There is so much controversial information out there today about the amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat we should consume daily! I decided to write a post to give you some guidelines about the 3 main nutrients that fuel our bodies and the best sources. First off protein, carbohydrates and fat should all be balanced. If they are not in balance it can affect performance and results. Protein, carbs and fat support the energy requirement of an athlete.
Food is Fuel!
- Protein will not build muscle/lean muscle without carbs - Athletes need protein primarily to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during exercises and helps optimize carbohydrate storage - If you rely on protein as an energy source you will be extremely tired Why? Amino acids (the building block of protein) will be quickly oxidized and burned as fuel - A diet high in protein and low in carbs will reduce endurance performance - Protein will be used to build tissue and assist in repair - Protein nor fat can be oxidized fast enough to meet the demands of high-intensity exercise, this is why an adequate amount of carbs is important
Best Sources of Protein
Chicken Breast, skinless. Amount: 1 oz. Protein (g): 8 Turkey Breast, skinless. Amount: 1 oz. Protein (g): 8 Salmon, freshwater. Amount: 1 oz. Protein (g): 7.5 Cod, Haddock, Halibut. Amount: 1 oz. Protein (g): 7 Grass Fed Beef. Amount: 1 oz. Protein (g): 6
Best Sources of Vegan Protein
Tempeh. Amount: 1 cup. Protein (g): 41 Seitan. Amount: 3 ounces. Protein (g): 31 Soybeans, cooked. Amount: 1 cup. Protein (g): 29 Lentils, cooked. Amount: 1 cup. Protein (g): 18 Black Beans, cooked. Amount: 1 cup. Protein (g): 15
- Carbohydrate = Sugar (glucose, glycogen, dextrose etc.)
- Provides energy to satisfy caloric need, is a quick energy source (ATP is produced quickly)
- Improves muscle recovery
- Carbs can manipulate the way the body looks, can hold onto water
- To loose weight do not combine carbs and fat together
- Carbs create mental energy and delayed fatigue
- Consume carbs before and after exercise to improve performance
- A diet low in carbs will reduce endurance performance
- 50 percent of caloric intake should be carbs to maintain a optimal body performance
Best Sources of Carbs
Muesli. Amount: 1 cup. Carbs (g): 65 Sweet Potato. Amount: 1 cup. Carbs (g): 200 Strawberries. Amount: 1 cup. Carbs (g): 150 Honey. Amount: 1 tablespoon. Carbs (g): 17-20 Lentils. Amount: 1 cup. Carbs (g): 200
- Fats are the most misunderstood nutrient - Reduce unhealthy processed fats, Increase healthy essential fats - Healthy fats are essential to the body helping reduce inflammation and decrease excess body fat - Trans fats and saturated fats are bad for you - Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you - Avoid fat free food. The added ingredients are what cause people to put on extra pounds - Healthy fats bring your body back into energy balance after an intense workout - As much as 90% of our energy comes from fat - If you eat unhealthy, processed fats all day long you most likely will feel exhausted and drained by the end of the day due to improper nutrition. Fuel with proper fats!
Best Sources of Fat
Avocado. Amount: 1 medium. Fat (g): 30 Olive Oil. Amount: 1 tablespoon. Fat (g): 14 Almonds, Raw. Amount: 1/2 cup. Fat (g): 35 Walnuts, Raw. Amount: 1/2 cup. Fat (g): 39 Wild Atlantic Salmon. Amount: 6 oz. Fat (g): 11
A couple more tips!
- A well-balanced diet of about 50 % carbs, 30 % fat, 20 % protein is the optimal way to fuel your body for performance - Protein, carbs and fat are the 3 nutrients that support energy of all human beings - If rest, nutrition or resistance training is compromised then so will the results