How to fuel your daily exercise

Duathlete Dan Tate and triathlete Jemima Cooper certainly know a thing or two about ‘eating for energy’

As brand ambassadors for the NINE – the delicious 100%-plant protein seed bars – duathlete Dan Tate and triathlete Jemima Cooper understand the importance of healthy eating to max training and energy.

Dan secured silver at the European Championships 2019 and former professional ballerina Jemima won the Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships in 2019.

LK caught up with them to grab the insider info on the ideal foods to fuel your fitness regime; from energy-boosting brekkies to health-conscious treats…

Hi both! Firstly, why is fuelling your body correctly for daily exercise so important?
Dan: Fuelling correctly pre-exercise ensures you have enough energy to maximise your activity and limit your ability to burn calories. Consuming the right nutrients after your exercise is just as important; helping your body recover, rehydrate and refuel and keeping you feeling good until your next session.

What’s your favourite breakfast?
Jemima: I totally love pancakes! I like to mix them up between sweet and savoury options; for instance, loading them with creamy yoghurt, nuts, nut butter and colourful, seasonal fruits or using buckwheat flour and topping with spinach, seeds and cheese. 
Dan: On a training day, it’s porridge oats with semi-skimmed milk, cashew nuts, tasty sultanas, cranberries, goji berries, sunflower seeds and banana.

And the ideal plateful pre-exercise?
Dan: A chunky smoothie containing banana, Greek yoghurt, cocoa protein and peanut butter. 
Jemima: It’s important to choose a light, quick-release carbohydrate option. One of my favourite mid-afternoon, pre-session pick-me-ups is banana with nut butter and jam on rice cakes – probably with a cappuccino!

Describe your preferred post-exercise food?
Jemima: After training, I focus on getting a good dose of high-quality protein in and a balance of carbohydrates too. I often reach for a milkshake or protein shake made with dairy milk or plant-based milk, lots of fruit and normally a healthy fat like avocado, tahini, peanut butter or a seedy topping.
Dan: I go for a loaded chicken pitta made up of wholemeal pitta bread (lightly toasted), loaded with chicken, spinach, feta cheese and drizzle of salad dressing.

In-between meals, what gives you a welcome boost? 
Dan: NINE bar (either pumpkin and sunflower or berry and chia seed flavour) or a fruit smoothie containing strawberries, blueberries, yoghurt and almond milk.
Jemima: When I train multiple times a day, it is important to keep my energy stores topped up. I am a big fan of snacks and have (at least) one NINE bar every day! My favourites are the original and the coconut and cocoa.

And (we’re feeling really hungry now!), your favourite healthy treat?
Jemima: Does carrot cake count?! I love making homemade carrot cake and tend to make a healthy icing option using 0% Greek yogurt, low-fat cream cheese, a little sweetener and orange juice to taste. I am also a MEGA nut butter fan and can eat melon forever! 
Dan: I do like avocado, boiled eggs and crispbreads. Although carrot and pecan muffins are a real treat for me.

What would be your words of encouragement for LK readers?
Jemima: Simply take each day as it comes. Don’t try to plan too far ahead, but just focus on what you can do each day. Try not to worry about the things you can’t control. For example, right now, as a triathlete, its pretty tough not being able to get into a swimming pool. Instead of feeling down about this, I try to focus on what I CAN do – I can get stronger on the bike and in the run. Also focus on your small wins e.g. a new personal best or a yummy dinner you cooked. We are all in this together and we will all come out the other side stronger in ways we didn’t think we would. For now, stay positive, stay smiling and stay well! 
Dan: During this challenging period, exercise is something that I would encourage anyone to do. Exercise can be a great way to start your day; it will boost your mood, relieve stress and make you feel motivated for the rest of the day. If you can get outside to exercise, it’s a great opportunity to find some new trails and enjoy the scenery around some of our local green areas with wildlife and flowers. If not, exercise right where you are. Ultimately, stay safe and stay positive.

Connect with Dan
Read his blog, follow him on Instagram and Twitter

Connect with Jemima
Read her blog, follow her on Instagram

Want to try NINE bars for yourself? 
NINE bars are available in 10 sensational flavours; each one packed with a unique blend of four nutritious seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and hemp) and a great source of tasty and nutritious all-natural energy.

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