Whenever someone mentions nutrition if you are like most people you find yourself shutting off to the topic. When most people think of nutrition they generally think of eating foods that are bland and boring and more importantly that you think you dont like this however is not the case. Its about making better choices in your diet. One of the most important factors for nutrition is getting the correct amount of each nutrient type. This is determined through the amount of calories required specificic for your workout requirements.
How much calories you require will depend on your body size and exercise level. It is generally accepted that the following is required each day. It is important to remember however that you will only lose weight if you burn more calories than what you are consuming.
Sedentary activity you require about 13 calories per pound of body weight
Moderate physical activity will require about 16 calories per pound of body weight
Vigorous exercise will require about 18 calories per pound of body weight
The generally accepted amount of carbohydrates that you should be looking at taking in order to perform its duty that of fuelling the brain is 130 grams per day. This exact amount will depend on what fitness goals you have however for example if you are looking for weight loss a figure of 40% of your total calories is recommended however health specialists recommend a percentage of between 45 to 65% of total calories each day. So what types of carbohydrates should you be taking
Beans peas and lentils
These contain both protein and carbohydrates
Spinach broccoli and asparagus are great options as well as orange red purple brown and yellow vegetables. The ideal amount of vegetables to have each day is about 3 cups of the different colours.
Men generally need about 2 cups of fruit per day have a mixture of both fresh and dried fruits such as dates and apricots however have a quarter cup per serving of dried fruits.
Whole grains allow you to feel fuller for longer whilst getting the adequate amount of carbohydrates required to fuel the body. Select whole grains such as brown rice and oats.
The best time to eat carbohydrates
Ensure you spread your carbohydrates throughout the day and mix them in with protein foods and fat. These 3 will help keep your blood sugar level stable and provide the necessary energy. Post workout take carbohydrates 1 hour later to refuel muscle.
The amount of protein required by men is generally considered to be about a third of a gram per pound of body weight. It is recommended that protein should make up about 15% of a healthy persons diet. If you are going for muscle gains as well for your fitness goals you will need to increase this by 20% more.
It is important to understand what sources your protein is coming from either natural sources like peanut butter pumpkin seeds egg whites or from powder this is usually from products made from whey protein. You should aim for 5 to 10 grams of protein for a snack or 10 to 20 grams of protein for a meal replacement.
Whey protein powder
Whey protein is considered the benchmark for protein powders not only is it easily digestible but it also contains essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for increased muscle and branched chain amino acids will reduce soreness from workouts and will aid in muscle growth as well.
Studies show that increased salt intake will lead to decreased risk of higher blood pressure and the subsequent reduced risk of heart disease. It is also important to also get plenty of potassium, magnesium and calcium. You can help manage salt intake by increasing intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy.
In terms of sugars it is important to have these types of products at the correct times, if using as a meal replacement an energy bar should not be used, instead a better alternative would be a protein bar which contains fibre and good fats.
Total fat consumption should generally be no more than 30 to 35% of daily calories however this should drop to 20 to 25% if weight is an issue. The fats to avoid are saturated fat products from animals like skin and products like margarine and fried foods and baked products. Instead use unsaturated fats like olive oil and fish.