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What the Eels eat to maintain peak performance

Here we are already in round 4 of the season. Early days sees the Parramatta Eels near the top of the ladder and the Wentworthville Magpies with some ground to make up. So first up –  go you good boys!

Both clubs have exceptional athletes dedicated to their sport and in my role as Chief Medical Officer, helping ensure the players keep in top health and peak performance is paramount.

One of the key factors to maintaining muscle mass, strength, agility and stamina is diet; which is why a big part of our focus in our players pre-season and season program includes the setting of meal plans for a balanced dietary intake.

Why is diet so important?

We’ve all heard the sayings “you are what you eat” and “food is fuel”.

Whether you are an Eel or a Magpie or you just want to keep fit, the right type of fuel and the right volume will make a difference to your energy, performance levels, sleep patterns and your overall feeling of well-being.

Here’s some tips to help you eat right and feel great like our professional players during the season.

  • What is your fuel gauge saying? Imagine you are a car with a gauge showing how much petrol is in the tank. If you keep pouring in petrol when the tank is full, the fuel flows out and is wasted. But in our body, the fuel doesn’t pour out. It’s absorbed by our body and becomes excess to our requirements turning into excess weight.

Create a daily meal plan that looks at your daily caloric intake based on your level of activity. If you are struggling with this, ask your GP for help.

  • Think about when you’re eating. Eating for energy and performance should be balanced throughout the day. Don’t skip meals. Ensure you have 5-6 balanced meal stops throughout the day. This will stop you binge eating when you have drops in energy levels.
  • The right kind of food makes a difference. Gone are the days when our players trotted off the paddock and had a hot meat pie! Today the standard acceptable easy choice has changed to processed foods in the form of protein bars, energy drinks and protein powders, but these can still be a bad choice. Wherever possible, avoid quick processed solutions.

Choose to eat right and pick a diet rich in unprocessed foods that includes a mix of:

  • Complex carbohydrates including dairy, soy products, nuts, seeds and legumes and wholemeal bread and pasta (these are a fantastic source of energy but shouldn’t be over used in our diet, especially if we are not active).
  • Lean meat and poultry
  • Fish and shellfish rich in omega 3
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables

Just as a healthy diet plan helps our players to maintain peak performance, it will help you to keep well and maintain your energy levels, good health and well being.

Always remember if you are making significant changes to your diet, it’s important to consult with your General Practitioner to ensure your own medical history is taken into account.

It’s great to see the season underway – and go the Eels and the Magpies!

I look forward to seeing the boys out on the paddock again soon and will keep you posted on sideline updates via my Facebook, Instagram and Google+.

Dr Louis Shidiak

CMO Parramatta Eels and Wentworthville Magpies

For more information visit www.drlouisshidiak.com.au

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