Diet is not a restriction of your food choices, it's what you choose to eat.
Proper nutrition can enhance the results of exercise, improve performance, reduce the risk of disease and illness, increase energy, and favorably alter body composition.
** I share my recommendations below in blue.**
Water is life. The body cannot get used to being dehydrated. Even a fluid loss of 2% bodyweight will adversely affect circulatory functions and decrease performance levels. With dehydration comes decreased performance, sweat rate, blood volume, cardiac output, and increased heart rate, sodium retention, and use of muscle glycogen.
Drinking an adequate amount of water will improve body temperature regulation, metabolic function, and endocrine gland and liver function. Nutrients are also distributed through the body, blood volume is maintained and fluid retention is alleviated.
Sedentary adults should consume on average 9-13 cups of water per day. Those looking to lose weight can add an 8oz cup for every 25 pounds above their ideal body weight. 2 hours before working out, drink 14-22 oz of water. Drink 6-12 oz for every 15-20 minutes of exercise. After 60 min, drink a beverage containing up to 8% carbohydrate to replace decreasing muscle glycogen stores. Drink 16-24oz of water for every pound of body weight lost after an exercise. This is especially important for those who exercise multiple times a day.
Protein is essential to building muscle mass. It builds up and repairs body tissues and structures. Most people get more protein than they need. Medical professionals state that 12-35% of our daily calorie intake should come from protein.
Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are two general classes of amino acids: essential and nonessential. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body in sufficient amounts so they are brought in through food or another way. There are eight essential amino acids. There are 10 deemed nonessential because the body can manufacture them from fat, carbohydrates, and dietary nitrogen. Then two semi-essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body at a rate that will support growth.
Dietary protein is the delivery vehicle for amino acids. If a food supplies all of the essential amino acids in appropriate ratios, it is called a complete protein. For those focusing on losing weight through calorie restriction, protein can help with feeling energized and fuller throughout the day. There is no substantial evidence that increasing protein over recommended guidelines will enhance performance or hypertrophy in adults. What is important is the biologic value (BV) which measures the quality of a protein. The higher the BV the better for the body and the less amount of total protein will actually be needed.
Contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen generally classified as sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrates are the chief source of energy for all the body's functions and muscular exertion. They also help regulate digestion and utilization of protein and fat. A diet containing between 45-65% of total caloric intake per day of carbohydrates is recommended. Of that 45-65%, complex carbohydrates such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains should make up the majority of the calories.
Most people overlook the necessity of the complex carbohydrate fiber. The higher fiber is in the daily diet can help lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
There are two forms of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber dissolves by water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. Found in foods such as oats, barley, and legumes, the benefits include moderating blood glucose levels and lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fiber, found in bran layers of cereal grains pass through the colon close to its original form reducing the risk and occurrence of colorectal cancer, hemorrhoids, and constipation.
Many people think carbs are the biggest risk factor for diabetes, but science has shown that a high-fat diet and a sedentary lifestyle contributing to obesity and insulin resistance is also a symptom.
The best lifestyle choice includes increasing energy expenditure and decreasing energy consumption.
Lipids (fats) include triglycerides, phospholipids, and sterols. Triglycerides are saturated or unsaturated and are in food and the body. Polyunsaturated fatty acids provide important fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are risk factors for heart disease. Unsaturated fats are associated with increases in good cholesterol and decreased risk of heart disease.
One gram of fat contains 9 calories. It is generally insoluble in water and is present in all cells. The body needs fat for energy, insulation, aiding the digestion process, structure and membrane function, cellular signals, and the regulation of uptake and excretion of nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K in cells. The recommended range for adult fat intake is 20-35% of total caloric intake. More than 35% leads to overeating and often slows metabolism.