Overweight and Malnourished


Modern Western society is a world of plenty, but is it possible that malnutrition still exists? Could you be suffering with so-called Type-B malnutrition? The advent of convenience and fast foods has made it easy, a little too easy, to reach daily calorie requirements (2000 calories for women, 2500 calories for men). But calorie-dense food is not the same as nutrient-dense food. The typical Western diet has become very calorie dense, but often lacks the vitamins, minerals and phyto-compounds that make the body work efficiently. A typical example is white bread. In order to make it white, wholemeal flour is … Continue reading

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Calories: The Great Weight Loss Myth

Beyond Nutrition weight loss programme

On the face of it weight loss is a simple enough equation – expend more energy than you consume from food to achieve so called ‘negative energy balance’. Just eat less, exercise more and the resulting energy deficit will force your body to ‘burn’ fat. Cue restrictive diet and endless hours on the elliptical trainer in the gym. Of course eating less and doing some exercise is a great start, but weight control turns out to be a little more complex, which may explain why so many of people find their initial enthusiasm for a weight loss programme quickly tempered … Continue reading

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Genetic Test Reveals Ideal Diet for Weight Control

DNA Diet

The ‘balanced diet’ has always been a bit of a myth. To suggest that one overarching set of nutritional guidelines are suitable for absolutely everyone is missing a very important point. We are all individual. The reality is that some people do very well on a vegetarian diet, some don’t. Some do fantastically well on a protein rich diet, others don’t. It is the same with exercise. Some people lose weight by running long and slow, others don’t. For some high intensity intervals work wonders, others see no difference. Again we are all individual, but what is it that determines … Continue reading

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Five-a-Day: Let’s Stop Nodding and Start Doing


Simply telling the public to stop smoking, eat more fruit, or exercise more is not historically a very successful strategy. Perhaps one of the most recognisable campaigns of the last 20-years is the five-a-day message that has encouraged the UK population to eat fruit and vegetables. In spite of millions being spent on marketing this message (estimated to be £4-million for the last five years), recent figures suggest the number of adults in the UK actually meeting the five-a-day target is only 22% (approx 9.2 million people), and in those with low socio-economic status only 17% (1).  More worryingly still … Continue reading

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The Great Carbohydrate Loading Myth

Carbohydrate loading?

The Myth: All you need to do is have an enormous bowl of pasta the night before the race. The Background: Firstly, carbohydrate loading is only necessary where exercise lasts longer than about 90-minutes, which clearly includes the marathon distance. The purpose of carbohydrate loading is to promote maximum storage of muscle glycogen, the stored fuel that the muscles use during exercise. ‘The wall’ happens when glycogen stores become depleted, so carbohydrate loading is one of the strategies that will help avoid this undesirable outcome – others include doing plenty of long runs in training to train muscles to use … Continue reading

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Mind over Marathon – Sport Psychology Tips for Running 26.2

Marathon psychology

By Guest blogger Zoe Chamberlain from Beyond Sport Psychology. Effective marathon training requires a dedicated, committed and disciplined approach to a programme lasting several months. During this time sacrifices need to be made, physical fatigue increases and there are likely to be highs and lows throughout the training period. Identifying this from the start will help prepare you for the long road ahead and means you can be better equipped mentally to cope with the reality of marathon training and racing. Here are some training and race day mental strategies to help you achieve your marathon goals:   During Training … Continue reading

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Nutrition for Golf Athletes

Nutrition for golf

The words ‘golf’ and ‘nutrition’ are not obvious bedfellows in the eyes of many. When I mention to my sport scientist friends that I work with some elite golfers reactions range from raised eyebrows to full blown disdain. Golf, it seems, is still not regarded as a proper athletic endeavour in some circles. I’m talking about the elite players here, not your average weekend hacker, and anyone that knows about the game knows how hard many of these guys work on becoming better athletes. That means periodised strength and conditioning plans built around their tournament schedule, it means cardiovascular training, … Continue reading

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Vitamin D for Athletes

The sun provides 90% of vitamin D for humans

Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency could be one of the most important factors affecting the health of the nation today – a bit strong? Well, in case you’ve been a sleep for the past five years or so, it turns out that vitamin D plays a critical role in mental health, immunity and inflammation, muscle strength, hormone balance and intestinal health, not just bone health as old textbooks would have us believe. Furthermore, 50% of the UK population are thought to have insufficient levels (1) – i.e. they are not technically deficient, but below optimal levels – and it is … Continue reading

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CoQ10 and Muscle Damage in Athletes


A recent report in the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), available as a nutritional supplement, may help athletes recover more quickly from exercise induced oxidative stress and muscle damage. The headlines are certainly exciting: In a group of 20 ultra-endurance athletes markers for oxidative stress and inflammation were reduced among those who took 5 x 30mg of CoQ10 in the two days prior to and immediately before a 50K race at altitude, compared with the placebo group. Additionally creatinine, a marker of muscle damage, was also lower in the CoQ10 group (Diaz-Castro et al., 2011). Conclusion? … Continue reading

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Unscrambling the Egg Cholesterol Myth


Of the many nutritional misconceptions I come across during my consultations, eggs are by far and away the most commonly misjudged food among my health-conscious clients. Many reason that eggs contain cholesterol, cholesterol causes heart disease, and therefore eggs are bad. However, you may be surprised to learn that the scientific evidence for this link is far from clear (Gray & Griffin, 2009), and that current health guidelines suggest an egg a day for healthy people is perfectly acceptable. I bring this up because I am a big fan of eggs and consider them to be, in moderation, a great … Continue reading

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