Sleep and work out timing are crucial elements to consider when designing an athlete's training program. Physical performance is best from 3-6 pm in the afternoon, with strength peaking from 2-6 PM. Your body is at less risk for injury during afternoon workouts because your joints and tissues are 20% more flexible than they are during your least flexible time of day. Part of this can be attributed to warming up during your daily routines and tasks. Researchers have concluded that afternoon workouts yield the best performance. They have also concluded that athlete's need at least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted each night in order to yield optimal performance results. This is a crucial necessity! Research has shown a strong link between sleep, memory, & performance. There are 7 cycles of sleep (Another article on this later) that the body needs to go through each night in order to repair and restore itself for optimal cognitive function. When we hit a deep uninterrupted sleep the body releases Human Growth Hormone (HGH) which helps repair cells & tissues and improves fitness and sports performance. The brain also processes information gathered from the day during this time. Sleep is necessary to reach goals and improve performance. Losing 2 hours of sleep a night creates a sleep debt and causes significant impairments in performance, attention, memory, cognitive function, and decision making. Someways you can improve your sleep are by limiting caffeine and alcohol, eliminate tobacco use, lower temperature, and limit TV viewing in your sleeping area before bedtime. If you don't fall asleep within 30 minutes of bedtime get out of bed and go do something else until your mind & body feel tired. It is important before sleep to bring your body to a total state of relaxation. A good way to do that is to engage in meditation or yoga. Here are few yoga poses that can help you relax into a good night's sleep. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk71G6dXemc Remember to breathe and allow yourself to completely relax! If you need a little more assistance in getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep check out Isagenix's Brain & Sleep support system http://www.crystallovell.isagenix.com/en-US/products/categories/systems-and-paks/brain-sleep-system It helps restore your circadian clock so you hit all 7 sleep cycles. All natural, non-addictive, and yes it does work! For optimal physical & mental performance TRAIN during the afternoon and get your 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep on!!!
Source: IDEA Fitness Journal Nov.-Dec. 2013
Have you ever wondered why we have food cravings and why people battle with making good food choices? Well researchers have discovered a critical link between the unhealthy connection between food and addiction- Dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure. Cocaine, heroin, and sugar all stimulate the dopamine transmitter that triggers cravings. When we are about to eat 90% of the dopamine neurons in the Ventral Tegemental Area of the brain are stimulated. The VTA transmitters branch out to other parts of the brain stimulating dopamine receptors. Scientists are curious about how this works and have focused their attention to understanding how the reward centers in obese and overweight individuals work in an attempt to discover whether certain types of food have the same effect on the dopamine system as drugs. Results from their research shows that obese people had less dopamine receptors in the brain so therefore had to eat more in order to gain the same satisfaction as person of average weight. They questioned whether these people already have fewer receptors predisposing them genetically to weight gain or did they have a normal amount that was downsized due to repeated exposure. Their conclusion was both. They confirmed that it was certain hyper palatable types of food (high fat, unhealthy processed foods) that reduced the amount of dopamine receptors in the brain. When people were exposed to their favorite foods but not allowed to eat them they had a dopamine surge that caused them to have a craving for the food even f they weren’t hungry. This is the same cycle that occurs for drug users too. It’s an addictive cycle of anticipation and reward. When researchers fed rats a diet that consisted of fat and processed foods the rat’s brain structure changed similarly to that of a cocaine user. Researchers also did a study using MRI to monitor neural activity of people who demonstrate addictive patterns around food. They found the same neural pattern as chronic drug users- Very high levels of anticipation and a very low level of satisfaction afterwards.
How does addiction develop? When the brain is continually flooded with dopamine it causes a decrease in dopamine receptors therefore creating an increase of consumption to get the same or less satisfaction. This creates a vicious cycle of increased consumption, less dopamine receptors, and a need to consume more. They also discovered that people with less dopamine receptors also have less activity in the prefrontal cortex which is the area of the brain responsible planning, organizing, making choices, and creativity as well as controlling impulsiveness, impatience, and irritability. Moderation to a food addict is crucial point to exercise because they need to eat more food to experience reward and pleasure that’s normal to the average person. For a person that’s addicted to food it’s much more difficult to stop after one bite. However it is proven that people do get the same satisfaction from one bite as they do ten. The food doesn’t change after the first bite, the individuals reaction to the first bite is what changes.
