Clean Greens for Athletes
“For me, either as an athlete or Sports Nutritionist, it is about being able to train 2-4x daily, day after day, and stay healthy at the same time. The hard training schedule can affect our immune system and increase oxidative stress and inflammation, and that is when the setbacks come. This includes not only musculoskeletal injuries but also a decline of cognitive function (which is linked to a higher risk of accidents) and an increased risk of infections (such as pneumonia). Therefore, Clean Greens for me is not about replacing wholefoods, but ensuring my athletes and I get a consistent amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other functional compounds. These micronutrients will assist with muscle recovery, immune system, gut health and, ultimately, athletic performance.”
Tatiana Marinho – BSC Athlete, Nutritionist and Regulatory Affairs Officer
We tend to believe muscle health is all about macronutrients and protein intake, however there is a lot more to it. Higher fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with muscle power and strength in observational studies. The association also appears to be dose-responsive, which means the higher fruit and vegetable consumption, the better muscle performance. Numerous clinical trials have now shown how effective some fruits and vegetables can be at improving muscle health and physical performance.
For example, spinach, other green-leafy vegetables and berries have been shown to reduce markers of oxidative stress and muscle damage, reduce muscle soreness, improve recovery and increase performance. Furthermore, vegetables rich in nitrate, such as beetroot and green vegetables (kale, broccoli etc), are known to be vasodilators, increasing oxygen delivery to the muscles, and improving athletic performance.
Regular exercise is shown to reduce risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and improve wellbeing in many ways. Regular moderate exercise also improves the immune system and reduces the susceptibility to illness compared with an inactive lifestyle. However, long hard sessions of exercise and periods of high intensity training seem to compromise the immune system of athletes and increase the susceptibility to infections, such as colds, flu, and ear and chest infections.
As athletes are constantly pushing their bodies to the limit day after day, their immune system will be compromised. Furthermore, with limited time to eat and a higher energy requirements, athletes can sometimes fail to consume the adequate amount of macro and micronutrients, which can also affect their immune system. Clean Greens is a great lifehack that will ensure a consistent amount of micronutrients, fruits, vegetables and herbs is consumed every day. These micronutrients and superfoods are crucial to maintain a healthy immune system.
Gut health is another aspect of diet that is neglected when it comes to athletic performance. Gut bacteria is responsible for the way in which fibre, carbs, protein and fats are digested and absorbed, and regulates energy. They also influence inflammation, oxidative stress, and neurological function. Therefore, gut bacteria and health have a fundamental role in athletic performance and recovery.
Clean Greens contains a plant-based fibre blend, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and probiotics that will improve gut health, reduce inflammation and therefore, improve athletic performance and recovery.
General health and wellbeing
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables, and their nutrients, is also associated with other health and wellbeing benefits, such as:
- Cognitive function
- Bone health
- Skin, nail and hair health
- Energy production
- Hormone health
- Effective detoxification