Healthy Salad

Nutrition

Regardless of your goals, nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Equipped with proper knowledge, you can use it manipulate your physique to your liking. 

Assortment of Pills

Supplements

Supplements are exactly that, supplements! They are not for replacing a healthy diet or meal, they are there to squeeze in the extra nutrients and minerals at the right time. Continue reading..

The 6 Classes of Nutrients

Water
Protein
Carbohydrates
Fats
Minerals
Vitamins
Man Drinking Water

Water

It makes up for more than 60% of our body weight and it does flow out of us, so make sure you're putting some back in!

Water is more important to survival than food, you could go for a long time without eating, but you wont last more than a few days without water. The best part is that it's 0 calories!

Water has many benefits, but for the purpose of training, its main functions are to carry the nutrients to the cells, and hydrate the body to keep you focused and ready.

 

 

 

  

Protein

Protein has four main functions; building and repairing, making hormones and enzymes, helps with fat loss, and works as an energy source. Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 20 types of amino acids, and 9 of them need to come via a diet as the body cannot produce them. 

The functions: 

During intense workouts, your muscles will suffer from micro tears and proteins are the building blocks that build and repair them.

Growth hormones and insulin are made using the amino acids from protein. Protein also functions as an enzyme which increases the rate of thousands of reactions in the body.

Eating more lean protein will help with cravings as it will make you feel fuller for longer. This will help with overeating.

When your body is lacking fats and carbohydrates, protein will be used as a source of energy. Protein provides 4 calories per gram so be careful, if it's not used as an energy source or to carry out its other functions, a surplus of protein can result in it being stored as fat.

The Amino Acids:

The 9 amino acids that need to be taken in via your diet are as follows:

Histodine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Trytophan, Valine.

Common foods that are high in amino acids are Beef, Chicken, Eggs, Milk, Tuna, Slamon, and Soya beans

Eggs in Bowl
Healthy Loaf of Bread

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, or carbs for short, fall under two categories, simple and complex carbs. There are also three different types of carbs found in foods, sugar, starch and fibre. 

 

Simple carbs like sweets, ice cream, fizzy drinks and sugar all break down and are absorbed quickly. Complex carbs contain more nutrients, take longer to break down and provide a slower release of energy. Examples of complex carbs are wholemeal and grain breads, brown rice, green foods, lentils and beans.

Carbs should be your body's main source of energy in a healthy, balanced diet. They're broken down into glucose (sugar) before being absorbed into your blood. The glucose then enters your body's cells with the help of insulin.

Glucose is used by your body for energy, fuelling your activities, whether that's going for a run or simply breathing. Unused glucose can be converted to glycogen, which is found in the liver and muscles. If more glucose is consumed than can be stored as glycogen, it's converted to fat for long-term storage of energy.

Starchy carbohydrates that are high in fibre release glucose into the blood slower than sugary foods and drinks. You should consume high fiber, complex carbs little and often so that you can regulate the release of glucose. Simple carbs like a sugary sweet should only be consumed at times when you need a quick spike of energy i.e just before or after a workout.

Fats

There are four types of fats; Polyunsaturated, Monounsaturated, Saturated, and Trans fats. 

 

Saturated and trans fat can raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (known as the “bad cholesterol”) levels in the blood. High total cholesterol or a high LDL cholesterol level is a leading risk factor for heart disease.

Some fatty foods often have higher calories with fewer vitamins and minerals than low-fat foods. Protein sources such as red meat and dairy products, contain saturated fat. Good, low-fat sources of protein include lean meat, fish, poultry without skin, beans, lentils, milk, and cottage cheese.

A gram of fat has about 9 calories, while a gram of carbohydrate or protein has about 4 calories. In other words, you could eat twice as much carbohydrates or proteins as fat for the same amount of calories.

The body processes monounsaturated fats efficiently, making them important in a bodybuilding diet. Monounsaturated fats, as with all fats, are a concentrated source of calories which can help during a bulking phase of training.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils. You also obtain polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fats from sources such as fatty fish and walnuts. Omega-3 fats are a type of that are essential to heart health and brain development. Omega-3s are essential for bodybuilders as they help you burn fat, instead of storing it. Omega-3 fats may also help protect your joints and mobility. 

Avocado
Salt

Minerals

 

As defined by Oxford Dictionaries, a mineral is an inorganic substance needed by the human body for good health. So if its "needed", are you making sure you're getting enough?

Minerals have many functions, but most notably they promote a healthy immune system, strengthen your bones and teeth, maintains a working muscle and nervous system and helps produce energy.

There are several types of minerals every gym-goer should be aware of. The key minerals you should track are Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Sodium, Chromium, Zinc, Calcium, Phosphorus, Vanadium and Potassium. 

