When it comes to keeping nutrition on track to empower athletic performance, gymnasts are no exception, with a solid nutrition strategy key to ensuring performance both on and off the mat; in training and competition. 

We’ve caught up with Nutrition X ambassador and Team England Gymnast Courtney Tulloch for the down-low on what a competing gymnast eats in a day…

What does a gymnast eat for breakfast?

Starting the day, I’ll almost always go for porridge with a mix of berries - I love blueberries and raspberries - as well as a drizzle of honey for some added sweetness. The mixture of complex carbohydrates helps to set me up well with the energy I’ll need for training in the day ahead, as well as helping to keep me fuller for longer throughout the morning. 

I’ll always make sure I’m well hydrated from the moment I wake up, so turn to a Nutrition X Hydra+ to keep my hydration levels and electrolytes up. Alongside this, I’ll usually have a coffee and glass of orange juice; a nice mix of caffeine for a little boost of alertness, as well as some added carbs from the orange juice to help me fuel for my morning session.

What does a gymnast have before training?

Before my morning training session, I’ll take two Beta Alanine tablets to help me increase my training capacity during high intensity sessions like ring work, which is pretty demanding on the muscles. I’ll also take a Nutrition X Repair Shot around half an hour before training to support my joints and tendons. These undoubtedly come under fire during gymnastics by the very nature of the sport, so helping to ensure my joints have the collagen support they need to help to keep injury at bay is ideal. 

What does a gymnast eat for lunch?

Come lunchtime, I’ll have worked up quite the appetite! Usually, I’ll keep things quite light on the stomach whilst also ensuring I’m getting a good balance of macros to support my muscles in recovery and give me the energy I need. Typically, something like Gammon, Eggs, Potatoes, Broccoli, Green Tea and a Banana hits the spot; a solid hit of protein and carbohydrates from the gammon, eggs and potatoes, as well as plenty of fruit and veg to support my overall health and immune system.

What snacks does a gymnast eat?

Protein bars are a great on-the-go snack for me, helping me hit my protein targets whilst out and about, whilst also giving my sweet tooth some satisfaction without the worry of too much sugar. Typically, I’ll have a Nutrition X Pro X Protein Bar in the afternoon for a high protein/ low carbohydrate boost; important when I’ve had a heavy training session and my muscles are in need of some extra recovery support.

I’ll also often have a Big Whey whey-protein shake post-workout, again to ensure my protein levels are hit easily throughout the day, which is so important for my recovery. I’ll usually team this with some sort of fruit, like an apple, post-gym; an easy form of healthy carbohydrate that my body can use quickly, kick-starting that recovery process.

What does a gymnast eat for dinner?

For dinner, something like BBQ Chicken, Green Beans, Sweetcorn and Salad hits the spot! I round off the night with a high-protein meal with a few carbohydrates and veggies to ensure my body has the nutrients it needs. I’ll also take Omega-3 and a Daily Multivitamin in the evening to help keep any deficiencies at bay. All of this puts me in a good position to gain a solid night’s sleep - vital for my recovery and ensuring I’m ready to hit training again the next day. 7 hours’ sleep is vital for me, so I’ll prioritise this every night.