Calories and Nutrient Intake:
The calories you eat are made up of 3 macronutrients
Carbohydrates: Easily broken down and used as the body’s main fuel source
What are carbohydrates made of?
Carbohydrates are made of simple sugars and complex sugars called starches.
What do carbohydrates do for our bodies?
Carbohydrates are the bodies main fuel source.
When you eat carbs, your body stores them as glycogen in your muscles and liver. This glycogen is converted into ATP which is what actually powers your muscles.
Added and refined sugars/carbohydrates
These come from things like white bread, soda, candy, white rice, etc. These sources of carbohydrates are NOT healthy because they don’t contain the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that they are supposed to have. This causes inflammation in your muscles and liver and is also commonly stored as fat.
This is where the popular idea of “carbs are bad” comes from. Carbs are very important. You just need to eat the right forms of them.
What is protein made of?
Proteins are long chains made up of amino acids. Our bodies make many amino acids on their own, but there are 9 amino acids that we need to get from our food. Because we need to get them from our food, they are called essential amino acids.
What does protein do for our bodies?
Protein does most of the work inside our cells like building and repairing tissue, and regulating organ functions. You need protein in order to rebuild your muscles after you break them down by working out.
What percentage of our diet should come from protein?
We should be getting about 15-20% of our daily calories from protein.
For athletes that’s about 1-2 g/kg of body weight/day (multiply lb’s by .45).
What does fat do for our bodies?
Fat helps protect the bodies organs, plays a role in growth and development, aids in organ function, helps maintain body temperature, and allows for the absorption of certain vitamins.
Examples of nutrient rich fat foods.
Nuts and seeds (especially walnuts, chia, flax, and hemp), avocados, sprouts, leafy green vegetables, squash and berries.
Why fat is important?
Fat plays a vital role in the digestion of vitamins. Vitamins A,D,E and K are fat soluble vitamins, meaning they need fat in order to be absorbed into the body.
Non-caloric food factors vitally important for good health
The key to optimizing your health is to eat predominantly foods that have a relatively high proportion of nutrients (non-caloric food factors) to calories (carbohydrates, fats and proteins).
Eat a variety of food, every 3-4 hours, each day
When energy intake is restricted, micronutrients are often sacrificed over macronutrients because they are inadequately consumed
Fast foods and sports food supplements are often consumed when calories are restricted, and these food items have little to no micronutrients
The key to good health and preventing sickness is to eat a diet predominately made up of foods with high micronutrient content.
The ANDI scores are a representation of the nutrient densities in certain foods made by Dr. Fuhrman. Health= Nutrients/Calories.
Eating for Recovery: Post workout
Eat within 20 minutes of completing exercise
What you eat following exercise is extremely important because it will be your fuel for your next workout
What to eat?
Protein- re-builds muscle that has been torn up from exercise
Micronutrients- protein needs micronutrients to best absorb into the body
Folic acid found in green leafy vegetables brings oxygen and nutrients to red blood cells
Tip: Berries aid to a speedy recovery!
Rest and recovery is essential for athletes so aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night
Your body needs to focus on repair and rest, not digestion: do not consume food 3-4 hours before bed
ALWAYS GO TO SLEEP BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Water and Hydration
Proper hydration throughout the day is very important for good health, athletic performance, and recovery.
Our bodies are made up of about 60-70% fluid. Staying hydrated will help every cell in your body function how it should.
Research has shown that even with a 3% fluid loss, athletes lose performance.
Current studies indicate increased water consumption is essential for athletes competing at elevation. Sweat evaporates more quickly at high altitudes due to the lack of humidity. Athletes whether in practice, workouts and or competitions do not realize this thus becoming dehydrated even when they think have been drinking “enough” water.