10 Apr NUTRITION AND RECREATIONAL ATHLETES
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Today I have a conversation with Kate Tevan from Sydney hypnotherapy solutions we speak about nutrition and athletes.
My name is Amanda Dounis from the positive thinking clinic. In today’s conversation, we discuss what’s too much, what’s suggested, or what the recommendations are… nutrition for wellness, for performance, for recovery.
Where to get your best advice from. And overall we share some experiences and some examples of what happens or what role nutrition plays when it comes to recreational athletes.
It’s a really light hearted conversation and it’s something that can be very useful for people who are genuinely interested in; are they on the right track or what can they do to improve themselves. I give personal examples of myself. Marathon running or half marathons or ultra marathons and some of my experiences when I’ve actually experimented or played with different types of nutrition and the impact that it can have.
Now Kate’s a dietitian as well, so she’s got the world of knowledge and she speaks in such simple terms to help the average listener just understand.
So I hope you enjoy.
Okay and a warm welcome to our listeners. Thank you for joining us today. We have Kate Stephen from Sydney nutrition solutions. Thank you Kate for being available for this casual conversation about nutrition and recreational athletes today. Oh thank you for inviting me Amanda.
Pleasure to be here so the reason why I thought it would be a great decision to have just a general conversation about this is because on the general level and we’re not talking about extreme athletes and we’re not talking about extreme nutrition because as we’ve discussed there’s other professionals for that but for now they’re absolute fitness and general listeners I think would be a really good idea for them to listen to to people who are clinical hypnotherapist and strategic psychotherapist.
And in addition I’m one of those recreational athletes and I know that you very much enjoy your good gym as well. Like you mentioned and I’ve introduced you to our listeners as well. But also Kate your your dietician. So what do you have to offer to us. I think it sometimes gets a bit overcomplicated.
I think the message is out there it can you know sort of high high high protein here low carb there it can all just get very confusing and you almost feel like you need some kind of a degree to understand nutrition. And I think it’s good to pare it back to its much more simple sort of level. So it to to look at it from a general sort of level. I always go to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating where we have the.
I don’t know if everybody’s seen that there is like a plate and the plate is done into portions and the size of the portion represents how much that should be in your diet. So vegetables biggest the biggest portion is the vegetables. The next one is the grains and seeds and that’s another third. So the rest of it is is just sort of the the added the added bits like the dairy and dairy alternatives and the lean meats and meat alternatives.
So sometimes it can be helpful just to pare it right back. Yeah I totally agree. And I must say a lot of recreational athletes according to what’s the flavour of that month or that year we become extremely influenced because we search what to have luck. I know I did that myself. I remember just before my very first marathon I learnt very quickly my nutrition was into apathy.
And so my performance reflected that. And then over the years on I kept going back and doing a marathon each year. And I became really fit and I was doing a lot of half marathon. So they just became just for fun. And then I remember finally I was mastering my nutrition but I made these of errors because I listened.
You’ve got to have this much protein you’ve got to have this much or not carbohydrate and I’ve got all these mixed messages and you know what I did I actually tried almost everything. So I found the side effects from everything so it was like for me what was experimenting. But I must say just like you said you and I’ve heard you speak nutritionally before it’s really important that you include everything you don’t have to do extremes.
You don’t have to think about that. Yeah it’s the extremes that become a problem even a digestive problem. And then it’s a mental emotional problem Absolutely absolutely. And what you did with the experimenting I think that’s actually what people need to do because you’re individual physiology is different and sometimes working out whether you know how long before you’re you’re doing a marathon you should eat is something that you can be an individual variation.
So obviously not experimental on the day but experimenting during training to see what works for you. Some people’s digestive tracks empty much sooner than than others and you know so they can they can eat quite close up to the start of an event. Other people need a bit longer. So just experimenting as you did is is is a really good way but taking it simple just fits the fluid.
You want to make sure that you’re adequately hydrated and also that you’ve got a bit of fuel onboard. So particularly the carbohydrates before the meal so bad before the training or there or there at the race event. I remember when I was doing the ultra marathon and that’s a kilo for the normal person yes I are a minute and that’s doing that. Yeah.
