Fuelling Athletes for Enhanced Performance

In the third episode of our new video series, ‘Meet the Expert’; Dr. Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition at Sport Ireland Institute, expresses her opinion on the importance of dairy in the diets of athletes. With a Degree in Clinical Dietetics and a PhD in Nutritional Education, Sharon leads a team of nutritionists who are responsible for the delivery of support services to elite athletes competing for Ireland at World Championship and Olympic Game levels.

With expertise in developing both whey and milk proteins, Glanbia Ireland has become one of the leading suppliers of high-spec ingredients into the sports nutrition industry serving many of Glanbia’s proprietary brands such as Optimum Nutrition and BSN as well as many other reputable international brands in the arena of Health and Wellness.

Sport Institute Ireland believes in the nutritional benefits of dairy. It is involved in a number of research projects that support the development of Ireland’s dairy capability including a study conducted by the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork alongside Teagasc, Ireland’s Agricultural and Food Authority, which has examined gut health in a range of different athletes. The research has proven to be useful in terms of, for example, advising their athletes on maintaining gut health while travelling to compete in countries where sanitation and water quality could pose a risk to their performance. Dairy plays a role in terms of fermented foods having the ability to populate the gut with the bugs that are healthful in the longer term.

In addition, Sharon focuses strongly on the significance of dairy for the recovery of athletes.

It will give us some whey, which is quickly absorbed and it also contains one of the key players in terms of the amino acid, leucine, which is really crucial for repair of muscle and also ensures that we get synthesis of more muscle going forward. We also have another protein element of dairy which is casein. Casein is a much slower burn over a longer period of time. Dairy can also give us the carbohydrate in the form of lactose. The other crucial factor is that it gives us some of those micronutrients such as the salts, electrolytes that are useful in terms of fluid absorption, and calcium.

With the input and support of bodies such as Sport Ireland Institute, Glanbia Ireland’s capability to produce a wide range of top-quality, highly specialised sports nutrition ingredients has been enhanced. We are proud to supply value-adding and sustainable whey and milk protein ingredients globally, tailored to customers’ needs, across a range of applications.

Our ‘Meet the Expert’ series introduces the people within our network who play vital roles in advancing dairy, the natural way. Through experts in milk quality, nutrition, dairy science and grass fed health to name a few; we carefully craft our offering to deliver better-for-you dairy ingredients.

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