In order to maintain a healthy body we must adhere to the rules set by nature and our hereditary inheritance for our diet. Our diet must contain the appropriate amounts of all the essential nutrients and must limit the selection of non essential nutrients as shall not adulterate our body with unfit properties.
The essential nutrients are:
Fibre, while essential to a healthy diet is not considered a nutrient as it is not digested in the gut, absorbed by the body or used for energy. However, it is needed for the proper functioning of the gut, for the effective digestion and absorption of nutrients. Fibre may also help lower cholesterol by binding with cholesterol thus preventing it from being absorbed by the body. Fibre also provides a non-calorie bulk to our diet, playing a good role in weight management. The lack of fibre has been linked (along with other factors) to the the development of conditions such as constipation, colon cancer, IBS and coronary heart disease.
Alcohol has also been shown to be utilised by most tissues of the body to release energy, and may also have other health benefits with moderate consumption, however it is unfortunately not yet considered an essential nutrient!
Summary of Dietary Reference Values & Energy Balance
Below is a Dietary Reference table for the average male & female. It can be used as a guide to help with weight management, no matter what your fitness goal for example: If you have a high activity job or exercise often and you do not want to lose weight you will need to adjust the values as needed.
2500kcals per day
55-60% of daily energy
55-60% of daily energy
30% (not more than 35%)
30% (not more than 35%)
The Energy Balance Equation
As with all things a balance is needed, so it is true of our total energy in relation to the energy we use up. If our energy intake is more than what is required, the result is weight gain. If our energy intake is less than we need, the result is weight loss. If our energy intake is the same as our requirement then we maintain our weight.
Energy in > Energy Out = Weight Gain
Energy in < Energy Out = Weight Loss
Energy in = Energy Out = Weight Maintenance
Low Calorie Diets
Restricted calorie diets are generally based on a daily intake of around 1000 kcals per day. This low energy intake will result in rapid weight loss as it is not enough to sustain most people, however much of the weight loss will be from muscle tissue and water.
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Functions of Fat
Over recent years, fat in our diet has received rather allot of negative prejudice, to the point that it is now common for people to think that fat is bad for them. This could not be further from the truth, fats are very important indeed to the health of your body and some fats are absolutely essential.
Functions of Fat:
• Protection of internal organs
• Thermoregulation (temperature control)
• Insulation of nerve cells – each nerve cell in the body is wrapped in a layer of fat called the Myelin sheath. This enables the nerve to conduct electrical messages
• Uptake and storage of fat-soluble vitamins. Insufficient fat may lead to deficiencies compromised by the ineffective use of these vitamins
• Provide energy – our bodies are very good at storing fat for energy usage. The body can easily carry 25kg of body fat whilst appearing slim, and each kg is worth 7700kcals. The average person has enough fat to produce the energy to walk to Japan!
• 1g of fat will provide 9kcals of energy
• Growth, development and repair of body tissues – the cell membrane surrounding all our body cells, including muscle cells, consist of layers of fat.
• Radiant skin & Glossy hair – Fats in our skin are responsible for radiant complexions and also keep our hair looking sleek and glossy. The first sign of a diet deficient in fat is dull, dry skin
• Reproduction (in women) – storage and modification of reproductive hormones – particularly oestrogen – takes place in the adipose tissue so that if the percentage of body fat drops too low, your ability to have children will be restricted. There will also be an increased risk of bone disease as oestrogen helps to stimulate bone growth
• Ensures a good supply of essential fatty acids – Omega 3 & 6
Health Risks Associated with Low Fat Diets
There are considerable health risks involved in cutting fat out of your diet for an extended period of time. Some early signs of deficiency would be that skin and hair condition would deteriorate. There is also the possibility that intakes of fat-soluble vitamins would be compromised. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids can result in hormonal imbalances, an impaired immune system and skin conditions. It is vital to include fat as part of a balanced healthy diet.
Fat Classifications and their Characteristics
Saturated Fats. Mainly come from animal sources and tend to be solid at room temperature, like butter, cream and the fat in meat and meat products.
Polyunsaturated Fats. Mainly come from plant sources and tend to be liquid at room temperature, examples include: sunflower oil and fish oil.
Monounsaturated Fats. These mainly come from a non-animal source and are liquid at room temperature, for example, olive oil and avocado.
