Within the Eat2Move centre of excellence, in March 2015 three PhD students are beginning their research projects at the interface between nutrition, sports and health care. ‘This is wonderful, substantive start for Eat2Move’, said Nijmegen professor Maria Hopman, figurehead of Eat2Move. Hopman also works one day per week at Wageningen University. ‘The exchange of knowledge on recovery after exercise and recovery after medical treatment will lead to synergy.’
Nutrition for synergy between sports and healthcare
Wageningen University participates in the Eat2Move consortium. The three researchers hope to earn their PhDs in due course under the supervision of Professor Hopman.
The projects are described on the website of Eat2Move, which is now live. The focus is on the synergy between professional sports and healthcare. Professional athletes in competition and patients undergoing treatment or surgery both undergo severe physical challenges. Afterwards, professional athletes and patients both experience a recovery phase. To what extent are these pathways similar? What is the role of nutrition and exercise during preparation, the physical stress of the actual competition or treatment and recovery? With these research projects, Eat2Move is laying the foundation to link professional sports and healthcare via nutrition.
Practice-oriented PhD projects
One of the PhD researchers, the professional swimmer Rieneke Terink, aims to make the performance capacity and recovery of athletes measurable. She is paying particular attention to micronutrients and exercise stress markers. The second researcher, Pim Knuiman, is going to study how the timing of nutrition affects recovery and adaptation during sports training, while the third, Margot de Regt, will investigate and optimise the recovery of patients. She will validate an approach consisting of a combination of diet and exercise. The insights that emerge from the PhD studies will find their way directly to sports and health organisations. In close cooperation with businesses, the findings can be valorised directly, for example through the development of specific food products.