Understanding Nutrition

Nutrition Basics It should be understood that exercise stimulates muscle growth. However, exercise and growth can only occur with proper nutrition. Nutrition is just as important as is the workout aspect in reaching your goals. There are the basic nutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fats. Furthermore, a careful examination must also be made of vitamins, fibre, water and minerals. The 5 basic food groups are; *Bread-Cereals, Protein, Vegetable-Fruit, Fats and Dairy products. You must be sure to have a combination of these areas to form a balanced diet! *One should be careful with Bread-Cereals containing grains (specially, wheat). Make sure that you are not gluten intolerant. A urine and/or blood test can easily detect if you are.

Food Protein, Fats And Carbohydrates Protein in General Protein is one of the most important of all the basic nutrients for your body. This macro nutrient provides the building blocks for muscle tissue. It is a part of your skin, bones and tendons. Protein is used by your body to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue. It is a known fact that building muscle in any kind of training regimen, an increased or higher level of protein intake is a very important. Out of all the foods you consume during the day, not all of the protein derived from these sources can be fully used up by your body. The main thing to remember is that protein is used by your body to maintain and repair your muscle tissues, it’s essential! There are many good sources such as eggs, milk, chicken breasts and fish. The best low fat protein sources include, lean beef, chicken breasts, turkey, egg whites and protein shakes.

Supplementing with Proteins Since your body requires 1 gram of protein for 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight, it becomes difficult to maintain this pace with whole food sources. This is where protein supplementation comes into play. Another common obstacle with eating whole foods is that most sources high in protein are also high in fat, this is a problem. There’s a large variety of supplements which contain protein. These shakes usually contain 35 to 45 grams of protein which is the equivalent to a meals requirements. Protein shakes are a quick and easy way to meet your protein needs. It is strongly recommended that you have a protein shake combined with carbohydrates following any exercise session within 1 hour.

Fats in General Fats are a small yet important part of your nutritional menu. They are also considered to be a fuel source for the body. In comparison to carbohydrates as a fuel source for your body, fats are a more efficient source of fuel. Fats will produce two times as much energy per molecule as carbohydrates. Therefore, it is recommended that you attain the level of fitness where you will use up fats instead of carbohydrates which are intended as a short-term energy source. Fats sources are both animal and plant. There are three major branches of fats; simple, compound and derived.

Essential Fatty Acids Some fats are required for your body to function at a healthy level. These are referred to as essential fatty acids. One group of acids which you need are Omega 3 Fatty Acids; this can be found in fish, fish oils and flax seed. The other group is GLA which is found in the oils of evening primrose. Low fat diet are the most common times to supplement these into your diet.

Carbohydrates in General Carbohydrates are as you may know your bodys main source of energy. Examples of carbohydrates include starches, sugars and cellulose. The rate at which your body uses up carbohydrates depends on your *glycaemic index (GI). A low GI signals a slow metabolization, while a high GI will result in a faster metabolization. It is important to note that carbohydrates work together with proteins; carbohydrates actually enhance the uptake of protein. As a general rule, you will need 2 to 3 grams of carbohydrates per 1 pound of body weight. Carbohydrates are referred often to as the fuel to any physical activity. You must not take too many carbohydrates late at night, since they will not be used up as a fuel, rather they will be stored as fat. However, if carbohydrate supply is very low, the body will automatically use your proteins as an energy source! This is not a good thing because it will result in lean muscle mass loss. *Glycaemic index A figure that measures the relative ability of a carbohydrate food to increase the level of glucose in the blood. The higher the GI the quicker the absorption rate and the lower GI the slower the absorption rate.