APC Public Forum on Sport, Nutrition and the Microbiome
Exercise and healthy eating are the most powerful ways in which we can influence our health and the public are very interested and motivated to learn more. With this in mind, the APC hosted a Public Forum aimed at athletes from all sports, those involved in training/coaching sports people and those keen to learn a bit more about how to combine food and exercise to enhance their level of fitness and health. The evening was a great success with 330 people in attendance at the newly revamped Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
The forum was chaired by Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition at Sport Ireland Institute and the speakers included Sharon, APC’s Paul Cotter and Garry Lee, a retired histpathologist and avid cyclist. Paul spoke about APC’s research on the gut microbiomes of athletes. Sharon focused on individual approaches to dealing with requirements for exercise and a healthy lifestyle and nutrition. Garry spoke of his family history of insulin resistance, his life-long battle with his waist-line, his take on the perceived wisdom of weight control and what’s wrong with it, and on the overwhelming importance of habit rather than will-power in all of this.
A lively discussion ensued with a panel of speakers and sports people including Waterford Hurler (and final year medical student), Tom Devine, Irish Basketball player Grainne Dwyer, Clare Hurler (and geneticist), Shane O’Donnell, International Rower (and mechanical engineer and strength & conditioning coach), Mark O’Donovan and Cork Ladies Football player Eimear Scally. Learning to cook, finding the right foods, avoiding added sugar and sticking to natural sources, milk in particular (maybe even chocolate milk) was some of the advice from the athletes. Other topics discussed included when to take probiotics and for how long, learning to balance a busy training schedule and the importance of taking naps.