Earlier this month basketballscotland spoke to Robyn Love about the importance of nutrition for elite athletes. Following on, Caledonia Pride’s Hansine Marshall reveals what a typical day of eating looks like for a WBBL player.
How do you tend to start your day?
“My typical breakfast is Greek yoghurt with fresh berries and/or other soft fruits, like peaches or figs. I will add protein powder, primarily for the flavour it adds, however it does also supply me with added vitamins and minerals that are included in the ingredients. It’s also important as an athlete to make sure the protein powder is Informed Sport certified!
Having a high protein breakfast sets me up for the day; protein from milk (casein) is slow digesting therefore keeps me feeling satiated for longer. The fruit that I include provides me with many vitamins and are a source of carbohydrates too. Depending on my schedule, for instance if I have training first thing, I will add cereal, grains or a banana to the mix.”
What comes next?
“My second meal is usually lunch. I like to have a bowl of salad, either hot or cold, consisting of greens, other fruit or veg, peas or beans and a homemade dip or dressing. For greens i’ll normally include lettuce or spinach for their nutrients, with other fruit such as beetroot or tomatoes providing different vitamins too.
I have a wide variety of peas or beans, such as garden peas, chickpeas, haricot beans, which adds some protein and carbs. The protein in this meal isn’t so important though because my breakfast is high in protein. I normally finish the salad with a homemade dip or dressing, something like hummus.
Depending on how hungry I am or if I have an afternoon session, I will add to this any of the following examples: a slice of artisan bakery bread or two, a bowl of rice – I like plain rice with a little Himalayan pink salt and black pepper, but that’s just a personal choice – or a pot of instant porridge and a banana. This meal is much simpler when we have away games, usually because we have long bus journeys, so I always have a Tupperware of rice, chicken and beetroot with a banana.”
You’re often found training in the afternoon, so what would you eat beforehand?
“My third meal is usually my pre-training fuel. If I have time to sit down and eat, I might have some yogurt mixed with oats, or toast/ bagel with honey or peanut butter. If I don’t have time, due to rushing to training after a class at university, then I will have a banana and/or an energy/cereal bar – I tend to choose brands with minimal, whole food ingredients like ‘deliciously Ella’. This is only a small meal because I don’t want to feel full, but I want to have enough energy that I can train hard.
The foods that I eat here supply me with a mix of nutrients. Fast-release carbohydrates from the honey or the dried fruit ingredient of the energy bar, slow-release carbohydrates from the whole grains in bread and oats and some protein and fats from the yoghurt and peanut butter or nuts in the energy bar.”
After a session, what does a typical dinner consist of?
“I always have steamed vegetables, a source of protein and different sources of carbs. I like spicy foods so usually add some spicy seasonings or sauces. My favourite sources of protein are steamed chicken breast, prawns, poached salmon or grilled tuna – these are either lean meats or supply me with important omega fats.
The sources of carbs I choose varies each day, but I typically choose from steamed new potatoes, a nice bread, rice, legumes (lentils or beans), baked potatoes or sweet potatoes or roast parsnips to name a few.”
Do you stick to set meals or do you build snacks into your diet too?
“Throughout the day I might also have snacks. I’ll have an apple each day, with other go-to choices such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, carrot sticks with hummus, hard boiled eggs, energy bar, protein bar, instant porridge pot.”
Lastly, when you fancy a change, what’s your go to cheat meal?
“My go to cheat meal is probably a trip to a steak house. My favourite restaurant at the moment is the Chop House in Edinburgh!”