DCUB to NBFT: 2011 – 2015

— English below —

Afgelopen zondag speelde het NBFT haar laatste Nederlandse oefenwedstrijd tegen de Red Lights. Mooi zomerweer was het niet, want er stond nog best veel wind. Helaas verloor het NBFT deze pot. Als echte serieuze atleten gingen de leden van het NBFT dinsdag en maandag nog een maal het veld op om de laatste kleine beetjes aan hun spel te perfectioneren. Het team neemt zo’n 14 maanden aan training mee naar Dubai, bovenop 4 jaar aan geschiedenis. We doen een blik terug in de tijd:

2011, WCBU Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italië

November 2010 ontstond het Nederlands beach mixed team uit een serie tryouts in een ijskoude winter. Door middel van crowdfunding wist het team een deel van de reis naar het WK te sponsoren. Wat volgde was een onvergetelijke ervaring. Het team reisde af in een gehuurd busje vanaf Utrecht naar Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italië. Spelers als Michiel, Hilco, Eddy, Galen en Tim van Caubergh waren toen al van de partij. Op het WK deed Nederland het niet onverdienstelijk. In haar allereerste wedstrijd speelde zij tegen groot concurrent Ierland (wiens rivaliteit werd vergroot door twee verliespartijen tegen Ierland op het EK gras eerder dat jaar). Ierland kwam toen op een 7-3 voorsprong, maar Nederland wist de score gelijk te trekken naar 8-8 om uiteindelijk haar eerste wedstrijd met 10-9 te winnen! D-CUB (het zogeheten Dutch Co-ed Ultimate Beach team) won daarna ook tegen Brazilië en Currier Island (Pick-up team voor spelers waarvan de landen niet genoeg gerepresenteerd zijn). Hierna ging het Nederland iets minder af, de volgende 6 potten werden verloren waarvan 3 (Estland, Polen, Italië) slechts met één punt. Hierop volgde een verliezers bracket waarin Nederland zowel van Frankrijk en Rusland wist te winnen voor een elfde plek uit 22 teams.

2013, ECBU Calafell, Spanje

In 2013 was het de bedoeling van dit team om nog sterker, nog beter aan de slag te gaan. De kern van het team bleef gelijk, maar met de toevoeging van enkele sterke spelers zoals Jon, Justine, Linda, Marieke, Rogier werd er een grote belofte gemaakt voor het jaar. Ook dit jaar trainden ze in de barre kou op het strand. In de voorbereidingstoernooien wist Nederland onder andere te winnen van Portugal en Engeland, maar bleef de winst tegen Ierland uit.

Op het EK zelf verloor Nederland achtereenvolgens tegen Turkije, Ierland en Engeland met twee punten verschil. Terwijl in elke wedstrijd beide teams hadden kunnen winnen, trok Nederland toch aan het kortste eind. Nederland wist het toernooi af te sluiten met enkele mooie potten en winstpartijen tegen Polen, Oostenrijk en Zwitserland voor de elfde plek, maar moest toch een bittere pil slikken toen Ierland in de finale tweede werd.

2015WCBU Dubai, Verenigde Arabische Emiraten

Dit jaar heeft D-CUB haar naam omgedoopt tot NBFT, het Nederlands Beach Frisbee Team. Nog meer goede spelers werden aan het team toegevoegd (Joost, Tim, Inger, Yulia, Sanne, Eelke, Lisa, Yvonne). Het team heeft een onwijs succesvolle crowdfunding campagne gehad, serieus getraind en menig internationaal toernooi aangedaan. Met een lang voorbereidingstraject in haar zak zal het NBFT zo al haar kracht bewijzen op het strand. Over meer dan 40 wedstrijden heeft het NBFT tot dusver meer dan driekwart gewonnen, waaronder ook van Ierland. Er werden creatieve manieren bedacht om een jaar lang een strak trainingsregime vol te houden en mensen erbij aanwezig te houden. Het team heeft de afgelopen drie maanden gelet op haar drank- en voedselinname en hard in de sportschool getraind. Het Nederlands Beach Frisbee team is er klaar voor.

Let the games begin!

Morgen verschijnt alweer de laatste post op weg naar Dubai. Daarna zal je verslag gelegd worden vanuit Dubai zelf door onze geliefde BicycleMark (a.k.a. Citizenreporter).

