On the ball – boosting energy and improving recovery after every work-out
Ryan Pinto shares his secrets for boosting his energy and improving his recovery after a work-out or training session.
If you're Head of Nutrition for two of the most successful rugby teams, then it makes sense that you take your own eating habits seriously. Despite his early starts, Pinto manages to pack a lot into his morning meal, to set him up for his busy day.
"I am generally time-poor in the mornings, so I opt for a smoothie," says Pinto, an Accredited Sports Dietitian, whose busy schedules involves juggling his time between working with the South Sydney Rabbitohs and NSW Waratahs, and consulting privately with High Performance Nutrition Australia.
While his smoothie contains a huge amount of nutrients and goodness, he believes that it's also important to supplement his eating plan with an array of vitamins. "I take vitamin B and two high strength fish oil tablets daily," says Pinto.
His passion for healthy food and ensuring all his nutritional and vitamin needs are covered, extends to his role with his players. Pinto checks each player's daily nutritional intake to make sure they are consuming the right foods, at the right times. "It's also making sure they know which supplements they need to consume before and after each session. This can range significantly due to the different sessions they are required to complete each day, or if they are recovering from an injury."
Pinto says that several nutrients are vital for anybody looking to boost their day-to-day energy and focus. "These include Iron, B12, Zinc and Vitamin D. Being deficient in these may leave you feeling flat and tired," he advises.
If you are training, take a leaf out of the professional athletes' book and include protein in your daily diet, as this helps your body recover from exercise. "Ensuring you consume enough after training and enough throughout the rest of the day is the key," he says. Pinto also recommends including a good quality magnesium and fish oil supplement to reduce inflammation in the body and leave you feeling more relaxed and energised.
On training days, or if they're under the weather, Pinto recommends his players increase their micronutrients intake, with a high strength B-vitamin complex and vitamin C to aid with collagen production and support immune function.
Getting started on your fitness path? Pinto says that above all, it's important to strive for consistency. "I see too many people take on heavy training schedules that they can't sustain and then stop exercising altogether." He recommends exercising three to four times a week, and make sure you're doing a workout you enjoy: "but try to vary the exercise types and intensity so your body continues to adapt."
As Pinto is continually on the move, he ensures that his gym bag is well-stocked with his daily nutritional and physical needs. "My gym bag is pretty simple," he says. "I always have a water bottle – to stay hydrated – I also use a spike ball to help improve my mobility prior to the session. After a workout I finish with a protein shake to help with my recovery and reduce my appetite after exercise."