In any training program, whether to build muscle or increase endurance, proper nutrition is key to facilitating recovery time, muscle repair, and to maximise personal performance. At the the brand’s flagship centre for wellness in Bali, COMO Shambhala Estate, their panel of wellness experts and fitness specialists offer tailored nutritional programs that facilitate a range of training needs.
In consultation with COMO Hotels & Resorts nutrition consultant, Eve Persak, we outline a general dietary program that highlights specific nutritional considerations to build strength and optimise peak performance. Identifying the key principles to an effective nutritional program, the nutritionist advises to; eat at regular intervals, avoid cravings and recover effectively after training. .
As the first installment to our three-part series with the luxury estate, we suggest meals and recipes for athletes that incorporate elements from the latest research. This includes foods proven to boost lean body mass or adjusting nutrient timing to enhance muscle recovery. In the guide below, we have outlined the key principles of this diet and created sample menus that can be incorporated into your training program.
With athletes hoping to build muscle or increase endurance or strength, protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass.
Whilst animal protein is often the primary choice for athletes looking to maintain mass, there are plant-based alternatives that can achieve the same results. COMO Shambhala espouses ‘‘mindful’ and ‘occasional’ meat consumption for athletes who appreciate a meat-based meal. This includes choosing clean meats, moderating portions, and complimenting the meal with side dishes that support digestion and heart-health.
As the global attitudes towards wellness and health-consciousness have shifted, there has been a rise in the number of individuals embracing a plant-based diet. The Southern Indian Lentil Curry with Pumpkin mentioned below, is an ideal vegetarian meal for an athlete. Though smaller in size than beans, lentils often contain more protein. Healthy plant-based protein sources also black, kidney and pinto beans, almonds, lentils, hemp seeds, spirulina, quinoa, spinach and broccoli. In order to avoid a protein deficiency it is essential to include a variety of high-protein foods in your diet.
Following a high-intensity training regime, periods of high exertion can burn through the body’s fuel store and make athletes highly susceptible to cravings. Athletes can manage these cravings by incorporating the following practices; controlling stress levels, avoiding under-fuelling during training and consuming a balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates in each meal and snack.
A study released in the Nutrition Journal in 2014, revealed that beginning the day with a protein-rich breakfast significantly reduced the ‘sweet and savoury’ post-meal food cravings. Interestingly this study also mapped a higher level the main dopamine metabolite, HVA (homovanillic acid) in those who included more protein in their first meal of the day. As the chemical that regulates motivation, productivity and focus, maintaining optimum levels of dopamine gives the athlete a competitive edge. Whilst high-sugar foods can offer a short-term euphoria, it is important to realise that lapses in diet can lead to a dip in performance levels.
Recovery is a fundamental aspect to training. It supports the body’s capacity to maintain high intensity training and to adapt towards an improved performance. What you choose to consume in the thirty-minute window after training is crucial part of your body’s healing process.
To refuel the body and support the healthy growth of muscle tissue there are a number of fundamentals that should be followed post-workout. It is necessary to replenish the body’s glycogen stores, consume the essential amino acids that help to rebuild muscle and effectively rehydrate.
Rather than eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates, research has shown that by combining carbohydrates with a small portion of protein is effective in stimulating insulin that replenishes glycogen levels. In the period after exercise it is actually beneficial to consume high GI foods and kickstart insulin production. Some of these foods include rice, potatoes, bananas and rice cakes.
COMO Hotels and Resorts are committed to advocating a holistic approach to wellness. From Bhutan to Miami,Their properties draw inspiration from their compelling locations and evolve organically from their cultural surroundings. Cuisine remains a fundamental element of the COMO experience and working with the best experts in the field, they provide clients with tailored programs and menus that support the body from the outside in. Their cookbook, developed by COMO’s Group Executive Chef over a 10-year period, is now available from Amazon. Alternatively, it is available in Singapore at COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Culina and SuperNature.