‘We’re athletes and Nourish Drinks help fuel us’

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‘We’re athletes and Nourish Drinks help fuel us’

By Andrea Childs

January 07, 2020

Professional show jumpers may not seem your usual Nourish customer, but just like our meal replacement drinks, Zoe and Michael Potter of Lambley House Sports Horses are proud to do things differently from the competition. ‘You’d be surprised how little impact good nutrition has had on the world of show jumping,’ says Zoe. ‘When we travel to events, often all that’s on offer are burgers and sandwiches. We end up taking our own food with us much of the time as we’ve learnt what a difference it makes to our ability to keep on going through long days of travel, waiting around and, finally, the main event where we have to focus and perform at our peak.’

Zoe and Michael are trainers to Jane Clarke’s daughter Maya, an aspiring show jumper – and since being introduced to Nourish Drinks by our mother-daughter duo, they’re now packing them (metaphorically) in their saddlebags. ‘We’ve both been riding horses and competing since childhood, and launched our business breeding horses, and training the next generation of riders, six years ago,’ says Zoe. ‘But it’s only in the past few years that we’ve become more aware of how food and lifestyle can improve performance; not just in competition but day to day.’

Zoe Potter show jumper supports Nourish by Jane Clarke meal replacement drinks

Much of this changed approached to food is down to Michael, who is gluten intolerant. ‘I spent years as a child and teenager feeling dreadful but not knowing what was wrong with me; sometimes I felt I was going nuts because I couldn’t understand why I felt so bad,’ he explains. ‘It didn’t help that I had so many allergies – to horsehair, hay and dust to name a few. It meant diet wasn’t considered as a factor and at age 16 I was actually diagnosed with ME [a chronic condition that can cause extreme exhaustion and pain].’ Eventually, an allergy test identified gluten as a problem – sensitivity to this protein, found in wheat, rye and barley, can cause abdominal pain, digestive issues and joint pain. ‘When I gave up gluten, I stopped feeling like I had a constant hangover – the aching muscles, fuzzy head and bloating were gone. I’d never stopped riding, even when I was told to give up and rest, but it’s wonderful to be able to do what I do and feel healthy and strong at the same time!

Nourish Drinks were perfect for busy days when there wasn’t a lot of time to grab lunch. They helped us re-energise and focus and continue to perform to the best of our ability when we started to run low on energy’
Zoe and Michael Potter, international show jumpers

Today, Michael avoids gluten by having muesli (homemade by his mum) for breakfast, with Zoe cooking veg-packed, fresh meals in the evening. ‘For lunch I might make a sandwich with gluten-free bread, but when we’re busy we don’t always have time to eat. We have energy gels and protein bars on the yard but they can be quite sugary, so what seems like a quick fix can soon leave us crashing and feeling worse,’ she says. ‘I’ll find I’m irritable, or my shoulder, which I injured years ago, will start aching – then Michael will remind me that I’m just hungry! That’s why the Nourish Drinks have been so brilliant. Because they contain protein, vitamins and minerals, they’re great for a boost when we don’t have time to eat lunch. It’s not just physical – teaching is mentally tiring, and Michael says having a Nourish Drink helps his brain to switch back on! At home and when we’re away competing, they help us re-energise and focus. They’re a convenient option to have on hand when we need them.’

One benefit to the Nourish Drinks, compared with other meal replacements or snack bars, is Jane’s emphasis on making them with only the best organic and fresh ingredients. ‘That makes a big difference to us; that provenance,’ agrees Zoe. ‘The better the food you put into your body, the better it functions, whether that’s in sport or everyday life. Nourish Drinks really fit with the quality and results we were searching for.’

Zoe Potter enjoying a Chocolate Nourish Drink

Zoe refuels with a Nourish Drink before competing

‘We’re working with young riders and we want to help them and pass on what we’ve learnt,’ says Zoe. ‘We want to spread the message that it’s important to look after ourselves well. We take so much care of the horses and what they eat and we need to give ourselves the same attention. Cooking dinner only takes 30 minutes – quicker than a takeaway delivery. And reaching for a Nourish Drink is a far better option than queuing at a burger van or eating a soggy sandwich. We’re athletes and we need to fuel ourselves that way.’

Discover more about Nourish Drinks here

Michael Potter at Hickstead

Michael at Hickstead

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