Sports Nutrition Advice No 3. Do you need supplements to maximise your sports performance?

Can supplements help you to achieve more in your sports performance?

We finish our three part series with a look at the role of supplements and how they can support your personal best sports performance, thanks to advice from Jordan Morrison Senior Dietitian and Nutritionist at Healthfix.  

To Supplement or Not to Supplement?

  • Need to get the 3 pillars correct first:
    • Sleeping well
    • Ensure your training program is effective for you
    • Eating well consistently: this means that you have adequate fats, proteins and carbohydrates every day and the timing of your nutrient intake is correct (around training sessions)
Supplements are then the ícing on the cake! What do you need to know? The Australian Institute of Sport’s framework is built around determining: 1. is it safe, 2. is it effective and 3. does it need to be used. Surprisingly, not many supplements actually that fall into this category however there are a few main ones that have evidence to support their use. They include:
    • Whey protein
    • Caffeine
    • Creatine monohydrate
    • Beetroot juice
Let’s take a closer look at these options.

Whey Protein

  • Whey protein is a fast-digesting and absorbing protein (more bang for your buck)
  • Examples where protein powder supplementation may be useful:
    • To enhance meals that you struggle to get sufficient protein in (often breakfast!) E.g. mix through yogurt, smoothie or overnight oats to ensure 20-40g protein per meal.
    • Convenience e.g. on the run after an exercise session and can’t get access to a good sit down meal
    • Those wanting to gain weight
    • It would not generally be recommended for those <18 years


  • Works to reduce our perception of fatigue and increase alertness
  • Examples:
    • Ironman athletes would use toward back end of competition to reduce fatigue after several hours of activity
    • Team and agility sports (netball, bball, AFL) having higher alertness and decision making and reduction in fatigue perception can be helpful here too.
    • Resistance or HITT pre-training nutrition
  • However, some people may have adverse reactions to higher doses. There are 3 types of DNA mutations individuals may have that will demonstrate different reactions (for 2/3, perform better and ⅓ actually perform worse! If you are anxious/nervous before an event or generally, or have IBS caffeine can increase these symptoms to negatively effect performance).
  • Recommended dose:
    • Start low and then trial from there
    • ~1mg/kgBW is a good place to start and up to ~3mg/kgBW e.g. 70kg person would have 70mg caffeine = ~3/4-1 shot of coffee (depends on coffee/cafe – this varies even in the same cafe!) If you want to use this for performance as a high level athlete, you might want to look into caffeine powder or strips that are specific.

Creatine Monohydrate

  • Creatine monohydrate is important for fast recovery for those who do explosive movements e.g. in gym doing set of 5 and doing another set of 5, it helps the body restore the energy for the 2nd set of 5. There is also some emerging evidence around it being beneficial for faster recovery from concussion e.g. rugby
  • Food sources are mainly animal and meat products, from in  the cell of the muscle
  • Vegan and vegetarian athletes are recommended to supplement
  • If you do supplement, there can be a little bit of wt gain initially (0.5-1kg) as it is stored with water (water weight!)
  • Recommended dose:
    • 3-5mg every day with a meal e.g. have a scoop with breakfast or dinner
    • Doesn’t have to be in a pre or post workout shake
    • Most important thing is being consistent every single day for it to be effective
    • No CM cycling research so far but they believe it’s safe to have every day for years at a time. You might find in off season you want to have a break from supplements

Beetroot Juice

  • Nitrates in beets help our cardiovascular system through improving the health of the arteries. It helps people exercise in long aerobic durations more efficiently e.g. >80 minutes.
  • You can use natural sources of dietary nitrates e.g. rocket, spinach, beetroot. If you are eating these foods daily/regularly, you don’t necessarily need to supplement.
A final note, that if you are looking for safe supplements look for a tick of approval from a 3rd party banned substance tested company e.g. HASTA & INFORMED SPORT , this will ensure the product has been fully independently tested. We hope you have enjoyed this information. Please free to get in touch with us at with any questions!
nutritious foods

Sports Nutrition Advice No 2: How to recover from your sport or training performance

More Sports Nutrition advice on how to recover from your sport or training performance