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— English—

Last sunday the NBFT played her last game Dutch practise game against the Red Lights. Because of the wind, the weather bore no resemblance of summer like in Dubai. NBFT lost the game. However, innate to true serious athletes the NBFT members went back to the field on monday and tuesday to perfect the last elements of their game. The team will bring about 14 months of training to Dubai, followed by 4 years of history. We take a brief look back into the past:

2011, WCBU Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy

In the icecold winter of 2010 the Dutch beach mixed team formed inteself out of a series of tryouts. By means of crowdfunding the team knew to cover part of their Worlds. Wat followed was an unbelievable experience. The team travelled in a rented van from Utrecht to Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. Back then players like Michiel, Hilco, Eddy, Galen and Tim van Caubergh were already on the squad.  At Worlds the Netherlands was playing very decently. In her first game she played her big rival Ireland (who’s rivalry was emphasized by two tough losses at the grass Europeans a month earlier). Ireland took a 7-3 lead, but the Dutch tied the score at 8-8 to eventually win her first game 10-9! D-CUB (the Dutch Co-ed Ultimate Beach team) then also won her games against Brazil and Currier Island (international pick-up team). Then the Dutch their performance dropped and the next 6 games were lost, of which 3 by just 1 point (Estonia, Poland, Italy). D-CUB ended up in the losers bracket, but straightened out her game winning against France and Russia to become 11th out of 22.

2013, ECBU Calafell, Spain

In 2013 the intention was to make this team even stronger, to work even better. The core of the team stayed the same, but now strong players were added like Jon, Justine, Linda, Marieke and Rogier. With them the team was a big promise for the year. Also this year the Dutch played all throughout the cold winter and in the prep tournaments the Netherlands knew to win against Portugal and England, but did not win against Ireland.

At Europeans, the Netherlands road faired unfortunate losing against Turkey, Ireland and England all with two points difference. While in each game either team could have won, the Netherlands was the one pulling the shortest straw. The Netherlands knew to close out the tournament succesfully again, winning against Poland, Austria and Switzerland this time and finishing elevent, yet had to skip a beat when Ireland placed itself second in the final.

2015WCBU Dubai, UAE

This year D-CUB changed its name to NBFT, the Dutch Beach Frisbee Team. More good players were added (Joost, Tim, Yulia, Sanne, Eelke, Yvonne and Lisa). The team hosted a great succesfull crowdfunding campaign, trained hard and played at many different international tournaments. With a long preparatory traject the NBFT will prove her strength the most at this championship. In 40 games the NBFT won more than three quarters of her games, under which also against Ireland. Creative ways were thought to be able to endure a tight trainingsregimen  and keep people involved. Also, the past three months they watched their diet and alcohol consumption. The Dutch National Frisbee Team is ready.

Let the games begin!

Tomorrw already the last post will be made from in the prelude for Dubai. Thereafter you wil receive a report from Dubai itself written by our beloved BicycleMark (a.k.a. Citizenreporter).

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NBFT – the schedule

— English below —

Met nog slechts 16 dagen te gaan heeft de organisatie vandaag het speelschema en de seeding bekend gemaakt. Over 5 dagen spelen zullen 70 teams uit 25 landen zo’n 400 wedstrijden bij elkaar spelen. Het schema is uitdagend, want in de eerste drie dagen zal Nederland in de poulefase zo’n 8 wedstrijden moeten spelen. Dit word gevolgd door nog eens drie wedstrijden voor de uiteindelijke plaatsing. Terwijl captain Michiel zich waarschijnlijk al diep in de stof heeft gebogen op hoe het schema in elkaar zit, hieronder volgt de praktische invulling voor jou en wat je moet weten om deze week NBFT goed te kunnen supporten:

– Er zijn 18 teams in de mixed divisie. Daarvan is Nederland 9e geplaatst.

  1. VS (wereldkampioen)
  2. Zweden (Europees Kampioen)
  3. Canada
  4. Ierland (2e van Europa)
  5. Australië
  6. Duitsland (2e van de wereld)
  7. Portugal (4e van de wereld)
  8. Filipijnen
  9. Nederland
  10. Rusland
  11. Japan
  12. Groot-Brittanië
  13. Zwitserland
  14. Tsjechië
  15. Uganda
  16. Slowakije
  17. Verenigde Arabische Emiraten
  18. India

– op basis hiervan is Nederland ingedeeld in een  poule met boven Nederland: Zweden, Canada, Duitsland, Filipijnen, en onder Nederland: Groot-Brittanië, Tsjechië, Uganda, India. Hoewel op de Filipijnen en India na eigenlijk geen van die landen een uitgesproken strand-land is zal hier een sterk staaltje ultimate gespeeld worden. Met namen door de top 6 (incl. Nederland) van deze lijst. Echter zijn al deze teams wel van zulke krachten dat de poule door eenieder gepakt kan worden.

