With over 300 speakers at this year’s Elite Sports Expo, 8-9 May at ExCeL London, there is a dedicated seminar stream on Maximising Wellbeing and Performance, which features nutrition high on the agenda. A free pass to the event gives full access to the impressive line-up of speakers as well as a chance to network in the large elite sports exhibition as well as co-located events – Elevate (the UK’s largest trade event for physical activity) and COPA for physical therapists.

Highlights of the programme particularly relevant to nutritionists are outlined below:

Injury prevention and post-injury nutrition
Injury can be common place amongst athletes, as such great care will be taken to avoid injury and should injury occur, opportunities to return to sport quickly will be maximised. What is the role of nutrition in injury prevention, and how can nutrition contribute to recovery? Chaired by Dr Glenys Jones, Communications Manager & Project Research Lead at the Association for Nutrition, speakers include Chris Cashin at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Dr Ali Hill at Solent University and Sally Gunnell OBE, Olympic and World Champion.

The evolution of hydration and human performance
Marginal gains make the difference between winning and losing. In this talk, we’ll explore the evolution of hydration and how it impacts the key pillars of recovery; sleep, nutrition, training, immunity and the brain. Speakers include Marie-Louise Farag, Group Head of Nutrition at Cellnutrition and Dr Marc Bubbs, Performance Nutrition Lead at Canada Basketball

Plant power: the rise of veganism and plant-based diets
Veganism has never been more popular with a 350% rise in Britain over the past 10 years. This presentation will look at the evidence regarding the benefits and possible pitfalls of plant-based diets. Does reducing or eliminating meat and animal products from our diet lead to better health and weight management and how easy is it to achieve all of our nutrient requirements from a completely animal-free diet? Along with the general population there has been a steady increase in the number of vegetarian and vegan athletes looking to fuel competitive performance. This session will look at how a non-meat diet might impact training adaptation and gaining a competitive edge. Speakers include: Anne-Marie O’Shea, Head of Nutrition, Future Fit Training and Tilly Spurr, Course Lead – Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, Future Fit Training

Stress, food intolerance and sport performance: overtraining syndrome
Interactions between the digestive system, brain functions and IgG mediated immunity against food antigens is of growing interest. Fatigue, mood disturbances, under performance and gastrointestinal distress are common among athletes. Intense exercise can initiate a stress response activating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes, resulting in increased intestinal permeability followed by specific IgG response against food antigens, leading to food hypersensitivity and the activation of inflammatory responses, negatively impacting on athletic performance. This presentation will be made by Dr Nigel Abraham, Scientific Director, Cambridge Nutritional Sciences.

Intermittent fasting and time restricted feeding: is the timing of when we eat as important as what we eat?
The most common question asked by everyone from amateur gym goers to professional athletes is whether the various forms of fasting such as the 5:2 diet and time-restricted eating are beneficial for health, well-being and performance. A brief outline of the available research in this area, looking at the links between food consumption and our internal body clocks or circadian rhythms. Concludes with practical advice on when fasting maybe beneficial and the pitfalls. This presentation will be made by Tilly Spurr, Course Lead – Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, Future Fit Training

From career changing injury to podium
This session will follow the journey of two women, both elite athletes. The first suffered a career ending injury and battled over a two-year period to achieve an Olympic Silver medal in London 2012 and World Gold in 2013. The second, suffered a near fatal crash and was minutes away from dying, she was in intensive care for over 2 months. She too battled over two years making it back to podium performance funding for the Olympics. The session will go into detail on how physio, medicine, strength & conditioning, physiology, nutrition and psychology all played a key part in both women’s rejuvenation. Speakers include James Moore, Lead for Performance Services at Team GB, British Olympic Association and Fionn MacPartlin, Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach, Intensive Rehabilitation Unit at British Olympic Association.

Fuelling – from people to podiums
Food has the power to reduce the risk of injury and illness, facilitate adaptive responses to training and enhance competition performance. Every time an athlete eats and drinks the biochemistry of their body will change – sometimes subtly and sometimes dramatically. How can we accumulate the effects of those changes to optimise and enhance performance? This presentation will be made by Mike Naylor, Head of Performance Nutrition at English Institute of Sport.

For full details and to register for your free pass see www.elevatearena.com/elite