David is one of the foremost sports nutrition experts in his field.
Whether working with QPR, Harlequins, British Canoeing or Team Wiggins, David’s in huge demand. His meteoric rise is even more remarkable given he’s just 24.
I came to the UK from County Wicklow to do my undergraduate at St Mary's in Sport Science and Nutrition,” he says.
“Naturally I threw myself into sport and always had, playing rugby for my university as well as a team called Blackheath, alongside Gaelic football. Due to various injuries and two shoulder reconstructions I had to knock the rugby on the head.
“I suppose I was never physically big enough to go to the highest level of rugby. Nutrition was always my passion. One of the most important pieces of advice ever given to me was from Connor O'Shea in my final year at university who said I had a good chance of becoming quite specialist quite young. It was great motivation for me.”
David finished his undergraduate course and did a postgraduate through an Olympic committee diploma in sports nutrition. He was already working with Bradford Bulls and QPR's academy so studied as a distance learner.
Since qualifying he’s gone on to work with the British Fencing Team, British Canoeing, Harlequins Rugby and Team Wiggins which is dedicated to developing the talent of young riders.
“I would say each and every athlete is completely different from the next and so we have to work on different things,” he explains. “A canoeist is an upside down version of a cyclist - small legs and massive upper body while a cyclist is the other way around. My job is to make sure they have an adequate supply of micro-nutrients to recover from training sessions. Their diet needs to be balanced regardless of the sport.
“Love Smoothies plays a vital a role across all the training programmes because it’s a brilliantly easy concept, the ingredients are honest and it tastes amazing.
“Indeed, everyone thinks smoothies are just a summer thing but they’re not - in fact you need them more during the winter ironically when the immune system is compromised by poor weather. Smoothies often work post-training session when immunity is at greatest risk. The body needs to replenish the stores depleted during the session.
“Of course it's vital for everyone, not just athletes, to get fruit and vegetables into their system and Love Smoothies provides a simple, delicious way of doing that. And there’s no hassle because you just grab a sachet from the freezer and blend.”
Being inventive is also important so athletes don’t bored by the same routine or flavours.
“We have to mix it up a bit so there are lots of ways in which we work Love Smoothies into their diet. In some instances we add whey protein or extra berries or Greek yoghurt.
“The athletes get veg based smoothies first thing in the morning, like Kale Kick, probably alongside something like an omelette. We tend not to blend with apple juice for these as they will only need to replenish energy levels after a training session, so we’ll blend with water or coconut water.”
He acknowledges the speed with which fitness trends sweep the nation and says he always has to be one step ahead.
“Every week something new bursts onto the scene but many fads don’t have their bedrock in science and that’s the one thing we have to rely on. With so many athletes pushing for the Olympics or the pinnacle of their sport, whatever that may be, we have to get it right.”
David isn’t the only sporty member of his family. Indeed, his younger brother, Paul, is in danger of stealing his thunder after landing his European Tour card for 2016.
“He’s on a huge high at the moment, particularly after leading the British Open earlier this year. That was pretty surreal.
“Hopefully after the Olympics I’ll have some time to go out and watch him compete. I’ll also help him with his nutrition too,” he laughs