I don’t want in my gym doing that again. But I had I didn’t have the best experience the first year. And as soon as I finished. Mind you just before I finished off it I’m not doing that again. This is the worst experience of my life. But as soon as I finished I decided I’m coming back and I’m doing this again next week and I’m going to do it better not better as in faster.
I didn’t care about the time or wanted to do it better emotionally because yes of fat I found when I was with my body I’d call it shutting down because you don’t have Live reserves though the night that you do shut down and you feel it and then he takes in an emotional toll. So I changed my few the following year.
And most importantly whether this is right or wrong you can add your comment during the event my head and this is only for the ultra marathon. They had tables of salt and vinegar chips and Nutella and Coke. Now I don’t care. Eating that. But at that time I was extremely strong on my nutrition. Now I know why they put that there.
But I had experienced almost an eating that kind of food so I didn’t want to eat that during the event. So I actually took homemade food but it’s a good idea. Yeah I had to eat of course but I mean yes I’m a little late and I thought I don’t want to eat that stuff when I haven’t eaten that all you know.
And that’s that’s absolutely a brilliant point to make because the things the foods that you should be having are ones that you’re familiar with that your digestive tract knows. The last thing you need is for something like that to upset your digestive system. At that point. So I think that that’s exactly the right thing to do. Some people that may be part of their ultra marathon experiences that they use those types of foods and then I guess you know as long as you need to be getting some carbohydrates in when you’re going for as long as that your body cannot supply it to you.
I mean most activities if if it’s less than an hour and it’s not super intense you probably don’t need to fill up during that that that period of time. But beyond that your liver has done its job it’s broken down all it has to give you and your muscles are selfish things so they’ll keep their glucose so that they’re stored glycogen for themselves so the minute your liver is out of it your blood sugar is going to be affected.
So you know this is why you do need to refuel when you are in these sort of more intense longer duration event. So with the shorter ones you know certainly Hydration is important. Very little dehydration can actually affect your performance. We don’t usually realize we’re dehydrated until we’re sort of like about 1 to 2 percent down on what we should be.
And by then it can already have an effect maybe not so much for the everyday athlete but for somebody who’s doing a sort of endurance fitness event then it will have an effect on their performance. So it’s good to keep in fluid levels Absolutely yes. I can comment there that hydration I’m a runner and this year in particular I’ve just so happened to be running daily and I run with a water bottle.
I’m not yet thirsty but I’ve taught myself. I’ll have something to drink before and of course I’m running just casually just like a butterfly. I just stop and drink whenever I feel like it. In previous years if I took off and forgot to take my water bottle on a I’m a distance runner not a short distance. If I had forgotten it I can remember very often just always having a headache for the rest of the day. So for me it’s the headache now.
Yep. Actually yesterday I did run without a water bottle. My run is one hour and 20 minutes. I didn’t get a headache but I was mindful of that and I think my body is just so used to doing that run. It’s okay to be a bit flexible. I forgot it. Yeah. She I remember those headaches. And that’s just from being dehydrated dehydrated. Absolutely. And as you say it’s always comes down to the individual so you have to.
You know your body better than than anybody does particularly if you’re if you’re sort of competing and it’s running every day you know what works but some. Yeah. The dehydration is it’s surprising just how little by the time you’re thirsty you’re already not performing at your at your best and in fact the problem is is like you can have a drink at that point but it’s probably going to be about 20 minutes before it actually reaches reaches you and corrects your dehydration.
So when it’s it’s really important to try not to let yourself get to that point. I think education is a really important thing. I’ve come across well I’ve got two teenage boys who I’ve tried to get them into physical exercise under the care of a personal trainer. From the time they were year nine only because I know that under the care of a personal trainer their form and their posture is all going to be good and proper.
And my boys are now 17 and 18 or going into 19 and they are still with the same trainer and so they’re not fanatical. Once a week but I know that she’s prevented injury and that the boys know how to do things correctly but still. And she’s a nutritionist and she gives the best advice and she’s very much into natural stuff and she doesn’t promote all the other stuff that’s usually advertised. Is all about good fresh food good rest and she’s.
