Good4U Blog

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Monday, 27 July 2015 By Good4U

Energy Balance

Energy and macronutrient needs, particularly carbohydrate and protein, must be met during training and competition to maintain body mass, recover energy stores and provide adequate protein for tissue growth and repair. Whatever exercise is performed, there will always be some carbohydrate used. The longer or harder the exercise, the greater the demands placed on carbohydrate stores to maintain the desired rate of ATP re-synthesis. Consequently, without adequate muscle glycogen reserves, the ability to perform high levels of work is markedly impaired.

The traditional carb loading method has been replaced with a tapering of training and an increase in carb intake over the 3-5 days prior to the competition. Up your carb intake to about 70% of overall energy intake to help build your glycogen stores by consuming between 7-10g carbohydrate/kg.

Eating a carbohydrate rich meal 3-4 hours prior to exercise increase glycogen stores in the muscles and liver. Eating too close to an event can lead to an upset stomach or can negatively interact with your body’s natural insulin response. Opt for things like:

  • Whole grain bagel with almond/peanut butter with banana and honey
  • Weetabix or muesli with a piece of fruit
  • Porridge oats with milk, blueberries, and yoghurt

Bananas are a popular race day fuel, and for good reason—not only are they portable, but the potassium can also help stave off cramps.

After each lap you should aim to consume carbs at a rate of 1g per kg within 30 minutes for adequate replacement of glycogen stores. The biggest school boy error made is the recovery plan. After each lap a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio is generally a good combination. The carbs help you to refuel and replenish your glycogen stores while the protein repairs the muscles. The following examples provide approximately 50g carbs and 10g protein:

  • 2 x 200g of fruit flavoured yoghurts
  • Bowl of cereal with milk
  • 1 x yoghurt and cereal bar
  • Sandwich with protein filling such as meat, cheese or tuna
  • 350ml smoothie or milk shake


Considerable care should be taken to ensure adequate hydration before, during and after exercise to avoid thermal distress. Hydration strategies should be individualised. Drinks used for exercise lasting more than an hour should include sodium. Isotonic drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes at levels that are acceptable before, during and after most sports. Over-hydrating and under-hydrating your body will inevitably compromise athletic performance. Excess water consumption can cause an overly diluted level of sodium and electrolytes in the blood which increases rick of muscular cramping, stomach discomfort, bloating, and extra urine output.

Balance is likely to be at a fluid intake not much > 500ml/hr in most situations, unless predicted losses are very substantial. Aim to consume a minimum of 2.5L of water per day and limit your intake of dehydrating drinks such as excess caffeine and alcohol.

: Drink a minimum of 2.5 litres per day and limit intake of caffeine and alcohol in the week running up to the event. Consume 5-7ml/kg of fluid such as water or sports drinks at least 4 hours before exercise.

: Consume approx. 150-250ml of fluid every 15-20 minutes during prolonged exercise

: Start rehydration immediately after each lap to ensure fluid intake exceeds losses by 50%.


Careful selection of nutrient dense foods should reduce the risk of micronutrient deficiencies; however the vitamins and minerals commonly found to be of concern in the diets of athletes are vitamins D and B group, calcium, iron and zinc.

Load up on plenty of nutritious foods to ensure you’re immune system is good and strong. Eat plenty of seeds and shoots and fruit and veggies (aim for 7 a day), and other protein rich foods such as lean meats and eggs. Fill your basket with the following ingredients and munch away over the next week.

  • Blueberries
  • Mushrooms
  • Wheatgerm – can be added to yoghurts, cereal or smoothies
  • Yoghurt with added probiotic
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potato
  • Brocco Shoots
Tags: News/Press 
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 By Good4U

Here at Good4U we are always up for a bit of fun. We like the chats, we like to celebrate, we like good vibes, funny people and why not…awesome music festivals! Summer is upon us and there is nothing better to celebrate the sunny days than being surrounded by fantastic music, amazing vibes and incredible people. So we thought…why not give our loyal customers a chance to WIN tickets to the best music festival in the UK?

Yup, we are giving away 2 tickets to Bestival, one of the greenest music festivals in Europe and particularly very well known by some of the people involved in Good4U. Bestival will happen in the Isle of Wight, in the UK from 10th to 13th September, 2015 - so be ready!

To be in with a chance to WIN 2 tickets to Bestival all you have to do is go to our Facebook page and fill out the form!

Tags: News/Press 
Monday, 29 June 2015 By Good4U

If you are into beauty products, make-up, fitness tips and a bit of fun it’s very likely that you know Melanie Murphy already. She’s a genuinely lovely Irish YouTuber from Dublin going from strength to strength with her channel. We think she’s great so we decided to send her a box of our new and nutritious Super Seed Snacks to taste. She loved them and even featured them in this month’s favourites video…such a sweetie! Make sure to give the video below a watch and don’t forget to check out her videos…lots of fun!


