On the same level as improving your sleep habits, working on improving your nutrition can support and enable the biggest performance increases from your training. Nutrition can seem like a highly complicated area to work on due to the amount of seemingly conflicting information available and due to this athletes will frequently just revert back to eating the same way they always have done.
However, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got and when you start making small consistent changes to your nutrition you’ll see better results from the effort you’re putting into training. Check these alpilean reviews.
Much like sleep, nutrition is very habit based and because of this it is always better to start with small changes that you can easily achieve day in day out. Once you have hit these for multiple days you can make more small alterations. All of these changes will have a compounding affect on your wellbeing, body composition and performance.
In this article we’re going to break down the basics of nutrition and start to look at what it means to fuel your body for performance. What we mean by eating for performance is; “A diet that is sufficient to fuel the desired volume and intensity of workouts, maximise recovery, and maintain an optimal body composition”. In other words eating enough that you make progress in your training and your performance won’t suffer in your workouts, but not so much that you put on unwanted weight.
Calories and Macronutrients:
We’re going to briefly breakdown what calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats are and discuss their use and importance in the body. These are the best diet pills.
What exactly is a calorie? Simply put, a calorie is a unit of energy and can be defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius in a bomb calorimeter. The different types of macronutrients have standard amounts of calories. One gram of protein has 4 calories. One gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories. One gram of fat has 9 calories and one gram of alcohol is generally considered to have 7 calories.
Calories are the single biggest factor in determining weight loss or gain or performance improvements versus performance deterioration. They are not to be feared or ignored as they can give us valuable information on why performance isn’t increasing, body composition isn’t changing. There’s nothing wrong with having important insight into how you’re fuelling your body and your training.
That being said, while it’s beneficial to have any idea of what you’re taking in energy wise, the calorie method is inherently inaccurate due to having an almost innumerable amount of variables associated with it and can consume too much of your time in the micromanagement of small details that in the long run will make very little difference.
Protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of life and are compounds that play many critical roles in your body.
There are two types of amino acids:
- Essential aminos that cannot be synthesised by your body and therefore need to be taken in via food intake.
- Non-essential aminos that your body can make itself.
Each gram of protein is equal to 4 calories, so a chicken breast with 30g of protein will be roughly 120 calories (remember calories aren’t an exact science). Since your body needs proteins and amino acids to produce important molecules in your body – like enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies – without an adequate and consistent protein intake, your body won’t function well at all. Protein helps replace worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair.
The amount of protein that you should be consuming daily should be roughly 1 gram per pound of body weight. So a 100kg person should be consuming around 220 grams of protein a day. If you have a higher body fat percentage you can work from lean body weight rather than overall body weight.
Getting protein from real foods instead of supplements, shakes or powders will leads to a better satiety, decreased overall appetite and fewer cravings. Most liquid protein will only leave you satisfied as long as the mixture is in your stomach. On the other hand, full digestion of solid food can take many hours to complete. Protein intake from real food also produces less ghrelin (your hunger signally hormone) as opposed to carbohydrate or fat.
We can get protein from multiple sources such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, seeds, nuts, beans and legumes. Animal based proteins provide a more complete amino acid profile but you can achieve a complete protein intake from non animal based foods but the emphasis needs to be placed on the amino acid leucine in particular. Variety is key in both instances as there are many micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that you can take in via multiple sources.
Fats are composed of organic molecules containing carbon and hydrogen atoms joined together in long groups called hydrocarbons and are sources of our essential fatty acid intake. The arrangement of these hydrocarbon chains will determine the fat type.
There are three different types of fats we get from our diet:
- Saturated Fat – Butter, cream, animal fats, cheese, coconut
- Monounsaturated Fat – Nuts, avocado, egg yolks
- Polyunsaturated Fat – Seeds, oils, fish oils