This week, our Naturopaths sit down with professional swimmer and Gr8 Health ambassador, Moesha Johnson. They find out how Moesha stays fit and healthy, her nutritional requirements, managing stress and what it takes to train at the highest level.
Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a professional athlete and endurance swimmer in Australia. In the pool, I train for the 400m, 800m and 1500m events. I also do marathon events in the open water, which are 5km and 10km. This February, I won two national titles for the 5km and 10km in open water, which is really exciting.
Q. What is your proudest moment in your sporting career?
I’ve had the opportunity to travel and race all over the world throughout my career, winning international medals along the way. But for me, the proudest moments of my sporting career are the moments most people don’t see. The moments when you don’t give up when you’re training badly or when races don’t go to plan and having the patience and perseverance to work hard over long periods of time.
Q. How do you stay healthy?
For me it’s staying healthy is a lifestyle. I look at my nutrition, my sleep, my rest, and I also try to keep a healthy state of mind whilst training.
Q. What is your usual training schedule like?
I train 10 sessions in the pool, 3x gym sessions, 2x spin sessions, 2x circuit sessions, and 1 Pilates session a week. Staying fit and healthy is key for me to stay on top of my game as a professional athlete.
Q. What is your daily calorie intake?
"I don't measure my calorie intake. You will find a lot of athletes don't do it these days. But I can assure you it is a lot of food. Upon estimation it's up around the 3000 plus a day. I have 4-5 meals a day and liquid fuel as well during sessions."
Q. So, How do you fuel your body?
As an athlete nutrition is my top priority. It has sometimes been an undervalued aspect of a sports person's life, but I’d account it in the top 3 elements of my training performance and recovery.
I aim to always get carbs, protein, and healthy fats in every meal. Growing up as a female and female athlete can be very confusing. For me, I’ve come to learn to fuel my body, nourish it well, and eat the colours of the rainbow. Make sure it's all balanced ratios of what I need so I can train well and recover well every single day.
Q. Do you take any supplements?
As athletes, we aim to eat our nutrients first then add supplements second. I currently use protein powder every day in my oats. I also take the Fusion Iron Advanced. Iron is crucial for helping me keep my energy levels high for training, especially as an endurance athlete. It ensures my oxygen transportation around the body is functioning well (especially as a woman).
Q. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Over a week I aim to get 60hrs of sleep. Each night I try to get over 8hrs. However, we all know life happens so this isn’t always possible but it's what I aim for each night. If I have nights of less sleep, I try to add naps into my day or get a longer night sleep later in the week (like a nice big Sunday morning sleep in.)
Q. How important is rest and recovery?
Rest is the most important, yet underrated element. I need rest to recover from training, not just physical but I also need mental, emotional, and social rest. For me, rest can look like lazing around watching a movie, reading a book, doing a facemask, or a walk out in nature & a beach swim. Mostly for me, I take a day to care for my body and skin and do a pamper day. After chlorine and sun all week it’s just what this girl ordered! ⠀⠀⠀
Q. How do you cope with stress?
First, I must recognise that I am feeling stressed and what is causing it. If it’s something that is in my control, I will manage the matter and deal with it as soon as possible. Not procrastinate. If it is something out of my control such as the outcome of a race or job interview, I remind myself that life will not be over, it’s not the end of the world and that I can still enjoy being with family and friends or enjoy my favourite little hobbies that make me happy.
If I am feeling stressed, I ensure to go out and enjoy time with people close to me. Or if that's too overwhelming I love a lovely beach walk, a quiet coffee or reading a book. All of these helps clear my head, bring me back to present and ground me. Sometimes I watch a movie but sometimes this postpones the feeling of stress rather than helping me manage it.
Q. What are your future goals?
For me, my goal is to represent Australia to the highest level, continue to travel the world swimming and racing doing what I love. It would be amazing to represent at the next Olympic games. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