Wendy Martinson, OBE, lead nutritionist for the GB Rowing Team
Girl on the River
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Girl on the River
Wendy Martinson, OBE, lead nutritionist for the GB Rowing Team
Jul 28, 2021 Season 2 Episode 6
Patricia Carswell

S2, Ep. 6 In all the excitement of the Tokyo Olympics, it's easy to forget about the team supporting the athletes. Behind every medal and record and personal best, there's a huge network of people making sure the athlete performs at their best. Which is why I was so delighted to talk to this week's guest - Wendy Martinson, OBE - who is the lead nutritionist for the GB Rowing Team. 

Having started her career in the NHS, Wendy soon moved into sports nutrition and has worked with athletes across a number of disciplines including gymnastics, hockey and ballet. At the time of recording, Wendy is out in Tokyo with the rowing team, where she has to make sure each athlete is properly fuelled for each race.

In our interview we discuss:

  • How Wendy got involved in sport nutrition
  • The different demands of individual sports and rowing in particular
  • The support that coxswains get to manage their weight
  • What Wendy's role with the GB Rowing Team involves day to day
  • Meeting the nutritional needs of rowers and lightweights
  • Nutrition for injury and Wendy's work at Bisham Abbey rehab unit
  • Catering arrangements at the Olympics - or "performance dining"
  • Race day nutrition

Wendy also asked some questions from listeners:

  • What's the first sign that something's not quite right with someone's nutrition?
  • Refuelling after training
  • Supplements - using them strategically
  • Vegetarian and vegan diets
  • Screening athletes for deficiencies
  • The differences between male and female nutritional needs
  • Changing nutritional needs as you grow older
  • Plant based milks - what to look for on the label
  • Whether there are any taboo foods
  • Alcohol - OK for athletes?
  • Time restricted eating (intermittent fasting) and fasted training - whether they can be beneficial
  • Fuelling for long endurance events
  • Wendy's signature dish and favourite food and drink

Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food
Anita Bean's cookery books and books on sports nutrition (including for vegetarians)
Performance nutrition by Kevin Currell
Food websites:
BBC Food website