Louise M. Burke

Louise M. Burke (Photo: Australian Institute of Sport)

As you all know, one of the keys to elite sports performance is proper nutrition. Without it, there is no way to achieve the desired body mass and composition, and no way to support the demands of training and competition. Adequate nutrition, on the other hand, ensures that an athlete’s energy requierements are satisfied, it promotes training adaptations and it contributes to short-, medium- and long-term recovery.

That is why I have asked my friend Prof. Louise M. Burke to be our next guest in the section “Interviews with the elite”.

Back in 1995, the exact same day I was to submit what was supposed to be the world’s very first research paper on acute creatine supplementation in elite athletes, my then fellow Ph.D. student and now Professor Damien Freyssenet told me to have a look at an abstract just published in the May Supplemental issue to Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. That abstract reported on the effects (or lack thereof) of acute creatine supplementation in a group of elite Australian swimmers. The supplementation protocol, the chosen performance tests and some of the physiological measurements were identical to ours. It was written by Louise M. Burke and colleagues at the Australian Institute of Sport. Their full paper was later published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition, whereas ours was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

A couple of years later, in 1997, I decided to spend my summer months working and learning at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa. Surprisingly, that’s where I first met the first author of the above mentioned study on creatine supplementation, Louise Burke, as well as her now husband Prof. John Hawley. We got along really well from the outset, and we have been close friends ever since, working together in Australia back in 2000 and also in 2003-2004. Louise and I have written five papers together, and I take pride that her son Jack is a great mate of mine.

For those of you who know anything about sports nutrition, Louise needs no introduction. She is the one, as you can see here. You now have the opportunity to interview her and find out what it takes to be one of the world’s top sport nutritionist and to help shape some of the world’s best athletes.

You can ask your questions to Louise through the comment section of this post before the 19th of May.

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  1. How much worth do you think there is in endurance athletes (road cyclists on three hour-plus rides) training while only ingesting very limited amounts of carbohydrate as a means of ‘training’ the body to work more efficiently in competition?

    May 2, 2013
  2. Sam Callan

    Dr. Burke, I am interested in an update on the idea of “train low, race high” in terms of carbohydrate restriction during training. At one point I remember a panel where some members (you or maybe John Hawley) noted that if there are benefits they are small and most likely athletes are doing these sorts of training sessions from time to time by chance–or just by not eating well for a day or so. Thank you

    Sam Callan
    Colorado Springs, CO

    May 2, 2013
  3. Tony Boutagy

    Dear Dr Burke,
    I am interested in the available energy calories per kg FFM your would recommend for those using daily exercise (say an hour a day) to reduce body fat levels. Thanks for your time.

    May 3, 2013
  4. Rachel Luff

    Dear Prof. Burke,
    Do you see any role for the ingestion of BCAAs during resistance training in addition to whey protein (20-25g) for the individual seeking to gain maximal muscle mass, training 4-5 days per week?
    Thank you,

    May 3, 2013