Part 2 Post – Exercise Nutrition

Today we look at how best to refuel your body for recovery after your sports or training event with advice from Jordan Morrison, Senior Dietitian and Nutritionist   The four main goals of post exercise fuelling include re-fuel, re-build, re-hydrate and re-vitalize (the 4Rs)  


To replenish carbohydrate stores (especially for high intensity sessions!) opt for good quality carbohydrates such as  whole grain wraps/toast/crackers, oats, sweet potato, corn, brown rice, quinoa, legumes, beans or fruit  


Amino acids in proteins assist in muscle repair and recovery after training which is  important for lean mass maintenance or anabolism goals. Lean proteins, ideally fast-digesting, are your best options so think about milk, high protein yogurt, milk-containing coffee, chicken, lean meat, salmon, tuna, eggs, tofu or whey protein powder. In terms of timing, for most individuals, aim to time a protein-rich meal or snack within 60 minutes of training. How much is enough? Aim for 20-40g of total protein per meal or 0.4-0.5g of protein per kilogram body weight (both for pre-exercise meal and post exercise meal/snack). An example of this would be a 70kg individual would aim for 28-35g protein in both their pre and post exercise meals.  


To replenish fluids we lose through sweat: think  water, water, water!  For high performance athletes using electrolytes combined with  sodium-rich snacks will assist this process. Ideally we would be aiming to replace 125-150% of fluid deficit in a 2-4 hrs post exercise window.  


To support your immune’s function and reduce free radical damage associated with exercise, look for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables.   Needs some meal inspiration? Here are some recommended options, however please note the portions should be individualised:
  • Veggie omelette whole grain toast with a milk-coffee
  • Smoothie (milk, high protein yogurt, oats, fruit, peanut butter)
  • Overnight oats (rolled oats, chia seeds, fruit, high protein yogurt)
  • Chicken/tuna, salad and avocado whole grain wrap/sandwich
  • Salmon fillet or grilled fish with baked potato and salad
  • Smoked salmon, tomato, rocket and cottage cheese on multigrain Vita Weats/Ryvitas
  • Homemade sweet potato, veggie & cottage cheese frittata + salad
Next week we will look at the role of supplements in recovery and training performance. If you would like more advice or support please get in touch

Sports Nutrition advice on how to prepare for your best sports performance

Part 1 Pre- Exercise Nutrition

We get loads of questions from our clients about how to prepare their body for a sports or training event. Today we share some advice from our Senior Dietitian and Nutritionist Jordan Morrison on fuelling your body to achieve for your personal best sports performance.

Goals of Pre-exercise Fuelling

  • Fuel and hydrate body and brain for exercise session ahead
  • Provides carbohydrates in blood and in storage, to be used as body’s ideal energy source
  • Avoid distracting hunger pangs during session, unwanted stomach discomfort / trips to bathroom
  • Maximise training performance + optimise adaptations

When to fuel and when not to fuel

When training first thing in the morning: Prioritise pre-training meal/snack for:
  • High intensity workouts
  • Resistance training
  • Events/games/testing days ie. anything performance based
  • Training requires high concentration/technique/learning (remember your brain needs carbs for fuel too!)
Not required (but if preferred, would still recommend) for:
  • Lower intensity workouts e.g. light run/walk/cycle; yoga; low intensity pilates (note: some types may require fuelling)
When training later in the day:
  • Firstly, try to plan regular meals/snacks around your training
  • Then consider if you need to include an extra snack for pre/post training nutrition

What food protocol can you follow?

