We enjoyed talks from these great and inspiring speakers, find out more about them

Ian Rollo

Principal Scientist, The Gatorade Sports Science Institute

Ian presented drinking to thirst or to guidelines

Summary - Drinking during exercise is a common feature in all sporting arenas, be it in training or competition. There appears to be two divided camps regarding fluid intake advice, one being “drink to thirst” the other “drink to guidelines”. The aim of this talk will be to clarify terminology around hydration and discuss the rationale for both drinking recommendations.  The current evidence supporting each strategy will be presented and case studies discussed in context of the sport and the goals of the individual athlete.

About Ian - Ian is principal scientist and head of GSSI International service. His specific research expertise is in carbohydrate metabolism and the impact of carbohydrate ingestion on endurance running performance. Ian earned his bachelor's degree from Birmingham University in sport and exercise science and master's degree from Loughborough University in exercise physiology. In 2009 he received a PhD from Loughborough University under the supervision of Professor Clyde Williams. In 2005 he worked at the August Krogh Institute, Denmark, assisting in studies on mechanisms of fatigue during high intensity exercise and optimizing nutritional strategies in football. Ian has previously been a consultant in professional soccer and rugby. Dr Rollo is an honorary research fellow at Loughborough University, where he previously led MSc module on Sport and Exercise Nutrition. His current role involves providing nutritional support for International / Professional football clubs such as FC Barcelona, Manchester City and the CBF. Ian also manages long term research projects and is involved in developing novel technologies to support athletic performance. He continues to author publications in peer reviewed journals and deliver invited presentations in the UK and abroad.

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Professor Asker Jeukendrup PhD, FECSS, FACSM, SENr

Director of mysportscience, Performance Manager Nutrition Team NL, Head of Performance Nutrition Team Lotto Jumbo pro cycling team, Loughborough University & Co founder and CEO of CORE Nutrition Planning

Asker presented personalised sports nutrition: the future

What will Asker discuss?

This talk will focus on the importance of personalising sports nutrition. It may be intuitive that every athlete is different and therefore needs different nutrition solutions. However, the practicality of this is not always easy and there are a lot of factors to consider. In this talk I will discuss race nutrition for endurance events and how we can work evidence based but still apply this to an individual and take into account the individual needs and preferences of the athlete. The talk will both be science based (discussing evidence) and practical (discussing recommendations).

About Asker - Professor Asker Jeukendrup is one of the world’s leading sports nutritionists and exercise physiologist who spent most of his career as a professor at the University of Birmingham (UK) (sports sciences). He was the Global Senior Director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and is currently director of his own performance consulting business “Mysportscience”, and co-founder and CEO of a Nutrition Planning software business fuelthecore.com as well as a (visiting) professor at Loughborough University. Asker is also Performance Manager Nutrition for the Dutch Olympic team and Head Performance Nutrition for the Lotto Jumbo Pro cycling team.

In addition to his academic career during which Dr Jeukendrup authored 8 books and over 200 research papers and book chapters, he worked with Olympic and World champions, Tour de France cyclists, Champions league football teams, and other elite athletes but he also worked extensively with recreational athletes.  Regardless of the level, the goals are always to use science to help athletes achieve their goals.

Asker practices what he preaches and is competing in Ironman distance triathlons as well as other endurance events. To date he completed 21 Ironman races including 6 time the Ironman world Championship in Hawaii.

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Alun Williams PhD

Reader in Sport and Exercise Genomics at Manchester Metropolitan University

Alun presented DNA testing for personalised nutrition – revolution or fabrication?

What will this session address? Several companies now offer DNA tests that they claim will help personalise nutrition and exercise training.  Is there a solid foundation for the claims being made?  Or have marketing soundbites gone too far?  This talk will take a critical look at some of the scientific evidence, some of the marketing claims and whether DNA testing can be useful in practice.

About Alun - Alun trained in muscle physiology and nutrition, then quickly adopted genetics as his research focus – specifically, genetics in sport and exercise including personalisation of training, nutrition and injury management.  Alun has published position statements on genetic testing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and the Journal of Sports Sciences that consider both scientific and ethical aspects of applying genetic technology in sport and exercise.  Alun also conducts primary research into the genetics of elite sport performance and training responsiveness, via the RugbyGene, GENESIS and Athlome Consortium research efforts that rely on extensive national and international collaborations.

