Food is fuel. What we put into our bodies necessarily impacts our physical performance: how fast we can run, how responsive our muscles are, the strength of our bones.

Athletes, by definition, must perform at a level beyond that which mere mortals can attain. As such, their nutrition is tailored for increased energy expenditure and a greater need for rest and recovery.

We’ve been thinking about optimal nutrition for athletes, and even if you don’t expect to be on the Olympic podium any time soon, there’s lessons to be learned for all of us.

You can apply many of the following tips to your own health programme, whether you’re interested in strength and conditioning, building stamina, improving recovery times or planning to run a 10k.