While it is always best to individualise an eating plan for you, there are some general recommendations that you can follow are: Main meal
  • 2-4 hours before, to avoid stomach upset
  • Balanced meal (healthy plate model)
  • Complex, high fibre carbohydrate (1/4-1/3 plate)
  • Lean protein (¼ plate)
  • Veggies (1/2 plate
  • Thumb size healthy fats
Pre-training/performance snack
  • 45-60 minutes before
  • Carbohydrate-rich
  • Low in fibre
  • Easy to digest – avoid high fat + high protein foods
  • Familiar foods so don’t try anything new on event / testing day!. Some examples would be: Small bowl cereal/muesli with fruit, milk/yogurt, Crumpets/bagel with sliced banana + honey, Small bowl pasta w tomato based sauce, Fruit smoothie, Raisin toast with jam or Creamed rice w fruit
Examples for very early risers who don’t like to eat before:
  • ½-1 banana
  • 2 Medjool dates
  • Coffee + an orange
  • 150-200ml OJ + water to dilute

Hydration and why it is important 

The main reason we look to ensure adequate hydration is to avoid negative impacts of dehydration, which may include:
  • Physical and mental performance decreases
  • Exercise feels harder (especially in the heat)
  • Impaired skill level and decision making
  • Poor concentration and mental fatigue
  • Increased risk of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
How much is enough? This dependent on  fluid loss, so consider sweating; weather; intensity/duration of exercise; sweat test. The general rules are to sip fluid in the hours leading into exercise rather than having large volumes just before commencing exercise What type is best? For hydration and to minimise dehydration options include water or electrolytes (e.g. hydralyte) which is adequate for the majority of people. For fuel source during exercise you can utilise sports drinks e.g. powerade which is beneficial  for athletes in particular high-duration events. In our next blog we will continue this theme and look at post training and recovery as well as the role of supplements. Stay tuned for more to come and if you need more individualised help, please reach out to our expert team
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The Gut Health Diet Course!

Gut health has become an increasingly popular topic of interest in the health community – and for good reason! Your gut health is more than just how regularly you go to the bathroom… Your gut microbiome has a fascinating role in optimising the health of the entire human body and our dietitians want to help you discover and enhance it. In our brand new Gut Health Diet Course, you can expect to walk away with improved knowledge around dietary fibre, prebiotics, probiotics, resistant starch and so much more. You will not only learn the knowledge and practical tips from our Healthfix dietitians but also an array of delicious recipes specifically chosen to nourish your own microbiome (and that of your friends and family!) Interested in joining us for the journey into your gut health? Here’s the logistics:
  • Course starts Wednesday 13th of October and goes for 7 weeks.
  • Classes are held via zoom on Wednesdays at 12:30PM and Sundays at 5:15PM
  • Classes are recorded and dietitian approved recipes are sent out to you every week!
  • Join our Facebook community with your fellow course participants and support each other through this journey.
  • Classes are designed to keep things engaging, by cooking dietitian approved recipes as a group while learning about all things gut health!
  • This course is included in all Health Club Memberships or you can access the course for $275
  Fill in the form below to sign up and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with you all this October!
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Join us for a brand new nutrition course! Starts the 18th of August

Healthfix would like to invite our community on a tour around the world (from home of course) with food! Our dietitians, Mel & Jordan, have put together a brand new nutrition course focusing on ‘healthifying’ your favourite meals. We believe that food brings communities together. Food is fun, comforting and exciting. But some of our favourite meals, aren’t always treating our bodies with the highest quality of nutrition that we deserve. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them! By learning to ‘healthify’ your meals from our registered dietitians, you can enjoy all of your favourite dishes and cuisines and still stay on track with your health and nutrition goals. Starting Wednesday the 18th of August, our dietitians will be taking you on a cooking adventure around the world which will give you the versatile tools and knowledge to transform your family favourite meals into dietitian approved healthy recipes! If you’re keen to get involved in this nutrition course, or you have any questions, fill in the form below and our team will be in touch!

Weight Loss Does Not Equal Calories In vs Calories Out

    Calories In vs Calories Out Welcome to part 1 of our Weight Loss Does Not Equal Calories In Versus Calories out series where we look to debunk the long held belief that weight loss has always just been about calories in matching calories outs. When we look at low fat, low sugar, low carb diets and more recently the intermittent fasting fad, a lot of this centres around this concept. Dietitians know this is not the case and now we’re looking to educate everyone on what IT IS about over this series.

PART 1 – Biology

It is often touted that weight loss is as simple as eating less and exercising more, and that with sufficient willpower all people can achieve this. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Weight is extremely complicated as it is influenced by a large number of interconnected factors, many beyond an individual’s control. As dietitians, we frequently witness frustration expressed by clients who have tried all sorts of diets with no success, and understand that a holistic weight-neutral approach to nutrition creates the best results. This can start by understanding the role that biology plays in determining a person’s weight.


