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A Perspective on Fat

Questions from around the gym about dietary fats;

Essential properties of your food, including fats, must be ingested in optimum quantities to build optimum health. Surveys show that the majority of the members of affluent populations obtain too little of many essential substances, leading to deteriorating health which in turn leads to degeneration due to malnutrition and ultimately kills two-thirds of the world's population.

More than 70% of people die from just three conditions that involve fatty degeneration: cardiovascular disease (50%), cancer (25%), and diabetes (3%).

Some fats are detrimental to our health, but the fact is that some fats are very important for health. If we eat the right kinds of fats in the right amounts and balances, they will contribute to good health; the wrong kinds of fats in the wrong amounts and balances will cause degenerative diseases.

Fatty acids are part of the basic structure of dietary fats. Almost all dietary fats contain a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The type of fatty acid that predominates determines whether it is solid or liquid as well as its stability. They are key building blocks of all fats and oils (lipids) both in our foods and in our body. Fatty acids are also the main components in neutral fats (triglycerides) carried in our blood, and stored fat (adipose) which serves as an important source of energy.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products such as beef, pork, lamb, and ham as well as whole milk, cream, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening.  The body uses saturated fats to make cholesterol. A high dietary intake can raise LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) levels in the blood, increasing your risk of heart disease.

It is recommended to limit your intake of saturated fats to lbe ess than 10% of your total daily calories.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Found mostly in corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils and certain fish oils, these fats may actually lower your total blood cholesterol levels. But they may also lower your good cholesterol (HDLs) and are still high in calories. They should not exceed 10% of your total daily caloric intake.

Monounsaturated Fats

These fats are found in olive, peanut, and canola oils. It is thought that monounsaturated fats may reduce LDLs (bad) without affecting HDLs (good). It is recommended that these fats make up no more than 10-15% of your total caloric intake.

Trans-fatty acids

Trans-fatty acids occur when polyunsaturated fats are hydrogenated to make margarine and shortening. These fats are processed by injecting hydrogen into the food product.  While the jury is still out, it is thought that trans-fatty acids behave much like saturated fats, raising LDL cholesterol.

Essential Fatty acids (EFA)

Essential fatty acids are sources of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids (technically categorized as polyunsaturated fatty acids). They include linoleic and linolenic acids. The body must have these essential fatty acids, yet cannot synthesize them itself. One of the main functions of essential fatty acids is the production of prostaglandins which are hormone-like substances that regulate many body functions. They basically control every cell of the body on a second-by-second basis. They are required for energy production and increase oxidation and metabolic rate. Some of the many benefits of EFA's for the body are reducing blood pressure, preventing inflammation, stimulating immunity, reducing joint tenderness, and positively influencing HDL/LDL cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol

We are told to think of cholesterol as the enemy, our bodies do need cholesterol. In fact, much of our cholesterol is made inside our bodies, by the liver. People don't need to consume dietary cholesterol because the body can make enough cholesterol for its needs. But the typical diet contains substantial amounts of cholesterol, found in foods such as egg yolks, liver, meat, some shellfish, and whole-milk dairy products. Only foods of animal origin contain cholesterol.

Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in large molecules of fat and protein called lipoproteins. Cholesterol carried in low-density lipoproteins is called LDL-cholesterol; most cholesterol is of this type. Cholesterol carried in high-density lipoproteins is called HDL-cholesterol. LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol act differently in the body. A high level of LDL-cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of fatty deposits forming in the arteries, which in turn increases the risk of a heart attack. Thus, LDL-cholesterol has been dubbed "bad" cholesterol. On the other hand, an elevated level of HDL-cholesterol seems to have a protective effect against heart disease. For this reason, HDL-cholesterol is often called "good" cholesterol.

Body Fat

Body fat (fat present in the cells of adipose tissue) is probably the fat that most people are familiar with. Body fat is vital to daily body functions. It cushions the joints and protects the organs, helps regulates body temperature, stores vitamins and helps the body sustain itself when food is scarce. However, serious health risks have been associated with both too much and too little body fat.

The Fat Perspective  -  Written by Jeff Behar

Fitness Focus, Saskatoon's No Contract Gym

What is The Best Time To Workout?

Questions from around the gym, here are your answers!

If you have trouble with consistency, morning may be your best time to exercise, experts say.

“Research suggests in terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.

“The thinking is that they get their exercise in before other time pressures interfere,” Bryant says. “I usually exercise at 6 a.m., because no matter how well-intentioned I am, if I don’t exercise in the morning, other things will squeeze it out.”

He recommends that if you exercise in the morning, when body temperature is lower, you should allow more time to warm up than you would later in the day.

  1. Exercising early in the morning “jump starts” your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours! As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long—just because you exercised in the morning.
     