I really like her and get one of my boys who loves the muscle growth effect is often looking at. Yeah. He’s often looking at oh god have a lot more protein to a protein checker and I’m thinking to myself. Just take food. Just good food like I once upon a time was told when I was at the gym as well.
I got a protein drink and I’m thinking why I’ll have a piece of chicken afterwards which will be pure protein or piece of fish and that’s going to be protein without the fillers. I’m not against anything but I’m just saying you find everything you need in food. Yes. Yes absolutely. And certainly it can be hard a lot of the particularly the teenage boys that get into this idea of wanting to bulk up and so they want to have a supplement.
And I mean I think if you if you if sometimes you have to meet them part way with it and so something like a whey protein isolate that has nothing else added so it’s got none of the nasties. That is a sort of an option that if you really can’t get them to just go OK come home after training and have had that meal because it is quite important to do the sort of the feeling afterwards after the exercise.
Then a whey protein isolate just mixed up would be a reasonable one and the other thing is is that our bodies can actually only use so much protein at one time so you can you can be taking these things and they’ve got like sort of 30 40 grams of protein and it’s it’s just more than your body can use. So the maximum at one time is usually round about only 20 grams of protein.
The other reason I like the way protein I sell it is it has a particular one of its amino acids that has a good supply is Lucy. And Lucy and I’ve had it described to me by a sports dietician as being a the the thing that ignites the muscle growth. So it’s it ignites the muscle growth.
This particular dietitian actually very sadly passed away this year but she worked with the Sydney Swans with various different competitive teams and I just happened to be at a talk that she gave and she which she talked very much about having to sometimes meet people partway because they want to take all of these supplements. But she was saying that the way protein isolates with some was something that you could sort of she could sit comfortably with that with them and they sat comfortably with that and that’s how she achieved work.
So that was Helen O’Connor. She was a very talented sports dietician. My background is not actually as a sports dietician. So if people want more tailored advice from a sports dietician there is sport. If you just google sports dietician the sports dietician Australia website will come up and you can find somebody on that that has done the actual additional training to be a specialist in that area. And thank you for that information on that clarity too.
So moving forward it’s not just nutrition for performance it’s also nutrition for recovery yes yes. This is particularly important if you’ve got a short period of time between your. When you’re going to be competing and then maybe you’re going to be competing again quite soon afterwards. It’s important to get that glycogen restocked with that.
Yeah so I used to remember all I learned as well that Gee I really would change my nutrition for the big events weeks beforehand because I knew don’t do that a week earlier it’s going to make no difference I make that one mistake I decided to of course like I said I did lots of experiments and I decided to quit sugar went back years ago when that was really popular and I was really good and efficient runner and I changed to the the high fat food bad idea.
Not a problem except I did do it all extreme and I did do it days before the half marathon at Hamilton Island. And if anybody knows Hamilton Island Healy half marathon it’s like the hardest run in Australia. And so it was my worst experience I’ve spent so much of that just walking because my mind changed my diet and I did. I learned through research or literature later on that you know you can.
And if I proved later when I did other events on a sugar free diet you actually had to allow at least three weeks so that your body can use the fat as well. Yep. Forget it. Using that is it. Yeah. So I mean the body will prefer Yeah the body prefers carbohydrates every time it’s like your brain prefers carbohydrates. They cook everything can manage but it does take it that switching the fuel that does take time.
So if you don’t allow enough time that will be hard hard to do but yes certainly I mean some people do sort of quite extreme sort of you know like sort of cutting out carbohydrates but they can still run they could still do things in the body that will adapt and you did. So yeah I use them but I think it’s better to have a a general and a more holistic sort of a diet.
I mean that the carbohydrates are good for a gut the that’s the fiber our gut microbiome is really important to our general health. You know the idea that our gut is just a disposal system that we used to probably thought about maybe 20 years ago has been totally debunked it’s it’s you know it’s really important for your immune system for your mental health pretty much everything so it’s good to keep the gut healthy and I think sometimes when carbohydrates get thrown out that can be a casualty of that.
So it’s true that the gut is so important with all that the little courses that I’ve done about the gut as well as I did these nutrition for mental wellness and there was so much stress on the gut and we’re both hypnotherapist and psychotherapist and on my client intake form I know I talk about the digestive issues entered their diet because I learned to tackle things holistically and it’s not just feeling like these who I have this problem we have to look at do you go into the sunlight a little bit.
Do you do a little bit of walking with some form of exercise do you sleep well. What are your thoughts. What’s your food like it’s … Everything contributes to it. Well I’m so.. I know the changes in me just when I’ve changed my food and when I’ve changed my food I’ve changed it good and proper. So I can never really say it’s not just for five days. I’ve done some I’ve done some of these experiments long term so I can actually tell you when I had brain fog and when I was in shock.
By experience. And I’m actually grateful that I did it because it taught me so much and we all know individuals and what we can cope with what our body. Yeah. Really. Yeah. It’s just different. We need to take what I’ve learned the balance and cheap vegetables vegetables vegetables.
Now yes this vegetables are they one of one of the most important things for us and in so many ways and particularly actually if people are looking for a white box which unfortunately in our society a lot of people that’s where their focus the more vegetables you eat the leaner you will be. I got that bit of wisdom from a dietitian who works at their metabolism and obesity service at RPA.
That was the one thing that defined the most successful people who were able to take weight off and keep it off with those eight the most vegetables. So that’s another reason that so it’s good to eat good to eat your veggies. But there’s there’s so many reasons for it. And I think as you say it’s that it’s like we sometimes we isolate mind and body as if they’re two different things. And it’s just like we are a complete entity. You cannot just tackle one of them and think everything else will fall into place.
It’s important to look as you say holistically at some light to all parts the emotional as well as the mental and physical. That’s right. And so I hope our listeners today have gotten some information or some clarity or a realization that there is no one extreme recommendation. It actually depends who’s publishing something at that time or what’s becoming popular at that time.
But what stands is always that having a balance not having to do anything extreme being hydrated doing the aftercare nutrition is not just because you’re performing recreational athlete it’s also so you can function day to day. Yes. For our thoughts here our interactions. I mean have you ever noticed that someone is moody until they eat.
Oh yes yes. The Hungry is such a thing is so true. But the other thing though is a lot of people as well can be dehydrated. And I’m not talking just about the athlete I’m talking about just the general person through the day. They don’t get a chance. Well actually one of the challenging things now is that I work at a hospital and we have to wear masks all the time it’s really hard to keep the keep the hydration up with without having to take it off your gear and have a little thing.
And I actually think there needs to be a word for when you’re angry thirsty because that that messes with your brain as well just as as the food side makes your hands free. But I’ve yet to come up with a word. Yeah. Let’s make one now then. How about yes I think I think we need we need a word for it. When you’re when you’re thirsty you’re actually dehydrated and say you’re you’re down in the dumps and you’re not well if we could do the same Gary because you’re thirsty and angry but maybe you’re not angry you’ve got a mood happening.
They should be hydrated just yet. So you’ve got that business instead of moody or your food you’re because you’re thirsty. So I guess we can welcome our own ideas but get. We need to sip regularly gulping does we do the trick. No you need to. You need to be working on. Yeah. That that sort of wait until the end of the day and just downing you know a couple of cups that’s not your body has been dehydrated for the whole day up until that point.
And then if you’re not careful you can sort of you know have over hydration if you sort of overdo that. But yeah anyway it it’s definitely one of those those those challenges to make sure that you’re keeping yourself well hydrated but yeah the eating side of things it’s always not about extremes.
It’s about just having a nice balance of everything if anybody wants a particular diet the one that always stands up for cross all of the studies is the Mediterranean diet that one where they’ve got the looks at the pulses and again the veggies are there and the extra virgin olive oil a little bit of seafood not a lot of dairy not a lot of chicken. I mean they they have their meats are like the flavor to the meal that the typical Mediterranean diet.