Tags: News/Press Product launches 
Thursday, 04 June 2015 By Good4U
We’re having a bit of a #tbt to 2009 when our dietitian Shelly launched the Good4U Smartchef Competition, Ireland’s first all-Ireland secondary school healthy eating competition.
We partnered with the IFHE for Smartchef and Good4U dietitian Shelly developed the criteria for competitions at both junior and senior levels!
The judging panel included Andrew Bradley the Executive Chef of Castle Leslie, Mairin Ui Chomain the President of the Food Writers Guild, Donal Skehan and representatives from Failte Ireland, Good4U and St. Angela’s College Sligo!
We have been on a quest to make our world a healthier, happier place for some time now...joins us by showing us your healthy meals and healthy choices and keeping up with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
#good4u #behealthybehappy #healthylivingmadeeasy

Tags: Promotions/Campaigns 
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 By Good4U
Hey guys! Here are some ideas of the kinds of meals that you can make from The Ultimate Healthy Shopping List! We compiled the list with the help of dietitian Shelly and all of you healthy foodies that commented on our Facebook post!
These are meals that don’t lose on flavour or satisfaction and will help you reach your healthy goals. €50 for 7 days is a very reasonable, so as you can see healthy eating is possible on a budget.
Shelly recommends to sip on a pint of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon and grated ginger before breakfast. She also says
“It can be tricky just cooking for one – especially getting portion sizes right. It’s best if making combo dishes such to plan for 2-3 portions and store in containers for another day or freeze.

This shopping list will actually make it relatively easy to control portions as most proteins will be portioned i.e. eggs/chicken fillet/salmon”
We’ll be sharing recipes from the list in more detail over the coming weeks so keep an eye out for those!
When you print the list and use it to help you do a healthy shop, let us know what meals you cook with the ingredients by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
If you would like to print this meal plan, do so easily by clicking here :)

Tags: Shelly's space 
Friday, 29 May 2015 By Good4U

We had a great response to our shopping list post on Facebook and along with your help and the help of our dietician Shelly we have compiled the ULTIMATE healthy shopping list! If the bank holiday weekend has left your body screaming for a healthy reboot…stick to this list and you’ll feel better inside and out in no time!

We were aiming for a spend of €50 as we think that that is a reasonable amount for breakfast lunch and dinner for SEVEN days! The bill came in at €50.27…not bad!

This list will provide balanced amounts of the important food groups and there is enough variety to mix your meals up.

CLICK HERE to view the ULTIMATE shopping list! You can easily print this off and bring it to the shop or simply view on your phone.

We will be sharing the meal plan soon with lots of ideas on how to use these ingredients. If you have any ideas on what meals you would make from the list let us know!

Finally, if you commented on our shopping list post and you see the item you suggested on the list…keep an eye out on Facebook to see if you have won a hamper full of Good4U goodies!

Happy shopping!

Tags: Shelly's space 
Thursday, 07 May 2015 By Good4U

Pick up a copy of Vogue today and spot our mighty Super Sprouts in their "It's Only Natural Feature! Looks like Sprouts are on-trend for summer salads!

Tags: News/Press 
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 By Good4U
A Position paper released from the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute has revealed some very frightening stats on the future levels of obesity among our lovely island. Let’s work together to change this.
In Ireland approx. 37% of adults are overweight and 24% obese which has a significant impact on health risk especially associated with increased risk of cancer, back pain, heart disease and osteoarthritis. In 2009 the cost of Obesity in Ireland was estimated to be 1.13 billion, with direct costs accounting for 2.7% of the total healthcare costs (Perry IJ, 2012).
Obesity is a lifestyle condition which means that it can be treated and reversed by taking small and sustainable dietary and lifestyle actions. Brian Wansink, Author of Mindless Eating, ‘Why We Eat More Than We Think’ has demonstrated that the average person makes on average well over 200 decisions about food every day. But what we eat is largely influenced by what’s around us, family, friends, food labels, marketing, smells, distractions, habits and the list goes on. Most of the time we know what we should and shouldn’t be eating yet this doesn’t stop us from making the wrong decision.
Michelle our dietitian has given us a few tips to get started on a more mindful eating journey.
1) Let’s start with your BMI. Check out where you fall on the BMI scale. If you’re between 25-30kg/m it’s time to take action to get you back within the healthy range. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can achieve this. Catch it before it gets any worse.
If your BMI is above 30kg/m now is a good time to book in with a Dietitian for some professional advice. Don’t fall into the faddy trap diet. You may lose weight quickly but chances are you’ll gain even quicker and a lot more. Take the healthy approach and keep it off for good. You can check you BMI here.
2) Think about the 80% rule. Most people in Western societies eat until they feel full, whereas we should be aiming to eat until we don’t feel hungry anymore. You’re probably asking “well how do I know when I’m 80% full?” It’s easy peasy – whatever portion size you take right now, reduce it by 20%. This can be done simply by using a smaller plate. Or taking pics of your meals for a week and then reducing it. It’s important not to feel deprived and hungry so make sure that the 20% you reduce is replaced with greens and veggies.
3) See it before you eat it. When preparing your meals put everything on the plate, this will help you to control your portion size. As nice as it is to have foods served in fancy dishes research has shown that this approach leads to people eating 20% more than if presented on a single plate. Same rule applies if you’re having Tapas. We lose control of how much is actually there and will eat until everything is finished. Not the approach to take. Give it 20 minutes and you’ll know all about it.