– Mocht Nederland bij de top 4 horen binnen deze poule dan gaat zij door naar de kwartfinale tegen waarschijnlijk VS, Australie, Ierland of Portugal.
– Is dit niet het geval en word Nederland 5e of 6e, dan gaat ze samen met de 5e en 6e van de andere poule nog drie wedstrijden spelen in een poulefase voor de 9e tot 12e plaats.
– Tot slot, mocht Nederland ook niet daarbij zich kunnen plaatsen dan neemt zij haar verliezen of winsten van de onderste drie teams mee, en speelt ze nog drie wedstrijden tegen de onderste drie van de andere poule om de laatste plaatsen onderling te kunnen verdelen.
– Dat gezegd, zijn de eerste dagen dus cruciaal voor de uiteindelijke plaatsing van het NBFT.

Voor jou hebben we het extra makkelijk gemaakt om de wedstrijden te volgen. ‘s Avonds ontvang je van ons een uitgebreide e-mail met een verhaal van de dag; geschreven door Mark Fonseica Rendeiro (ook wel bekend als Bicycle mark) bekend van citizenreporter.org [moet je zeker een keer luisteren] en het Nederlandse mixed team Rusty Bikes. Hij zal tevens ook proberen samen met het NBFT tweets uit te sturen via de NBFT twitter, die je hier in de sidebar kan lezen. Mocht je dat niet voldoende zijn, Nederland speelt het volgende schema:

  • Maandag 9 maart 9.00: Nederland – Groot Brittanië
  • Maandag 9 maart 13.00: Nederland – Uganda (word waarschijnlijk live uitgezonden live.wcbu2015.org)
  • Maandag 9 maart 16.00: Nederland – Zweden
  • Dinsdag 10 maart 10.00: Nederland – Duitsland
  • Dinsdag 10 maart 17.00: Nederland – Tsjechië
  • Woensdag 11 maart 9.00: Nederland – India
  • Woensdag 11 maart 12.00: Nederland – Canada
  • Woensdag 11 maart 15.00: Nederland – Filipijnen

Hieruit kunnen we het volgende concluderen
– De zwaarste wedstrijden zijn aan het begin maar de poule word beslist aan het eind. Zowel Groot-britannië, Canada als Duitsland spelen hun zwaarste wedstrijden op Woensdag en zweden heeft het meest gebalanceerde schema. Omdat Nederland nog op z’n fitst is als ze net beginnen, lijkt mij dat de eerste dagen voor hen veel beter zijn dan voor de rest van de teams in de poule. Echter, alles kan gebeuren, maar een winst tegen Canada op de laatste dag zou wel een mooi resultaat zijn om door te gaan naar de top 8.
– Nederland speelt een live opgenomen wedstrijd, dus kunnen we allemaal meekijken (denk aan het tijdsverschil). Deze word echter wel zwaar, want het zal zijn op ‘t warmst van de dag tegen Uganda, die – hoewel niet heel bekend om hun frisbee – het warme weer natuurlijk maar al te gewend zijn.
– Nederland speelt gelukkig geen wedstrijden om 8 uur al.

Tijd om het Nederlands ultimate eens goed te show-casen!

— English —

With just 16 days to go, the organisation of the WCBU released the schedule and their seedings. In just 5 days 708 teams from 25 countries will play about 400 games. The schedule is challenging, because in the first days alone, the NBFT will play 8 games in the poole-phase. This will be followed by another 3 tough games to determine their final placement. While Captain Mickey is probably already looking into the schedule, here’s a practical summary for you and what you need to know to support NBFT in the best of ways:

– There are 18 teams in the mixed division. Of them, the Netherlands is placed 9th (just below bracket-play).

  1. USA (World Champion)
  2. Sweden (European Champion)
  3. Canada
  4. Ireland (European Runner-up)
  5. Australia
  6. Germany (World runner-up)
  7. Portugal (4th)
  8. Philipines
  9. The Netherlands
  10. Russia
  11. Japan
  12. Great Britain
  13. Switzerland
  14. Czech Republic
  15. Uganda
  16. Slovakia
  17. United Arabic Emirates
  18. India

– Based on these seedings, NBFT is placed in a poole with above the Netherlands: Sweden, Canada, Germany and the Philipines, and below the Netherlands: Great-Britain, Czech republic, Uganda, and India. While the Philipines and India are the only outspoken Beach-countries, this poole will feature some of the best ultimate played at this tournament. Particularly the top 6 (incl. the Netherlands) are not too far apart and each team should have a good shot to take the poole to go into quarters.

– If the Netherlands finishes in the top 4, they can play quarters with possible opponents: USA, Australia, Ireland or Portugal (pending any upsets from the lower seeds).
– If not, and the Netherlands finishes 5th or 6th, then they will play another three games against the other number fives and sixes for places 9 to 12.
– If the Netherlands also doesn’t play that side of the poole, than NBFT will take her wins and losses against the last three teams in the poole and play against the last three teams from the other poole to divide the last places.
– That said, the first days will be crucial for the final placement for the NBFT.