Genetics play a major role in the size and shape of our body. It is estimated that 40-80% of weight is contributed to by genes, with over 300 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with adiposity. These genes and SNPs influence our bone structure, musculature, metabolism and more. This means that if we had people following the same diet and exercise regimes, their bodies would all look extremely different.

Set point theory refers to all people having a weight their body prefers to be at. When people sit above or below this point, their body will regulate intake and energy expenditure to return to this weight – in other words, via homeostasis. For example, weight loss at a rapid rate increases ghrelin secretion, increasing feelings of hunger to promote weight gain to an individual’s set point. Additionally, if we consume more energy than we require, our body will increase its temperature to increase the metabolic rate. A person’s set point is not fixed, however, and can be increased or decreased. If a person is seeking to lower their set point, we know that slow and sustained weight loss (0.5-1kg/week) allows the body to adapt to the reduced energy intake. This can’t be achieved by crash dieting or dramatically limiting calories, thus this is where an accredited dietitian can assist.


Hormones play an enormous role in appetite, metabolism and fat storage. We know that fat cells produce leptin, a hormone that signals satiety. Individuals with larger bodies produce higher levels of leptin however display resistance to its hunger-regulating mechanism. Rapid weight loss can decrease leptin production, thereby increasing appetite and causing weight gain. Gradual lifestyle changes prevent this rapid shift in hormone production, creating sustainable and effective changes in the long-term. Furthermore, sex hormones greatly impact body fat distribution. Changes to these hormone levels, such as during menopause, can greatly impact one’s body shape without changing their diet or exercise. Insulin is another hormone that greatly impacts one’s carbohydrate and fat metabolism.

Health conditions and medications

Numerous health conditions impact our weight and should be investigated prior to prescribing low-calorie diets. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome impact hormone production associated with weight gain and obesity, which can’t be rectified with diet alone. Mental illness can also greatly impact an individual’s ability to maintain their healthiest weight.

There are a number of medications that may affect a person’s weight. For example, antipsychotics, antidepressants and corticosteroids are associated with weight gain. There are a number of reasons for this, such as by increasing lethargy, decreasing resting metabolic rate and fluid retention. It is beneficial to set goals surrounding cardiometabolic health for these individuals, as their weight may not be in their control whilst on certain medications. Again, an empathetic and weight-neutral approach can assist with increasing motivation to make positive dietary changes.

How a dietitian can help

At Healthfix, our dietitians assess all of these factors and more in the initial consultation. We see weight as complicated and stigmatised, and work with our clients on health goals greater than just the number on the scale. We work with, rather than against, a person’s biology.

This article was written by Ashley Maiden and reviewed by Melissa Juergens (Healthfix’s Dietetics Department). Should you have any follow up questions regarding this information our dietitians will be more than happy to assist you.

Exciting BRAND NEW – Revitalise your Nutrition – Course March 2021

Revitalise your Nutrition Course.

After the success & incredible feedback from our Nutrition Course in November “Fundamentals of Diet and Nutrition” we are pleased to announce our next course hosted by Melissa Juergens will be kicking off on the 3rd of March and we would like to see you come along and be a part of it! Are you confused by the conflicting information about “the best” ways to eat? Are you wanting quick, easy meals that do not cost an arm and a leg? Are you sick and tired of feeling like every meal is an effort? Over a 5-week period you will learn from our expert Dietetics Team, the fundamentals of how to get back on track with our “Revitalise your Nutrition” course.  Simple, easy, and delicious tips and tricks that can help you push your health in the right direction.


When: Starts Wednesday 3rd March.

