Below is an interview I did with AFL footballer and captain of the Collingwood Football club Scott Pendlebury on the importance of nutrition on performance and also what he has found works best for him as an athlete.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH YOUR NUTRITION IN THE OFF-SEASON?
Just try and keep a good balanced nutrition plan that focuses on getting in a good balance of carbs/protein/fat and plenty of vegetables.

DO YOU COUNT MACROS?
Yeh I have been for a while now and it’s helped a lot with my recovery, especially focusing on hitting protein post games for helping me repair my muscles, it’s also a really helpful tool in preseason to help me keep my weight up as we burn so much energy and with macro targets to hit I know exactly what I need to get in to maximise the benefits of the training I’m doing.

WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN SOURCES OF FOOD?
Lean meats, rice, potatoes, vegetables, peanut butter, Greek yoghurt are my staples.

HOW HAVE YOU APPROACHED NUTRITION IN THE PAST COMPARED TO NOW?
I’ve always made pretty good “healthy” choices but my knowledge has improved and my wife is a nutritionist so that has also helped me a lot. I was like a lot of people who thought carbs weren’t great for you but since I’ve understood my requirements in the past 5-6 years I’ve been much better energy wise eating the correct way for my body.

WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE MOST EFFECTIVE?
Macros have been much more effective and much more manageable in terms of living a balanced lifestyle.

PRE-GAME MEAL OF CHOICE?
Chicken mushroom risotto.

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK NUTRITION IS TO AN ATHLETE?
It’s massive, it’s as important as all the training we do, because if you don’t fuel your body to preform properly it won’t and it will break down, same can be said about recovery from games/weights/ training
Nutrition aids all facets of our sporting life.
It’s probably in my eyes the most under valued thing in Australia by most athletes.

A big thank you to Scott for sharing his view on nutrition and it’s importance to athletes.