Whereas here in Australia it’s like the vegetables have the flavor the meat is the main the main thing. So it’s a that’s that’s just something if you know if anybody wants to sort of you know what’s a recommendation of an actual diet. Looking to the principles and working it for you of the Mediterranean diet is it is that you can’t go too far wrong.
Yeah I know that that’s that’s so true and even I’m Greek, I come from Greece and I’ve watched them eat that way when I’ve traveled over there and gone to the traditional places and just watched relatives how they cook they still do the same distorting the traditional. They’re so healthy they have contentions so it’s a nice fine example across all those other countries that are doing it that way as well.
It’s really really good. Yes. All right. So I guess is there anything else Kate that you think our listeners would love to hear. Oh I think we’ve covered quite a lot Amanda. I think there’s quite a there’s definitely a lot of food for thought if you pardon the pun. Absolutely. So thank you so much Kate for coming on today and sharing your wisdom and just letting us know that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as what we search for yes.
Sometimes less is more. Yes. So thank you very much for having having me on Amanda. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you Kate. And so for all our listeners you’ve been listening to Amanda Dounis from Positive Thinking Clinic and Kate Tevan from Sydney Nutrition Solutions.
Well hello and a warm welcome to today’s listeners. Allow me to introduce myself as the host of Today’s episode. My name is Amanda Dounis. I am the founder of the positive thinking clinic located in Wolli Creek Sydney.
Here are the positive thinking clinic, I see clients of all ages. I see individuals couples families and small groups. I conduct psychotherapy and I use a variety of modalities delivered through counselling techniques and hypnotherapy.
I’m a professional counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist, strategic psychotherapist, early childhood teacher, and MLP master practitioner.
To learn more about what I do and what I offer, visit my website on www.positivethinkingclinic.com.au. The easiest way to connect with me on social media is to search my name Amanda Dounis or my clinic name Positive thinking clinic.
You may also access my social media at the bottom of my website. I’m the author of my coping skills handbook aimed at kids aged 8 through to 14 years of age and I’ve also turned this into an online course.
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In addition to the Positive Thinking Clinic, I am the owner of four early learning centers. I’m passionate about quality care and emotional wellness of all ages. I believe we set the foundation for emotional wellness from a very young age. My early learning centers are licensed as Positive Living Skills services.
I also have an emotional wellness & kids group on Facebook. One of my greatest hobbies is that I think I’m always involved in a variety of courses no matter how small. I enjoy adding to my skill set as an integrated therapist.
I learn diverse skills and I select the best fit for any situation. If you wonder if I have any other hobbies I’m also into fitness. I’ve run a number of marathons including two ultra marathons. So that’s me in a nutshell.
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I would love to hear from you signing out and moving forward.
You’re listening to Amanda Dounis.
I’d like to welcome Kate Tevan. Kate Tevan is from Sydney Nutrition Solutions. She’s located in Dulwich Hill. She does individual nutrition counselling, dietary assessments, and a group education speaker.
She has a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics, she’s an accredited practising dietician, she has a diploma in clinical hypnotherapy and strategic psychotherapy.
You can also follow her on Facebook via nutrition solutions or hypnotherapy solutions.
Kate was qualified in the UK as a Radiation therapist which permitted her to work in Australia. She became a citizen in 1992 she went back to study in 2000 all the way to 2007, and she did a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics. And she also in 2014 to 2015, she studied clinical hypnotherapy and strategic psychotherapy.
She combines her trainings to provide a holistic approach in her practice. Kate came to Australia in 1987 for two years. 30 plus years later, she can’t imagine living anywhere else. She’s always been a gym goer. She loves classes, from the step Reebok class of the 1980s to the body pump classes today.
She studied at Sydney University qualifying as a dietician.
In 2007 she worked in Balmain Hospital, Canterbury Hospital, and for the last 10 years at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital at RPA. She’s an outpatient liver specialist dietician. Four years ago she started her own nutrition practice. Kate say “I am passionate about the gut microbiome, neutrogenomics and healthy eating.
Further to that. She’s quite quite keen on doing an online course coaching, for positive ageing, and I believe that’s in the making right now… So let’s welcome Kate.
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