               Classes will typically be Wednesday lunchtime and Sunday evenings


What: The course will be a mix of educational and practical skills, all designed to help you achieve your diet goals. You will work with our Dietetics Team to learn about nutrition and positive eating habits, learning new recipes to flex your knowledge. We will provide you with simple, nutritious, and delicious recipes for all occasions building off each session as each week passes.
Where: All educational sessions are held at Healthfix and via Zoom. Wednesday cooking sessions will be held face to face at our North Sydney location OR you can join on Zoom. All Sunday sessions will be held via Zoom so you can cook in the comfort of your home.
Cost:  $275 for all 10 classes OR enjoy access to all Healthfix classes for only $325. These extra classes include Pilates, Yoga, Strength and Fitness classes. If you are already a member with us then this course is included as part of your membership! Please contact us now to get in touch and get signed up, places are limited.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>          Terms and Conditions      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Once paid in full the course is non refundable and non transferable to another individual. Access to the Healthfix classes will run from the 3rd March to the 7th April inclusive.  Our Dieticians follow  the Australian Dietary Guidelines.  
New Year health goals | tennis

Kick-starting 2021 | Firing up your New Year health goals 

We’re all glad to bid 2020 a not-so-fond farewell. And while we can’t guarantee a *whole* new start for 2021, it is within our power to set achievable New Year health goals that will see us through the year – and beyond. Many people make the mistake of unrealistic expectations when it comes to their New Year resolutions. Buoyed by the idea of a brand spanking new year, and excited for what’s to come, vague immeasurable promises such as “lose weight”, “get fit” or, worse, “quit <bad habit/food type>” almost guarantees disappointment. This year, set yourself up for success by using the S.M.A.R.T. system. What’s that, exactly? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here’s how you can set achievable goals, and nail them. 


S is for Specific

In order for a goal to be effective, it needs to be specific. As with most things, the devil is in the detail: ask yourself what needs to be accomplished? What steps will need to be taken to achieve it? Who will I need to connect with to help? This is the first step to accomplishing your New Year health goals.  For the team at Healthfix, specifics are the building blocks of any health change. Where you and where you’re going can only ever be measured with the nitty-gritty, whether that’s mobility specific, or weight based, or getting you ready for your next ultramarathon. Thinking through these prompts will help set a highly-specific goal that not only lays out what you’re aiming for, but also gives any necessary context. Which leads us to…


M is for Measurable

“Specific” is a solid start, but it’s missing something – “specifically” (see what we did there?) it’s detail-orientated mate: numbers. Specific can’t be achieved without numbers. And you can’t count numbers without being specific. Numbers can sometimes be scary, but they can also be powerful. We believe it’s crucial to quantify any goal – it makes it that much easier to track progress and know when you’ve reached the finish line. Plus, beating the number makes things fun. 


A is for Achievable

Goals should be empowering — not high pedestals from which you eventually tumble. That’s why this letter of the acronym is dedicated to ensuring that your New Year health goal is achievable. Put simply, this is the point in the process when you (and we) take a reality check. Is the goal you’ve outlined so far actually reasonable? Is it something we could realistically accomplish? Honesty is the backbone of our health club, and we will consider and face any conditions or limitations that might impede your goal, together.


R is for Relevant

Nobody wants to set goals for the sake of setting them. There should be a real benefit attached to actually reaching that target, although in the case of health, there’s always a benefit. That said, this “R” should be relevant to you and your own health journey. Think about why the goal is actually important to you? What is its key benefit? Once we identify how it fits into your core beliefs, we can incorporate into your actual goal so that you and the team have a grasp on the larger picture.


T is for Timely

Goals can’t stretch into infinity – they need a deadline. That’s the important final piece of S.M.A.R.T. goals. It also underscores the other four goal pointers, and is an important piece of measuring success. We like to make sure we’re all on the same page about when a goal can and can’t be reached. Are you expecting to see results immediately? In a month? In five years? We feel strongly about finite therapy – your health journey shouldn’t be endless monthly physio appointments with no light at the end of the tunnel. Health goals, like any goals, should have realistic timelines included in them, so that everyone – you, your therapists, your trainer – stays on track. 
veggie muffins

Veggie Muffins 1 quick and easy NEW recipe!

Veggie Muffins Recipe

This is a signature recipe from Melissa Juergens our Nutrition & Dietetics expert.

This is a simple recipe to help you get more vegetables into your diet and so delicious even your kids will love them!

The recipe also features in our Dietetics course which is a 6 week program run by Melissa.

