The Power of Nutrition - In conversation with Tyla Skye Sullivan
Tyla is a CrossFit Level 2 Coach, specialising in Olympic lifting. She has represented her country, South Africa, competing in international weightlifting competitions. Tyla currently lives in London and is a Coach at Gymnasium.
When did she start thinking about fuelling for performance?
Tyla’s introduction to nutrition was when she started her weightlifting journey back in South Africa. She realised her recovery was holding her back - she felt sore, fatigued, and would hit certain numbers for a week or so and then her body would burn out. She turned her focus to what she was eating.
Tyla spoke to a nutritionist at her gym who kick-started her nutrition journey. Then she discovered RP Strength, a nutrition business, and read their e-book. She used that to create her own calorie and macros targets and organised her meals around training time and recovery. This is called nutrient timings. She started to hit PBs, get stronger and realised how much of a different nutrition made.
What did her nutrition look like?
- Macros were broken down across 5-6 meals throughout the day.
- Protein was split evenly across all meals.
- Focussed on more carbs and less fats closer to training.
- Focussed on fats when meals weren’t close to training.
How has Tyla’s nutrition evolved since?
During lockdown Tyla started tracking what she was eating to understand her diet (using Myfitnesspal). She realised that she was under eating and not fueling her training properly. She upped her calories and started eating more carbs around her training, and that made a big difference. Currently she eats four meals and one snack across the day. Not only does she feel so much better with increased calories, it’s helped her gain muscle.
“One thing I’ve changed about my nutrition that’s really had an impact is adding in carbs in and around my training. It fuels my sessions and helps recovery.”
She is not currently tracking her food but finds it useful to do so every now and then to make sure she’s eating enough to recover. It’s not sustainable to do all the time but good to check-in and stay on top of it.
What are Tyla’s go-to snacks around training?
- Before training - oats with peanut butter; great way to get those carbs in.
- After training - a banana and a protein shake; if I don’t have time to eat a proper meal.
- Before or after training - a protein bar, either peanut butter or white chocolate (PhD or Grenade); favourite high-protein snack which is quick and easy.