In any sport, it’s all about balance.

Eating a balanced diet is an important part of any sports training programme. This is essential as consuming enough energy and nutrients from your foods will help you to stay healthy, feel good and perform well in sport.

The foods that make up our diet can be placed into six main groups as follows:

  • Bread, cereals, potatoes, pasta & rice
  • Fruit & vegetables
  • Milk, yogurt & cheese
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans & nuts
  • Reduced fat spreads and oils
  • Foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt

Healthy eating means consuming the right amount of nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals) required by the body to function normally and maintain good health. Your daily diet should be as varied as possible, primarily based on a variety of foods from each of the first four food groups listed above. It is also important to drink enough fluid during the day and when you are playing sport.

There are three times you should focus on in any sport: pre-, during and post-sport. Each has an important role in helping you perform. Click here

As part of a balanced diet, the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid recommends three servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day, increasing to five daily servings for children and teenagers aged 9-18 years. Low fat varieties are encouraged. Examples of one serving include 200ml of milk, 1 carton of yogurt (125ml) or 25g of cheddar-type cheese. So enjoy milk and dairy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle!