**Note: Triumph Fitness Trainers/Instructors are not licensed nutritionists but we do have some excellent suggestions to transform your life!
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. Every cell in the body requires carbohydrates in the form of glucose especially. Glycogen is the stored form of carbohydrate and is required for all cell and muscle function. Glycogen can be stored in the muscle and the liver and are independent of each other. Glycogen storage in the muscle is utilized by the muscles only. Glycogen from the liver can be released into the bloodstream and provide glucose for cell that cannot produce their own energy. The amount of glucose in the bloodstream must be controlled within a narrow range since these cells are susceptible to damage from excessive or insufficient amounts of glucose. If glucose is unavailable, the body must produce glucose and if the first few days of a fast, 90% of the glucose comes from the breakdown of lean muscle. To prevent the body from running, our carbohydrates must continually be replenished.
Absorption rates differ widely depending on the form of carbohydrates. Large amounts of simple sugar (table sugars, honey, molasses) is not a desirable energy source for anyone, because it burns too fast. When large amounts of simple sugars are ingested in the absence of other nutrients, they enter the bloodstream very quickly. This will cause an insulin spike in the body to control the blood glucose levels and cause the body to become a “fat storage machine”. Starch (natural form of carbohydrates store in plants: corn, peas, beans, potatoes, whole grains and brown rice) is not digested as rapidly and does not promote fat storage nearly as much as simple sugars. Fiber (a form of carbohydrates found in plants that is not digested very efficiently by humans: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, oat bran) is critical for maintaining the health of the GI tract. Fiber is also very important to absorption because it slows down the release of insulin when digesting starches limiting the amount to be stored as fat.
Protein supports tissue growth and recovery of damaged muscle tissue. When you lift weights, you tear down your muscles fibers. It is in the recovery process that you become bigger & stronger, not during the actual workout – that is if you pay attention to nutrition, especially your protein intake. Research tells us that you need 1.8g of protein/kilo of lean body mass. You need to strive to eat 14-30 grams of protein every 2-4 hours and this should be spread throughout the day in 4-6 meals. This will ensure better absorption rates. If the protein in the diet is of poor quality (missing 1+ amino acids), the body will not be able to build the proteins it needs for all of the varied roles that involve protein. If these amino acids are not obtained from the diet, the body is forced to obtain them from other proteins, particularly muscle tissue.
Popular high protein diets are not the answer for weight loss or athletic performance. We can store carbohydrates and fats, but we cannot store protein. The nitrogen in the amino acids is toxic and must be excreted continuously. If a person consumes too much protein beyond what the body needs, the remaining is converted to fat and stored as such.
Fatty acids can be saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. Saturated Fats occur mainly in animal foods and are hard at room temperature. They can be synthesized by the body. These include meat, dairy products, coconut and palm oil. These are converted into LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). Saturated fats increase the stickiness of the blood making thrombosis more likely and interfere with the function of essential fatty acids.
Polyunsaturated Fats include corn oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soya oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ, fish oil, mixed vegetable oil, and walnut oil. They are usually liquid at room temperature, but will solidify in a fridge. Heating polyunsaturated oil makes it toxic, so these oils should preferably be cold-pressed, stored in a fridge and eaten uncooked. It is easy to add a small amount each day to salads, cooked vegetables or spread on bread. These are high in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.
Monounsaturated Fats like olive oil, hazelnut oil, peanut oil, rapeseed oil, almond oil are rich in these types of fats. Monounsaturated fats contain oleic acid (omega-9 fatty acids) that helps to keep arteries limber. These fats are more stable with heat and so are preferred for cooking. Trans Fatty Acids (avoid these) are unsaturated fatty acids with an unusual shape, so the body treats them more like saturated fatty acids. Dairy products, lamb and beef contain small amounts of trans fatty acids. When vegetable oils are artificially hardened to produce margarine trans fatty acids are produced.
