Aoife Hearne Registered Dietitian, MSc Sports and Exercise Nutrition
Aoife Hearne is a registered dietitian and a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, the professional body for dietitians in Ireland. Aoife went to the United States on an athletic scholarship where she studied nutrition at The University of Tennessee. She went on to complete a dietetic internship at the world renowned Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. After qualifying as a registered dietitian she worked as a clinical dietitian in Savannah, Georgia at Memorial Health University Medical Centre. Aoife returned home from the United States in 2005 and established Nutrition Solutions in Waterford City. Since then, she has made a signiﬁcant contribution to the South East’s medical infrastructure by providing a professional private nutrition consultancy service. Aoife works closely with local GP’s and also provides nutrition services to schools, industry, sports teams and community groups. Aoife has a strong personal background in sport. She was a member of the national track and ﬁeld team from 1994-2000 and was national senior champion in the 100m in 1997. In 2012 Aoife completed a master’s degree at Coventry University in Sports and Exercise Nutrition. She has worked with many elite athletes from a number of different sports including the Tipperary Senior Hurling panel from 2009 – present. Aoife is a panel member of RTE’s Operation Transformation as the nutrition expert. Aoife was the ﬁrst dietitian that was part of the TV show in the year it won an IFTA.
1. Eat regular meals and snacks. You should aim to have 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. Aim to eat something every 2 – 3 hours. You should never skip meals especially breakfast.
2. Drink ﬂuids regularly throughout the day. During training you will lose ﬂuid through sweating. Unless those ﬂuid losses are replaced by drinking (sports drinks/water), you run the risk of becoming dehydrated which can cause fatigue and impair your performance. Therefore, ﬂuids are critical for recovery both physically and mentally. Fluid needs are different for every athlete, drinking regularly to avoid thirst is important. A general guideline for ﬂuid intake is 1-2L/day + ~ 400-800mls per hr of exercise. Alcohol dehydrates the body and also increases healing time from injuries, therefore it is important to limit or avoid during periods of intense training.
3. Carbohydrate is the most critical fuel source for your training. Carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. During training, particularly as those miles clock up, glycogen stores can become greatly depleted. Therefore it is essential to eat plenty of carbohydrate foods to keep these levels topped up. Remember that fuel stores are limited; therefore, regular replenishment is essential.
Carbohydrate sources: cereal, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, fruit juice, milk, and yogurt.
4. Each meal and snack should be based around carbohydrates. carbohydrates that are high in ﬁbre provide long lasting energy. Consume whole grains breads, pastas, rice and high-ﬁbre cereals.
5. Protein and fat are also important energy sources during training. It is important to choose appropriate sources for long lasting energy and recovery.
Protein sources: lean meat, ﬁsh, poultry, cheese, nuts, eggs
Fat sources (best choices): nuts, seeds, olive oil.
6. Choose lean sources of protein. Protein is important for growth and repair. Choose lean sources such as chicken and lean pork and ﬁsh. It is essential to have regular protein intake throughout the day.
20 – 25g is maximum amount of protein that the body can utilise at any one time. The following is a list of foods that provide 20 – 25g of protein: