February 2021 ambassador
Feb 01, 2021
James Fleming BSc MSc is a Sport and Exercise Nutritionist, registered on the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr). He has experience working with a range of athletes across a number of sports including golfers, rowers and rugby players and also works for the NHS delivering the 'National Diabetes Prevention Programme'. He has also conducted research into the effects of beetroot juice on rowing performance and recommends Beet It Sport to athletes.
How are you coping during lockdown 3.0?
I think like everyone it has certainly been a challenge, there are things that we all miss doing but on the plus side it has also been an opportunity for things that I didn’t get much time to do usually. From catching up on reading the books that have been on the shelf longer than I care to admit to catching up with friends; I think we’ve all done our fair share of Zoom quizzes, but we’ve mixed it up when we can with things like online escape rooms! Overall, for me it is important to remain productive and I’ve found setting myself a to do list with as little 3 tasks to complete each day has been really helpful to keep me focused and sense of achievement when things get done.
How, when, and why did you get involved in sports nutrition?
Secondary school is where I really found my love of sport, playing as many sports as I could such as rugby, golf and badminton. During my A-levels I got the chance to experience the coaching side of sport; supporting athletes and helping the younger athletes train and improve their performance. By the time I finished my A-levels I was almost certain I would train to become a PE teacher so I studied Sport Science at Brunel University in West London. It was here that I developed my interest in Nutrition and for my 3rd year dissertation I examined the effects of beetroot juice, using the Beet It shots, on rowing performance during a 2000m distance with the university rowing team. I continued my studies and completed an MSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Loughborough University before joining the Sport and Exercise Nutrition register (SENr) which is an industry recognised accreditation register.
For me, nutrition is an area that can impact so many aspects of performance as well as our overall health so I love the challenge of working with different athletes across different sports to help them maximise their performance.
What services do you offer at James Fleming Nutrition and how can people find out more?
I work with both individual athletes and teams to help maximise their sporting performance as well as schools looking to educate their students on the importance of a balanced diet. That could be through team presentations and cooking workshops or creating infographics and recipes to help educate athletes, coaches, schools and parents to help form healthy nutrition habits.
For any teams, athletes, schools, parents or coaches looking for support please do contact me. I would be more than happy to help support your goals:
What type of athletes have you worked with?
I work with a range of athletes across a range of sports and age ranges. This includes rugby players, rowers, runners and golfers though I am always open to new sports and challenges. For youth athletes and teams I focus on helping them learn the basics of nutrition, I have lots of worksheets and activities to help reinforce their learning. For adults, it is important to help an athlete fuel for the demand of their training or competition while taking into account other lifestyle factors such as work and family commitments.
Is there a specific area of sports nutrition that interests you the most?
I try to focus on all aspects of an athlete performance. The area that interests me most is recovery – this is an area that a lot of athletes forget about particularly after an event or competition. Consuming a good quality recovery meal containing a good source of protein and carbohydrate combined with plenty of fluid after a training session or competition can help with adaptation and substantially improve an athlete’s recovery time before their next competition or training session.
What is your biggest motivation helping athletes with their nutrition?
Nutrition is an area that can be easily overlooked by an athlete. An athlete spends a lot of time training yet doesn’t always dedicate the same amount of time to their diet. A well balanced diet can influence so many aspects of our health, training and performance. By working with an individual to improve their knowledge and create small, effective nutrition habits leads to huge beneficial impacts in performance.
What is your most favourite meal?
I would have to say Beef Wellington with all the trimmings, I have made it a few times from scratch at home and they have all been fairly successful. Hopefully I will get a chance to try the one at Gordan Ramsey’s restaurant at some point soon.
Describe your perfect weekend.
A perfect weekend would be spending a long weekend travelling to a new country. I love to travel and visit new countries. There are so many I want to visit but COVID has unfortunately put this on hold, in the meantime I am pretty happy with having a chilled Saturday followed by a Sunday roast.
What are your main reasons for recommending Beet It Sport to athletes?
I have been a massive fan of Beet It Sport for years ever since learning about them while at university. I have always recommended the products to some of the runners or endurance-based sports for a number of reasons. Used by so many professional teams and athletes there is a wealth of scientific evidence to support the benefits of Beet It Sport products. A 2018 IOC (International Olympic Committee) consensus stated that supplementation has been shown to improve time to exhaustion during exercise by up to 25%, 1 - 3% in sport specific time trial performance and a 3-5% improvement in team sport performance. The research shows the products can benefit so many athletes.
The Beet-It products provide the optimal dose of dietary nitrate in a convenient form for athletes to take, particularly if they are staying away from home. The shots are easy to transport in their kit bag or for those that like to add it to other foods such as smoothies there is the 250ml concentrated bottle.
The products are also Informed-Sport approved, this means they have been tested for any banned or contaminated substances. This is an absolute must for any supplement as this can massively reduce the chance of an athlete testing positive if they were to be selected for testing by UK Anti Doping. A positive test can lead to a ban from your sport of at least 2 years.
Anything additional you would like to say about Beet It Sport?
For the first few years, it seemed that the products were most effective for endurance sports such as running and cycling but over the past few years there is a wealth of new literature to show performance benefits in other sports and exercise forms - recent research has demonstrated benefits during sprint performance and weight lifting. As with any food, drink or supplement it is vital for an athlete to practice using the shots during training.