4) Get up and at it. How good do you feel after exercise? I have yet to meet someone who feels in anyway negative after a mini jog, spin or any other form of exercise for the matter. Not only does it release endorphins and boost our mood, it helps to relieve stress and burn those extra calories. Now think about how you feel when you skip that spin class or jog. Not good. Not good at all. So what do you do instead when those guilty feelings start lingering? You sit in front of the T.V. and snack. It’s these extra calories that are doing the damage. The gym is not for everyone, but that’s ok, find something that you enjoy. Exercise should be fun, not a chore. Start easy and build it up. Don’t set unrealistic goals... And find a buddy, it helps to motivate each other.
5) Out of sight, out of mind, out of belly. This tip really is a simple one. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. Remove all triggers. I have seen this work first hand in my current workplace. Leave the sweets there for those who want it, but frost the glass on the treat cupboards and voila consumption of snacks reduced by 20%. If you come home after a long day in the office and see an open pack of biscuits or chocolates on the table chances are you’ll dig in. Make over eating a hassle, not a habit. It’s unlikely you’ll walk to the shop to buy it and if you do at least you’ll have burned off some of it. Save the treats for the weekends or share with friends when out for dinner.
6) Watch out for Super Mega Deals, 3 for 2, 2 for 1 etc. Bigger pack sizes leader to bigger portions. Fact. You might wonder how you can benefit from these bargains. Easy buy them but transfer the ingredients to smaller storage containers or serving containers. Never eat directly from the pack. Never Ever.
7) For those pickers with big knickers….If you get a craving think of a substitute, something crunchy like fruits and pre-cut vegetables work well. Buy a variety of veg like peppers, carrots, baby corn, mangetout, cucumber and celery and keep them chopped on top shelve of the fridge. Chewing gum can sometimes work for distracting you from snacks but can lead to bloating for those with a sensitive tummy. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas between meals.
8) Focus on your core meals. Do not skip breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you get these meals balanced you’ll have less cravings. Often people think if they don’t eat breakfast they’re free to eat whatever they like throughout the day. Another issue I see quite regularly is people reporting that they eat light meals in the evenings consisting of cheeses, bread and Italian meats. Just because it hasn’t been cooked this does not make it light… Spend time on your meals. Make time…
Our nutrition team at Good4U are running an exciting campaign in June……There’ll be prizes, nutrition tips, nutrition consults, food competitions and more….. Watch this space. Your health, our mission!
Tags: News/Press 
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 By Good4U

Spectacular, breathtaking, beautiful. We are proud to call Sligo home.

This video by Tourism Ireland shows some of the real beauty in Sligo. We are looking forward to see what other gems Yeats Day has to offer!


Tags: News/Press 
Monday, 20 April 2015 By Good4U

Those of you in the UK will be delighted to know that Quinoa Sprout Mix is available on your shelves from TODAY!

Quinoa Sprout Mix is a fresh crunchy mix of quinoa, alfalfa, lentil, sango and radish sprouts. It has a lovely subtle peppery flavour, not too strong, just enough to add a small kick to your favourite meal. It is perfect in salads and sandwiches, as a topping to pasta and meat dishes and as a side to light summer meals.

Quinoa Sprout Mix is packed with protein, fibre and disease fighting antioxidants…and it’s only an amazing 22 calories per 50g punnet! You can get your hands on this mighty superfood in Sainsbury’s across the UK and you will find it on offer for £1 along with Super Sprout Mix for the next four weeks!

Being healthy has never been so easy! :) #behealthybehappy

Click here for recipe ideas


Tags: Product launches Promotions/Campaigns 

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