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’

Essential Supplements That People Don't Need, Right!

By James Walker CCS, STM, BioSig, Master Trainer

Since I am always asked about what supplements to take by acquaintances, colleagues, family, friends, trainers, and strangers in the gym here is a list with explanation and usage of some essential supplements that just about everyone can benefit from or use. At the end of each selection I list some brands that are great or good and I’m sure much better than I see most people take. Check out my article about Favorite Brands, where I list and give my favorite brands and online suppliers. I must thank Charles Poliquin, Warren Brown, Sonja Petersen, William Wong, and Johnny Bowden as my resources for this article.

Here are 8 essential supplements that most people need even if they don't know it.

Multivitamins - should help prevent cellular oxidation, improve energy and wellness, contribute to overall health, and protect from toxins. It’s a well documented that today’s foods have the same calories and less nutrients, than they did 30-40 years ago. So it’s important to consume a multivitamin and one that’s highly absorbable or bio-available. The better multivitamins will break down, digest, and absorb in 10-30 minutes, and usually the faster the absorption, the better the quality. Which means the manufacturer used high quality ingredients and formulation methods. They will use amino acid chelates for minerals, natural carotenoids, therapeutic levels of vitamin B, natural vitamin E with a equal ratio of alpha to gamma tocopherols, genetically usable folic acid, and calcium citrate that actually builds bone. All of the nutrients should be highly absorbable, and in natural forms increase your energy after consumption. Try Multi Intense or Complete Multi by Poliquin, Life Force by Source Naturals, Beyond Basics by MRM, Preventive X by Douglas, or Total Balance by Xtend-Life.

Betain w/Pepsin - helps stomach health and repair, breaks down food, increases digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, kills bad bacteria, increases nutrient absorption and utilization, thereby increasing muscle (15-18 lb in 2 months), strength, fat metabolism, weight loss, energy, and overall health. Some symptoms of low stomach acid are: belching, bloating, or gas post meal, bad breath, meatless desire, nausea post supplements, brittle fingernails, undigested food in stool, stomach pain, desire to miss meals, estrogen increase, acne, and depression. Possibly half of the US population has a HCL deficiency. Also a deficiency of HCL decreases B12 absorption and causes accelerated brain aging, so energy and thinking decrease. Take 200-1600 mg mid-meal, with each meal depending on your need (based on HCL test). May take up to 5 years to repair. Try Digest Force or Ultra HCI by Poliquin, HCL w/Pepsin by Solaray, Essential Enzymes by Source Naturals, Digest-All by MRM, Betaine Plus by Douglas, or Betaine HCL by KAL,.

Proteolitic Enzymes - helps cells, vessels, muscles, and connective tissues reduce inflammation and eliminate excessive fibrin and scar tissue, caused by allergens, exercise, food allergies, injury, stress, toxins, and trauma. Excessive scar tissue can build up in arteries, ligaments, muscles, organs, tendons, and vessels and inhibit their ability to do their job and function, especially after early adulthood around the age of 25. Proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain, papain, serrapeptase, and trypsin, will help break down and remove only scar tissue not healthy tissue and manage inflammation over time. Another benefit is that proteoytic enzymes seem to boost or stimulate the immune system and disable certain viruses. It seems more effective to take them on a empty stomach if possible or a light fruit snack. Take 5 capsules, 3 x a day depending on the strength, and increase to 10 capsules, 3 x a day for more severe trauma, and will take 3-5 months to resolve or repair. Try Omnizyme by Poliquin, Wobenzymn by Mucos, Vitalzym by World Nutrition, or Neprinol AFD by Arthur Andrew.

Whey Protein – for muscle growth, repair, recovery, boost immune system, and promotes gastrointestinal health. The brand should be low-heat processed, contain immunoglobulins, CLA, BCAA’s, and L-Glutamine, not be denatured, and is bioavailable or readily absorbable. Take 30-80 g, post workout, in a shake with chopped up fruit, juice, milk, dextrose, or water, depending on your needs. Try Whey Stronger by Poliquin, Isobolic WPI Whey by MRM, Whey Protein Isolates by Douglas, or Ultra Pure Whey Protein by Biogenesis.

Vitamin D3 - improves bone health, brain development of babies’, blood sugar levels, neurological conditions, depression, bipolar disorder, muscle function, body fat loss, life expectancy-longevity, immune defense against cold, flu, and other infections, reduce skin problems like psoriasis, cancer risks, insulin resistance, blood pressure, prevent and/or remedy rickets, multiple sclerosis, and protect the heart, A deficiency will cause muscle and strength loss. Almost every disease and adverse health condition is associated with low vitamin D3 levels Take 5,000 iu every day to return to normal levels in 3 months or 30,000-100,000 iu, 2 x a week to return to high normal levels sooner. Try D3 Emulsion or D3 Excellence by Poliquin, Liquid D3 or Vitamin D by Douglas, D3 2,000 by Source Naturals, or D3 2500 by Jarrow Formulas.

Magnesium – Regulates heart muscle contractions, calcium absorption, muscle relaxation, increase number and sensitivity of insulin receptors, improves glucose use in elderly diabetics, increase carbohydrate tolerance, correct insulin resistance or sensitivity, reduce stress, anxiety, cortisol, and hyper-responsiveness in the sympathetic nervous system, ATP energy production, protein synthesis, DNA manufacture, fatty acid synthesis, anaerobic glycolysis, and is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions, A deficiency will cause muscle spasm, tremors, personality changes, nausea, increase diabetic complications, interrupt insulin secretion and activity, reduce fat loss and muscle gain. Almost 70% of population is deficient, while most well trained athletes are deficient. Absorption is increased by stomach acid or HCL. Take 200-500 mg, mid-meal with dinner and bedtime. Try Uber Mag or Poly Mag Px by Poliquin, Magnesium Citrate by KAL, Ultra-Mag or Magnesium Chelate by Source Naturals, or Amino Mag by Douglas.

Omega 3 Fish Oil - with high levels of EPA will reduce inflammation and boost immune health, while omega 3 with high levels of DHA will improve nerve function that affect brain, eye, cell membrane, and heart health and muscle function. Also DHA will lower resting heart rate, cortisol levels, and body fat. Take 1-10 g, mid-meal with each meal, depending on your need. Try EFA Complete Px or EFA-DHA 720 or Omega 3 6:1 or Opti EFA or Uber Omega 3 by Poliquin, Omega 3/DHA by Xtend-Life, Smart Blend by MRM, Super Omega 3 or The Finest Fish Oil by Carlson, Pro Omega or Ultimate Omega by Nordic Naturals, Coromega Orange Flavor by Coromega, Omega 3 Fish Oil by KAL, or Krill Oil Neptune by Source Naturals.

Zinc - Aids in wound and burn healing, digestion, metabolism of protein and carbohydrates, and prostate gland functions. A deficiency will cause a loss of taste, poor appetite, fatigue, slow growth, insulin resistance, low HCL levels due to stress, and low testosterone. Take 50-75 mg, mid-meal at dinner and bedtime. Try Uber Zinc by Poliquin, Zinc 100+ Chelated by KAL, Zinc Amino Acid Chelates or Opti Zinc by Source Naturals, or Opti Zinc by Douglas.

Again I hope that this information is useful, which means that it’s used!