Of the total amount of fat consumed you should aim to balance between the three types of fat. So 10% should be saturated, 10% Polyunsaturated and 10% Monounsaturated fats. This is mainly due to the fact that saturated fat carries large amounts of cholesterol which, while also essential for the body, elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood may have bad health repercussions. Saturated fats in the blood can also become embedded in artery walls, potentially leading to hardening of the arteries.
Essential Fatty Acids. Certain types of unsaturated fats are essential to the human body. While serving a variety of certain important roles, these are mainly responsible for maintaining the health of our immune system. They also have a beneficial effect on blood lipid profiles and clotting factors in the blood. These essential unsaturated fats are called Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, and should make up approximate 2-3% of our daily fat intake.
These are found in a number of plant sources – Evening Primrose Oil, Rapeseed oil, and of course meat and fish. The best source of essential fatty acids are fish oils, this is why a good fish based diet is particularly beneficial
Trans Fats. Is not a naturally occurring fat. It is common for some people to think that you are taking the healthy option by eating vegetable oil margarine as opposed to butter. This is where the media, and some companies have lied. The manufacturing process needed to solidify the oil to make it spreadable (called hydrogenation), turns a good deal of the fat into the saturated form. The benefits of using trans fats to the food manufacturer is mainly the cheaper production and higher profits. It has been recommended to limit fat intake from trans fats.
Mainly from animal sources and solid at room temperature.
With the exception of palm oil and coconut oil
Mainly from non-animal sources and liquid at room temperature
Mainly from non-animal sources and liquid at room temperature
Trans Fatty Acids
Not naturally occurring fats.
Produced by a process called hydrogenation. This process converts a liquid fat into solid fat.
Many manufactured products
Some fast foods
Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3 & 6
Found in mono and polyunsaturated fats. Omega 3 found in fewer food sources than Omega 6
Dark green leafy vegetables
Function of Protein
Protein is essential for the growth, maintenance and repair of body tissues. Protein is a part of every living cell and some tissues, like skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments, hair and the core of bones and teeth are mostly made up of protein. In addition to the structural role in the body, proteins play a major role in many of the physiological functions that take place inside the body.
• All enzymes are proteins. Enzymes control both the rate and the pattern of all chemical reactions that take place inside the human body, including digestion of food and the extraction of energy from it.
• Some hormones are made up of protein. These are chemical messengers that alter the normal physiological activity of cells within the human body, and they cover a wide range of functions, for example insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar (glucose) levels.
• Antibodies are proteins. These are produced by white blood cells and move directly into the bloodstream to fight infection.
• Energy. Although not the most important source of energy, protein can provide 4ckal, per 1g.
The Structure of Protein
Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that take part in protein structure, of these 8 are essential or primary amino acids. These amino acids must be provided from your diet, as your body cannot produce these. The remaining 12 are called non-essential or secondary amino acids, and these can be produced by the body is they are in short supply. Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids all linked together and usually wrapped around each other to form a tangled ball.
When the body needs to synthesise a new protein, it looks around for the required components, one major source is old proteins that are no longer in use, which are then recycled to make new ones!
When a non-essential amino acid is not available, the cells will simply make what it needs. However, when an essential amino acid is missing, the body will need a new source to supply the required amino acids.
We need to eat protein on a daily basis to keep our cells topped up with all the amino acids we need. But we need to pay particular attention to the sources of the essential ones, as with all things we need to be selective and choose the right things that will benefit us. This is no problem for those of us who eat complete proteins such as meat, animal produce like eggs, milk and cheese.
Most plant based diets are proteins that are incomplete, so they have essential amino acids missing. In this case combining proteins can help solve the problem. Combinations of cereals with beans or peas, or nuts may help supply adequate amounts of the required amino acids. This is why vegan, or vegetarian diets are not fully recommended by most respected health professionals/ scientists.
Combining Incomplete Proteins
Peanut butter on Toast
Vegetable chilli & rice
Beans on Toast
Sources of Protein
Meat and dairy products will provide a good source of your protein, a significant amount will also come from nuts, grains, and cereal. The quality of protein also depends upon 2 factors; protein digestibility and amino acid content.
Animal Protein. Meat, meat products, fish, poultry, dairy products and eggs.
Non Animal Protein. Tofu, pulses, nuts, grains, soya, and cereals.
Protein Content of some Recommended Foods
150g – 1 steak
100g – 1/2 tin
130g – 1 breast
40g – 1 slice
Low fat yoghurt
200g – 1/2 tin
200g – 1/2 tin
20g – on 1 toast
200g – 1/2 tin
50g – handful
50g – handful
50g – handful
Although protein is needed for many vital bodily functions, it is not very often used for energy. It can be used for this purpose, but as long as there are enough carbohydrate and fat stores available, protein won’t be used. There is usually a large pool of amino acids available for protein synthesis, so our dietary needs for protein are relatively rather small.
