Food for Thought, Food for Performance

Marlborough College’s sports scholars took part in an engaging live discussion at the start of the month, with pupils tasked to create their own smoothies.

Sports scholar Henry Cornell (TU Re) looks back on the lessons learned from what proved to be an insightful session.

This session was designed around making smoothies and trying to experiment with different ingredients.  We were told of course that the real benefits of smoothies is the ingredients and we touched on the properties, vitamin and mineral content and surprisingly, the psychological benefit of this drink.

Before the live smoothie making session, we had great fun in making and describing a virtual smoothie in the Zoom breakout rooms.  We all became an item – I was an orange – and we described how the item was representative of our personality and character.  It was fun listening to others reveal some traits about themselves that I never knew but equally I felt I got to know them better.  It was noticeable we were all fruits and it was later pointed out how vegetables, particularly leafy ones, can be a good addition to our drinks.

The group discussion flagged up that we were all more interested in the taste of the drink rather than any benefits so the time spent on these nutritional benefits was very informative.  I learnt a good pre-activity option should have carbohydrates which can come from sources like porridge oats and most vegetables.  The protein smoothies were good post activity or post game and, when consumed immediately, can aid recovery from the session.

Other options to add included peanut butter, seeds and any of your favourite flavouring.  It was stressed it is better to make your own smoothies as you know exactly what is going in and in what quantities.

As we started the live making, it was unbelievable how quick and simple it is to get a drink that is tasty and nutritious and certainly very convenient if you wanted to have it before, during or after an activity. I will certainly experiment now with more spinach and kale because the benefits of a varied diet was stressed

Overall, I think that the main message sent across was how easy and beneficial a smoothie is to make. You can be very creative with your ideas in what goes into the smoothie and you can make a different one everyday. It definitely opened my eyes up to fun and new ways of keeping healthy whilst exercising in this difficult period.

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