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High-energy sports food @Food Matters Live 2015

Published: 10-10-2015, | Member: National Sports Centre Papendal

Topsport Restaurant/Sports Centre Papendal has developed a sports grain bar and sports grain bread consisting of a well-balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fiber and minerals. The sports grain bar was presented at Food Matters Live 2015 in London.

“It is a real challenge to prepare a tasty meal tailored to world-class athletes’ nutritional needs with healthy ingredients”, says Erik te Velthuis, chef and manager of the Top Sports Restaurant at Papendal, the Dutch national Olympic training center in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Te Velthuis has developed several innovative sports food products, including the high-energy sports bar and bread, a special type of pasta and a balanced sports quark.

“The trick is to translate one domain into another: to get a thorough understanding of an athlete’s nutritional needs and of the nutritional value of the available products,” the chef explains. Te Velthuis has developed several innovative sports food products, including a high-energy sports bar, a special type of pasta and a balanced sports quark.

Scientific knowledge and experience
“You have a product, or an ingredient, and that’s what you have to work with to address a particular need, such as protein recovery. So I combine scientific knowledge with my experience as a chef to create meals that are both tasty and functional. “Tastiness is an absolute must for Chef Te Velthuis. “You can think up the most wonderful concoctions with an excellent nutritional value,” he says, “but if it isn’t tasty, half of it may end up in the garbage can. Or you need to eat way too much to get that nutritional value. So then the net result is negative.”

Meals that are developed for athletes competing at top level have potential for other target groups too. “Such food products can be very valuable for the elderly, or patients who are recovering from an illness,” says Te Velthuis. “And recreational athletes can also benefit from eating more healthily. I’m working on a healthier alternative to all those deep-fried snacks that are served at sports clubs.”

Sports nutrition innovation is not a matter of magic, he says. “Broccoli remains green and bananas will always be yellow. But by taking theoretical concepts and applying them sensibly to healthy food products, we can make big strides.”

National Sports Centre Papendal