t a suggested starting point.
  3. Keep well - give yourself your best chance, immunity and optimal function require adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. The anti-inflammatory effects of vegetables have nothing but benefits, particularly with stress hormones likely heightened at this stage. If every Australian ate 5-6 serves of veggies per day our populations health would improve overnight! Think about the professional that’s well hydrated and eating enough vegetables per day compared to the individual who isn’t. These are all within your control right now!
  4. Eat consistently; long periods without food will prompt the body to break down fat and muscle for energy. To maintain your functional muscle mass, we need to supply the body with adequate nutrients consistently. Five meals throughout the day, typically three main meals and two snacks is sufficient for most professionals.  
  5. Last but not least, listen to your body. We are living in the land of consumption and every marketing message wants us to be eating, drinking and  consuming more. The reality is you may have been full a few mouthfuls earlier than the finish of the plate. Use your next meal to learn the difference between satisfied and full, respond to your hunger without waiting until you can’t function, eat until you feel satisfied but not overwhelmed. Do this and the other four principles consistently, you’ll feel the difference, professionals do. 

Your in Health

Sean Cornish 

I know I glossed over the ‘what’ to eat earlier but here is a hard working solicitor that is now home based that I work with. This young lady is also a part of the Army Reserve. Her weight fluctuates between 62kg & 65kg and the training program we have put together involves 3 resistance training sessions with 2-3 cardio/ cross-training based sessions. 

Optimal Day Architecture:

AM based training session 45-60 mins.

Breakfast post exercise 6-7am. :1-2 poached eggs (12g), 1-2 x multigrain toast (8g), avocado, spinach

morning tea 10-11: Coffee, a handful of almonds &/or fruit (seasonal: banana, apple, mandarin)

lunch 12-1:Tuna, cheese & salad sandwich (30g) (1 x multigrain)

afternoon tea: tub of yoghurt (15g)

Dinner - 6:30/7 : Grilled Lean Red Meat (125g), 1 Jacket potatoes, 3 serves non-starchy veggies.

*depending on training load and hunger levels there may also be an additional glass of milk or 2 in the day also.  

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