For you, the NBFT, and us, made it extra easy to follow their games. At night you will receive a story of the day written by Mark Fonseca Rendeiro (Also known as Bicyclemark). You may know him from citizenreporter.org [which you should definately check out] and the Dutch mixed team Rusty Bikes. NBFT and Mark will also try to post tweets on their twitter account, which you can see and follow here in the sidebar. If that doesn’t suit your needs, then the Netherlands will play the following scheme:

  • Monday 9 march 9.00: Netherlands – GB
  • Monday 9 march 13.00: Netherlands – Uganda (Live broadcasted at live.wcbu2015.org)
  • Monday 9 march 16.00: Netherlands – Sweden
  • Tuesday 10 march 10.00: Netherlands – Germany
  • Tuesday 10 march 17.00: Netherlands – Czech Republic
  • Wednesday 11 march 9.00: Netherlands – India
  • Wednesday 11 march 12.00: Netherlands – Canada
  • Wednesday 11 march 15.00: Netherlands – Philipines

From this schedule we can conclude the following.
– NBFT’s toughest games will come at the beginning, but will be decided at the end of the poolephase. GB, Canada and Germany will each play their toughest games on Wednesday, and Sweden probably has the most well balanced schedule. Because the Netherlands will play their toughest games the fittest, they can perhaps take away some pressure in the later days. But, anything can happen, Though a win against Canada will go a long way for them if they would like to finish in the top 8.
– the Netherlands plays a broadcasted game, which we can all watch (bearing the time difference). This game is going to be tough though, because it will be around the hottest part of the day, against Uganda, who – despite not known for their Ultimate Frisbee skils – are very accustomed to the hot weather.
– The Netherlands luckily doesn’t play a game at 8 in the morning.

Time to showcase Dutch Ultimate to the world!

 

NT Open training: 15 februari

Afgelopen zondag was een drukke dag voor top-ultimate in Nederland. Zo bevond zich in Utrecht de Pop-uptraining van de jeugd en de U23 tryout, in Stockholm speelde Primavera mee voor de prijzen en het NBFT was naar Portugal uitgevlogen zich klaar te stomen voor het WK. Met het mooie weer was ook het Nederlands Open team weer aan te treffen op het veld; wederom in Amsterdam op de velden van de Eendracht.

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Met de afwezigheid van een viertal topspelers (Tim, Joost, Galen, Eelke) voor het NBFT, stonden er dit weekend toch een goede 22 spelers op het veld. Een opkomst waar menig trainer jaloers op zou worden. Vandaag was de dag voor een nieuwe aanpak, in plaats van veel tijd voor open gesprek werd er ruimte gemaakt voor structuur en hustle’s. Voor water was 2 minuten tijd tussendoor meer dan voldoende en de 4-h durende trainingstijd werd volledig benut. De focus van de training lag ditmaal op ruimtegebruik. Daarin werd er ook ruimte gemaakt voor een potje 10 tegen 10. Volgens twitteraar @BteBrake de “winning strategy for EUC.” Hoewel met spot, een goede oefening was het wel en dat was zeker te merken toen we weer terug gingen naar 7 tegen 7. Daarmee was er weer training met vooruitgang afgerond, met nog ruim 10 trainingen zit de teamsfeer er al goed in te gaan en maakt Oranje een stevige opmars naar Kopenhagen !

 

NBFT update: day 2 in MOW – a nice third place finish!

— English Below —

NBFT on the road
Alsof gister niet zwaar genoeg was, moest het NBFT op zondagochtend aantreden tegen GB mixed, gevolgd door een serie zware wedstrijden op weg naar de titel op MOW.

De eerste wedstrijd was tegen GB mixed. Engeland heeft een uitzonderlijk grote ultimate scene en weet om die reden altijd veel talent op het veld te zetten. Op het EK in 2013 kon het Nederlands beach team hier goed meekomen, maar moest toch een nederlaag opschrijven. Nu, anderhalf jaar later, was het NBFT het team to beat. Het was een close wedstrijd waarbij Nederland steeds een beetje voor kon blijven. Een knappe 11-8 winst tegenover GB zette het NBFT in een driehoekje boven in de poule met Ierland, Engeland en Nederland (Engeland won van Ierland met 1 punt verschil, Ierland won van Nederland met twee punten verschil, en Nederland won van Engeland met 3 punten verschil). Nederland mocht dus bovenaan in de poule eindigen voor een betere seeding in de kwartfinale.

