You don’t put diesel into a petrol engine. So whatever sport you enjoy, it is important to understand the science of nutrition to optimise your body’s performance and health.

Ireland’s leading gut health institute, APC Microbiome Ireland, is hosting a public forum “Spilling the Guts on Performance” as part of Cork Science Week on 12 November in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork. Through a unique line up of expert speakers, including scientists, a nutritionists and leading sports stars, the event will explain how to enhance fitness, performance and health through exercise and diet.

Professor Kieran Clarke from the University of Oxford will speak about her research on ketone drinks for endurance exercise. Her research is focussed on how diet alters energy metabolism in human heart, brain and skeletal muscle. Clarke will talk about a ketone drink that which she has developed which improves endurance performance in athletes and could also be used for the management of common metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease.

Irish rower, Mark O’Donovanwas unbeatable last year with lightweight World Cup wins and European and World Championship golds. From racing at 70 kilos last year, Mark and his rowing partner, Shane O’Driscoll, have put on eight or nine kilos each so that they can compete in the heavy weight class at the Tokyo Olympics.Mark will discuss the nutritional and other challenges encountered to date in this transition.

Dr. Orla O’Sullivan, a computational biologist at Teagasc Food Research Centre and APC Microbiome Ireland will speak about her research on the roles of exercise, fitness and diet, specifically whey protein, on the human gut microbiome both in elite athletes and non-athlete groups.

Also participating in the event are UCC Quercus Scholars ,Cian Bohane, former Munster Rugby player, Amy O’Connor, Cork Senior Camogie and Irish U19 Soccer and Shane Kingston, Cork Senior Hurler.

Alex O’Shea, Ultra Runner, aka The Running Fireman and Emma Tester, Lead Performance Nutritionist at Munster Rugby will also be speaking along with Dr David Keohane, APC Microbiome Ireland, Clinical Fellow in Sports and Exercise Medicine, while Morgan Buckley, Director of Sports and Physical Activity at UCC will be the MC for the event.

This public forum is hosted by the SFI Research Centre APC Microbiome Ireland as part of Cork Science Festival and Science Week Ireland. The Forum take place in Pairc Ui Chaoimh at 7pm on Monday 12th November. Booking is required; tickets are available on Eventbrite at a cost of €5. Further information on this event and all Cork Science Festival events can be found at www.corksciencefestival.com and www.scienceweek.ie