Cait attended a talk by Matt Gardner a performance nutritionist who is part of the #NeverStopLondon North Face project here is what she learnt.

I have never attended a nutrition workshop before and I have very much just stuck to carbo-loading the night before a run and eating lots of protein after to repair my muscles. And whilst I felt very out of place being surrounded by people who run ultra marathons and ridiculous distances the talk was very helpful. Here is some of what I learnt…

1 – We all know that we need to carb load before a race and that in our muscles we have glucose stores which we use when running. But we all have fats which store more energy than carbohydrates and by utilising these we can run for longer. The longer your exercise with a lower heart rate the more use your fat stores. The higher intensity run/training session you do that more carbohydrate (sugars) stores you use. Think about what type of run you are planning on doing and match your diet to this.

2 – Do you Sweat? Hydration in your body is specific to sweat. Some people sweat more than others. If you are someone who sweats are lot you are loosing liquid based nitrates. These need replacing by drinking water. If you are a ‘salty’ sweater this is linked to sodium and the fact you are sweating electrolytes. These also need placing and can be done through electrolyte drinks/powders into your water.

3 – Natural Performance enhancing supplements (basically everyday food)
– Caffeine can reduce fatigue and increase your endurance. Everyone does metabolize caffeine differently e.g some people can drink coffee before bed and still fall asleep straight away others will be awake for hours. If you are habitual coffee drinker you may need to detox from coffee before reintroducing it to see a benefit in your running.

– Beetroot Juice: Not everyone’s favourite vegetable but the nitrates in beetroot can help to dilate your blood vessels and therefore increase your blood to oxygen potentiality. Studies have shown that by consuming beetroot juice you can improve your running and last longer. You can have beetroot as a shot (over super quickly), baked or in a salad.

4 – Don’t just take sugary sweet and energy gels on your runs. Take snacks and cakes! I would never have considered this without attending this workshop. By favourite was the nutritional nugget as Matt referred to them. Super simple and quick to make plus you can add your own flavours. See below! 

Banging Nutritional Nuggets

The base:
Sunflower Seeds
Coconut Oil

The flavours: top to bottom
Green Tea
Ginger & Orange
Beetroot & Chocolate

– Combine all the base ingredients in a food processor until everything is combined.
– If you are adding a flavour mix this in until fully combined
– Roll into 1 inch balls and place in an airtight container in the fridge.


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