In de kwartfinale moest het NBFT aantreden tegen Codfish Vineyard. Een pick-upteam uit Portugal waarbij nooit echt helemaal duidelijk is wat ze zullen brengen. Ze hadden ditmaal goede spelers meegebracht, maar het NBFT heeft door vaak met drie dames (uit vijf spelers op de lijn) te spelen een slimme keuze gemaakt en daarmee de wedstrijd met 11-9 kunnen winnen. Op naar de halve finale!

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De halve finale was een spannende tegen Portugal. Hoewel klein (100 spelers) Portugal is bij uitstek een beach-land. Zij doen altijd mee voor de prijzen en hun track record spreekt voor zich (Organisator van het eerste BeachWK in 2004, WK 2007: 6e, WK 2011: 4e, EK 2013: 4e). Niet te vergeten, zij spelen met de legendarische Nederlandse Patrick Vandervalk, wiens strandverhalen menig beachspelers harten weet te veroveren. Tactisch gezien speelde Nederland niet zijn beste wedstrijd ditmaal. “Maar,” zegt Justine “we hebben veel geleerd.” Helaas moest Nederland zich hier gewonnen geven, na 8-4 achter te staan wist nederland de score nog vlak voor tijd naar 8-6 toe te trekken, om vervolgens alsnog met 10-6 te verliezen.

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Daardoor kwam Nederland uit tegen Ierland, die aan de andere kant van Duitsland verloren (ook zo’n team met een enorm track record). Revanche voor Nederland. De weersomstandigheden waren nu anders waardoor Nederland meer zijn eigen spel kon spelen. Ierland maakte in het begin van de wedstrijd een aantal foutjes waardoor Nederland al snel voor kwam te staan. Het lukte het NBFT om hun diepe spel te stoppen en ze lieten zich met een sterke focus, snel aanvallend spel en goede defense zich van de beste kant kennen om vervolgens van Ierland te winnen. 10-7 was de eindstand en werd Nederland achter Portugal (eerste), Duitsland (tweede), derde in Lisbon. Geen slecht gemeenschap om in te eindigen, als je bedenkt dat alle drie de landen om Nederland heen (ook Ierland) allemaal reeds eremetaal hebben behaald of vlak naast het podium hebben gestaan. Met nog drie weken te gaan, twee trainingen in Nederland en één in Dubai is Nederland klaar voor Dubai.

Beware of the Dutch!

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— English —

NBFT on the road

As if yesterday wasn’t tough enough, the NBFT had to face GB mixed on sunday morning followed by a string of even tougher games for the MOW-title.

The first game was against GB mixed. GB is a tough competitor as the players come from an extroardinarily huge ultimate pool from which a big pool of talent can usually be found back onto the field. At Europeans in 2013, the Dutch beach team had a tough match against them, but had to face defeat in the end. Now, 1.5 years later, the NBFT was the team to beat. It was a close game in which the Netherlands could stay a head a little bit throughout the game. A nice 11-8 win against GB put the NBFT on top of a three-way tie among Ireland, England and the Netherlands (GB beat Ireland by 1, Ireland beat the Netherlands by 2, the Netherlands beat GB by 3). The Netherlands thus could end at the top of the poole with a better seeding for quarters.

Yet in the quarters, NBFT had to face Codfish Vineyard. A pick-up team from Portugal from which you never quite know what they are going to bring. This time they brought good players, but the NBFT made a wise choice in playing with three ladies, more so than with three man (on a line of 5 players). This proved succesful for them, making them get a way with an 11-9 victory. On to semis!

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In semis, NBFT had to face the home team: Portugal. Despite being small (100 players), Portugal proves very strong on teh beach. They are always in for the hardware and their track records speaks for itself (they organized the first World beach championship in 2004, placed 6th in 2007 on the World championship, 4th in 2011 on the world championship, and 4th in 2013 at the european championship). Not to mention, they carry with them always the legendary Dutch player Patrick Vandervalk. Tactically, the Netherlands did not play their best game this time. “But” as Justine says “we’ve learned alot.” Though, the Netherlands had to bend the knees on this one, after being down 8-4, the Netherlands knew to pull back the score towards 8-6, but this proved not enough as they eventually lost 10-6.

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This set them up for their final game against Ireland again. They lost against Germany in the other semi (another one of those teams with an impressive track record). Revenge for the Dutch! The weather was different this time, making the Netherlands play their own game. Ireland made some mistakes in the beginning of the game on which the Dutch capitalized and scored their own points. NBFT was able to stop Irelands famous deep game and with strong focus, strong and quick offensive game, good defense they let themselves be known to the Irish. A 10-7 win over Ireland. The Netherlands ended third behind Portugal (1st), Germany (2nd) and ahead of Ireland (4th). Impressive, considering all those three countries have either have medalled in the big championships or have at least been next to the podium. This is a good start for the WCBU in Dubai in three weeks. With another two trainings in the Netherlands, and one more in Dubai. The Dutch are ready!