Researchers are discovering that hyper palatable diets are more rewarding and potentially more addicting than heroin and cocaine. Lab rats that where allowed unlimited access to high fat, high simple carbohydrate diets almost ate themselves to death and when they were withdrawn from the food they went through the same shakes and withdrawal symptoms that drug users undergo without their fix. Once the rats became addicted to sugar they were eager and easily addicted to amphetamines, alcohol, and cocaine. When the cross-addicted rats where offered a choice they chose the sugar first. In humans, there is evidence that habitual consumption of calorie dense hyper palatable diets cause changes in the brain that mirror those that occur with drug addiction. People crave calorie dense foods for the primal reason of surviving. Naturally we where wired to eat to survive and calorie dense foods provide an opportunity for a higher survival rate, however, today things have changed. Some individuals survive to eat.
Another reason people struggle with food addiction is because of genes. I am not talking about changes in the family’s genome structure but rather the influence of environment to trigger certain genes- Epigenetics. Here’s an example of how that works (cited from the ACE Idea Fitness journal October 2012) Take an individual who starts the day in fight or flight overdrive, arguing with a spouse on the way out the front door, skipping breakfast, dealing with traffic on the way to work, getting to work hungry, dealing with a micromanaging boss, and being glued to a computer screen and office chair all day. This individual has all of these external stressors which are causing acetylcholine and cortisol (hormones that trigger fat storage and cravings) levels to skyrocket out the roof. In order to satisfy these hormones it is all too convenient to go to the office vending machine or drive thru to bring you back to a level of reward and comfort. The constant dependence for satisfaction will eventually lead to an increased waist line and changes in the brain structure. It takes a toll on the genes by changing their structure to support overeating and addiction, which then reinforces the food craving addiction cycle.
The great thing about knowing all of this is that there are a few simple steps that individuals can take to help alleviate their cravings and bring their consumption level back under control. The first thing is to reduce the impact of stress on your life. One way to do that is by practicing meditation, breathing techniques, yoga, or any sort of stimulating activity that brings you peace. You can lower stress levels by creating a conscious mind body connection. Sometimes it can be hard to do this because ego and subconscious beliefs can get in the way. That’s ok. Practice meditation and relaxation while focusing on individual areas of the body. When you participate in these types of mind body exercises you strengthen the pre frontal cortex (part of the brain used to make choices) and release more dopamine. After all, the food we consume is based off of choice. Every time we eat we are altering our genetic expression. The stronger your PFC is the more likely you will stick to eating an apple rather than a doughnut. Another way to regain control of food addictions is to start a regular exercise program. Now you do not need a gym membership or fancy equipment. You just gotta get up and get moving, get that heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. By exercising you are helping regenerate dopamine receptors which in turn helps rebuild the damage of past addictions and helps to prevent it in the future. You can prepare yourself for cravings by making clean recipes of your favorite foods that you can freeze for later when a crave attack hits and by keeping your fridge stocked with healthy whole foods. Pick one bad habit a week or day and replace it with a beneficial healthy activity or snack.
Some things to be mindful about are what types of living and working environments enables overeating and addictive behaviors? What can you do to emotionally strengthen yourself to avoid food addiction? What social triggers cause people to want to over eat unhealthy foods? Once you can identify some answers to these questions you can arm yourself to be prepared to make healthy choices and feel good. After all your body is your Buggatti and you only get one!
