To be the best in your sport, regardless which discipline, nutrition is key. It is the core of performance and can make the difference between success and failure. As well as fuelling the body, good food can give a psychological boost - it literally fuels your creativity. The impact of taste, smell and texture can give something to look forward to after a cold day on the trails or inspire us to break out of the comfort zone.
So how do you combine clean, environmentally-conscious eating with limited time without breaking the bank? The grassroots start at home. Fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits and herbs are a great basis and need not cost the earth. If meat and fish are on the menu, less is more - better to go high-quality, sustainably sourced, than high quantity. The same applies to fuelling on the road - regardless of whether it's a weekend at your local cragg or an expedition to the Andes. Nutrition is a key success factor for endurance performance - we have to tune into your own personal journey and no one else's. Consider the volume of training, competition rhythm, social demands and sporting environment such as temperature and terrain.
All these factors make your situation unique. As athletes, our energy requirements are higher. Whether climbing a crag, biking 100km or trail running at altitude, your body needs more to keep going. The focus is not only how many calories you consume but where those calories come from. Emphasizing nutrient dense foods such as wholegrain carbs, unsaturated fats such as olive oil and seeds and proteins such as fish, chicken or pulses will ensure you are well fulfilled and recover fast from your sessions. Avoid empty calorie foods such as refined carbohydrates (white flour and sugar-based foods), saturated and trans fats and ensure they only feature occasionally in your diet. If you plan in advance, you can tailor snacks and meals to personal tastes and nutrition requirements, save money and have higher quality food.