Daily Protein Requirements
(This is a recommendation for average adults and is sufficient for most of the population.)
0.75g per kg in body weight
1.2-1.4g per kg body weight
1.4-1.8g per kg body weight
Intake over 2g have shown to provide no significant improvements
Protein needs for Cardio
Protein requirements for cardio workouts increase for several reasons. Firstly, due to the increased demand on muscles, a higher protein intake will benefit the repair and recovery of muscles.
Secondly, an increase in the amount of protein will compensate for the breakdown of muscle tissue due to depleted glycogen stores. This will normally take place 60-90 minutes of moderately hard cardio, and this process of converting muscle protein into glucose is called gluconeogenesis. This process is the body’s way of maintaining blood glucose levels when muscle and liver glycogen have become depleted due to exercise and when there is low energy intake – such as exercising on a low calorie diet.
Protein Needs for Strength
Protein requirements for strength training increase due to an increase in muscle synthesis and increased demands placed in the body for repair and recovery. For muscle growth to be effective you must supply the adequate amount of protein. Though for effective muscle gain, an increase in protein must be accompanied by the correct workload on the muscles during training, to promote an increase in muscle bulk.
As well as an effective training program for weight gain, your genetic makeup will determine your muscle fibre and body type, which will play a huge part in how your body will lay down lean muscle tissue. If your genetics do not favour lean muscle gains all the training and extra protein in the world will not change this. Your ability and body type is inherited from your parents, essentially setting the rules of what you are able to do. For most people an achievable muscle gain goal is up to 1kg per month.
The male sex hormone testosterone also plays a significant part, this is why females will find it difficult to build much muscle tissue in response to training, and therefore should not fear including protein and strength training into their fitness lifestyle.
The bulk of your dietary intake 55-60%, should be made up of carbohydrates. The main function of carbs is the provision of energy.
Some people will need a higher percentage of their energy to come from carbs, and some people much less, this is determined by your energy use. For the majority of people, the recommended 55-60% is good enough. There are however people who use up more energy through work or exercise, so they will need a little more. Those with a sedentary lifestyle or lack mobility will need a little less.
Most of the body can use a mixture of carbohydrate and fat for energy use, however, the brain can only use carbohydrate in the form of glucose. Carbohydrate, no matter which form the it enters your body, it is always converted into glucose before it is used by the cells.
Glucose when it is stored in the liver or muscles is called Glycogen. When stores of Glycogen become depleted, whether from prolong activity, starvation, or a calorie / carb restricted diet, the body will have to make usable carbohydrate through a process called gluconeogenesis. As blood glucose levels fall, your brain will stimulate you to feel hungry, so that blood glucose levels can be replenished. Ignoring your hunger feeling mean that both your brain and your muscles cannot get the energy they need. So in order to do so, your body will have to make it, this process take place in the liver and needs some starting material. Alas, fats cannot provide this, only amino acids can be converted into glucose, and these amino acids will come from the breakdown of your own muscle protein. In other words: you start to cannibalise your own muscles. Resulting in poor fat loss, poor performance and muscle loss (increasing weakness).
The Two Forms of Dietary Carbohydrate
Look, taste and feel sweet and sticky. e.g. sugar, jams, sweets, fruit
Dense starchy foods e.g. cereals, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, vegetables, pulses and grains
Complex carbohydrates, especially in their unrefined forms, also provide you with much needed protein, vitamins and mineral, all of which are missing in sugar. This is why many call sugar ’empty calories’.
There are no known clinical conditions caused by over-consumption of complex carbohydrates. However, over-consumption of simple sugars is a risk factor of many conditions, including type 2 Diabetes and dental cavities.
It is quite difficult for you to over-consume if your diet is high in complex-carbs. This is because you will feel full long before this occurs. If you do eat too many carbohydrate calories, this is still better than if you eat fat calories, this is because although they are both stored as fat, it uses up energy to convert carbohydrate to fat.
For example: 300 fat calories will be stored as 300kcals of fat, while 300 carbohydrate calories will only lead to around 230kcals of stored fat. This is particularly useful for those who are concerned with weight control.