Source: ACE Idea Fitness Journal October 2012
Are you plagued with aching back or hip pain that you cannot get relief from? Are you unsure where your discomfort is coming from and have no clue why? There is this dicey little muscle hanging out around your spine called the Psoas muscle. It's tricky, complex, secretive, has multiple functions, and can create a lot of havoc if not tended to properly. The Psoas is compromised of superficial (shallow) and deep layers that attach the lower body to the upper body by attaching to the thigh and lower spine. The lumbar plexus resides between those layers. The lumbar plexus is a nerve collection that services the transverse and oblique abdominals, pelvic floor, deep hip rotators, and thigh muscles. The complexity of the structure makes the psoas a culprit for injuries. It plays an active role in hip flexion and vertebral stabilization. An important attribute of the psoas is to be able to lengthen so the spine, pelvis, and hips are able to move freely and comfortably. A lot of mid body (Hips, Pelvis, and lower back) pain can be attributed to a shortened psoas muscle. Some activities that contribute to a shortened psoas include extended periods of sitting, stair stepping machines, and treadmills. Treadmills contribute to a tighter psoas because they encourage hip flexion rather than extension by removing the resistance needed to cause extension. Most people will overcompensate a shortened psoas by utilizing hip flexion instead which in turn contributes to shortening of the psoas, it's kind of a vicious cycle. So what can be done to reduce mid body pain and keep the psoas lengthened? For starters reduce your sitting time. Walk around more or jog. When you are walking engage your lower abs by keeping your pelvis rolled forward so you are standing up straight. You can do a self assessment to find your neutral spine by standing side ways and looking in a mirror, you want your hip to be under your shoulders and your bottom in a neutral position- not an arched back with your butt and gut sicking out. To maintain a neutral spine engage your lower abs and roll your pelvis up so you are in a completely aligned neutral position, here's a visual-http://www.relaxedandalert.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Spine.jpg Practice walking like this until it becomes natural. You will notice some of the tension starting to leave other parts of your body as you engage these muscles. Replace hip flexing activities with hip extending activities. Some examples are rather than using the treadmill, bicycle or equipment that encourages sitting try inline skating, cross country skiing, running and walking on natural surfaces, use real stairs rather than the stair stepper, do box jumps and extend all the way at the top, do bridges and backbends over a stability ball, and eliminate/reduce use of seated workout machines. Try doing a few yoga stretches to increase mobility. Below is a super great video that shows some yoga moves to alleviate mid body pain. Always keep in check with your body so you are maintaining a pain free strong proper posture. These are just a few preliminary steps to aid in relieving and preventing mid/low body pain, sometimes people will need more advanced help in which cases I recommend Revive Injury and Wellness Center.https://www.facebook.com/ReviveInjuryhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DavfjAoWdvE
Copyright 2013 Crystal_lovell1@yahoo.com
ACE Idea Fitness Journal Oct. 2012
Juggling a busy schedule that consists of 40-60 hours in the office, home, life, kid, and animal responsibilities (if you have them) is enough to deter anybody from squeezing in gym time/workout time. However, that does not mean that you are doomed from being healthy. There are so many options to incorporate fitness and health into your daily life. If you have serious training goals with serious time constraints you can easily incorporate short effective workouts such as a 10 minute mile, jog, or walk or a 10-15 minute HIIT workout, before work, at lunch, or after work. If you are feeling too constrained with time and do not have opportunities to clean up after your workout you can incorporate other types of physical activity throughout your day. For example- take stairs instead of elevators- If you are in a hurry sprint the stairs, in a parking lot park as far back as possible and walk/jog to the store front- maybe throw a couple walking lunges in there too, if you have a 10 minute stretch break at work- do that- stretch, do some push-ups, bring a yoga mat/towel- get on the floor and do some sit-ups. The point is even if getting to the gym or scheduling in a workout doesn't jive with your work/life schedule find/make opportunities in your day to be active- even if it is only for 10 minutes- it's better than 0 minutes. If you take your kids/animals to the park to play- go play with them- get on the monkey bars, climb the fire pole, play some tag. If you are waiting for an appointment (oil changes, tire changes, etc.) rather than waiting in the lobby use that time as an opportunity to go for a walk or if you are proactive pack a gym bag- there may be a gym close by that you can drop-in to for a quick session while you wait. You don't necessarily have to look like a fitness model to be healthy. You need to have healthy vital stats (Blood pressure, cholesterol, etc) and you get that by being active, getting that heart rate up every now and again, and eating nutritiously. You only get one body, take care of it, it's your Bugatti.www.crystallovell.isagenix.com
Sometimes it can be difficult to go to the grocery store and know what to buy. You want to shop cheap, get foods that people like, and try to purchase healthy wholesome nutrition. However with so many misleading healthy foods out there it can be difficult to know what to buy so, I've compiled a list of a few of my favorite grocery store items.
