THE FACTS AND FIBS OF NUTRITION

Jenn Buckhout

5 Rules of Performance Nutrition

1. EAT FIVE TIMES PER DAY
  • When you eat only three times per day, you often get hungry between meals. Because of this, you are more often to overeat at your main three meals. Infrequent eating can also cause your body to go into "starvation mode". If you go more than a few hours without food, then your body thinks it is in a famine situation. So, when you finally do eat, the consumed food will be stored as fat (regardless of how healthy it is).
  • Five reasonably sized meals throughout the day can prevent binge-eating. It also controls blood sugar, energy, and insulin levels; provides constant, small amounts of protein for repair; helps prevent fat storage; and helps keep hormone levels, well, level.
  • Two of these 5 meals can be healthy snacks.

2. FOLLOW THE MACRO-NUTRIENT RATIO (as it applies to you)

  • 1 fat: 2 protein: 3 carbohydrate
  • You may need to adjust this ratio based on how frequently/ how intensely you work out or train.
  • Include enough protein to support growth and recovery of muscle tissue. Obviously, if you are really trying to build up muscle, you will need more protein after your workouts than someone who does not have the same goal.
  • If you want to consume better carbs, aim for those with a low gylcemic index (aka convert to blood sugar more slowly).
  • Even if you are a couch potato, DO NOT attempt to eliminate fats completely from your diet! Some fats (unsaturated/ plant) are good for you! If you want to cut down on your fat, eliminate the evil trans fats and keep your saturated/ animal fats lower.
  • Your plate should be able 1/3 meat, 2/3 veggies and grains.

3. EAT BASED ON YOUR EXPECTED ENERGY EXPENDITURE

  • "What will I be doing between now and my next meal?"
  • Increase in activity requires more calories / carbohydrates then if you are sitting down at your office job.

4. KNOW YOUR NECESSARY CALORIE BALANCE

  • CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, YOU CANNOT LOSE BODY FAT AND BUILD MUSCLE TISSUE SIMULTANEOUSLY!
  • When you maintain a negative calorie balance (burning more calories then you consume), you will lose body fat.
  • When you maintain a positive calorie balance (consuming more calories then you burn), you will either gain muscle or fat. This is dependent on what you eat and your level of activity.
  • To lose fat and build muscle, you simply have to alternate negative and positive calorie balances.
  • Even if you don't want to look Hulk-like or similar to a professional body builder, gaining muscle is still important. Lean muscle makes it easier to keep fat off. (which is never a bad thing!)

5. USE SUPPLEMENTS (only if necessary for you)

  • Supplements MAY be necessary for intense athletes.
  • Some reasons you may need to use supplements in your diet are: if you cannot eat 5-6 times per day, if you need excess protein (bodybuilding), if you need nutrients without the calories, and/ or if you would benefit from nutrients not normally found in great capacity in foods.
  • *Consult a doctor before trying any supplements!*
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Carbohydrates

WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES?

Carbohydrates are not the evil menaces that many diet fads depict them to be. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, and thus, are necessary. EXCESS carbohydrates are what can hurt- they are converted to body fat.

SIMPLE AND COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

Monosaccharides, also called monomers, are made up of simple sugars. Some examples are glucose, fructose, and galactose. They make up simple carbohydrates. Some examples of simple carbohydrates include fruit, milk, yogurt, cake, soda, and white flour.

Polysaccharides, also called polymers, are starches. Starches are made of chains of monosaccharides, and polymers make up complex carbohydrates. Some examples of complex carbohydrates are beans, vegetables, and whole grain products (like whole grain bread or bagels).

Why is it important to know this? Well, complex carbohydrates give you "more bang for your buck" so to speak. For the same 4 calories per gram, complex carbohydrates burn more slowly and thus are a longer-lasting energy source. If you are trying to eat healthier, you should attempt to eat more complex carbohydrates than simple.

GLYCEMIC INDEX

The gylcemic index, by definition, "refers to the relative degree to which blood sugar increases after the consumption of food." High-glycemic foods can raise glucose and insulin levels in the blood very rapidly. It is measured on a number scale, at which pure glucose is 100. Foods below 55 (like peanuts or apples) are considered low-glycemic, mid-glycemic foods (like mashed potatoes or raisins) range from 55-70, and high-glycemic foods (like baked potatoes and dates) have levels higher than 70.

FIBER

Dietary fiber is a plant material that, most of the time, cannot be digested. Many foods that are hgh in complex carbohydrates are also high in fiber. Fiber is essential because it helps protect your body from cancer and heart disease. In addition, it helps with the function of your digestive tract. Some examples are raspberries, barley, lentils, and artichokes.

Protein

AMINO ACIDS

Amino acids are the "building blocks" of proteins, and essentially of life, because proteins make us who we are. There are 21 amino acids; 8 of which are essential (valine, methionine, tryptophan, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, and phenylalanine), 7 of which are conditionally essential (histidine, cysteine, tyrosine, taurine, proline, glutamine, and arginine), and 6 of which are nonessential (serine, glycine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, asparagine, and alanine). For strength training, glutamic acid and glutamine are very important.

WHEY PROTEIN VERSUS CASEIN PROTEIN

Whey protein is derived from milk, and so is casein. However, casein has a lower nitrogen retention value, a lower glutamine proportion, and does not have whey's strong amino-acid profile. It also releases more slowly into the bloodstream, because it tends to clump when exposed to stomach acid. It is good for late night consumption for this reason.

ANABOLISM VERSUS CATABOLISM

Catabolism refers to the chemical reactions that result in the breakdown of more complex organic molecules into simpler substances. Catabolic reactions usually release energy that is used to kick-start chemical reactions. Anabolism, on the other hand, refers to chemical reactions in which simpler substances are combined to form more complex molecules. Anabolic reactions build new molecules and/ or store energy, and usually require energy to occur. The energy of catabolic reactions is used to drive anabolic reactions.

PROTEIN- HOW MUCH AND HOW OFTEN?

Serious weight lifters should consume a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight they have. you should consume this protein throughout the day so that you have a small, steady flow of protein always available to build and repair tissues. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should consume around 40 grams per meal, 3 hours apart, five times a day.

Fats

FATS- HEROES OR VILLAINS?

Well, fats can be devilish in excess but actually very beneficial in moderation. To an athlete, fats are a secondary source of energy during performance or training. As soon as the carbohydrates stored in the muscles are depleted, fat-based energy immediately becomes available. Fats are also essential to your health because it helps maintain healthy skin and nails, comprises cell membranes, insulates nerves, provides energy and flavor, helps vitamins function in the heart and liver, and is needed for healthy skin and normal development.

CHOLESTEROL

Cholesterol. The majority of people just associated the word with heart attacks and other problems. But, cholesterol is found in every cell of your body and is, like almost everything else, necessary in moderation. Your body can produce all of the cholesterol it needs on its own, but you can also obtain it from the food you eat (mainly animal products like meat, fish, and dairy). It is required for the functions in cell membranes and it provides starting material for bile salts, vitamin D, and steroids.

MCT's

MCT's, or medium-chain triglycerides, are fatty acids that are more quickly absorbed than long-chain triglycerides. They can be used as energy much faster than glucose and have over two times the calories, They would be, because of this, an amazing energy source for long, intense workouts or competitions.