The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index is a ranking that is given to carbohydrate foods based on their effect on blood sugar levels. Carbs that break down very quickly during digestion have a very high GI. Carbs that break down slowly release glucose gradually into the blood stream and so have a low GI. The GI concept was originally developed to determine which foods were best for people with diabetes, but this can be applied regular nutrition for weight control and training.
High GI v Low GI
• Low GI causes smaller rises in blood sugar levels after a meal
• Low GI diets have benefits for weight control as they help control appetite and delay hunger
• Low GI diets show benefits for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes as they can improve the body’s insulin sensitivity
• Low GI foods can prolong physical endurance
• High GI foods provide a quick supply of glucose and can be beneficial before and during exercise
• High GI foods help re-fuel carb stores after exercise
Th most important factor you should consider when making food choices is the physical form of the carbohydrate. Nature usually has packaged foods with low GI, food processing has a very high impact on the GI value. When choosing low GI foods, choose grains and cereals where the grain is intact eg. whole grain and naturally high in fibre. Choose whole milk and yogurts. Fruit, such as apples and pears.
High Gi foods are usually more refined, such as white bread. When some foods are cooked eg. potatoes, their particle size swells and can burst, when this happens the starch can leak out and is easily digested, thus producing a high GI. So baked potatoes, mashed and fries are all have a high GI value.
Try a recipe of Low GI foods if you are interested in GI. This can be helpful for diabetes and weight management.
Fibre or ‘roughage’ is simply the ‘skeleton’ of plants. It is mainly found in the outer walls of plants and seeds and is therefore more abundant in unrefined foods. There are two main types of fibre – soluble and insoluble, and there are many different versions of each type all with different beneficial effects. It is therefore recommended that you eat a wide variety of foods to get the most benefit.
Insoluble fibre. Found in wheat bran, whole grain breads and cereals and a range of fruit and vegetables. Holds water in the digestive tract, thus increasing bulk. This stimulates the muscles of the tract, so that they retain their health and tone, which may help prevent certain illnesses, such as constipation, haemorrhoids and may play a part in preventing colon cancer.
Soluble fibre. Found in oats, beans, nuts and other legumes, as well as fruit and vegetables. These may help lower blood cholesterol levels and some may help prevent the risk of heart disease.
Over Consumption of Fibre
As with most things, the influx of too much of something can have a negative effect. It is the same with nutrients, it is possible to consume too much fibre. One of the problems is that fibre increases transit times through the gut and may therefore limit the time available for the body to absorb essential nutrients. Some form of fibre can actually inhibit the absorption of much needed minerals such as calcium and zinc. The safe recommendation is not to consume more than 30g of fibre per day
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins are chemicals found naturally in food, with the exception of Vitamin D, which can be manufactured through sunlight on skin. They are needed in minute amounts to perform certain functions and fall into two different classes:
Vitamin C and all B group
Vitamin A, D, E and K
The water soluble vitamins are essential helpers for enzymes. Without these vitamins, enzymes will not function properly. They control all the chemical processes that take place in the body, including the extraction of energy from food and the growth of new body tissues. The fat soluble vitamins have a more varied range of functions and they are as equally important:
• Vitamin A is needed for vision
• D is essential for bone growth and development and contributes to the regulation of calcium levels
• E protects the body’s tissues against chemical damage, mainly from ‘free radicals’ – an unstable form of oxygen
• K is important in blood clotting
Although some of the vitamins (normally the fat soluble ones) can be obtained from animal sources, the best way to ensure an adequate intake is to eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables.
Minerals also fall into two groups. The terms are derived from the amounts in which they are required, trace elements are required in very small quantities, Macro elements are required in larger amounts.
Sodium, Potassium, Calcium
Copper, Zinc, Iron
The list of trace nutrients is fairly extensive, and includes metals that perform very specific roles in the your body. As an example, Chromium is needed for the optimal activity of insulin, but as that is its only use in your body it is needed in very small amounts. This makes deficiencies of trace elements very rare, and nothing to be concerned about.
Iron. There are some indications that Iron intake in pre-menopausal women may be inadequate, although not in such a degree to cause medical problems. The recommended daily allowance of Iron for females is 15mg per day, 50% greater than for males. This is possible to achieve on a normal healthy diet of meat and other animal products, as these are easily absorbed. Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood, and deficiencies can result in anaemia.
Sodium. Although sodium has many functions in your body, its main one is to help regulate water balance. The problem with sodium is that it dissolves easily in the blood but cannot be easily cleared from the blood into the cells.