On top of purchasing fresh groceries I am taking full advantage of Oregon's growing season to grow as much of my own produce as possible which helps to lighten the financial impact of grocery shopping. I am comforted by knowing where my food came from and that it was produced in a safe quality manner in my own backyard.
So, before we get into the grocery list, here's the best grocery store tip EVER:
Shop the perimeter where all of the fresh foods are and avoid the middle aisles where all of the boxed foods are as much as possible. It's actually very simple.
Here's an example of what is in our fridge and pantry at any given time-
Apples (great to slice up and take for a snack to work- add a spice of cinnamon and you can have a "mock apple pie snack"
Cherries (Picked from the tree)
Berries (Picked from random country briars)
Any vegetable and/or fruit are great nutritional resources. Paired up with a few other ingredients you can create some amazingly delicious healthy quick and easy recipes.
Steaks- Any kind of steaks or beef
Chicken Breast or Whole
Fish- Not farmed always fresh
Eggs (usually from our farm)
Tillamook Unsalted Butter
Whole Milk (The boxed size one- this is used sparingly and for treats in our house)
Plain Greek Yogurt
Tillamook Cheddar Cheese
In the middle of the store (used sparingly):
Whole coconut milk
Tru Pickles (Suprisingly I found these at the hardware store)
Dave's Killer Bread
Red Wine (Usually Apothic Red, a Cav, or Merlot)
The result is a full cart of nutritious groceries that will feed us for a couple of weeks all while hardly wasting time or money in the center aisles where all of processed garbage resides such as cookies, crackers, chips, ice cream, cereal, stove top pasta "mixes"...and the list goes on.
Stick to a list similar to this and you will be on your way to feeling fabulous and looking fit. Here's to you and your health!
Active people take hits. They get bumps, bruises, aches, and pains. Some are ER worthy in which case the patient will undergo physician’s care. Others are mere inconveniences that cause pain, swelling, discoloration, and irritation. Instances of pain are normal, chronic pain is not. There are solutions and preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the body’s reaction to active lifestyle occurrences.
Athletes must train and prepare the body for the impacts it will be enduring. While working on this report I did a survey with a few high impact athletes from different disciplines. They shared all of the insider secrets to preparing the body for high impact sports, right down to specialized exercises and workout regiments. The most emphasized point was stretching. It is very important to keep the body loose and flexible so it will be responsive to hard hits. Each individual had their own workout program with their personal favorite exercises to keep them in top shape for their sport. All of the programs included a nice balance of cardio, resistance (weights/bodyweight/bands), and flexibility. Most of the athlete’s I interviewed with preferred bodyweight exercises over conventional weights because it was easier to consistently workout while traveling utilizing the goods they already have. Keeping the body flexible and strong is key to being able to take big hits with less consequence.
When the body takes a hard hit it reacts much in the same manner as a vehicle that has been rallied through potholes. The steering components loosen, become misaligned, put unnecessary stress and pressure on other components, and may fail to work properly. If left unmaintained the misalignment will eventually cause other problems. The same thing happens to people. When a body takes an impactful hit the part of the body that landed first will react to the force by either causing a bone or joint to move or break. The repercussions can be rotated pelvises, misaligned spines, dislocated joints, or broken bones etc. When the skeletal system takes a jarring the muscles will constrict or lengthen to accommodate the re-alignment of the bones. This is where muscle imbalances begin to develop if left untreated which then creates opportunity for more problems to occur. For example if a person lands on a hip one or more muscles will contract and the opposites will extend causing an imbalance in the hips and the pelvis to rotate. Over an extended period of time this condition can start to radiate pain up through the back, neck, and shoulders causing more issues to arise later such as decreased performance ability and more sites of pain and discomfort due to constricted and over compensating muscles.
