Sports Dietitians Australia members provide accurate diet and nutritional information and advice, based on scientific evidence, to promote healthy eating and enhance the health and performance of all active Australians. They’ll help you reach your personal best – now and for the rest of your life.
Minimum academic requirements for Accredited Sports Dietitians include a Bachelor of Science degree with post-graduate qualifications in dietetics, as well as further sports nutrition accredited studies and practical experience.
Stacey is our Sports Dietitian with many skills including club workshops, individual diet for varying sports. Below are three sports to consider with differing age, cultural backgrounds and training and game needs.
Field hockey is a sport that is played extensively by both men and women throughout Australia and overseas. It is played at both amateur and professional levels. Hockey is a team sport played between two teams.
Traditionally a team consists of 10 players plus 1 goal keeper with up to 7 substitutes permitted per team. There are also some newer formats of the game that are played with much fewer players (e.g. Hockey5s which is played with only 5 players per team).
Match play lasts for 70 minutes and consist of two 35- minute halves plus a short break at half time. In some major international tournaments such as the Olympics, matches are played in four 15-minute quarters. Players can be substituted as many times as desired during a game and play is not stopped for substitutions. Some teams will substitute players up to 70 times in a single match. These substitutions are used give players brief periods of rest as hockey is a fast paced sport with high intensity sprints alongside passing, scoring and tackling.
In tournament settings, it is important to replace fluid losses after a match to avoid starting subsequent matches dehydrated. An Accredited Sports Dietitian can work with players to determine their individual sweat losses and a fluid plan to ensure they start all matches appropriately hydrated.
Nutrition for the Adolescent Athlete
Ask any parent of a teenager and they probably have a colourful story of just what happens to the fridge when their sons and daughters arrive home from a hard day at school. Perhaps they have been asked to pack more into the lunchbox, or they notice the sly bowl of cereal consumed after dinner. Add to that the considerable load that many adolescents are put under in organised sport, and you can see that it can be quite a job to fuel a teenager, let alone a teenage athlete.
While the Australian dietary guidelines provide suitable advice for adolescents who participate in general physical activity, special issues of sports nutrition begin to emerge for those who have a high-level of participation in sport. The adolescent athlete is in a unique situation. They must meet the nutritional requirement associated with undertaking daily training and competition while ensuring they have a diet that caters to the added demands of their growth and development. To ensure that the adolescent athlete fulfils his or her potential, eating patterns should consider the needs for sporting success with the nutritional considerations for healthy growth and development.
Triathlon: Long Course
Triathlon combines the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running into one event. In Australia, the competitive season typically starts in late October and continues through until April.
Training diet for long course triathletes- The training diet for a long course triathlete needs to be varied and periodised to the training needs for that day, week or phase in their program.
During the off-season, food can be adjusted to reduce reliance on sports foods and carbohydrate intake moderated to reflect the lower training load. The off-season is the ideal time to focus on optimal body composition for the upcoming race-season with the support of an Accredited Sports Dietitian for individualised advice.
Hydration needs- Fluid requirements vary between individuals depending on sweat rate and sweat composition, weather conditions and ability to tolerate fluid while training and competing.
Eating before competition - Effective carbohydrate loading can be achieved within 2-3 days prior combined with reduced training load. Consulting with an Accredited Sports Dietitian to assist with this will reduce risk of gut upset and optimise muscle glycogen stores.
Post-race recovery- Recovery meals and snacks should contain carbohydrate (fuel), some protein (for muscle repair and development) and plenty of fluids and electrolytes to replace sweat losses.
A small snack is easier to tolerate at the finish line that should then be followed up with a more substantial option that is higher in protein. Seek assistance from an Accredited Sports Dietitian Australia member.