Improving The Equestrian Athlete’s Energy with 10 Simple Nutritional Tips.
Fighting the fatigue of long cold winters days and a lack of sunlight is a battle for many in the UK. For those of us involved in the equestrian world its no different infact, we get it rougher as we are “out in it” when most people are inside! To be honest I would rather be out there than inside! We cannot ignore nutrition when it comes to our horses, so neither should we when it concerns our own performance. Particularly as this has such an effect on our response times, our muscle balance and risk of injury.
When the digestive organs are not functioning properly they can switch off the abdominal muscles via viscerosomatic reflex’s resulting in a loss of core stability. As you know this is crucial for maintaining posture and seat position regardless of the discipline you compete in. Poor digestive organ function can also lead to constipation which itself can directly cause low back pain as the fecal matter pushes against the lumbar spine and sacrum. Improving digestive organ function is vital in eliminating back pain!! The very nature of the sport already places huge demands on the lower back, why compound it with a poor nutritional plan, you wouldn’t knowingly do it to your horse would you.
How to Improve Digestion
1) Never eat when stressed. So don’t watch TV, ESPECIALLY the news, or read newspapers as they are full of doom and gloom. Also if you eat when stressed it takes longer for the Food Reward Mechanism to kick in. The Food Reward Mechanism lets you know when you’ve eaten enough food. If you eat when stressed it takes longer to kick in, resulting in you eating more and causing more Gastro intestinal (GI) distress.
2) Avoid alcohol as it irritates the GI tract and contributes to leaky gut syndrome setting you up for food intolerances.
3) Avoid drinking coffee and other stimulants before eating as they stimulate the fight or flight response which inhibits digestion.
4) Drink ½ to 1 pint of water with a pinch of organic sea salt or pink Himalayan crystal salt about 15-30 minutes before eating. This will ensure you produce adequate hydrochloric acid and ensure food is digested properly in the stomach.
5) Eat more live (raw) foods such as salads and fruit as they contain enzymes beneficial to digestion.
6) Soak nuts and seeds in water over night, as they contain substances called phyates that inhibited digestive enzymes and stop minerals beings absorbed. They also contain lectins that can increase the permeability of your intestinal barrier resulting in leaky gut and food intolerances.
7) Chew your food thoroughly-drink your food. This ensures that the first part of the digestive process has been done correctly, making the rest of the process easier.
8) Eliminate or at least limit your consumption of dried foods.
9) Soak grains 12-24 hours before cooking them, just like nuts and seeds they contain phyates and lectins, that inhibited digestive enzymes and stop minerals beings absorbed and increase the permeability of your intestinal barrier resulting in leaky gut and food intolerances.
10) Avoid foods that you are sensitive or allergic to. The most common food allergens are yeast, wheat and dairy.
There you have it 10 simple tips to help you keep your nutrition in order of the winter months to keep your energy high and keep your riding performance.
Yours In Health Fitness and Happiness ,
Voted The UK’s Most Innovative Fitness Entrepreneur 2012