There are a myriad of solutions to re-aligning your body and reducing the pain should you get knocked off kilter. A good stretching session, yoga, or Myofascial release are all convenient home remedies that can be practiced as part of a regular routine. Myofascial release utilizes a foam roller or tennis balls to relieve tension and knots in the muscles and should be incoporated as a regular part of your workout program. It helps reduce the vulnerability for injuries by breaking scar tissue, knots, and moving bad blood out of the muscles. Another good option is to utilize icing, heating, and hot tub therapy right after impact to reduce swelling or before stretching or myofascial releasing to help loosen the muscles for improved results. Dependent upon the severity of the injury others may need more intense therapy because they are not able to re-align on their own. This may happen if the muscles become too tight and start to constrict from too much time lapse or with broken bones and dislocated joints. Fortunately relief can be found with a good deep tissue or sports massage to loosen the muscles and knots in conjunction with a chiropractic adjustment(s) if needed to achieve accelerated results on less severe cases. Bad breaks and dislocations may need more advanced practices such as surgery.
After re-aligning the body it is important to rebuild the muscles that became weakened. This is alternatively known as physical therapy. If you have had enough accidents you will already know what to do. If you don’t you can enlist the help of a personal trainer or a physical therapist depending on the severity of your injuries to help get you back up and running again.
Active people take hits. You must train to endure your sports. If you get in an accident there are several remedies to help relieve the pain. Keep yourself prepared for the battle. Your body is your Bugatti. Take care of it like one.
©Copyrighted 2013 email@example.com
"In order to build the body up you must break it down first" The body utilizes energy stores and recruits muscle fibers to power through a workout. Post workout, muscle fibers will develop tiny tears from being challenged (This is what facilitates muscle growth) and lactic acid (A by-product of ATP energy) will build up in the muscles also causing soreness. After excercise the body's insulin and energy levels are low, muscles temporarily break down as the body utilizes protein to repair itself, and stress hormones such as cortisol are high. In order to reverse all of these reactions insulin levels need to be raised for energy restoration and tissue repairs, protein needs to be supplied to repair and replace damaged tissues, and carbs (from veggies- not chips) and protein needs to be consumed to reduce effects of cortisol on the body. What your body needs now is rest and recovery. Recovery is crucial within the first 30-45 minutes. Energy stores need to be replenished with high quality nutrition. This will reduce the amount of time that it takes for your body to recover and prepare for the next excercise session. The longer you wait to re-fuel the longer it will take the body to repair and prepare for the next excercise session. However, you do not want to be re-fueling your body with just anything. It's recomended to have a good high quality combination of proteins, carbs, and fats. Science based sports nutrition makes a huge difference in recovery, stamina, and strength gains. There are many different brands out there to choose from. When choosing a Post- WoD recovery meal- consider the sources of where it's coming from, what's in it, does it provide all of the nutrients that the body needs to function and repair, are there any artificial sweetners, or other toxicity's? I prefer to use Isagenix brand because I know it's clean, tested, and proven. Remember to drink lots of water and get plenty of rest so you are strong and ready to kill your next workout or physical activity. www.crystallovell.isagenix.com
Source- Idea Fitness Journal September 2012
i]Your Body: The Bugatti
By Crystal Lovell
If you had a luxury sports car you would not put regular grade fuel in it and expect high quality performance. After spending a large amount of money for the prestige of driving an optimal performance vehicle, you would use the best quality of fuel available to achieve high level performance results. Your body operates in this same manner. Think of your body as your Bugatti, (or whatever luxury car tickles your fancy) because in essence it is. It is imperative to your future health that you fuel it for maximal performance. Just like every other living organism on this earth each of our bodies are unique as to what type and how much fuel is needed to meet our daily activities and stressors- Our personal daily grind. In order for a person to know what to consume, they should know how the body utilizes the fuel we feed it.
Our body is extremely complex. It is made up of quadzillions of different types of molecules, cells, atoms, etc. Each physical action has a direct effect on electrical and chemical ionizations within the body. In simpler terms, we are just one gigantic moving mass of constant electrical and chemical reactions. There are three macronutrients that the body utilizes for fuel sources to facilitate these reactions: Carbohydrates, Fat, and Protein. It is very important to consume all three of these in your diet from a variety of whole, natural sources to ensure you get all of the micronutrients as well. For example- You can get carbohydrates from white bread, however white bread does not have nutritional value. A better source of carbohydrate is from vegetables because you are also receiving micronutrients. Be aware of what types of foods you are putting into your body. Ensure that your food is coming from a nutrient rich, whole, or pure source i.e. minimally or un processed.
Activity level and nutritional goals determine the amount each individual should be consuming because different training intensities utilize different energy pathways to meet imposed demands. On average it has been advised that people consume 45-65% of their daily calories from complex carbohydrates, 10-35% of daily calories from protein, and less than 25-30% from fats. This is just a general guideline. Everybody is unique to what they need. Some may need a little more while others will need a bit less of each nutrient. It is important to read food labels so you know what and how much you are putting in your body.
The human body has three main energy pathways- aerobic metabolism, anaerobic metabolism, and creatine-phosphate metabolism and an “auxiliary” pathway called the glucose-alanine pathway. Each of the three macro-nutrients are metabolized through these pathways to deliver energy to the cells, fuel the body, and facilitate motion. Aerobic metabolism is used to provide energy at lower intensities of training, whereas anaerobic metabolism and creatine phosphate metabolism are utilized at higher intensities of training which require quick bursts of energy lasting less than 2 minutes. Glucose-alanine metabolism is activated after hours of exercise when the other energy systems have been depleted and aides in force production, tissue repair, and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production. All of the energy pathways work together to produce movement at differing intensities, sometimes overlapping and working together between training zones.
Carbohydrates are the main fuel source for the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP is the chemical compound required for all cellular reactions. All physical actions (body movement) are a result of cellular reactions. Carbohydrates are ATPs nutrient of choice because the body is able to metabolize them more quickly and easily than fat or protein. The anaerobic and creatine-phosphate pathways primarily use carbohydrate as the main energy source for ATP production because of its immediate availability The anaerobic and creatine phosphate systems are used to sustain energy for quick explosive actions such as sprints, throwing, or high intensity activities lasting 2 minutes or less. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver as glycogen and converted to glucose for immediate delivery to the muscles through the bloodstream. Since carbohydrate metabolism requires less oxygen than fat metabolism the body will use more glucose and less fat for energy as intensities increase. Carbohydrates that are not utilized quickly after intake become stored in the body as adipose tissue also known as fat. This occurs because the muscles will convert the unused energy into glycogen for fat storage. This is where the term “negative energy” balance comes into play. You want to keep your body in negative energy balance by using more calories than what you consume. Carbohydrates provide 4 kilocalories per gram. So if you consume something that has 20 grams of carbohydrates you are consuming 80 calories of carbohydrate. Those calories are going straight to your fuel tank/energy systems. If you do not utilize those calories with activity then you get sediment build up in the bottom of your fuel tank- i.e. fat storage. Some good sources of complex carbohydrates are vegetables (not white potatoes or corn- these are high in starch), fresh fruits, hummus (preferably homemade), steel cut oatmeal, and 100% whole grains that are high in fiber such as Dave’s Killer Bread. Consuming carbohydrates from these types of sources helps maintain negative energy balance when consumed in moderation. It is advised for people with sugar imbalances or gluten allergies to not consume bread or grains.
