Nutrition – What are the basics?
Here’s a very basic guide to explain the major food groups and what they do. There are 3 main macronutrients the body needs to function properly. These are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. There are other nutrients you need and I’ll explore these later on
In order to gain the best results in the gym, whether that be, muscle gain, fat loss or general fitness, your body needs to have certain hormonal events take place. For these events to be maximised you need to ensure your levels of testosterone, growth hormone and insulin are at their most productive and that they are produced at the right times.
Examples – meats, fish, nuts, beans
Amino acids from proteins are the building blocks for new tissue and repair of the body. That’s why protein post workout is so important. For people using the gym, a diet higher in protein is needed. This helps repair the muscle tissue you have damaged during your workout and helps your muscle build in size and strength. For a normal person 0.75g per KG of bodyweight per day. For gym goers or athletes…up to 2g per day
Examples – whole grains, rice, pastas
Carbs are not just important for people doing exercise, they’re important for all of us as they are where we get out energy from. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Choose whole grains and browns as these give you lots of energy over a long period of time.
Common guidelines are 5-10g per KG of bodyweight per day depending on the intensity of the activity you are doing.
FATS & OILS
Examples – butter, vegetable oil
When you think fat you think bad, and your probably right! Avoid fatty meats and foods high in saturated or trans fats..these are the REALLY bad fats!
Some fat is essential, your body uses fats for many bodily functions and in the composition of cells. The government recommends 20-33% of the calories in your diet come from fat.
Fats provide us with fat soluble vitamins A,D & E and essential fatty acids!
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
eat your greens…..
We all know that you’re supposed to eat 5 portions a day – but really that should be the minimum! It’s now advised to eat a minimum of 7 portions per day. The variety is really important as we get so many vitamins and minerals from fruit & veg that are essential for our body to work correctly and essential for exercise! A variety of colours is ideal but avoid too many fruits high in natural sugars and fruit juices full of sugar!
MILK & DAIRY
Examples – yoghurt & cheese
Milk and dairy is important for calcium to help keep your bones and joints strong. This is highly important for sports and exercise!
Just be careful you choose low fat options and don’t have to much. Around 2-4 portions a day is plenty
How much water do you drink a day?
We’ve looked at foods now time for fluids! Hydration is so important. At least 5 large glasses a day is essential. Make sure you are hydrated before your workouts and only sip water during your workout. Gulping water can leave you full, bloated and feeling sick. Isotonic drinks are great for quick absorption and hydration.
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