Training and the Importance of Fibre - Sports Involve

Sports Involve

Training and the Importance of Fibre

What is fibre?

Fibre, or ‘roughage’ in plant-based ingredients, is the portion of food that cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes. 


These complex carbohydrates play an important role in our diet and nutrition, and can be found in fruits, vegetables, pulses and grains. 



Why do we need more of it?


According to Government guidelines published in 2015, adults over the age of 18 should be consuming at least 30 grams of fibre, as this has shown to increase digestive health and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. 


Not only is a fibrous diet good for digestion, but it is also good for weight management. Fibre has been shown to help prevent overeating, by making you feel and stay fuller for longer.


However, not all fibre is created equally. There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, and we need a healthy balance of both to maintain good gut health, digestion and disease prevention. The two types are soluble and insoluble, and according to MedlinePlus are defined as such: 


  • Soluble fibre attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fibre is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fibre supplement. 


  • Insoluble fibre is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.


How is it good for athletes?

Although protein is seen as the most important nutrient to control, you might be surprised to know the effects that fibre can have on your body. When it comes to fibre for athletes, it’s very important to get the right amount at the right time. Anyone looking to maintain a healthy bowel must monitor their fibre level. However, fibre, as we know, is indigestible, therefore it provides no caloric value. For athletes such as weightlifters who have a strict calorie goal to reach each day, fibre can make you too full so it is important to keep to a healthy level without eating too much.


For boxers, as other athletes a healthy and balanced diet is to be maintained. The only time when fibre is to be avoided towards the end of weight making. According to Brockton Boxers, ‘bloating due to excess wind and fluid retention’ can be caused by ingesting too much fibre. Therefore, it is important to get the right amounts of fibre, but also ingest them at the right time for your training schedule.


Here at Sports Involve, we have collated a list of high fibre recipes to help you get the right nutrients for your diet.


1. One-pan Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash – Tasty

For a high fibre breakfast, this one has it! Feel free to prep your veggies the night before for a quick and easy breakfast in the morning!


2. Beef and Lentil Stew – A Spicy Perspective

Lentils are a fantastic way to boost your fibre intake, and this beef and lentil stew is a delicious way to get them in!


3. Easy Turmeric Chickpea Salad Sandwich – Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen

This vegan sandwich is packed full of fibre! For an extra health boost, choose wholemeal bread instead of white. Yum!


4. One Sheet Pan Garlic Roasted Salmon with Brussel Sprouts – Diethood

Brussel sprouts are not just for Christmas dinners! This tasty dinner is full of healthy nutrients and fibre. If you don’t like salmon, feel free to switch to lean chicken breast.


5. Vegan Italian Lentil Quinoa Meatballs – Stacey Homemaker

Vegan meatballs contain more fibre than normal meatballs, and this recipe from Stacey Homemaker is tasty and nutritious!

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