 

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What we should eat: Nutrition for Ultimate players

Written by Inger Janssen (Dutch National Beach Mixed team; NBFT)

Inger - NBFT player & nutritionist.

Inger – NBFT player & nutritionist.

Every now and then, when teammates hear that I am graduated as a nutritionist, I get asked for advice: “What should I eat?”

Truth is, I am not a dietician, I am a researcher who knows how to set up a proper intervention study to look in populations, individuals and at cell level, at effects of diet, supplements or certain foods.

So this question is kind of hard to answer as the answer depends a lot on the person asking. Let’s look at ultimate players in general.  This means that the person in question has at least some level of physical activity, but several questions still remain:

  • Is it a man or a woman?
  • Is he or she currently in training as preparation for an important tournament?
  • What kind of practices is he or she having?
    • Strength training or durability?
  • Is he or she recovering from an injury?

These are just some examples of elements that determine what a person should ideally eat.  But I will try to give some general guidelines here, including more specific information on topics that my teammates requested.

Sorry about this opening statement…

As a nutritionist, one of the most frustrating things I come across is an extreme focus on detail when talking about food. Nutrition science has gone into researching the effects of tiny, tiny parts of your food in relation to massive health outcomes. There are so many steps in between the micronutrient intake of an individual and the effects of that intake on say, physical performance of that person, I cannot even start to describe how many factors are influencing this claim or research. (Micro)nutrients are part of a food product, together with other nutrients. The combination of different nutrients determine for instance their absorption rates in the body. Next, that food product is part of a meal, together with other food products. This meal is part of a number of meals per day, which is part of a dietary habit. Which interacts with lifestyle, physical activity and genetics or how your body works. In short: it is irrelevant to look at one ‘miracle’ nutrient or food product which will make you a healthy person or a better athlete.  And, in my opinion, this also works the other way around. There is no such thing as one part of your food that you should completely avoid, like the no carb diets (even fat should be part of a healthy diet!). Except perhaps for burned food. Just don’t eat that.

How nutrients are only small parts of our complete diet

Why then, is talking about food, and thinking about nutrition important?

When you take your sport serious, when you are trying to ‘lift the ceiling’ of your own and your team’s performance, you should see nutrition as an element that can help making the difference in lifting the ceiling a little higher. Because, in spite of what I mentioned above, you CAN do things really wrong or right with the food you eat.

So, keeping this in mind, what then should I eat?

Assuming you are an athlete, then thinking about food is not about losing weight and counting calories. It is about putting things in your body that your body can use when recovering from exercise, or to build up muscle. Energy balance  is of course important, but when you are eating only empty calories, this is not going to help your body at all. For ultimate players this means that you should think about giving your muscles the right nutrients at the right time in order to replenish your supply of energy that is stored there, and to give your muscles the right building blocks when you are working on getting stronger. And your food should give you the right amount of energy to be able to deal with the physical challenges that ultimate is asking from your body, preferably from sources that besides energy give you other great things such as minerals, vitamins and essential amino acids.

“think about giving your muscles the right nutrients at the right time

Supplements

In general, a varied western diet, like ours, does not leave us malnourished. Eating supplements is therefore not really necessary. You can even risk ingesting unhealthy levels of certain vitamins and minerals as some supplements consist of ridiculous amounts of those elements. I’m throwing in one of my favourite quotes by the scientist Paracelsus: “Alle dingen sind gift, allein die dosis macht das ein ding kein gift ist.” – Everything is poison, only the dose determines when a thing is not poison.

In addition, if you choose to eat supplements, be aware that some of these can contain ingredients that are considered to be doping.

See http://www.dopingautoriteit.nl/programmas/dopingwaaier-nl for more information on this. They have also developed a useful app in order for you to know whether something is or isn’t allowed.

Vitamin D

Probably the only thing that ultimate players should keep in mind is the lack of vitamin D during the dark winters. Vitamin D affects muscle performance, and is being produced by your own body under the influence of sunlight. Which is something that only comes in limited supplies during Northern European winters. I didn’t do research yet on whether there is actually a vitamin D3 supplement that is taken up by the body properly. The best alternative for now is to get as much daylight as possible, or to play beach ultimate tournaments in sunny countries regularly during winter, Of course.

Iron and vegetarians

On request of vegetarian team mates, here is some information on iron. This information comes from the book ‘Thrive’ by Brendan Brazier – which is a guide for sports nutrition for vegans. Keep in mind that the mentioned sources do not include animal products, but certainly meat is a source of iron as well.

