“We found that the microbiome worsens our metabolism by signalling
to cells in the gut that produce serotonin.
“They drive up serotonin levels, which we previously showed in humans to be increased in obese humans, and this rise in blood serotonin causes a significant metabolic problem,” explains Professor Damien Keating, Head of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Flinders University and Deputy Director of the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute.
While the research is a promising start to better
understanding how bacteria communicate with serotonin to influence BGLs and
metabolism, it’s not yet known which bacteria are involved in this.
“This is an exciting revelation that can one day have direct
implications for human health disorders such as diabetes,” adds Professor
Professor Keating ends saying more research is needed.
In response to the changing nutritional needs of families, after two years in development, Nestle Australia has launched a new version of Milo – Milo 30% Less Added Sugar.
“Milo was originally
designed as a nutritious drink for undernourished children during the Depression,
delivering added vitamins and minerals in a format children enjoyed,” says Nestle
General Manager, Andrew McIver. “With parents increasingly concerned about
added sugar we’ve created an option that is true to the Milo heritage
but delivers less added sugar.”
It has been said, to maintain the look, taste and behaviour that we’ve come to expect from the 85-year-old family favourite, Milo 30% Less Added Sugar has remained true to the original product with the same core ingredients (malt barley, milk powder and cocoa), just without the cane sugar. The cane sugar has been replaced with stevia for sweetness.
“From the beginning, our focus
was on creating a product that both tastes and behaves like original Milo,”
explains McIver. “That means not just keeping the same core ingredients but
also making sure it looks the same, tastes great and has crunchy bits on top.”
The new Milo 30% Less Added Sugar Is now available in
major supermarkets at RRP $6.99.
We’re just days away from the big day – IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns, with athletes starting to descend on the tropical city. As athletes eagerly await race day, among the hustle and bustle, and the excitement that race week brings, it’s important to think about your race-day nutrition.
After all, you’ve come this far – you’ve done the training, made the sacrifices, spent the big bucks – so undoing all the good work with a poorly prepared nutrition plan isn’t a great idea.
In today’s post, we’re talking all things race day!
Here are my top tips for nailing your race-day nutrition!
Don’t try anything new…
As cliché as it may sound – don’t try anything new on race day! Race day is not the time to be experimenting with any new nutrition plan or gel, bar or electrolyte drink. By now you should have practised your nutrition and hydration plan in training, and it should be pretty dialled. For best results on race day, make sure you stick to your plan!
The key here – you should have your breakfast plan dialled in as you should your race day nutrition plan. Stick with what works, and you’ll have a great start to your race on Sunday.
What you eat and drink on the morning of the race will depend on a few factors, including:
What you had the night before – did you have a good carb-based dinner? Did you have a top-up snack before bed? Did you drink enough fluid?
Your start time – remember the longer you have before the race, the more you can eat because you will have more time to digest. If you’re pressed for time or you’re just not feeling hungry (or you’re feeling queasy due to nerves), you may want to consider a smaller breakfast, e.g. toast with vegemite/peanut butter or a small bowl of porridge with a banana, and then have a top-up snack as you set up your transition or as you walk towards to swim start.
Your digestion – are you someone who suffers from any gut issues? Are you someone who spends the better part of race morning on the toilet because of gut issues? Think about your food choices and how much your planning to eat. Lower fibre options (even looking at possibly low FODMAP options) could be the winner here, and perhaps a small-moderate breakfast with a top-up snack later in the morning.
Liquid meals – these are easier and quicker to digest and may be better tolerated than a solid breakfast for some athletes. Remember: breakfast is your fuel top-up. By the time race morning rolls around your stores should be reasonably well loaded.
Make sure your pre-race meal is low in fibre and low in fat – fibre and fat will slow down the rate of digestion, may leave you feeling over full, bloated and sluggish and may cause gut issues for some athletes. Including some protein with your breakfast, e.g. a yoghurt, will help with keeping hunger at bay.
Your nutrition clock starts the moment you get on the bike. Aim for roughly one gel every 30 minutes with water (give and take depending on your race day plan). The bike is where you can consider solids such as bars, as well, as it’s easier to digest food on the bike compared to the run. Some athletes will have a combination of gels, blocks and bars on the bike based on their individual plan.
Consider the logistics of your chosen race-day nutrition. How are you going to hold your nutrition? Do you have gel flasks? If not, have you considered the packaging? Can you open your gel or bar or block with ease, while you’re climbing, descending or turning? If you’re planning on eating a bar during the bike, have you considered cutting it up to bite-sized pieces for ease of consumption while you’re in motion?
Hydration – what are you going to drink? Water, electrolytes, sports drink or a combination of all three? How are you going to top up electrolytes or sports drinks during the race? How will you carry electrolyte tabs? What’s worked in the past for me is dedicating my front water bottle to electrolyte tabs and having spare tabs in a plastic pocket, in my bento box. Also, consider how many bottles you’re going to carry. Do you have enough bottle cages to carry the amount you want/need? Will you be completely self-sufficient here or will you rely on on-course hydration?
Remember: when it comes to hydration, you need to go into the race hydrated. The race is just a rolling top up.
This one is for the guys and gals racing the full. If race day is super-hot, consider freezing a couple of bottles of sports drink and leave them in your special needs. Then by the time you access your bottles during the bike, the bottles should have defrosted enough to give you a refreshing, icy cold drink. There’s nothing worse than lukewarm fluids after a while.
On the Run
A trick I use on the run (it’s one I learnt from a good friend of mine) is to suck on a few Haribo Gummy Bears. Yes, I still have gels with water on the run. But I run with a cheek full of gummy bears. It’s like drip-feeding carbs as I go. So far, it has worked a treat! 🙂
If all else fails, think: Point One
Most of all refer to the first point – do not try anything new on race day! Race day nutrition plans are very individual, and hopefully, you will have yours sorted and dialled. Have a great race! Cairns is a great one!
So, is the outlook dark and dreary or is there a way we can help to lift our moods this winter?
You can help lift your mood through the food that you eat.
There are certain chemicals in the body that play a role in
mood regulation and these include Serotonin (aka the happy hormone), which is
involved in boosting your mood, and Dopamine, which is a chemical messenger
involved in reward, motivation, attention and in regulating body movement.
And yep, you guessed it – these little chemicals are
affected by the food you eat.
Salmon’s superpower is its omega-3 content. This healthy fat
is made up of the fatty acids, E.P.A. and D.H.A., and both fatty acids support
the optimal functioning of serotonin.
E.P.A. helps the release of serotonin by reducing inflammation, while D.H.A. makes serotonin receptors more accessible to, well, serotonin improving the overall functional capacity of this happy hormone.
Oven-baked salmon (with slices of fresh lemon, rosemary sprigs and a seasoning of salt and pepper) is a great way to enjoy salmon. Add this to some loaded salad and you’re onto a winner.
Eggs are little power-houses of nutrition!
They are a great source of B vitamins (like vitamin B12),
which have been shown to play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect
They are a rich source of protein and the amino acids
tryptophan and tyrosine, which are precursors of mood-boosting serotonin and
Eggs also contain vitamin D. It has been said that a deficiency in this vitamin is linked with decreased levels of serotonin.
What’s better than poached eggs with some smashed avocado and fresh bread for brunch on a Sunday morning! Yum.
Legumes like black beans are loaded with gut-loving fibre! We all know that your health starts in your gut, and research is now showing the link between a healthy gut and mood!
It has been said that a large amount of serotonin and dopamine is made in the gut, so making your gut healthy should be your priority.
Because I personally don’t eat meat (or dairy) due to my skin issues, legumes (like black beans) are my staples! I add them to everything – soups, salads, in tacos, mashed and thrown into a sandwich. You name it, I’ve probably tried it.
Broccoli is an excellent source of magnesium, and this
critical mineral has a lot of significant roles in the body.
Magnesium has been shown to relieve P.M.S. symptoms, plays a role in thyroid function, aids the nervous system and boosts serotonin levels.
One way to increase your intake of this mighty mineral is through green leafy vegetables like broccoli!
This little superhero is great in just about any dish … and you can certainly get a whole lot more creative with it than just, well, ‘chicken and broc!’. As with legumes and lentils, I throw this little bad boy into just about everything, but in salads and soups, that’s probably my fave way to have it!
Turkey is more than just protein! It’s also a good source of
B-vitamins, including vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 plays a role in the production of serotonin, and
it has been said the deficiencies in this vitamin may lead to low mood,
irritability and anxiety.
Turkey is also a great source of zinc, which plays a role in converting the amino acid, tryptophan to serotonin.
This lean protein is not just for Christmas dinner. Have it in sandwiches or wraps or in tacos. It’s a great alternative to chicken and beef; lean and a good way to get in your B-6 and zinc this winter.
There are, of course, other foods that will help to boost your mood this winter. These five are just a few that will help.
The key is to enjoy a varied diet, with foods from each of the food groups.
Base your diet around plant foods (particularly green leafy veg!), make sure to include plenty of gut-loving fibre, good quality, complex carbs, some protein and don’t forget the healthy fats!
If you’re not sure how to get the balance right and you’d like some help, contact me for an appointment today! I’d love to help 🙂
If you find that you struggle with SAD or have any issues with anxiety or depression, contact Beyond Blue or call 1300 22 4636.
