Jennifer Stoute is a British sprinter who represented Great Britain at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games and got a chance to bite some gold. Following her athletic success and subsequent appearances as Rebel on TV show Gladiator, Stoute co-founded Stellar Athletics Sports Management, where she helps a new generation of top talent to be their very best, including runner Jessica Judd, hurdler Sharika Nelvis, and high jumper Brandon Starc. As Jennifer is practically our neighbour in London, we jumped at the opportunity to find out how she keeps improving herself in her fifties (her Instagram is aptly titled @gorgeousfifties, and she’s currently signed to Models1 agency), and her advice for high performance.
What do you do to optimise your performance, in terms of food, training and supplements?
As my first love has always been fitness, I do try to keep myself generally fit. But now as the mature years are present, I train a lot smarter and listen to my body more. The supplements that I take are: glucosamine, iron, omega-6, and I drink turmeric and ginger every night. I have also not eaten meat for over 12 years, but I do eat fish. I am now introducing more water into my diet – three litres, very tough!
What would you suggest are the 5 most important things to know about nutrition and high performance?
I tend not to generalise as everyone is different, but most important are a well-balanced diet suited to the individual and keeping well-hydrated.
If I was listening to myself I would:
- Avoid working out on an empty stomach.
- Not miss out on breakfast.
- Get enough protein, but not too much.
- Drink fluids early and often.
- Replace lost electrolytes.
From a food perspective and all that you've learned, what works best for you in terms of ageing and longevity?
Becoming a pescatarian when I was 12 years old has helped my fitness level, and dare I say the Menopause stage, as I have not experienced anything detrimental yet at the grand age of 54. My body is never going to be the same as when I was in my 30s or 40s, but I will maintain all that I can to keep myself healthy. I’ve never smoked or drank alcohol; I listen to my body and take out certain foods and replace them when I feel a change is needed.
Why did you become interested in the ketogenic diet?
I became interested in the keto diet when I found it hard to get rid of stubborn fats, and I felt I needed to narrow in my food intake. I was pleasantly surprised with the result – though I am not fully fledged yet, as I have to get a hang of introducing more receipts for myself.
What helps an athelete to persevere and succeed nowdays?
One of the most fundamental things that I believe in is the ability to have complete inner strength and confidence in yourself and the journey. With that, consistency and dedication will come. The athletes have so much at their fingertips, which of course can help slow down and prolong injures. Yet the mindset is the thing that can make or break you.