To get more familiar with each mineral, click here to check out an article written by Bob Lefavi, and Timothy C. Fritz which featured in featured in Flex Magazine, April 1995 issue.

The minerals can be found in the foods you eat, for example, a banana contains a fair bit of Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, and a broccoli contains phosphorus and calcium. 

Vitamins

Vitamins can be divided into two broad categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K) are so named because they are stored in the body's fatty tissue and do not have to be replenished daily. But be careful: Because they are stored, overdoes of these vitamins can lead to toxicity.

 

The water-soluble vitamins (with the exception of vitamin C) are composed entirely of the B and B-complex vitamins, including Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pyridoxine (B6), Folate, Cobalamin (B12), Biotin and Pantothenic Acid. Because these vitamins are water soluble and thus have difficulty entering fatty tissues, they aren't stored in the body and excessive amounts are excreted. And while this means toxicity is generally not a problem, these vitamins must be continually included in a bodybuilder's diet.

To get more familiar with each mineral, click here to check out an article written by Bob Lefavi, and Timothy C. Fritz which featured in featured in Flex Magazine, April 1995 issue.

Herbal Medicine

Supplements

What and Why...

Supplements generally come in three forms, drinks, pills, and powders that can be cooked, shaken or stired. Whey protein is currently the most common supplement in the bodybuilding realm, and you can get it as powder or in a protein bar. As why protein is a by-product of cheese production, it isn't very kind to the stomach of lactose intolerant individuals like myself, which is why I feel lucky there are vegan proteins out there in the market. I cant really tell you the difference between them having not had much of the whey protein, but the the most obvious difference is that the vegan type costs a lot more! The reason one takes a protein supplement is because sometimes we just cant meet our macro targets through a regular diet. 

 

Supplements exist for all the types of nutrients, from Omega-3s to Branch Chain Amino Acids' (BCAA's), and Vitamins to Caffeine. The reasons we take them is to be at our best all day round, from sleep, to working out and recovering, and through our daily life, and seldom do we get enough nutrients in us through our foods on a day to day basis to cover all areas.     

 

  

Protein Products

Check out some of the protein supplements supplied by Vivo Life. I've been taking their Vegan Protein Powder for a couple years now and probably would never switch up. Though its a little on the expensive side, it tastes great mixed with almond milk and doesn't give me any of the side effects I get from dairy versions. Another reason I love it is because it comes packed with BCAA's and other ingredients like Turmeric which have their added benefits. Check out the links to find out more and read reviews for your self. I usually opt for the Acai Berry & Blueberry flavour but you can get them in Vanilla, Banana and Cacao as well. 

Click on the pictures to check out some of Vivo Life's products

If you have no issues with lactose products, check out these three products from Optimum Nutrition, Bulk Powders and pHD Nutrition which are highly rated by consumers, and they're a bang for your buck.

 

Click on the images to check out their details and reviews.  

Protein Bars

Supplements Shortlisted..

I'll list a few supplements considered to be top on my list and the reasons why

Whey or Vegan Protein - With a target of 1.5g x per kg of bodyweight, which amounts to roughly 110g of protein per day, its not easy prepping meals (and sometimes eating them) to reach this figure. Chugging down a shake containing 25g of protein in just a few mins seems like a no brainer!

 

Creatine - This gives me the "pump" feeling during the workout. It increases the amount of water retained by the muscles, which allows more nutrients to flow to the skeletal muscles, which in turn can give an extra boost of energy to get that extra rep in.

Caffeine - You've got to stay focused and alert during intense workouts. I usually train right at the end of the day when my mind should be getting ready to sleep, but I delay this by taking in a shot of caffeine.

 

Multi Vitamins & Minerals - Leading an active lifestyle means taking in a bit more vitamins and minerals than the average person. It's even more important to make sure you don't become deficient in these micro-nutrients when taking on a restrictive diet and solely focusing on protein, carb and fat intake.

Omega 3 fatty acids - Omega 3 is reported to have a huge range of benefits, from helping with sleep to reducing inflammation and joint pain, so why not add a couple to the diet if you're sure you're not getting enough in.

 

The above have been around for decades, but with all things too good, there can be side effects so be sure to look into whats good for you and always read the label before taking anything. Other supplements worth considering are BCAA's and Pre-workouts so be sure to look into these and see if they would work for you.   

 

   

Disclaimer: As with anything in life, too much of anything can be toxic for your body. An overdose leading to an imbalance of nutrients can cause other nutrients to not function properly. You should always seek medical advice before starting a nutritional program, and no content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. The content on this site is for information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. None of the authors, contributors, administrators, or anyone else connected with this site, in any way whatsoever, can be responsible for your use of the information contained in or linked from these web pages. See full disclaimer here.  

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