Sue's energy requirements vary depending on the training she does each day. Her actual intake was mid-range and she reports having enough energy during her training runs, so is clearly meeting her requirements well.
Sue's carbohydrate intake is also good and she is meeting the additional requirements that her training schedule demands. Her choices of carbohydrate sources were also varied and included some high-fibre options. One improvement could be the inclusion of more lower Glycaemic Index (slow-release carbohydrate) foods such as multi-grain or granary bread, porridge made with oats (rather than instant porridge), muesli and basmati rice. These foods help to sustain energy levels during the day and can enhance the ability of the body to access its fat stores for fuel.
Sue's fat intake is slightly above ideal and should be around 70g per day. Her saturated fat intake provided 10.6% of her energy requirements when it should be below 10%. Foods she ate during the seven-day period which contributed to this included ice cream, chocolate, cheese and cream. However it was Christmas, so Sue really only needs to fine-tune this aspect of her diet.
Sue's protein intake was higher than required (2g/kg maximum). Additional protein - that the body doesn't need - is broken down and used as energy. Sue eats a good mix of protein-rich foods including red meat, chicken and fish. Salmon in particular is an oily fish that is also a good source of Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain and retina (eye) function and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Vitamins and minerals
The analysis highlighted no vitamin deficiencies in Sue's diet.
Fluid and hydration
Sue drinks between 3500 and 4800ml water per day - there is no need for her to drink any more than this. Drinking large quantities of water over short periods can be dangerous at it can dilute your blood sodium levels. However, it is important to drink sports drinks during a marathon both for the sodium (which helps replace sweat losses) and the carbohydrate (which will help maintain energy levels) they contain. The amount you consume should be dictated by your sweat loss - try not to lose more than 2% body weight from fluid losses.
Sue is eating a meal or having a recovery drink within 15 minutes of training which is excellent. Ideally your recovery meal or drink should contain both protein (approx 10g for someone of Sue’s size) and carbohydrate (approx 50g). Sue drinks chocolate milk which is a good example - 300ml of chocolate milk plus a small banana will do the job perfectly!
Example Meal Plan
Breakfast Porridge made with oats, muesli or Special K with semi-skimmed milk and fresh fruit; a glass of fruit juice.
Mid-morning Fruit or fruit smoothie.
Lunch Multi-grain bread, cous cous or rice with chicken, tuna, beans, ham or egg plus salad; yoghurt with dried fruit and a handful of nuts and seeds.
Mid-afternoon Fruit, yoghurt, nuts and seeds or a cereal bar.
Evening Fish, lean red meat or chicken with pasta, noodles, sweet potato or basmati rice, vegetables or salad; frozen yoghurt with fruit.