Carbs after 6pm – Let’s Talk …..

Here’s the latest nutrition post from Coach Steph Catlin talking all about those much discussed carbohydrates and debunking the myths of when you should and shouldn’t eat them.

Cut carbohydrates out of your diet and you lose scale weight… can I let you into a little secret? Two actually..

1) Most of that change is water weight

2) It’s the decrease in calories, not the carbs

To lose weight, you must be in a consistent calorie deficit which means, burning more calories than you are eating in a day. Consistently, over a period of time.

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In answer to point 1:

When you eat a carb, you digest it and store it in your muscles

Along with storing the energy, you also store water

When you take carbs out, you no longer store water

Bob’s your uncle, fanny’s your aunt

In answer to point 2:

When you take carbs out of your diet, you eat less food

Less food equals less calories overall

By default you are in a calorie deficit

Bob’s your uncle, fanny’s your aunt

The bottom line?

– There is no such thing as a bad food, just a bad overall diet. Within a calorie controlled diet, carbs are important as fuel for the brain, and your muscles

– Low carb diets make people tired, hungry and unmotivated

– Unless you have a specific reason not to, Remember to LOVE THY CARB

Have a FABULOUS day 🙂

Yours in Health,

Steph

Read all previous nutrition posts in the new SPORTS NUTRITION tab at the top of the page or click here totallytennis.wordpress.com/sports-nutrition/

Former Totally Tennis performance player and now coach Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via foodislifeuk@gmail.com via her website www.foodislifeuk.com or visit her social media channels FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Hungry for more and want to read more of Steph’s myth busting, science based nutrition blogs? Click here

Photo used with courtesy of www.medicalnewstoday.com

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Catlin Attends Tennis For Kids Course in Oxford

Totally Tennis coach Steph Catlin attended the Lawn Tennis Associations (LTA) Tennis for Kids training course at the White Horse Tennis Centre in Oxford on Thursday. Along with the specific training Catlin got to meet World Number One wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett, who is also the current French Open singles champion and Wimbledon doubles champion.  She also met Miles Maclagan, former professional player and coach of British Number One Andy Murray and Laura Robson.

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If you are looking for a fun and fitness activity for your children look no further than Tennis for Kids that returns on 5th April 2018. The grassroots initiative gives children, aged between four and eleven, the opportunity to fall in love with tennis by taking part in a six-week introductory course delivered by specially trained and enthusiastic LTA accredited coaches such as Catlin. Each player that signs up for the course will also receive a special Tennis for Kids Babolat racket and ball set as well as a personalised T-shirt delivered right to your door for just £25 (works out to just a little over £4 per week for the six week course).

Tennis for kids 2018

The campaign was launched in 2016 and last year 20,000* children throughout the country took part in the LTA’s tennis starter course for children with 98% of parents stating that they were happy with their child’s experience. Why not find out more and get your family involved in 2018?

Totally Tennis will be running these lessons at the indoor centre ……..watch this space as dates will be coming soon!

* Information used with courtesy of clubspark.lta.org.uk/TennisForKids

 

Five Best Recovery Foods

You know the benefits of cooling down and stretching after exercise, but are you recovering optimally if you don’t consider the nutritional aspect? Let’s firstly clear up the fundamental importance of using nutrition to recover the best you possibly can from exercise…

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  1. You must replace the lost water and salt from sweating
  2. You must replace the carbohydrates you burn off (carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for the body to function)  
  3. You must consume protein to keep your body in a positive protein balance (the only way for muscles to repair and adapt)
  4. You must plough your body with micronutrients to keep the immune system functioning (the immune system is damaged by exercise)

Recovery is not just about stretching post exercise but also about nutrition to recover the best you can. As we have previously spoken about the importance of hydration, carbohydrates AND protein, let’s talk through some practical examples of foods you can consume after a tennis training session, or a match.

  1. Beans on toast with a side of fruit (e.g. an apple)
  2. Flavoured yoghurt topped with a bowl of fruit salad
  3. One bread roll filled with chicken and salad
  4. Fruit smoothie packed with berries, banana, oats and yoghurt
  5. Sports drink (e.g. lucozade) and a protein bar

Moral of the story. Keep it simple and incorporate food that doesn’t require spending hours in the kitchen to prepare.

