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Dairy Council

Running royalty Mageean headlines performance nutrition seminar

Leading sport nutritionists and one of Ireland’s greatest track talents gathered in Belfast for our 'Milk It' performance nutrition seminar to share their knowledge and present new research in the field. 

Hosted at W5 on the 8th November, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland’s annual sports nutrition seminar welcomed an audience of 100+ sport and health professionals who heard from Professor Gareth Wallis, Associate Professor in Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition at the University of Birmingham and Dr Pamela Magee, Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition at Ulster University. Emma Gardiner, Head of Nutrition at the IRFU also took part sharing practical nutrition insights of fuelling the Ireland squad during the recent Rugby World Cup.

The event was chaired by Professor Sharon Madigan, Head of Performance Nutrition at Sport Ireland Institute, who led a conversation with elite middle-distance runner Ciara Mageean. Fresh from the ‘season of her life’, finishing fourth in the World Athletics Championships in the 1500m final and setting new Irish records across the 800m, 1500m and the mile, Ciara discussed the role of milk and dairy foods in her own training regime.

As part of the ‘Milk It for All it’s Worth’ programme, the nutrition seminar is designed to communicate the importance of nutrition for sport and a healthy, active lifestyle, including the potential role of milk and dairy foods.

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

“Our annual sports nutrition seminar serves as an exciting bookend to the calendar year, where experts in the field share their latest research along with hearing the first-hand accounts from high-performance athletes like Ciara Mageean.

“It was a real delight to welcome Ciara back to the Dairy Council sports nutrition seminar since her last conference appearance with us in 2016. Like her crowds of supporters, we’ve been thrilled to watch her running career go from strength to strength and wish her every success for the 2024 Olympics. 

“We are extremely grateful to all this year’s guests for taking the time to offer sports nutrition professionals here unique access to their knowledge and experience.”

Professor Gareth Wallis opened 2023’s seminar with a deep dive into the application of lactose in sports nutrition, looking at the potential role of dairy for delivering carbohydrates for exercise. The focus later turned to nutrition knowledge and the dietary intake of team sports athletes, with Dr Pamela Magee discussing how this applies to those taking part in GAA and rugby. A series of practical sports nutrition insights from IRFU’s Emma Gardner followed before Professor Sharon Madigan closed the seminar with a one-on-one interview with soon-to-be three-time Olympian Ciara Mageean, who reflected on the importance of good diet to fuel performance including looking ahead to Paris 2024.

Nutrition and health professionals can view the presentations and watch recordings from the seminar in our Health Professional section.

See more on the Milk It programme here.

Pictured L to R: Prof Sharon Madigan, Ciara Mageean, Prof Gareth Wallace, Emma Gardner and Dr Pamela Magee.