Calcium. Calcium is essential for many important functions in your body, it is one of the main components of healthy bones, muscle contraction and nerve transmission. The RDA is around 1500mg per day and it is mainly found in dairy products like milk and cheese. Ensuring a good amount of calcium is crucial in women during their reproductive years and also post-menopause.
Potassium. Potassium is essential for water and electrolyte balance and the proper functioning of cells and nerve cells. It is present in a variety of fruit, most famously bananas.
Zinc. Zinc is needed fro growth and repair of body tissues and is important for normal development. It also plays a major role in promoting the proper functioning of the immune system. Zinc is obtained from foods rich in protein such as meat, beans, nuts and whole grain cereals.
Selenium. Selenium plays a similar role as the antioxidant vitamins by protecting against the damage caused by oxygen free radicals. Good sources of selenium include brazil nuts, cereals, fish and eggs.
Dairy Products, Orange Coloured fruit and veg, fish & liver
Growth and repair of body tissue. Essential to normal structure and function of cell membranes. Vision. Anti-oxidant.
Fruit and Veg
Normal function and structure of connective tissue. Helps absorb Iron. Anit-oxidant – protects cells from free radical damage
Fish, Dairy products
Healthy bones and teeth, absorption of calcium
Dairy products, Nuts
Anti-Oxidant, protects fat-soluble vitamins and red blood cells
Fish, liver and fruit
Aids blood clotting
Whole grains, meat, flour and breakfast cereals
Normal function of nervous system and heart
Milk, eggs, green veg
Helps release energy from food, metabolism of Iron, normal function and structure of mucous membrane
Most foods inc meat
Energy release from food, normal function of the nervous system, normal function and structure of mucous membrane
Beef, fish and poultry. Eggs, whole grains and some veg
Protects against the risk of cardiovascular disease
Milk, meat and eggs
Normal division of cells and blood formation and function.
Normal function and structure of nerves
Liver, yeast extract, green leafy veg
Normal cell division, formation of cells, normal structure of nervous sytem
There is evidence to suggest that there are some vitamins that very active people may need in excess of the recommend daily allowance. These are the anti-oxidant vitamins A,C and E. The mineral selenium also has anti-oxidant properties.
These vitamins help fight against the damaging effects that free radicals cause as they build up in your body, as a result of activity. Free radicals are essentially damaged oxygen molecules and have a very unstable atomic structure. They damage fats and proteins all over the body, particularly those in membranes that line blood vessels or those in skin and other connective tissues.
The effect of this over a period of many years can be external and internal tissues damage. It will be visible in the loss of elasticity and appearance of wrinkles in our skin as we grow old.
Anything that we do that raises our metabolic rate, like exercise or an active job, will increase the production of free radicals. This means that the negative effect of too much exercise could be premature ageing.
The best way to combat this is to increase the intake of the anti-oxidant vitamins C, and E, with lots of brightly coloured fruit, nuts, whole grains and beans. You may also wish to take supplements just in case.
Phytonutrients are plant compounds which have certain health benefits. These compounds include plant pigmentation (colour) and hormones. Some of the classification of phytonutrients include carotenoids, flavonoids and isoflavones.
These compounds have a role similar to antioxidants and there is evidence that they play a significant role in the following:
• Fighting Cancer
• Combating the effects of Free Radicals
• Lowering Cholesterol
• Boosting the Immune system
• Protecting against harmful bacteria and viruses
• Positive effects of gut bacteria
Ensure you are getting a good supply of phytonutrients by eating a rich supply of differently coloured fruit and veg, as well as consuming grains, beans, and pulses.
Keep fruit and veg in a cool and dark area – a fridge is ideal. Cook them for as short a time as possible in as little water as possible – steaming and stir-fry are the best methods, this will retain more of the nutritional benefits.
Water & Hydration
Function of Water
Water is the most important nutrient that your body needs. Your body is made up of around 60-70% water and serves many other important functions in your body:
• Providing the basis for the logistics & transportation system of the body. It moves everything: nutrients, oxygen, vitamins, minerals and waste.
• Playing the vital role of temperature regulation. Distributing heat around your body from areas where heat is produced, such as an exercising muscle to cooler places like the skin’s surface.
• Water is the environment in which every chemical reaction that occurs in your body takes place. The water content of every cell and your whole body needs to be kept at a constant level, within defined narrow limits, so that your body can function.
Losing just 2% of your body weight in water will slow down metabolism, and thus energy generation leading to tired muscles. Your blood pressure will drop and therefore blood flow to the brain will be reduced, leading to poor performance and tiredness.