Yours in Health,

Steph

Former Totally Tennis performance player and now coach Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via foodislifeuk@gmail.com via her website www.foodislifeuk.com or visit her social media channels FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Read more nutrition advice in previous posts  Is Nutrition The Missing Puzzle Piece to Your Ultimate Tennis Performance?Do You Suffer With Performance Dips During a Tennis MatchProtein Isn’t Just For Body Builders, Competition Nutrition – What, When and How Much? and Eat Food When You Can, Supplement When You Must

 

 

Eat Food When You Can, Supplement When You Must

When it comes to food and nutrition, there is no right or wrong. You have eaten thousands of meals whilst living on this planet, and you’re still here right?! The same goes with sports nutrition, you have survived this long so why should you listen to me?!

I’m not a sports nutritionist that is going to overhaul your diet, tell you exactly what to eat and when to eat it. I am here to help you understand what you currently eat, whether your tennis performance is optimal with that diet, and if not, how we can tweak your diet so that it fits in line with the current scientific research for tennis players.

A8AB3C3C-4353-48E8-A4BD-6B681043DA7BToday let’s talk about supplements. Supplements are called supplements, because they are a SUPPLEMENT to your diet. Most of you will be able to get all the nutrition you need to fuel your body and tennis performance through a good diet, good hydration and enough sleep.

With that being said, there are certain circumstances when supplements may be useful, and I will list them below and the reasons why (if there are any supplements not on this list, it would be wise to consider whether you’re wasting your money) …

Multivitamins – A multivitamin will not necessarily directly enhance tennis performance, but vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for overall health, growth repair and vitality. If you are partaking in a heavy training schedule, or simply lack fruit and vegetables in your diet, supplementing with a mutlivitamin is advised.

Protein powder – Protein is essential for growth and repair of muscles, which is essential for optimal tennis performance. For tennis players who require relatively high protein intakes and travel a lot, or struggle to eat enough protein, supplementing with a protein powder would be beneficial.

Sports Drinks – Staying optimally hydrated with a good balance of electrolytes (salts) is essential for health, tennis performance and recovery. If a tennis player doesn’t enjoy the taste of water during or after exercise, this is when a sports drink would be useful to ensure optimal performance and recovery.

Caffeine – Caffeine essentially blocks receptors in the brain telling you you’re tired. Caffeine will allow you to perform at a higher intensity for a longer period of time, therefore maximising performance (as long as it is consumed in the right amount at the right time, personal to you).

There are a few other supplements that have been well researched to have beneficial effects on sports performance, but for the purpose of this blog (unless you are an elite athlete), these are the only supplements you will need for overall health and tennis performance. If you have any questions, or more importantly are taking any other supplements not on this list, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Yours in Health,

Steph

Former Totally Tennis performance player and now coach Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via foodislifeuk@gmail.com via her website www.foodislifeuk.com or visit her social media channels FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Read more nutrition advice in previous posts  Is Nutrition The Missing Puzzle Piece to Your Ultimate Tennis Performance?Do You Suffer With Performance Dips During a Tennis MatchProtein Isn’t Just For Body Builders and Competition Nutrition – What, When and How Much?

 

Snacking During a Tennis Match – What, When and Why?

If you’re playing a match lasting less than an hour, you don’t need to snack on court. Your nutrition in and around the match should be adequate to fuel your body for that short period of time.

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If playing a match for anything over an hour on the other hand, snacks are beneficial to sustain a higher intensity for longer, maintain good reaction times and reduce cognitive/ mental decline, to name a few.

Your snacks need to be carbohydrate based, and relatively fast digesting carbohydrates.

Here are 5 great options to take on court with you:

  1. Fruit (e.g. bananas)
  2. Cereal bar
  3. Flapjack
  4. Rice cakes
  5. Sports drink (such as Gatorade or Lucozade)

Keep it simple and keep it effective. Mix the snacks up to keep it interesting.

