In this article, Dineamic Dietitian and Sports Dietitian with the Western Bulldogs, Claire Saundry sits down with Josh Dunkley, number 20 and first year player with the Western Bulldogs, to discuss how nutrition affects his performance on and off the field.
Claire: Do you think nutrition has played a role in helping you get through the first half of the season?
Josh: It certainly has, I think the area which has helped me the best is recovery nutrition. I didn’t understand how important recovery nutrition was to performance when I was playing under 18s footy in Gippsland and I was always sore and tired for the majority of the week after a game.
Working with yourself on an individual, one-to-one basis has really helped, while being provided with post game food and drink has helped my performance and has kept me healthy throughout the first half of the season.
The one on one education has made it much easier to adapt from under 18’s footy. Most of the education provided to us at an under 18 level was in group/presentation form and wasn’t individual and was hard to make changes to my diet and my personal performance.
Claire: Do you alter/change your nutrition intake for different days of the week?
Josh: Absolutely, I base my intake around whether it’s a light, recovery or hard training day. My intake also changes leading into games. For example, on Monday, which is normally a recovery day, my intake is mostly protein and vegetables, such as chicken breast and vegetables for dinner, whereas on a heavy training day I incorporate more carbohydrates and a protein shake before bed, a more balanced approach. For example, brown rice with a beef stir fry.
Claire: Do you have a go to meal the night before a game? What does it include?
Josh: Yes, its usually steak or salmon with sweet potato and veggies/salad. I tend to use a fair bit of salt and pepper for seasoning.
Claire: I know you are quite diligent with your diet, but are there any foods you really miss during the season?
Josh: There isn’t a whole lot that I really miss, I love eating healthy! If I had to say one or two things it would probably be biscuits (choc chips cookies, ANZAC biscuits) and pizza.
Claire: You love to cook, what’s your favourite meal?
Beef and cashew stir fry
Chicken and Prawn Jambalaya similar to a Nasi Goreng
Curries with different meats
I have the AIS cookbooks at home and I use them a lot for cooking.
To read more great articles about nutrition, cooking, sports performance and wellbeing, head to the Dineamic Fresh News Blog here.