Following a healthy balanced diet and living an active life isimportant to staying healthy. Understanding the basic principles of a healthydiet can support an active lifestyle. 


Carbohydrates provide a major source of energy for the muscles and brain during exercise and plays a key role in helping to maintain an active lifestyle. 


Eat more unrefined carbohydrates, e.g. whole wheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal, oats,fruit and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates contain more fibre which is an integral part of a healthy diet.

Eat less refined carbohydrates, e.g. white bread, white rice, table sugar, jam, fruit juices and packaged food with added sugars.

Choose moderate to low glycaemic index carbohydrate foods which are more slowly digested by the body 2-3 hours before exercise. Sticking to foods you’re used to and enjoy eating is advised. Porridge, brown toast, pasta or rice based meals are all excellent choices.

Pre-workout meal examples:

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Do not get confused – carbohydrate is the energy source for all of your training and playing needs. Protein is required for the development of your structure, i.e. it is the building block for muscle maintenance, muscle growth and normal bones.

If you are training hard and attempting to increase your muscle mass or just maintain your muscle mass, you may need extra protein to assist in repair, growth and development. Physically active individuals are advised to include 1.2 - 2.0 g of protein per each kg of their body weight in their daily diet. For an average female this is equal to 72 – 120 g of protein per day which can be easily achieved through eating protein-rich foods, such as lean meats, dairy products, pulses and lentils.

Adding extra protein to your exercise recovery strategy is important. The muscles are most receptive to rebuilding straight after a workout session. It is recommended to take on15-25g of high quality protein in early recovery phase (0–2 h after exercise). Why not try adding 15-25g of post-exercise protein in the form of:    

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Aim to include protein in every meal.

Choose low fat protein sources.

Think savoury at breakfast – if you’ve got time, have a healthy cooked breakfast, e.g. grilled lean meats, poached, boiled or scrambled eggs.

Protein snacks – cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, low fat houmous. All proteins are good, but not all are equal – some proteins contain high amounts of hidden fats.

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Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are actually bad for you.In fact, some types of fat are essential and form a very important part of a balanced diet.

Low fat diet may result in you missing out on essential nutrients.So you do need some fat, the question is which ones and how much?


Limit the amount of saturated and trans (fried) fats whenever possible – fried foods, burgers, sausages, pies, butter, cream, cakes etc.

Instead choose foods that contain unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.

Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including at least one portion of oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards.

Avoid deep fried foods and consume stir-fried, dry roasted, baked,grilled or steamed foods as an alternative.Snack on nuts and seeds.Add fresh herbs instead of butter to vegetables to make flavours more interesting.

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