Beginners Guide to Sports Nutrition

New to the world of Nutrition for Sporting Performance? We want to help demystify what can be quite a complex subject area and help you understand how correct nutrition can really help you be faster, fitter and stronger.

Let's Simplify Things

For anybody new to the world of endurance sport, getting your diet and nutrition right can enhance not only your exercise experience but also your general well-being. However it all can seem quite daunting with so many unknowns.

  • When do you eat?
  • How much do you eat?
  • Why should you eat?

There is no doubt about it, nutrition is a complex area. Sadly there is no text book answer for all these questions as every single one of us is different and have different requirements. OTE want to help though, we want to try simplify the science, cut back on the frills and supply you with the need to know basics about Sports Nutrition.

Nutrition can be simply split into 3 factors that will affecting your sporting performance:
Hydration, Energy & Recovery

But it is important to remember different conditions will affect this further such as:
Climate, Intensity & Duration


This should always be an important element to consider, especially when exercising in warm environments that increase our sweat rates.

Did you know? As little as 2% loss of body weight due to dehydration can result in around 10% loss in performance.

Simple advice:

  • Sip little and often as this helps your body absorb the fluid better than big gulps.
  • Use electrolyte drinks such as OTE Hydro Tabs or OTE Energy Drinks instead of water as these help to replace salts lost through sweating (especially important if you find yourself prone to cramping).
  • Try and stay one step ahead of that feeling of thirst. If you feel thirsty, dehydration has already taken hold.
  • Check your urine colour to monitor your hydration levels. A light straw colour is what to aim for.


Our bodies are very similar to a vehicle; for it to work efficiently it needs to have the right fuel. Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred fuel for endurance exercise. People tend to avoid eating during training because they feel this is where they will gain weight, but eating the right amount during exercise means you can push yourself harder, for longer and ultimately will burn more calories.

Did you know? Our body only has limited stores of carbohydrates, which get used up during exercise. When you exercise for over 90 minutes this is when you need to think about topping up these stores, or you will struggle to carry on exercising at the same intensity.

Simple advice:

  • Maximise your stores before an event or training by having a high carbohydrate meal around 2-3 hours before.
  • Rule of thumb is you need to eat 60g of carbohydrates per hour of exercising. This can change depending on your size and your exercise intensity.
  • Our Anytime Bars are a great introduction to Sports Nutrition. A tasty, 100% natural flapjack bar that will give you the fuel you need during exercise, without feeling too alien. Plus they taste great!


This is one of the most important parts of sports nutrition as it helps your body repair for the next time you exercise but also will help your body improve and adapt.

Did you know? Protein based foods are important for recovery because they supply the building blocks to repair our muscles BUT our body can only actually process around 20-25g of protein at one time. Eating any more than this is not beneficial. So it is better to eat portions of protein little and often throughout the day to aid recovery, say every 3-4 hours.

Simple advice:

  • Within the first 30 minutes of finishing exercise is the best time to eat a snack or meal to kickstart recovery.
  • A recovery snack needs to contain both protein and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are needed to replaces the energy stores you have used up in your muscles. Something like an OTE Recovery Drink ticks both these boxes but a normal food alternatives can be a chicken sandwich or a banana with a large glass of milk.

Do I Need Sports Nutrition Products?

Obviously there was a time before sport nutrition brands existed where people would train and compete as we do today without being able to reach for an energy gel. The benefit of ‘sports foods’ is they are designed and engineered to provide the best quality ingredients in the correct amounts needed by the body.

Yes you can get the same energy from a banana but energy gels and drinks are designed to supply your body with the energy it needs, in the fastest possible way. Similarly how much energy does your banana contain? You can be sure that you are putting 20g of carbohydrates into your body with an OTE Energy Gel, and 40g with an 500ml bottle of OTE Energy Drink. Our system makes it easy to calculate whether you are eating too little or even too much when exercising. This is particularly important during event and competition when you need fast, reliable energy sources. We design every product to be quick and easy to consume whilst exercising but also enjoyable; sports nutrition can taste great too!

Plus the natural ingredients mean that it is kind on the body; you won’t find anything but the best in our OTE products.

Ultimately, whether you use energy products, normal food or a mixture of both, fuelling your body during exercise and recovery is the best way to get the most out of every training session.