Water is lost from the body continually through the day, by breathing, sweat and as urine. Thirst cannot be used as an indicator of fluid intake as thirst is a response to dehydration. Activity, even just general walking will increase water loss, an hours exercise depending on the intensity and weather conditions will result in further water loss. Depending on our work or activity level, are water needs could be between 2-5 litres per day. Some of this water will come from the food we eat, and it has been estimated that on average we get around 1-.15 litres of water from food.
Water loss can result in:
• Sluggish metabolism (harder to lose weight)
• Inefficient kidney function
• Poor performance
% Body weight lost in sweat
Capacity for work decreases
Circulation collapse and heat stroke
The best fluid to drink is water, and there is no significant difference between bottled and tap water. We recommend a charcoal filter water bottle
Different Fluids & Their Effects
Changing eating habits can take some time and effort, however, changes to your fluid intake can happen very easily and quickly, plus you will reap the rewards immediately. An increase in fluid intake can result in more frequent trips to the toilet, though your body should adapt very quickly and the trips will calm down.
Many people believe that their fluid intake is good, however much of what they are drinking may not be as beneficial as water. For example: coffee, tea and many soft drinks are diuretics and contribute to water loss.
Many fruit juices, although good sources of vitamins and minerals, have a high concentration of sugar. These drinks are classed as Hypertonic – more concentrated than blood. This forces the water to leave the blood and enter the gut, again contributing to water loss.
For drinks to be useful at hydrating us, they should be isotonic – have the same concentration as blood, or hypotonic – have a lower concentration than blood. In order to match these requirements any sugary drink should have no more than around 6gm of glucose per 100ml of fluid; in other words, a 6% solution. Most fruit juices contain more than this, though a good idea is to dilute them half and half with water, if hydration is your concern.
Hypertonic. sport drinks contain a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body. – Provide energy before, during and after exercise
Isotonic. sport drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body. – Fast Hydration
Hypotonic. sport drinks contain a lower concentration of salt and sugar than the human body – Fast hydration without the energy boost
Alcohol is classed as a diuretic as it will cause your body to lose water and become dehydrated. Alcohol in moderate amounts has no negative health effects, in fact studies have shown that they have a number of benefits. For example, colds can be helped or prevented by drinking vodka!
Hydration before, during and after exercise
Ensure peak performance by aiming to be well hydrated. Sipping water throughout the day will ensure you maintain good hydration levels. It may be a good idea to keep a water bottle near throughout the day.
Pre exercise. Aim to drink roughly 500ml of water in the 2 hours leading up to your session, this will allow for good hydration and urination.
During. Ensure good hydration by drinking a few gulps of water every 15 minutes.
Post exercise. Ensure you replace fluid lost during exercise. A 1l bottle of water may be enough but depends on your activity level.
Guidelines for Fuelling & Refuelling
• Endeavour to top up your carbohydrate stores every 4-5 hours
• Eat regular meals that reflect your activity levels throughout the day
• Consume most of your calories when you are most active
• Don’t go through long periods without eating
• Don’t exercise on an empty stomach, aim to consume a light meal 2 hours before training
• Aim to consume low GI foods through the day to ensure a steady supply of carbohydrate energy
• High GI foods may be beneficial immediately prior to activity for a quick energy boost
• If your activity (eg work) or training lasts more than 90 minutes, ensure you consume carbohydrates during
• Aim to eat around 20g of carbohydrates every 20 minutes
• Eat enough carbohydrates as soon as possible to replenish what was lost (up to 2 hours)
• Studies find that eating within 15 minutes is the most optimal time
• Females should aim to eat 40-50g of carbohydrates
• Males 60-80g of carbohydrates
• Eat depending on your activity level, for low intensity your refuelling requirements will be lower
Supplements . Some good examples for fitness.
There is no certain evidence that will guarantee that supplements will work for you. What we will look at here is a few supplements in the two main areas, that many in the fitness industry consider good examples of supplements to take.
Protein is your big friend here. Even Genghis Khan and his Mongols knew about the benefits of protein. Muscle will burn fat and keep you thin, even when you ‘pig out’ as muscle takes more calories to maintain. Women- don’t be afraid of adding some muscle, aspire to look like the women of Sparta and you will enjoy the same freedoms.
It’s very important to keep fat in your diet as it is so important for the body to maintain health. From glowing skin to shiny hair and your general well-being, it’s dangerous to cut it out of your diet. However, you may want to lose some of the excess fat stored around your body, in which case here are some good supplements to take: