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Creativity and Carbohydrates for Cycling
8 July 2017

Cycling: Nutrition Workshop

8th July 2017, WAIS

Story by Kat Downie, WAIS Swimmer, 2012 Paralympics

I had a fantastic time working with WAIS Dietician, Emily and the young cyclists of WA on Saturday. We worked through various activities and learned about how and why a good diet is integral to both performance and recovery.

The athletes were splendid and showed great enthusiasm surrounding my favourite topic: FOOD! The workshop was split into a foundational knowledge of food, looking at micro and macro nutrients, balancing the food groups, how food effects performance and how food should be used as a recovery method.

Food as a recovery method is super important to athletes, including me. A rich protein snack should be consumed within 30 minutes’ post training to help repair muscles from the micro tears they receive during training. This process will reduce the amount of muscle pain and stiffness the athlete would suffer from if they didn’t consume protein. I would recommend tuna. It is a convenient snack with good packaging and has lots of protein!

My favourite activity was when the athletes had to determine the level of carbs/proteins in certain foods. They were asked to place their hands on their hips if they believed the ingredient was low, shoulders if considered medium or on their head if they thought it was high. This was a great exercise to get the athletes thinking deeper about the nutritional level of the foods. Most were tricked by "low fat” and the various "milk” products, but otherwise they demonstrated a good general understanding. 

My second favourite exercise was towards the end of the workshop. Athletes were separated into groups of 2 or 3 and given a product. They were then tasked with creating a very short spiel that would sell the product to a very busy athlete. This task showcased their newfound knowledge of micro and macro nutrients and the essential diet for an athlete combined with creative thinking. It was an awesome and very amusing exercise.


All in all the workshop was heaps of fun and I even learnt about rice milk! I hope the athletes had as much fun as I did and I would like to thank WAIS for letting us utilise their facilities for the workshop!


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