Read more about match nutrition in previous post Competition Nutrition – What, When and How Much?

Yours in Health,

Steph

Former Totally Tennis performance player Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via foodislifeuk@gmail.com via her website www.foodislifeuk.com or visit her social media channels FacebookTwitter and Instagramfullsizerender-18Read more nutrition advice in previous posts  Is Nutrition The Missing Puzzle Piece to Your Ultimate Tennis Performance?Do You Suffer With Performance Dips During a Tennis Match and Protein Isn’t Just For Body Builders

 

Protein Isn’t Just For Body Builders

One of the biggest concerns for athletes is to make sure that they recover effectivelyIf players are constantly sore and tired their ability to train or compete at the intensity and level that they need to on the tennis court will be reduced.

In a previous posts I talked about the importance of carbohydrates as well as the importance of hydration and in this post I’m focusing on protein!

As an athlete, you have an increased need for protein in your diet. When you play tennis, or do any form of exercise, you break down muscle tissue. The body uses protein to break down muscle tissue, which leaves it in a negative protein balance (a catabolic state) after exercise. To keep your on-court intensity high and recovery on point, it’s essential to repair the damaged muscle and to do this, your body needs to be in a positive protein balance (an anabolic state).

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Without a positive protein balance within the body, your body doesn’t have the right type or amount of fuel to repair the damaged muscles… Now we know a positive protein balance is fundamental, how do we achieve it? By eating lots of protein!  

A source of protein needs to be eaten at every single meal. Consistent, regular feedings of protein have been proven to be essential for overall tennis performance and optimal recovery. Good sources of protein include: meat, fish, dairy products, eggs and protein shakes.

Regular protein feedings are essential for other reasons too, for example it helps to keep you fuller for longer, which is very important from a body composition perspective. The harder you train and compete, the more important role your nutrition will play into your tennis performance.

Don’t ever leave your success to chance!

Yours In Health,

Steph

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For more information check out www.foodislifeuk.com or for any questions/personal advice contact Steph by e-mail on foodislifeuk@gmail.com

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How Does the Cold Weather Affect Tennis Performance?

Jon Snow did warn us… winter is here! Being British we have no other expectations for the winter apart from rain and freezing temperatures which means that the majority of us have to brave the zero degree climate during the winter tennis season. But how does playing in freezing conditions affect for our tennis performance?

Let’s talk dehydration….

A 2% fluid deficit has been shown to affect tennis performance by a visible amount, specifically reducing skill and decision making abilities on court.

Although some dehydration is inevitable, it’s important to keep the fluid deficit to a minimum before, during and after tennis practise or a match to avoid any performance drops.

What does this have to do with the cold weather?

In the cold we tend to wrap up warm, which can mean our sweat rate is higher than normal underneath all the layers.

The cold climate blunts our thirst mechanism – when we play tennis our body temperature rises. For the body to stay in a balanced state it needs to cool itself down, and it does this by releasing sweat. The sweat will be a mixture of water and electrolytes (salt). The fluid lost needs to be replaced during exercise to maintain fluid balance and avoid dehydration. With the combination of the cold weather and a blunted thirst mechanism, it’s easy to forget to take on board fluids and therefore become mildly dehydrated.

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So remember when playing tennis in cold temperatures it’s important to monitor your fluid balance, to avoid dehydration you need to replace your fluid losses via sweat by 150%.

There are various techniques that can be used to measure your sweat losses. On average, a tennis player will lose between 1-2.5 litres of sweat per hour. It is recommended that the replacement of fluids is achieved through a mixture of water and electrolytes which can be consumed via sports drinks, coconut water or a mixture of water and salty foods, depending on personal preference.

Don’t let mild dehydration be the deciding factor. Control the controllable!

Yours in Health,

Steph

Former Totally Tennis performance player Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via foodislifeuk@gmail.com via her website www.foodislifeuk.com or visit her social media channels FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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Read more of Steph’s nutrition advice in previous post Is Nutrition The Missing Puzzle Piece to Your Ultimate Tennis Performance