With a mix of educational and practical skills, it’s all designed to help you achieve your diet goals.

Please get in touch to find out more on our program.


1.5 Zucchini’s

2 Carrots

½ cup sultanas

1/2 Cup milk

1/2 Cup nuts

100ml water

2TBS olive oil

1 TSP baking powder

1.5 Cups plain flour

1 Egg whisked

1 TBS Brown Sugar


Grate the Zucchini & Carrots into a bowl

Mix in all other ingredients and give it a good stir

Scoop out into a muffin tray with muffin liners

Bake at 180 degrees for 20mins

Enjoy your Veggie Muffins!

Healthy Christmas

Healthy Holidays: 12 Tips for a Festive Season Full of Wellness

1. Eat a good breakfast

The easiest way to a healthy Christmas is to eat a good breakfast. Skip breakfast, and you may fill up on sugary snacks midmorning, or overindulge at that office lunch. So make sure you make your first meal of the day your most nutritionally balanced. Opt for sugar-free muesli, Greek yoghurt, smoothies or eggs to get your day off to the best start.  

2. Get out of the house

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved, like a long walk after a particularly heavy meal for example. Exercise doesn’t need to be at a gym – use summer to change up your regular exercise, like a beach run instead of hitting the treadmill.  

3. Prioritise your workouts in the morning

While everyone’s having a lie-in, get your workout over and done with – getting your heart rate up and working your muscles will help metabolise all that excess festive “spirit” later in the day. And can indulge when everyone else remarks, “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…  

4. Celebrate the seasonal flavours

Unlike our northern hemisphere friends, an Australian Christmas falls in the midst of our summer, when a smorgasbord of fresh seasonal produce is available to all. Add to that our love of Asian cuisine, and its inherently lighter dishes, and you have a recipe for a healthy Christmas lunch that doesn’t include potatoes three ways and stuffing.  

5. Swap out the sweets

Instead of turning to the traditional mince pies, chocolates and fudge, opt for fruit skewers, frozen mango bars and icy poles as the treats in which you indulge. Perfect for a hot Australian Christmas Day.  

6. Engage Your Brain

While it’s tempting to zonk out in front of the TV after a big meal, keep your mind active by playing games like Trivial Pursuit or Charades. It’s a great way of getting everyone together, and exercises your grey matter. If you aren’t a ‘game’ person, engage your mind by setting up any new gadgets, such as Playstations, iPads, mobile phones or laptops.  

7. Do something active every day

Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for some kind of fitness training – it doesn’t matter if it’s a brisk walk, yoga, a jog, Pilates or enthusiastic karaoke dancing, as long as it gets your heart rate up and moves those muscles.  

8. Find a workout buddy

If you can find a supportive workout buddy, that’ll help a lot – you can help keep each other on track so you don’t fall off the health wagon in December.  

9. Drink less alcohol, more water

Christmas in an Australian summer means dehydration is a real danger, especially if you’ve been hitting the booze. Reward your backyard game of cricket with a glass of water rather than a cold beer for a more healthy Christmas.  

10. Keep regular sleep patterns

Good health requires consistent, high-quality sleep, but this can sometimes be a challenge because of the new stresses that Christmas-time brings. Add in the hot weather and it can be tricky to get the sleep you need. Try and stay on top of your sleep patterns so you don’t ‘crash and burn’ from fatigue.  

11. Use common sense at the Christmas table

When it comes to eating over this Christmas, eat smart: choose more turkey, salad, vegetables and fruit, and less ham, cake, pudding and chips. Give soft drinks a firm no and keep your portion sizes under control.   

12. Keep stress to a minimum

‘Tis the season to be jolly’ but jolly is the last thing many of us feel with overspending, cooking, cleaning, endless ‘to do’ lists and visitors we could do without. Try to keep a sense of humour and proportion. Is it really the end of the world if the carrots are overcooked or if the table setting isn’t perfect? Remember, Christmas (and Aunt Ethel’s disapproving glare) is just one day out of 365. We can help you have a healthy Christmas and stay fit over this crazy period, and beyond, with a tailored program designed to get you at your best. Contact us today.