Training Principles, Part Eight - Nutrition & Supplementation 101

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Nutrition and supplementation is probably one of the most underutilized and misunderstood proponents of training. Proper implementation could dramatically impact regeneration, recovery, healing, muscle hypertrophy, super compensation, strength, power, mood, energy, and overall progress, Part eight reviews the elementary components of nutrition and supplementation.

 1. Nutrients - are components of food that nourish the body by providing energy, rebuilding cells, and regulating metabolic functions. They include: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

 2. Supplements - are nutrients that is prepared as a pill, powder, or liquid used in conjunction with the food to supply adequate or additional nutrient levels.

 a)    Water - is the most abundant substance in the body (60% of body weight). Intake should be about ½ of your bodyweight in ounces per day and up to 66% in the summer or when it is warm or if you are doing endurance workouts.

·     Water is essential to transport nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates throughout the body.

·      Water is necessary for electrical impulses for optimal muscle contraction.

·      Muscle consists of 50-70 % water so sweating causes cooling and dehydration.

·      1-2 % of bodyweight loss in water may cause 7-10 % decrease in endurance performance and a 5-6% decrease in strength performance.

b)    Proteins - consist of all flesh foods, including: beef, chicken, eggs, fish, lamb, legumes and rice, pork, shell fish, tofu, turkey, protein bars, and powder supplements. Intake should be 30-50% of total food intake, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories. For muscle weight gain intake 1 grams per lb of bodyweight. If there is no increase in muscular weight after 2-6 weeks slightly increase your intake by 10% increments for the next four weeks or until you find your correct amount, up to 2 grams per lb of bodyweight. When not training or just trying to maintain current muscle mass try consuming (.8) gram of protein per lb of bodyweight.

 ·   Protein is essential to build muscle tissue, maintain muscle, repair the body, increase metabolic rate, and manufacture antibodies and hormones.

·     Eat complete proteins (lean/low fat: beef, chicken, eggs or egg whites, fish, lamb, pork, and turkey or a good quality supplement).

·   Evenly space meals at regular intervals (2-3 hrs) four to six meals per day to increase absorption, optimize utilization, and aid metabolic rate increase.

·      Excess protein will be converted to fat if you over eat.

·      Also protein will be converted into glucose (sugar) if you don” t consume enough vegetables or foliates or carbohydrates.

·      Usually your fist size or the palm of your hand to total hand size is a good reference or 4-12 oz cooked, depending on your size and metabolism. An exception to this amount can be made for the post workout meal and for individual metabolic rate.

·    No deli or processed meats due to the low quality of protein and high fat content unless organic.

c)    Carbohydrates - consist of all plant foods including: beans, bread, fruit, grains (fiber), honey, jam or jelly, juice, lentils, pasta, potatoes, rice, soda, sugar, energy supplements, and vegetables. Intake may be between 25-40% of total food intake, depending on body composition and hormonal profile. 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories. For weight gain and post workout recovery intake may be as much as 100-200 grams if your body fat is below the10% (male) and 14% (female) range. If your body fat is above this your post workout shake/meal should be limited to 20-40 grams maximum. Once the ideal body fat is attained daily intake should be increased and rotated to manage ideal composition and fat% e.g., every 2-5 days you can consume additional carbohydrates (up to 100 gm extra) to load if needed or desired. Please use beans, fruits, lentils, natural grains (with fiber), potatoes, and vegetables (especially dark green and leafy), which are the better choices.

·      Carbohydrates are important because they supply energy in the form of glucose (sugar) to the muscle cells.

·   Carbohydrates also spare protein by preventing the conversion of protein to glucose (gluconeogenesis) when not enough carbohydrates are consumed. So this prevents muscle loss in the long run.

·      There are two types of carbohydrates simple (sugar, sodas, fruit sugars-juices, candies, etc) and complex (brown rice, potatoes, yams, beans, lentils, grains, multigrain bread, some vegetables, etc). Most of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables (particularly the green and leafy green ones), some from complex fiber group, and some from fruits.

·      Eat your carbohydrates with protein-this will give you better-sustained energy.

·      Excess carbohydrates will be converted into fat if you over eat or consume those with high glycemic values.

·      Evenly, pace your meals for optimal absorption, energy, and utilization.

·      Keep processed flours and sugars, breads, and pastas, down to a minimum of 1-2 per week or not at all depending on your hormonal profile.

‘Train Safe, Smart, & Results Driven’