^100% Cocoa components from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. Warnings: Contains tree nuts (almonds) and gluten-containing cereals (wheat). May contain other tree nuts.
OK, firstly sugar (bah, bah, bahhh *insert dramatic music*). The second-listed ingredient. So, yup! Ice-cream – high in sugar. Who knew? *insert sarcasm*!
I do like that it contains coconut oil – it does give it a slightly unique coconutty taste compared to the regular variety.
Also, cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms – that’s pretty cool. Quality and sustainability. I like it.
Next, the NIP:
Servings per package: 3 Average serving size: 72g
1040kJ (248cal) per serve; 1440kJ (345cal) per 100g
Holy mother! I must remember this when I’m powering through my second Magnum® in the space of 30-minutes. That’s almost as much energy as some ready-made meals on the market.
2.0g per serve; 2.7g per 100g
No high protein claims here!
Total = 15.9g per serve; 22.1g per 100g
Saturated = 9.8g per serve; 13.6g per 100g
Yikes! The recommendation here is no more than 10g total fat/100g.
Remember: ‘tis a TREAT, yo!
And saturated fat? We-h-ell … the guidelines say less than 3g saturated fats/100g. BUT to be fair, coconut oil IS listed as the third ingredient …
Total = 23.2g per serve; 32.3g per 100g
Added sugars = 18.9g per serve; 26.3g per 100g
Let’s look at the added sugar first. ‘Tis a wee bit high! Remember, the WHO recommends limiting this bad boy to no more than 5-10% of our total daily energy intake… so, if you’re having three of these in one sitting? Mmm … time to stop. Also, try to aim for less than 10g sugar/100g where you can. But back to my previous comment … T.R.E.A.T!
30mg per serve; 40mg per 100g
Salt, dear friends, is not the issue with this bad (yet, so very delicious) boy! We are all (*cough*) sweet in the salt department …!
Don’t get your knickers in a twist health-conscience ladies
and gents – this is a TREAT. A delicious, creamy, vegan-friendly (in fact … it’s
vegan CERTIFIED), dairy-free ice-creamy treat. Oh, to be able to have that
sweet, sweet and oh so moreish taste of a Magnum® again.
Thank you, ice-cream creators at Magnum®, thank you!
With just over a week until IRONMAN Cairns here are some quick tips for those racing, to help you nail your race-week nutrition.
NB: Of course, everyone is different and nutrition plans are very individual; these are some general tips and tricks.
The Golden Rule –
Don’t Try Anything New Leading into Race Day!
The aim of race-week nutrition is getting to the start line well fuelled, hydrated and rearing to go! You want to be in the best shape possible!
Typically, two to three days out from the race, your aim will be to up your intake of carbohydrates. This is to make sure your glycogen stores (aka your fuel stores) are full so you’re ready to go on race morning!
BUT don’t go overboard here as are glycogen stores are not bottomless pits.
NB: “Carbohydrates store water with them so upping your intake of carbs might leave you feeling bloated and heavy. The aim is to strike a balance between fueling yet feeling good.” – Simone Austin, Advanced Sports Dietitian, Eat Like An Athlete – Boost Your Performance And Energy Through Nutrition
As race day gets closer, consider reducing your intake of fibre. High fibre foods are digested more slowly, can leave you feeling really full (particularly when trying to up your carb intake to load the fuel stores) and can lead to gut issues at the start of the race.
Opt for lower fibre food options leading into the race.
For those with gut issues during a race, it might be worth considering switching to low FODMAP options leading in. Speak with a dietitian about this one!
Avoid eating too many fatty-foods (aka a big bowl of fried, fatty chips) leading into the race. Some fat is ok (e.g. some avocado with your breakfast) but a lot may cause issues. Fatty foods are typically slow/hard to digest and can leave you feeling tired. Plus, they may also lead to gut issues so best to limit these leading into a race.
Leading into a big race is not the time to forget your fluid! You want to start your race well hydrated. But again, you don’t need to go overboard with this one as you may find you’re spending your pre-race days running to and from the toilet!
Sip on fluids across each day
Alternate between water and electrolytes/sports drinks
Sports drinks that contain carbs (e.g. Gatorade) can help with carb intake while also aiding hydration
Use your pee colour as a guide of hydration status (we’re aiming for lemonade here!)
Familiar is Best
Eat food you’re familiar with (that you know you can tolerate) – race week is NOT the time to be trying anything new.
Do your Research
If you’re travelling or if you’ve never been to Cairns do your research and find out what food options are available and where the supermarket (Coles/Woolies/Aldi etc.) is.
If you’re an IRONMAN veteran, what are some of your nutrition go-to’s during race week? I’d love to hear from you!
In my next post, I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on nailing race day!