Basketball star Stef Collins shares her tips for eating to stay on top athletic form...
Born in England but raised in Italy and the United States, it's no wonder Stef's favourite food indulgences are cheeseburgers and antipasti...
What is your typical daily diet when training for a big event?
A bowl of porridge with chopped apples, milled flaxseed, and cinnamon with a side of two poached eggs.
Grilled chicken, wholewheat pasta with tomatoes, spinach, rocket, and courgette plus a banana with manuka honey and low-fat Greek yogurt.
Grilled salmon with a bowl of couscous, sweet potato, cottage cheese and broccoli.
How do you keep your diet varied and do you ever get bored with eating for your sport?
A good variety of different types of protein and carbohydrates is important. I also eat high and low GI foods, depending on what my body needs during training and competition time. Sometimes it can get boring because I know I need to be eating these foods but I like to add spices or red hot sauce to give my meals an extra kick or often throw in some hummus or pesto to keep the flavours full without adding excessive fat or calories.
What super food/juice/meal helps you get out of bed and motivated on those particularly dreary mornings?
During the cold and dark winter mornings, I sometimes drink a smoothie to get all my greens in one go. I can never go wrong with two poached eggs on a bagel, or a big bowl of porridge with fresh mango and manuka honey. Also, a hot cup of coffee always helps me to get up and go!
What's your trusted snack for an energy boost?
Dried mango, a slice of malt loaf, and if I really need a kick, a sugar-free energy drink.
How do you stay hydrated when training?
I'm always drinking water throughout the day. Before and after training I make sure I have a low-calorie isotonic sports drink to hand too.
When competition season is over what are your favourite food indulgences?
I absolutely love a big juicy cheeseburger, fully dressed with a side of crispy chunky chips and a thick chocolate milkshake. To unwind, I love a glass of red wine and a big antipasti spread with different meats and cheeses.
What would be your top diet and exercise tip for the amateur athlete?
Always look after your body pre and post exercise. What you consume before and after a training session or competition is so important to your body, your performance and your recovery. You will make big gains if you nail this part of your training lifestyle.
Aside from your speciality, what is your favourite sport/exercise?
I really enjoy running and weightlifting along with a game of tennis.
Find out more about the GB basketball teams at www.gbbasketball.com
Uncover more diet secrets from top athletes in our eat like an athlete series.