As an athlete, it's essential that I get the right nutrition in my diet. A balance of protein, carbs and 'good' fats are all so important for me to feel on top of my game. Like anyone else, when I was younger I made mistakes on the route to finding what works. I had to figure out the best way for me to get into shape and best way for me to fuel my body. I cut-out carbs trying to 'lose weight' and found that it is the worst idea you can do for an athlete or for anyone really. You need carbs to be able to have the right amount of energy and function. It is just learning about being smart with carbs and making sure you eat them when you need them.
Now I know, it's not about what you cut out of your diet, but what you add in - even treats! I couldn't be without a cheeky slice of cheesecake now and again.
Whether you're an athlete or not, food is fuel not only for the body but the brain too. That's why it's so important for people to live healthy lifestyles so they can be healthy and happy. For me though it is all about motivation rather than deprivation. So, make sure you eat well, move more and live your life.
I understand that it's hard enough for me to get all the nutrients I need into my diet - so I can only imagine what it's like when you've a two-hour commute and you're juggling family and work. That's why I like to keep it simple. For the time-poor who care about nutrition, sports supplements are a fantastic way to ramp up your vitamin intake, without spending hours in the kitchen every day.
Supplements range from protein and carbohydrate powders to weight gain supplements and joint support. The choice can be baffling and it can be difficult to know what to use, but protein powders are an easy place to start.
Why should you use Protein Powders?
The thing with protein is, unlike carbohydrates and fat, our body doesn't store protein - so there's no back up reservoir for our body to draw from when we need new supply. Consequently, keeping your protein levels topped up during the day is a crucial way of controlling your weight. When eaten at the right time, protein will help support and repair muscle tissue.
The amino acids - or protein if you like -- go from the blood stream into the muscle, promoting muscle synthesis. And at the same time, the muscle protein is being broken down from the workout you've just put your body through. That is why is it so important to give your muscles the protein they need, as soon as you can after a workout.
The benefits are instantly noticeable and wide-ranging; when your energy is depleted after a tough workout, they give your body the tools to repair itself quickly, so you're straight back to your best. They help to prop up your diet in areas where you may be lacking the right nutrition - the average adult needs around 50 grams of protein a day and this can be hard to deliver if you're rushed and on-the-go.
Lastly, they can give you a boost, both physically and mentally, to really nail that workout you don't feel like doing, and push yourself to be your best self, in and out of the gym.
But don't take my word for it - give these savoury protein pancakes a whirl after your next trip to the gym. Tasty and good for you - what's not to love?
• 2 medium eggs, separated
• 100g ricotta
• 20g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
• 1 tbsp wholemeal flour
• 1 tbsp of BULK POWDERS® INFORMED WHEY® PREMIUM WHEY PROTEIN
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped herbs, such as chives, dill or parsley - or use a mixture
• 1 tsp olive oil
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
• 1. Put the egg yolks, ricotta, Parmesan, flour, protein powder and herbs into a bowl. Season with salt and black pepper and mix everything together well.
• 2. Whisk the egg whites in a scrupulously clean, grease-free bowl until the mixture stands in soft peaks.
• 3. Fold a spoonful of the beaten egg whites into the ricotta mixture to loosen it, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
• 4. Heat half the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Using a dessert spoon, drop 3 or 4 spoonful's of the batter into the pan. Once the pancakes are golden on one side turn them over and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side. Remove the pancakes from the pan and keep them warm.
Tom Daley is a new BULK POWDERS® Athlete. For world class products which deliver world class performance visit bulkpowders.co.uk