Day in the life of a Sport and Exercise Nutrition student

Follow Danielle throughout a typical day in her life as she takes on uni, explains her diet and talks us through her exercise routine.

06:00 – I’ve always been an early bird! Today I was awoken by my alarm clock, not by my toddler who decided to have a lovely lie in. My alarm clock is one of those lamps that imitates a sunrise, gradually increasing in brightness to then play the sound of tweeting birds. I swiftly get changed into my gym clothes and head downstairs to make breakfast.

Today, like most days, I made myself an oat milk latte and porridge with soya milk, seasoned with pumpkin spice, a dash of salt and sweetened by maple syrup. I topped it with a chopped banana, frozen blueberries, peanut butter, a square of dark chocolate and milled flaxseed. I find it fuels my morning perfectly as it’s the perfect combination of slow-release carbohydrates, satiating protein in the milk, oats and peanut butter, my daily dose of omega-3 fats in the flaxseed and micronutrients in the 2 portions of fruit.

07:00 – I take a short drive to the gym. Fuelled by porridge and caffeine, I get in a good hour lower body session to condition and maintain strength in my legs for my long run at the weekend. I’m currently training for the Great Birmingham Half Marathon that I will be running alongside other students and staff from BCU.

08:10 – When I arrive home, I make up a quick protein shake in the blender. In today’s shake I had a scoop of peanut butter and chocolate flavoured pea protein powder blended with a portion of frozen strawberries, all to help my muscles repair and recover after my workout. I then had a shower, bathed my baby and got us both dressed and ready for the day. 

09:30 – After a 30-minute drive, I drop my baby off at my brother’s house for the day. My sister-in-law, amongst other wonderful family members, kindly take her off my hands when I have uni. 

10:30 – When I get to campus I meet my client next to Starbucks and we head on up to the testing lab. Today was our last ever session together as we’ve come to the end of the 12-week case study for my assignment. As a result, we had plenty of testing to do to measure her progress.

I tested her hydration levels, blood cholesterol and hemoglobin levels, took her anthropometric measurements, and finally a yo-yo test to analyse her fitness. We then finished with an end of study consultation to see how she felt the last 12 weeks have gone, and talked about how I can continue to support her going forward. 

11:30 – Next, I had a quick lunch which consisted of a lentil soup with a slice of wholemeal bread to dip in. If I don’t have lunch made for uni, I usually opt for a soup from the supermarket as they’re a quick and easy way to get in a balanced meal, if you pick the right brand. I then grabbed a decaf oat milk latte and made my way to my first lecture of the day.

12:00 – Today’s lecture was delivered by a guest speaker. He covered his impressive career history as a Sports Nutritionist, including how he studied at BCU, and answered the barrage of questions the class had for him at the end. It was interesting to see what led him to the job he’s in today and what life is like in the field.

14:00 – During my free period it was time for a snack and coursework with my friends. I had a pear with a side of cashew nuts. This snack has protein, fats and fibre, all of which help to keep you satiated for longer to keep you going. Any free time I get at the moment is dedicated to my dissertation, so I was mainly searching for articles related to my project on the menopause.

16:00 – Our last lesson today was a practical in the kitchen making high energy snacks. As a Sports Nutritionist, it’s important to experiment with new and exciting recipes to pass onto athletes. Me and my friend Maria made green smoothies and popcorn bars, whilst other students experimented making carbohydrate rich jellies and protein cookies. I love cooking so I always enjoy a kitchen practical.

18:10 – After walking back to my car I drive to pick up my daughter and drive home.

19:15 – My little girl was fast asleep by the time we arrived home. I popped her straight into her cot and sat down for dinner prepared by my lovely husband. Tonight we had a tofu katsu curry with sushi rice and tenderstem broccoli. This dish is a comforting favourite, packed with protein in the tofu and rich in vitamins and minerals from the broccoli and rice.

20:00 – I finally begin to wind down for the evening. I always have a ‘yog-bowl’ to end my day. It’s become a staple in my daily routine as I have quite the sweet tooth, so I always love to end my day the way it started, with something sweet! My go-to is soya Greek yoghurt topped with frozen mixed berries, green grapes and mango, a dash of ginger powder for a fiery kick, 10g of cereal for a bit of crunch, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a square of melted dark chocolate drizzled over the top. The perfect way to finish the day, alongside a vegan multivitamin and an omega 3 capsule. I eat this whilst comfy in bed with a good book to end the night with.

22:00 – Bedtime! I always try and get to sleep before 10:00 to ensure I have a good amount of sleep, especially if my toddler decides to start her day any earlier than 6am!

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