Healthy Nutrition Basics

The truth about performance, carbs, proteins, and fats

The five rules of performance nutrition

Rule 1- Eating at least 5 meals a day is the appropriate standard for caloric need and ratio of macro nutrients. This maintains blood and insulin levels as well. Any fat eaten will be mobilized instead of stored due to eating the proper amount of meals.


Rule 2- planning each of your daily meals in terms of caloric need and ratio of portioning nutrients. Approximately 1 part fat, 2 part protein, and 3 part carbohydrate is sufficient. This is just an average for normal people. Those who are generally more active should eat more carbs, those less active than the average person should eat less carbs.


Rule 3- The activity level of the person between meals will dictate certain caloric needs. If high in activity a person's caloric need may be more demanding, or vis-versa.


Rule 4- It’s impossible to lose fat and gain muscle; so, there are periods one must eat less in order to lose fat, and eat more in order to gain bulk. But doing both at the same time is contradictory and insufficient.


Rule 5- The importance of eating vitamins, minerals, and other chosen substances is more significant when dieting. If one is on a diet and may not get all the healthy nutrients your body needs.

The truth about Carbohydrates


  • Simple VS Complex


Carbohydrates can be defined as any group of chemical compounds including sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrates are broken into two groups; simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are composed of two or more sugar molecules. They are the quickest source of energy, as they are digested and used rapidly. Complex carbohydrates are dietary starches and are made of sugar molecules strung together from a polymer and are also often rich in fiber. Foods like honey, candy and sugars are considered simple. Foods like whole wheat pasta, green veggies, and potatoes are complex.


  • The glycemic index refers to the relative degree to which blood sugar increases after consumption of food. Foods high in this can raise blood glucose levels, and vis versa. Foods such as rice bran, peanuts, and fettuccine are considered low in glucose. Foods like sweet corn, brown rice, and even white rice are classified as moderate glucose levels. Pretzels, dates, and baked potatoes are considered high in glucose.
  • Dietary fiber is a plant made material that can’t be digested. This is only found in complex carbs. This makes up any and all roughage content. This promotes efficient intestinal function and helps regulate the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. Dietary fiber can be broken down into soluble or insoluble forms.

Protiens

A Protein can be defined as a group of complex nitrogenous organic compounds that have amino acids as their basic structural units that are found in all living matter.


  • Amino acids are building blocks of proteins, the amino acids are broken into three different categories: essential, conditionally essential, and nonessential amino acids. Lysine, glutamine, and glutamic acid are especially significant among the amino acids in terms of building muscle and gaining strength.
  • Whey and Casein proteins Whey is known as an anabolic protein that increases protein synthesis with a greater efficiency than other sources, it is important for any athlete looking to enhance performance. Whey comes from milk, as so does casein. Casein has a smaller value of nitrogen retention than whey and a lower glatamine proportion; as well as, a slower release of amino digestion causing it to continuously release amino acids. Whey however has a stronger amino acid profile.
  • Anabolism and catabolism Anabolism is the chemical reaction that constructs molecules from smaller components, thus requiring energy. This practically is the gaining of muscle. Catabolism is a degenerative chemical reaction that breaks down complex molecules into smaller units. Basically your body will eat away muscle to support the need for amino acids if the body is lacking proteins or not eating enough.
  • How Much to Eat The amount of protein one should consume at each meal depends on body weight. In order to avoid a muscle decomposing state it is important to keep blood sugar levels in a positive anabolic state. For those over 200 pounds, 50 to 70 grams is recommended. The RDA recommends eating 0.8 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.

Fats

  • A friend, not foe Fat in the body is a source of fuel and storage and creates padding for vital organs and the skeleton. The isolation of nerve fibers and tissue to speed up nervous reactions. Fat is also part of the cell membranes. Starting material for other molecules such as cholesterol, vitamin d, steroid hormones, bile, and fatty acids. Fat from the diet reduces rate of stomach emptying and is necessary for absorption of fat soluble vitamins. This is an essential source of fatty acid.
  • Cholesterol Cholesterol is a substance that is found in all animal based foods and fats. The body itself consistently secrets cholesterol, mostly in the liver and kidneys. Cholesterol is most common in the brain tissue, blood and adrenal glands as well as the liver and kidneys. Cholesterol aids in removing fatty acids, however too much of cholesterol will increase the risk of heart problems. One of the main functions of cholesterol is maintaining the cell membrane, without it the membrane would be too fluid like.
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT'S) A fat like acid produced from coconut oil and palm kernels. These are absorbed quicker than long chain triglycerides, and thus can be used as energy much faster than glucose and have over two times the calories. This is an excellent source of energy for long workouts and competitions only. If not used properly it will become stored as fat, but spare protein for being more easily capable of producing energy. These carry amino acids into your muscles, improving the bodies ability to assimilate dietary protein.