Dairy Council Northern Ireland

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Milk It Seminar 2019


Milk It Seminar 2019

Leading sports nutritionists and top athletes came together to share their knowledge and experience at the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland’s annual sports nutrition conference on December 12th at W5, Odyssey, Belfast. The event is part of DCNI’s ‘Milk It’ programme designed to communicate the importance of nutrition for sport and a healthy, active lifestyle, including the potential role of milk.

Professor Louise Burke, Chief of Nutrition Strategy at the Australian Institute of Sport, was joined by Ruth Wood–Martin, Head of Nutrition at the IRFU, world champion boxer Kellie Harrington and rower and double sculls world silver medallist Dr Philip Doyle in speaking to an audience of coaches, PE teachers, sports dietitians and nutritionists.

With almost 40 years of experience in the education and counselling of elite athletes, Professor Burke who has gained global recognition for her contribution to sports nutrition, provided an insight into the latest research on calcium and bone health in athletes including a study carried out by her team at the Australian Institute of Sport in collaboration with Monash and Queensland universities:

“Our work has shown that a boost of calcium–rich dairy foods before exercise may help to counteract the drop in blood calcium levels and increased bone breakdown that occurs in some endurance athletes and which may contribute to poorer bone health. This study was carried out in elite cyclists, but it applies just as well to recreational cyclists, and other athletes who take part in non–weight–bearing exercise. The high dairy breakfast also contributes to other sports nutrition goals such as helping to fulfil protein requirements”

Chaired by Dr Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition, Sport Ireland Institute, the conference also heard from Ruth Wood–Martin, Head of Nutrition at the IRFU on fuelling the Irish team before and during the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and athletes Kellie Harrington and Philip Doyle on the role of nutrition in their training and performance.

Speaking at the event, Dr Carole Lowis, Nutritionist with the Dairy Council said,

“It is fantastic to have the opportunity to hear from these successful athletes and to also learn of the latest research and practical application from our other guest speakers. Professor Burke’s work is recognised globally, so we are extremely grateful that she has taken the time to offer sports nutrition professionals here in Northern Ireland first–hand access to her knowledge and experience.”

Nutrition and Health Professionals can view this year’s presentations here.

Pictured L to R: Ruth Wood–Martin, Dr Carole Lowis, Kellie Harrington, Dr Philip Doyle and Dr Sharon Madigan


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From the farm to the fridge, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland acts on behalf of the dairy industry, promoting the natural goodness and quality of Northern Ireland milk and dairy products.

Our primary function is to communicate factual information to allow individuals to make well informed choices about dairy products that they consume and to inform them of the benefits of including dairy products in a balanced diet. We use a wide range of media, which includes television, radio, press, and social media. Our Advertising is complemented by public relations and promotional activities designed to communicate with specific groups.

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