James Gavin, Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, attended Sports Nutrition Live 2016 on Saturday, which was aimed at sports nutritionists, nutritional therapists, and personal trainers. The day began with a talk on Functional Sports Nutrition, emphasising that we should consider agriculture when thinking about nutrition (i.e., ‘soil to the plate’). Particularly, quality before quantity. Not the author’s area of expertise, this seemed a positive start to a conference in a discipline often shrouded by conflicting evidence and, dare I say it, pseudoscience (or conclusions beyond the evidence).
Next the audience digested Gastrointestinal (GI) Complaints and Exercise by Dr Justin Roberts (Anglia Ruskin University). Tips from this insightful talk: 1) GI complaints most prevalent in cycling (cramped position), 2) avoid eating just prior to above-moderate intensity exercise, and 3) keep hydrated. Taking these suggestions additively: do not cycle home from the pub! Before lunch, the session focused on how many of us are (apparently) ‘nucleotide-deficient’ (important for DNA production). However, the Dr Koeppel forgot to mention the functional consequences of a nucleotide-deficiency. Interestingly, and questionably, results derived from: IBS sufferers, mice and…Atlantic salmon.
Moving on, after lunch we were treated to an delightful session on Nutritional Strategies for Tour de France Cyclists by former professional rider, Eifion Weinzweig. Most interesting was the use of DNA Profiling, and the physiological and psychological demands placed upon professional cyclists. Oh, and you have to drink a lot of water cheat EPO testing! Next up was Dr Graeme Close (Liverpool John Moores University) discussing: Are Carbohydrates Still King When It Comes to Performance. Drawing upon Graeme’s applied experiences in professional rugby, and underpinned by classical studies in physiology, discussion focused upon: the role of carbohydrates in cell signaling, the joys of muscle biopsying, and the importance of carbohydrate for endurance and team-sport performance. All told, a really interesting one-day conference, drawing together speakers from varied backgrounds and industries…and gladly I say it, no pseudoscience. Well, maybe a little.
Dr James Gavin
Department of Sport & Physical Activity
Faculty of Management