Fat is utilized by the aerobic pathway as its main fuel source. The aerobic pathway is utilized at lower intensities of training in which an individual can talk comfortably while engaging in the activity. In order for fat be utilized as an energy source it has to undergo a process called lipolysis. Lipolysis occurs when triglycerides are broken down into free fatty acids and glycerol. Lipolysis causes fat metabolization and utilization to happen at a slower pace than carbohydrate utilization, creating a constant streaming fuel source that is available at lower intensities of training. When more fat is consumed in the diet than what the body metabolizes it becomes stored as adipose tissue. Greater reliance on fat during muscle fatiguing activities reduces muscle power because the breakdown and utilization of fat is slower than that of carbohydrate. However, carbohydrates are necessary to metabolize fat. Fat provides 9 kilocalories per gram and as a general guideline should make-up about 25-30% or less of your daily caloric intake. If a person consumes 2000 calories a day 500 or less of those calories should come from fats. Remember though that everybody is different some people may need to consume a little more fats while others will need less. Good food choices for healthy fats are avocadoes, nuts (preferably almonds because they are a rich source of omega 3, 6, & 9 amongst a multitude of other micronutrients), fish (salmon), olive oil, real butter, coconut oil, and natural peanut butter. Look at the nutritional information to know how many grams and calories per gram are in each serving. When purchasing in bulk this information can be found online.
The main function of protein is to build and repair muscles and other tissues in the body. Protein is not readily accessible for energy like carbohydrate and fat. However, it is still available as an energy source through the glucose-alanine pathway. In order for protein to be used as an energy source it must first break down into amino acids. Amino acids can be supplied to muscle tissue through blood and from the amino acid pool in the muscle fiber. Skeletal muscle can be used to metabolize certain types of amino acids to produce ATP. The amino acids are converted into glucose which is delivered to the cells through the glucose-alanine pathway. This is important because during prolonged periods of exercise the increase in amino acid conversion helps prevent hypoglycemia and may provide some energy for muscular contractions. Good sources for protein are seafood (especially shrimp- they have the most amount of protein per gram), white meat from poultry, eggs, beef (yes beef- grass-fed, homegrown is the best for flavor and quality), and plain greek yogurt (you can add your own fresh fruits if desired). Protein provides 4 kilocalories per gram.
It is very important to fuel your body with the macronutrients in balanced proportions fit to meet your daily activity levels. Most foods are not strictly carbohydrate, protein, or fat, they are a combination of the macro and micro nutrients in varying amounts. This is why it is important to know how many calories come from each gram per serving and the source. You want to consume foods that are high in micronutrients as well.
All systems relate to each other and work together, like a joined task force, at certain points during training sessions therefore more than one energy system at a time may be utilized. Energy sources need to be readily available for the body to meet the imposed demand. That’s why it is so important to eat balanced meals.
Break down of Energy:
Carbohydrate= 4 Kcals/g gets converted to Glucose then to Glycogen which is stored in muscle for ATP energy to be utilized for immediate quick Anaerobic energy. If the consumed carbs do not get utilized within a certain time period they get converted back to glucose which is a sugar then is stored in the body as fat for energy later.
Fat= 9 Kcals/g Fat=Fatty acids, necessary for nutrient synthesization. Fats are either stored as fat or undergo lipolysis for long lasting aerobic energy.
Protein= 4 Kcals/g Protein= Amino Acids Protein is used to build, repair, and maintain muscles. It is also used as an alternative fueling system after a prolonged duration of exercise or once all other energy stores are depleted.
Differing body types and activities require different types and amounts of fuels. It is important to first identify your activity level. A sedentary person is going to require less energy than an endurance runner so therefore will not need to consume as many calories to meet daily activities. An endurance runner is going to utilize more of an aerobic pathway and at certain times anaerobic energy. A body builder will rely more heavily on utilizing the aerobic and anaerobic pathways for force production and glucose-alanine pathway to facilitate muscle repair. The second important concept to understand when making food choices is identifying how quickly your body metabolizes food. If you have a slower metabolism that stores more than it burns, you need to eat less food more frequently throughout the day. If you have a faster metabolism then you need to consume more calories to facilitate your energy levels.
In conclusion, your body is the only Bugatti you will ever have in this life. If you expect race car performance then feed it race car grade fuel consisting of natural, complete nutrition in amounts to meet your energy levels and body type.
[i] Sources: ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals, ACE Personal trainer Manual 4th edition, Industry knowledge from experience.
Copyrighted 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org