Friday, March 30, 2007

Simple Sports Nutrition 101

In bodybuilding, sports, and everyday activities, nothing is more essential than nutrition if you want to build and maintain your best body. To maximize muscle gains, stay active and get your body in excellent shape, you need proper nutrition. If your nutrition is lacking in any department, all of your training and hard work won't amount to much ... nutrition is key to a champion body.

Proteins help in the repair and maintenance of our body. They are essential for bodybuilding and sports of all kinds. Carbohydrates are your body's major energy source during exercise and high-intensity training. Fats and especially EFAs are also needed to build muscle and provide energy. Steroid hormones in the body are produced from cholesterol which is a type of fat. Other important nutrients for your body include vitamins and minerals. And water, although not a food source is also very important for optimal performance.

Here are some tips for everyday bodybuilding and sport inclined people on nutrition:

• Eat about 6 times a day in evenly distributed times.

• Keep the proteins high throughout the day. (Tuna, chicken, lean beef, protein powder...ect.) Take in about .8-1.5 gram of protein per lb of your bodyweight depending on your goals.

• The complex carbohydrates should start out high in the morning and decrease by the evening. (Brown rice, sweet potatoes/yams, whole grains, oatmeal...ect) Stay away from carbs altogether about 4-5 hours prior to bedtime. (For example, you can eat stir-fry with veggies & meat or drink a protein shake)

• Take a fish oil supplement at least 3 times a day. Stay away from sweets and eat your veggies.

• You can include nuts like almonds & cashews for a healthy snack.

• Stay away from fruit due to the high sugar contents except maybe a serving at breakfast.

• Drop the use of all dairy products during the cutting phase due to the high amounts of sugar and saturated fat. Use almond or rice milk in place of it.

• Drink lots of water, a 200 lb man who body builds should make it a goal of at least a gallon a day.

• Take at least one daily vitamin or vitamin pack a day. This can help in the utilization of other nutrients we ingest not to mention the other important roles they are known for. It is almost impossible to get everything everyday we need out of food. Vitamins are a good way to insure we do so.

• Always be prepared when it comes to your diet. With our hectic schedules it is always smart of premake all of your meals for the day and the week. This is best way to keep track of your diet and will keep your from making detrimental mistakes in nutrition by eating fast or processed foods.

Solid, whole-food nutrition is a great way to fulfill your body's needs, but nutrition supplements can take your body to the next level. If you exercise intensely or are an athlete, the best nutrition in the world sometimes can't fill the gaps caused by nutrient depletion. That's where nutrition supplements come in. A great way to complement a good nutrition plan, nutrition supplements can help you get your daily nutrient requirements and build lean muscle. Nutrition supplements can also be used as quick "mini-meals" during a hectic day when you don't have time for a sit-down meal.

Stay on top of your supplementation and nutrition. Read and learn as much as you can. Experiment with different foods to ensure a proper balance. If you are looking for a set diet, I suggest starting with the South Beach Diet or any other kind of Mediterranean health food program. They have all around balanced programs with great recipes.

That's pretty much it. Don't make it too complicated. Keep it simple and enjoy whatever you are doing whether it is bodybuilding, sports, or other daily activities. Nutrition is the key to healthy living. It's up to you to keep up with the maintenance of your body.

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