Trans fats are most commonly found in biscuits, cakes, pastries (savory and sweet), sausages, crackers and take-away food. High intake of trans fatty acids has been linked to heart disease. Because the trans fatty acids are difficult for the body to metabolize, they accumulate in blood vessels causing blockages. Trans fatty acids can also interfere with the metabolism of essential fatty acids. Some studies suggest that trans fats are worse than saturated fats for health.
Fats are a secondary source of energy used in slow, long duration aerobic exercise. Fats may be either solid or liquid at normal room temperature, depending on their structure and composition. The major fats in foods we eat are triglycerides, phospholipids and cholesterol.
A person can survive a long time without food, but not without water. Water participates in almost all metabolic reactions; it helps to lubricate joints, acts as a shock absorber for the nervous system and suppresses the appetite to help the body metabolize fat. Hydration is probably the most overlooked element in sports performance. Thirst acts as to provide needed water, but it lags behind the body’s need. It is important to drink large quantities of water daily, because dehydration can have significant impacts on performance. These impacts include overheating, disruption of chemical balance, fatigue, cramping, decreased speed and quickness, headaches, and dizziness.
-Dehydration causes your body to burn more of its muscular energy stores.
-Thirst sensors are inhibited during strenuous exercise.
-The thirst mechanism generally doesn’t work well enough to prevent dehydration.
-During performance a 2% or greater loss in body weight from dehydration can seriously impair performance.
Alcohol has a wide variety of negative effects on the body, from societal to physiological, accounting for approximately 100,000 deaths yearly in the United States. From a physiological perspective, two situations are critical for the athlete who consumes alcohol. 1. Moderate consumption of alcohol can have a negative effect on motor skills and physical performance. 2. Chronic use may impair physical performance, cause muscle damage, and weakness. Bottom line is, regular consumption of alcohol (3-4 days/week) and more than 2-3 drinks, can decrease or prevent improvement in strength and performance. If you drink 2-3 times per week, that is an additional 2500-3500 calories (1lb of fat).
*8-10 beers = 800-1000 calories
*6-7 mixed drinks = 1200-1400 calories
*5 glasses of wine = 600-800 calories
*1oz of liquor contains 100-120 calories
The ability to gain strength, speed, and conditioning levels is based upon the quality of work performed, not the quantity of work done. An individual’s genetic makeup and sound nutrition will determine strength and size potential. The amount of exercise that one is able to recover from will also vary from person to person. You may need more time to recover than your training partner who does the same amount of exercises or runs the same distance. Everyone’s recovery systems are different.
One of the biggest factors in recovery is the amount of sleep that you get.
The following are ways that you can improve your recovery:
1. Get on a sleep schedule. Make sure you are in bed early enough to get six to eight hours of sleep per night.
2. Take naps whenever you can fit them in during the day. 30 minute power naps are best.
3. Eat a properly, healthy and balanced diet.
Exercise depletes the stored sugar in your muscles. Exercise is a form of stress and by itself produces nothing of value. It is the stimulus for producing strength and conditioning results. It is rest that allows improvement to occur. As you gain strength or become better fit, you are performing more work. Remember that your recovery systems are different.
|Whole Wheat||Skim Milk||Apples||Corn||Chicken||Plain Yogurt||Shredded Wheat||Spaghetti Noodles|
|Sourdough||1% Milk||Bananas||Green Beans||Smoked Turkey Breast||Fruits and Vegetables||Grape Nuts||Fettuccine|
|French||Plain Yogurt||Oranges||Broccoli||Lean Hamburger||Raisin Bran||Linguine|
|Corn/Flour Tortilla||Cheese||Melons||Peas||Lean Ground Turkey||Nutri Grain||Frozen Ravioli|
|Rye||Eggs||Berries||Carrots||Lean Steak||Wheat Chex||Frozen Manicotti|
|Non-Fat Sour Cream||Grapes||Potatoes||Tuna in Water||Total|
|Pineapple||Cucumbers||Fish (salmon, white fish, tilapia)||Oatmeal/Grits|
|Avocado||Black Beans||Any Wild Game|