Fitness-focused Brits are missing out on their goals, and it’s all down to nutrition.

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Fitness-focused Brits are missing out on their goals, and it’s all down to nutrition


Strength and Endurance training is on the increase, with the public more engaged in fitness training than ever

Yet over 80% of Brits who exercise regularly admit they don’t have a clue what foods they should be eating to support their hard work

Experts say that nutrition is as important as exercise to achieve fitness goals

Over 40% of consumers don’t know which foods are and aren’t healthy

While 30% would like to get nutritional information from their personal trainers

Sporting and endurance events are hugely on the increase in the UK, as seen by the rise in numbers taking part in gruelling physical challenges like the Human Race series, Tough Mudder and Spartan. However, while Brits are pushing themselves harder than ever in the gym and on the track, it looks like they’re falling at the first hurdle when it comes to diet and nutrition. The saying goes that abs are made in the kitchen, and the experts agree that good nutrition is a crucial element when it comes to hitting those fitness goals and reaching peak performance.

With so many more people in the UK pushing their fitness levels, it’s more important than ever that alongside a robust training programme, they’re taking appropriate steps in their nutrition, too.

Dr. Crionna Tobin, PhD, RSENr

And so it’s food for thought as new research reveals that there’s a nationwide lack of understanding around eating for fitness, which means lots of our hard work in the gym is put at risk through improper eating.

Optimum Nutrition, who last week announced the launch of the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance course, commissioned in-depth research polling 2,000 adults who exercise regularly and discovered that a staggering 80% don’t understand what foods they should be eating to support a healthy lifestyle. The results are even more shocking when the average respondent works out on average 4 times every week, and nearly 90% of consumers agree that diet is equally as important as exercise.

Furthermore, over a third don’t know how long before exercise they should or shouldn’t be eating in order for it to be beneficial and 38% are also confused about nutrition post-exercise.

Seven in ten believe that consumers in general are puzzled by what makes up a good diet: 44% get their nutritional information from an internet search, which leaves them vulnerable to poor or even dangerous advice, rather than evidenced-based nutrition when it comes to what to eat, or what not to eat. Just 15% seek information from books while less than one in 10 will seek advice from a personal trainer. However, 3 in 10 would like to be able to source nutritional advice from a personal trainer in the future, which is why Optimum Nutrition has created the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course.

Dr. Emilia Thompson, PhD, RNutr

Paul Coppin UK Marketing Director for Optimum Nutrition, said: “It’s surprising to see a large number of consumers so confused about nutrition when it comes to training for sporting goals, with many consumers potentially using unreliable sources for their nutritional information. With more than 30,000 Personal Trainers in the UK, they’re at the frontline of consumer queries on physical advice and we believe that this group of experts are well positioned to offer even more support to their clients through nutrition.

Many PTs qualify through programmes with very little and often outdated nutrition instruction, therefore we’re launching the Optimum Nutrition for Health & Performance course, which aims to arm PTs throughout the UK with the nutritional advice that consumers are looking for and need.”

When it comes to fuelling bodies before a workout, one quarter will get energised with fruit however some consumers admit to indulging in crisps, chocolate and sweets pre-exercise.

Crionna Tobin, Head of Science and Education for Optimum Nutrition who created the course, said: “As a Performance Nutritionist and creator the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance course, I understand the importance of great nutrition to achieving fitness, weight loss and sporting goals. The new course addresses the most common queries and nutritional myths, from the principles of weight loss, demystifying diets, to how to eat to support performance. It’s built on solid evidence along with addressing the practicalities of applying this knowledge in a real World setting. We want to empower PTs and fitness pros to coach their clients on how to change their nutrition habits.”

Almost a tenth of consumers have admitted that they look to influencers on social media for nutritional advice, despite whether relevant qualifications being held is clear. One in seven consumers have purchased a nutrition product after seeing it advertised by an online influencer. However, despite this, just a quarter believe that those with a strong social following are a reliable source for nutritional advice.

72% of consumers believe food advertising can be misleading in regard to how healthy it is – so it’s no surprise there’s so much confusion.

This lack of nutritional knowledge could even be having a detrimental effect with two-fifths recalling times they have felt lightheaded, shaky or dizzy during a workout. Of those who have suffered a mo

ment of unease during exercise, half believe they didn’t eat or drink enough, and nearly a fifth believe they ate the wrong things.

The study also discovered that as little as one fifth are confident that they understand the benefits of protein and carbohydrates in relation to exercise, yet two-fifths wrongly believe taking protein before a workout can boost energy levels.

The Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course launches this week online and is available for PTs and fitness experts who are looking to further their nutritional education to provide a deeper understanding and nutritional advice to clients and consumers. The course provides a certificate of nutrition certified by the Association For Nutrition (AFN), counts toward Continued Personal Development points, costs £99 (£59 for REPs members) and is completed over the course of 10 modules.

John Byers Business Development Manager, Register of Exercise Professionals comments: “REPs members know and understand the importance of healthy nutrition when it comes to their customers’ goals, so staying on top of their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental nutrition principles is essential to helping their customers. This comprehensive, evidenced-based course is great for REPs members who want to improve their knowledge and refresh their understanding in the area. Thank you to the Optimum Nutrition team for pulling it all together.”

For more information on the launch of the Optimum Nutrition For Health & Performance Course head to the website Keep up to date on @optimumnutrition_uk #ONproven

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