“The main role of iron is to fabricate haemoglobin to facilitate red blood cell health. An adequate iron level is of paramount importance for the active person. A well-maintained iron level ensures the body is able to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the hard-working extremities, maximizing efficacy. Also used to build blood proteins needed for food metabolism, digestion, and circulation, dietary iron is essential for proper functionality. Iron absorption is improved when it is ingested at the same time as vitamin C-rich foods.”

“Best Thrive sources: spinach, legumes (especially split peas), pumpkin seeds. Combine with vitamin C rich foods such as oranges.”

Food should taste good!

Another one of my firm believes is that food should taste good. This is of course a highly biased statement. I happen to find healthy things tasty. But I also happen to find ‘unhealthy’ things tasty. For example real cheese. Preferably old cheese, which is really salty and fat. I would choose that any day over the low salt, low fat alternative. Because the alternative just doesn’t taste as good as the real thing. If you are not enjoying what you are eating; risk of diving into the candy jar is higher! A depressing breakfast of said cheese on toast, with a glass of no sugar, no fat dairy drink does not get my system running. I stay unsatisfied by my meal and will crave other non-healthy stuff to seek satisfaction. So while you may eat the right nutrients by design, your motivation to stay on the right path only takes you so far if you’re not enjoying it. So, it is fine to eat the unhealthy option, as long as you are really enjoying it. Give it your full attention while you are eating, the cheese makers deserve it. And you will feel more satisfied.

Whole foods vs. processed foods

Basically, a good general thought is to stick to foods that are as little processed as possible. You don’t have to shop at an overpriced wholefood store for this, also in your local supermarket you can choose the healthy option. The general rule of thumb (quoting Michael Pollan) “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”  Quoting from his book ‘In defense of food’:

“There are many reasons to avoid eating such complicated food products beyond the various chemical additives and corn and soy derivates they contain. One of the problems with the products of food science is that, as Joan Gussow has pointed out, they lie to your body; their artificial colours and flavours and synthetic sweeteners and novel fats confound the senses we rely on to assess new foods and prepare our bodies to deal with them. Foods that lie leave us with little choice but to eat by the numbers, consulting labels rather than our senses.

It’s true that foods have long been processed in order to preserve them, as when we pickle or ferment or smoke, but industrial processing aims to do much more than extend shelf life. Today foods are processed in ways specifically designed to sell us more food by pushing our evolutionary buttons – our inborn preferences for sweetness and fat and salt. These qualities are difficult to find in nature but cheap and easy for the food scientist to deploy, with the result that processing induces us to consume much more of these ecological rarities than is good for us. “Tastes great, less filling” could be the motto for most processed foods, which are far more energy dense than most whole foods. They contain much less water, fiber, and micronutrients, and generally much more sugar and fat, making them at the same time, to coin a marketing slogan, “more fattening, less nutritious!”

Eating during a tournament

One of the best advices I’ve heard about nutrition for tournaments is: do not drastically change your dietary habits for that one week. Your body is used to a certain diet, if you go and change that drastically during a tournament, you will not feel well. Therefore, it is important to think about what you are eating when you are in training for a tournament.

Use preparation tournaments to see for yourself what works best. Start with trying out a different breakfast before games, or a different lunch. Test to see how your body reacts to eating nuts instead of chocolate between games. Or try a protein bar after practice, or after a day of games to see how your body feels.

Example: I know that some team members are thinking of cutting snacks from their diets in the weeks leading up to Dubai. This can be wise, but only when done rationally. You don’t want to go hungry in the weeks leading up to a tournament. And you don’t need to lose weight around that time – if you want to lose weight, do it earlier than one month before. It can however be a good idea to introduce ‘new’ snacks to your body, so you can see how your body responds to the thing you are planning on eating during worlds.

Breakfast for champions; Greek Yoghurt, muesli and some nuts and/or a piece of fruit

Breakfast for champions; Greek Yoghurt, muesli and some nuts and/or a piece of fruit

Breakfast

CLEARLY, you need to eat a proper breakfast during tournaments. With proper breakfast I mean a mix of easily digestible carbohydrates (fast sugars) and more complex and slower digestible energy sources. A bowl of (Greek) yoghurt, with muesli, some nuts and a piece of fruit would be a good option. For focus before a game, consider drinking coffee for the caffeine. I would recommend this, because coffee is delicious. Do take into account enough time for a toilet visit, because coffee can have a stimulating effect on bowel movement.

For your viewing pleasure:

 Lunch

Your body needs time to digest meals, therefore, eating a large lunch between games is not recommendable at a tournament. To make sure you get the energy you need, it is more advisable to eat smaller portions with intervals. And to eat foods that are relatively easy to digest.

