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Get the balance right

THE correct balance of carbohydrates is essential — too much can cause weight gain; too little will leave your body tired sooner, affecting performance.

If you exercise or train three to four hours a week, the SNIG recommends four to five grams for every kilogram of body weight per day. For those who train less than 60 to 90 minutes a day, the figure is five to seven grams for every kilogram of body weight a day. If you train for 60 to 90 minutes or more a day, you should eat seven to 10 grams per kilogram.

For a carbohydrate-rich diet, try to include bread, potatoes, rice, pasta or breakfast cereal in each meal. Eat a high carbohydrate snack in between, such as fruit, a wholemeal scone, low-fat yoghurt or a fruit smoothie. Choose more carbohydrates that are high in nutrients (porridge, bread, beans, peas and lentils) and not as much less nutritious carbohydrates (sweets, cakes, fizzy drinks and energy bars).