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Professor Kieran Clarke

Professor of Physiological Biochemistry, University of Oxford

Professor Clarke presented Exogenous Ketones for Performance and Recovery

In 1993, we started research on ketone metabolism for energy for the heart.  Ten years later, in 2003, we were funded to search for a way to improve physical performance and cognitive function in soldiers in battle.  We did this, in collaboration with Oxford’s Department of Chemistry, by inventing a new food group based on ketone metabolism, a ketone ester that we called ΔG®.  Over the past 14 years, ΔG® has been developed to the point at which we are now scaling up production to many tons for sale in the US in a drink for high-performance sports people.  The drink provides energy for muscle from ketones, in addition to carbs and fat.  A single ΔG® ketone drink allowed highly trained cyclists to add up to 400 meters of distance in a 30-minute time trial.  But we are not at the end of the story:  ΔG® may also be good for weight loss and for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.

This presentation will cover the biochemistry of fuel and energy metabolism in muscle and the ways that a ketone supplement or a ketogenic (high fat/low carb diet) may benefit endurance exercise performance and recovery.

About Kieran - Professor Kieran Clarke joined the University of Oxford in 1991.  Prior to her current appointment in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, she was a Group Leader for the National Research Council of Canada (in Biomedical Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy) and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Physiology at Ottawa University in Canada.  She has a BSc (Hons) from Flinders University and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland in Australia.  She conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard University Medical School Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory from 1985 to 1989.

Professor Clarke has over 25 years’ experience in measuring cardiac function and energy metabolism using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy.  She currently heads the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group, whose research is directed towards understanding the metabolic control of gene expression in the diabetic and failing heart, including the use of stem cells to treat the infarcted heart.  She also works on the effects of diet on energy metabolism in heart, brain and skeletal muscle, and thereby on physical performance and cognitive function.  Specifically, her work has led to the development of a fourth food group, a ketone ester called ΔG®, that improves endurance performance and could be used for the management of common metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease.  ΔG® also has topical uses, such as the prevention of signs of sun damage, by providing nutrition to prevent skin cell death.

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Dr. Orla O’Sullivan 

Senior Computational Biologist, Teagasc Food Research Centre

Dr O'Sullivan presented the diet, exercise and gut microbiota paradigm

Summary - The human body is host to a myriad of microbes which infer numerous benefits on its host. These microbes are extremely pliable and almost every aspect of modern lifestyles can alter their profile.  Recently we have demonstrated that athletes have increased diversity (a biomarker for health) compared to controls; conversely patients with inflammatory illness have decreased diversity.

About Orla - Orla O’Sullivan is Computational Biologist in Teagasc Food Research Centre and a faculty member of APC Microbiome Ireland. Orla graduated from UCC with a BSc in Biochemistry and subsequently a PhD in Bioinformatics. As of April 2018, Orla has a H-Index of 41 having published over 70 peer reviewed manuscripts and 2 book chapters resulting in nearly 8000 citations. Her research focuses on elucidating the microbiome from various environments including human gut and lung, rumen and food. Of particular interest to her is the role of exercise and diet, specifically whey protein, on the human gut microbiome both in healthy and diseased cohorts. Orla also has a keen interest in Science communication and sits on the education and outreach committee of APC Microbiome Ireland, on the diet, exercise and gut microbiota paradigm.

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Yvonne McKenzie

Specialist Dietitian in Gastrointestinal Nutrition and IBS, Clinical Lead in IBS for the Gastroenterology Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association & Committee member for the Sports Nutrition Group of the British Dietetic Association

Yvonne presented can a low FODMAP diet manage exercise-associated gut symptoms?

What will this session address -  A diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs) is an evidence based efficacious intervention in the management of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These symptoms can be similar to those experienced by endurance athletes. The aim of this talk is to present the current evidence for its use in sport, and two real case studies in endurance running.

About Yvonne – Yvonne is a clinical dietitian specialising in GI nutrition and IBS in adults, with 20 years of secondary and primary care experience. She works in Oxford and Gloucestershire. She is first author of the BDA’s evidence-based practice guidelines for the dietary management of IBS in adults (2016 and 2012), and also the use of probiotics (2016). For the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence she helped develop quality standards in the diagnosis and management of IBS and place the low FODMAP diet as second-line treatment in the NHS’s IBS management pathway.

Her professional role in sport and exercise nutrition is relatively new. Last year, she successfully completed the PG Certificate in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Leeds Beckett University, the first course of its kind in the UK specifically for healthcare professionals, initiated by Louise Sutton. Quoting a gastroenterologist in a recent letter to a senior sports physician at the EIS, ‘she has now gained quite extensive experience working with a number of my elite sports patients’.

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