“during a tournament: eat smaller portions with intervals

Dinner

Eat your main meal directly after the last game of the day. 1 hour after exercise is a critical period in which you want to give your body proper food in order to recover faster. When it takes longer before you can eat a proper meal, then it is advisable to eat a high-protein snack (or bar). Below you’ll find an example of how I organized my diet around Worlds in Lecco last year:

Inger’s shopping list for Worlds (Italy, 2014)  

Breakfast

  • Banana/other fruits
  • Partly homemade muesli mix [including oatmeal, seeds, dried fruit, almonds, walnuts]
  • Dairy [milk powder in case there is no yoghurt or fresh milk]
  • Tea and coffee

Lunch

  • Find alternatives for bread: pasta salad, rice salad with veggies, some protein
  • Peanut butter / almond spread
  • The Schlagwich J 

Snacks

  • Energy bars (Mule bar, etc.) – as little processed as possible – check if you recognise the ingredients. These kind of bars are really fashionable at the moment, look in your local wholefood shop what they have.
  • Nuts and dried fruits mix [trail mix]. You can make small bags with portions per day.
  • Dates, apricots, …
  • Dried meat [small sausages]
  • Nougat (this is really sugary, and not preferable – but I can’t eat much during tournaments and then this is my emergency food because it is tooooo delicious.)
  • Ontbijtkoek

Drinks

  • Just water. Might consider buying mineral water if you don’t trust tap water quality.
  • Nuuntablets in different flavours for electrolytes [otherwise you don’t want to drink it anymore after a week] I always dilute way more than advised (add more water).

Directly after a day of games

  • Recovery bar high in protein [Vega chocolate/coco] – can be ordered online.
    • I do this because it is easy to eat directly after exercise when your body needs it most. And I find it hard to eat enough during the day, so this makes it easier. It is however not necessary to get your carbs and protein from a bar – natural products are fine as well – but for me harder to eat in tournament situations.
  • DINNER: Italy, so pasta!
  • Yoghurt before bedtime. [Again, because I find it hard to eat a lot at once – I spread my eating moments over the evening]

Example of a good nutritious dinner. Mjummie!

Salads for champions!

 Drinking

Proper hydration has a direct effect on performance. Make sure you drink properly before, during and after exercise. This does not mean: the more, the better. It is actually the great marketing machines of sport drink companies that promoted an excess consumption of fluids during sports. Research has shown that people actually die more often because of drinking too much (during marathons), and many more people suffer from less severe complications because of over-drinking of water and sport drinks.

[http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/trade-sports-drinks-for-water-201207305079]

You only need added salts in your water when the exercise is long, heavy and in hot sweaty weather. Our normal diet contains more salt than we really need already. Sugar can be useful during a game. Especially during competition days or tournaments, when you play more than one game per day, and you have problems with eating proper meals in between games.

Alcohol and sports

Could be a fun subject to look into, but I didn’t really do this up to now. Common sense and personal experience tells me it is good to not drink when you demand extreme things from your body. Alcohol does put a burden on your body, and with drinking alcoholic beverages, you take in a lot of empty calories and sugar which you don’t need.

Soft drinks

Are horrible. And most sport drinks fall into this category as well, unfortunately.

The importance of a healthy habit 

Talking about food and eating in general, on non-competition days or tournaments, common sense helps a lot. What your mom (or grandma) told you is probably the way to go. I’m not going to give you the general guidelines to eating healthy. Only this:

“Eat your regular meals, take your time for it, preferably prepare them yourself, use fresh ingredients, vary (the more colour, the better), include ingredients from all main groups (carbs, veggies, proteins etc.). You can vary endlessly with product from those groups. It helps to have a well filled cupboard.”

Example:

Carbs/staples: pasta, rice, couscous, bulgur, potatoes,…

Veggies: in season is the way to go.  Tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, beets, lettuce …

Protein sources:  nuts, seeds, meat, fish, cheese, eggs, dairy,…

Taste (ànd sources of goooood stufffff): onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper,…

Fruits: experiment with adding apple, pomegranate, orange, pineapple,…. to your dinner.

“Mix this in any different combination, and you’re good. I like to add curry mix, or kecap, or soy sauce to give a different twist to my meals. But beware of huge amounts of salt that are usually in the standard mixes.”

Questions to consider

  • What are your habits?
  • How are you dealing with your pitfalls?

Disclaimer:

This article reflects the opinion of the author. It is based on great articles by nutritionists that have a passion for diving into the latest nutrition research, but she gave up on that a couple of years back, due to mentioned frustrations. It is meant to have the reader critically reflect upon their nutrition habits, mostly in relation to sports, but possibly in general.

If nutrition science since then came up with evidence that prove her she is wrong, she is interested to hear about this. But only if it is evidence coming from a double blind randomized controlled trial in a representative population. Thank you.  

This article was peer reviewed by my nutritionist friends.

Further reading