“Eat real food” – learn more about the diet of Team Great Britain
AsiaTRI chatted with Kelley Bright, nutritionist do Team GB
We are at a time when whole and natural foods almost feels like a food supplement, while the core of several athlete’s diet are the pills, tablets and powders of the most diverse types of products you can think of. In a chat with Kelley Bright, head nutritionists of the Bristish Triathlon Team, she teaches us that a simple and natural diet is one of the “secrets” of olympic and world champions.
Kelley is traveling with the three members of the GB Team, Vicky Holland, Non Stanford and Mark Buckingham that, they are racing in Rio de Janeiro on August 2nd for the test event of the Olympics 2016, AsiaTRI international correspondent Wagner Araujo went to Team GB training camp at the Air Force base in Pirassununga which is also where Team GB will stay before the olympics in 2012. Kelley is also the nutritionists of the Brownlee brothers,
“My role is to keep the athletes well fueled, hydrated and healthy, with plenty of energy to perform their best during their training and also recover as fast as possible from these training sessions.”
According to Kelley, most athletes are taking too many different supplements instead of just taking what’s missing in their diet. For her, the priority is to get all the important nutrients from “real food”. With the exception of a multivitamin and some carbohydrate during training and some very specific vitamins to some of the athletes, everything else the athletes are consuming is real food such as fruits, vegetables, breads, dairy and nuts.
“No supplement either when training or racing, will mitigate a poor diet. Diet has an impact on any type of sport, especially endurance. An athlete can’t ignore this aspect of their performance” Kelley Bright, Team Great Britain
“We can get absolutely everything we need from a balanced diet, even for high performance athletes who demand a high density of nutrients.”, said Kelly who doesn’t ban any type of food in her diet. Her emphasisis to make sure the macros of carbohydrate, protein and fats are well balance, while watching for any individual response such as allergies or intolerances. Kelly herself suffers from celiac disease and says that for the athletes there is no reason to avoid gluten or dairy.
Kelly’s menu at the training camp in Brazil includes a daily portion organic bacon. “They also need a certain amount of fats in their diet. Fat also provides a lot more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein, what helps to achieve their daily calorie requirements”
Not many athletes are paying enough attention to their recovery diet, especially athletes training twice or more time per day. Kelley advice is very simple: “the food you eat in the first 30 minutes straight after training is crucial to boost your recovery, in fact, the earlier the athletes can eat, better it is.”
Having a full time nutritionist with the team is also a key component to avoid that athletes can eat tainted food that can impact their doping testing. Another important role of Kelly is to help avoiding food poisoning that can throw away months of preparation.
While some athletes see a strict diet as a negative part of their sport, Kelley prefers to think it in a different way, she prepares delicious food that the athletes will enjoy eating and will make them feel good.
Kelley Bright philosophy to diet can be defined in a very simple way:
“While each athlete reacts differently, as a general rule I suggest a very basic guide’line: Eat real food!”
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