Case study: Nutrition support on an elite training camp

June 25, 2010

Consultation with a female ‘paddler’ in Seville

With many Olympic sports having their World Championships from July onwards, the months leading in can contain some key training blocks, within this ‘pre-competition’ phase. This is also a key time for performance nutrition support, to support training adaptation and then ultimately, competition performance.

James has highlighted some thoughts from trips with Great Britain Canoeing, to camps in Seville and Budapest, leading into the World Championships in Poznan.

Training support

With athletes training up to 3 times a day, during preparation and pre-competition phases, there is a large emphasis placed on recovery nutrition. The event is also a key consideration, as the 200m (men), 500m (women) and 1000m (both), place different demands on the body’s energy systems. It important to work with the coach and conditioning coach, to determine what particular adaptations are being targeted. As you would expect, we would put in place very different strategies to increase metabolic stress (for endurance adaptations), than we would do to support strength gains.

Competition Strategy

An area which can have a large impact on performance. A basic strategy would look at fuelling, hydration and muscular recovery for the event (multiple races). More advanced strategies would take more time to trial and perfect. Initially trialled during training. For example:

  • Blood and muscle (intra/extracellular) ‘lactate’ buffering
  • Increased metabolic support
  • Supporting cognitive function over competition
  • Reducing decline in contractile function & subsequent soreness from competition.
  • Assisting with sleep onset & quality
  • Immunity support (especially during long distance travel)