Meet Our Head Of Sport

Meet Our Head Of Sport - Phizz

Phizz has become a favourite among top athletes and our tablets are used by more than 50 pro sports teams across Premier League & Championship Football clubs, Saracens Rugby & South Africa Cricket. 

The expert behind the scenes is our Head of Sport, Yasmin Badiani. Yasmin is a former Premier League physio herself, who now works directly with the medical staff of these world-class teams to develop a plan for their players’ hydration needs. She gave us the scoop on pro-athlete nutrition & hydration as well as some tips on how you to apply these techniques to your own workouts.

What do training and match day nutrition look like for athletes?

Good nutrition has a huge impact on sports performance.  Professional sport teams have nutritionists and chefs on hand to create individual plans for players, tailored for their unique needs including personal requirements, travel agenda, training schedule and match days they have ahead of them. There is no one formula for the perfect athletic diet as needs vary person to person, sport to sport and week to week. These nutritionists look at the full picture for each individual and build meal plans that work for a player’s precise circumstances.

That said, while athlete nutrition does come mostly from food, supplements like protein powders, energy gels and hydration tablets (like Phizz) do play a vital role in giving players the extra edge they need to be at peak performance. These products are carefully chosen for the additional support that they give during intense exercise regimes with high levels of sweat and stress on the body.

Why is hydration important for athletes? What advantage is there to using an electrolyte tablet like Phizz vs. plain water?

The body is made up of around 70% water, so while hydration is important for everyone, it is even more critical for athletes who are losing large volumes of sweat during intense exercise. Just 2-3% loss of body weight through fluid can result in serious physical and mental struggles, and athletes can lose around 6-10% of their body weight when competing.

Dehydration can have huge physiological consequences such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as reduced thermoregulation within the body. It can also cause joint pain, fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps and decreased endurance as a result of the body burning muscle glycogen instead of using fat for fuel. Most seriously, dehydration can result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

 Dehydration doesn’t just affect you physically, but also has a considerable effect on your mental game too. Your brain is 85% water, so even mild dehydration can induce changes in mood, decline in concentration, alertness and motivation, all of which are very important in peak performance with professional athletes.   

These are all reasons why taking in fluid before, during and after exercise is key for all athletes, pro or not. But it’s important to note that you lose more than just water when you sweat - you also lose electrolytes. These electrolytes help the body to absorb the water that you’re drinking rather than allowing it to simply pass through the body. Phizz tablets contain a wide range of these essential electrolytes and actually form a hypotonic electrolyte solution when dissolved in water. This means Phizz harnesses the power of osmosis to drive water absorption in the body.  The carefully measured amounts of sodium and glucose in the formula drive water absorption through the sodium glucose co-transporter. This combined approach has been shown to absorb more water than the isotonic or overly sugary solutions typically used in sports drinks.  

Why do athletes also need a multivitamin?

Health is on everyone’s mind right now, and pro sport teams are no different. With busy travel schedules, immunity is always a key focus and teams need athletes to be consistently available and in peak health for matches. Intense training can also negatively impact your body’s ability to fight infection so using a product such as Phizz that contains a wide range of vitamins including vitamins A, C and E can really support the immune system.

After a workout, a multivitamin supplement is also helpful in recovery. Phizz is formulated with powerful antioxidants that help limit the damage caused by free radicals produced during exercise and assists in recovery post-exercise. Its dose of vitamin C supports maintenance and repair of connective tissue including blood vessels, bones and ligaments, all of which are essential for optimal physical performance. Magnesium and zinc are also important for muscle recovery. 

How can you adapt these tips for someone who isn’t a professional athlete, but does high intensity workouts regularly?

Whether you are a professional athlete or someone who occasionally enjoys a good workout, keeping your body in the right state is vital. This means a good, balanced diet rich with healthy, energy fuelling foods. Stay hydrated by drinking 500-700ml before exercising and continue sipping throughout. Supplements like Phizz can help you make the most of the water you do drink. Monitor the colour of urine, too dark means you may not be drinking enough. Pace yourself and listen to your body- do you need more fluids or food?