  2. Exercising in the morning energizes you for the day—not to mention that gratifying feeling of virtue you have knowing you’ve done something disciplined and good for you. (Much better than a worm!)
     
  3. Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuity—a benefit that lasts four to ten hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower, instead of wasting it while you’re snoozing.
     
  4. Assuming you make exercise a true priority, it shouldn’t be a major problem to get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier—especially since regular exercise generally means a higher quality of sleep, which in turn means you’ll probably require less sleep. (If getting up 30 to 60 minutes earlier each day seems too daunting, you can ease into it with 10 to 20 minutes at first.)
     
  5. When you exercise at about the same time every morning—especially if you wake up regularly at about the same time—you’re regulating your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes. That’s beneficial because:
    • Your body’s not “confused” by wildly changing wake-up times, which means waking up is much less painful. (You may even find that you don’t need an alarm clock most days.)
    • Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc.
    • Your metabolism, along with all the hormones involved in activity and exercise, begin to elevate while you’re sleeping. As a result, you’ll feel more alert, energized, and ready to exercise when you do wake up.
  6.  Many people find that morning exercise has a tendency to regulate their appetite for the rest of the day. Not only do they eat less (since activity causes the release of endorphins, which in turn diminishes appetite), they also choose healthier portions of healthier foods.
     
  7. People who consistently exercise find, sometimes to their great surprise, that the appointed time every morning evolves into something they look forward to. Besides the satisfaction of taking care of themselves, they find it’s a great time to plan their day, pray, or just think more clearly—things most of us often don’t get to do otherwise.
     
  8. Exercising first thing in the morning is the most foolproof way to ensure that other things don’t overtake your fitness commitment, particularly if you have a hectic family life. (It’s so easy to wimp out in the evening, when we’re tired or faced with such tasks as rustling up dinner and helping with homework.)
     
  9. More than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine. If you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favor if you squeeze your workout into the a.m.
     
  10. Non-morning people can always trick themselves in the a.m. Having trouble psyching yourself up for a sunrise jog? Do what I did—tell yourself that you’ll still be so fast asleep that you won’t even remember—much less mind!

Found at http://fatmandreaming.tumblr.com

Fitness Focus is Saskatoon's No Contract Gym

Hypertension – Another Silent Killer

Having our blood pressure taken is a health check most of us are very familiar with, we would likely have had it taken by the doctor at some point, and as getting a reading of our blood pressure can be done using non invasive means through the use of a cuff, which you could monitor at home, you may also have been checked upon joining a health club or have it checked periodically by a personal trainer, yet in spite of the cost effective and convenient means for testing for high blood pressure, it’s general lack of symptoms leaves many who have it without any symptoms of illness who may not have regular health check ups left with a serious untreated condition.

When we check blood pressure we are measuring the pressure exerted by the blood on the artery walls each time the heart beats (Systolic reading, 1st reading), and the pressure exerted by the blood on the artery walls when the heart is at rest between beats (Diastolic reading, 2nd reading).

Blood Pressure = Cardiac output x Systemic vascular resistance.

The heart will beat harder or the force will increase due to a number of factors, including:

  • Narrowed arteries
  • Being overweight
  • Emotional stress
  • Psychological factors
  • Physical stress
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal regulators
  • High sodium diet
  • Pregnancy

The resistance of blood is increased by:

  • Endothilial dysfunction
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Blood clots
  • Emotional stress
  • Psychological factors
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal factors
  • Pregnancy

Hypertension is more than just elevated blood pressure and can involve other abnormalities such as abnormal glucose metabolism, high triglyceride’s, high LDL (bad cholesterol) and low HDL (good cholesterol), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and excessive blood clotting.

A normal, healthy blood pressure reading is considered to be 120:80. 120-139/80-90 pre-hypertensive. A Systolic reading of 140 or above and a Diastolic reading of 90 and above is considered hypertensive.

Amongst those who are hypertensive there are two stages defined by different ranges:

Stage 1 hypertension – 140-159/90-99

Stage 2 hypertension – 160+/100+

There are two types of hypertension, Essential hypertension occurs when there is no known cause, and  there is a genetic component involved, running in the family. The other is known as Secondary hypertension, when high blood pressure is a symptom of another condition, including:

  1. Kidney disease
  2. Tumors
  3. Endocrine diseases
  4. Blockages in the arteries of the Kidneys
  5. Obesity
  6. Narrowing of the Aorta
  7. Rare, uncommon disorders
  8. Some prescription or non prescription drugs.

Causes of secondary hypertension include:

  • Acromegaly
  • Cushings syndrome
  • Decongestants
  • Licorice intoxication
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Primary aldosteronism
  • Renovascular hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
  • Various pain relievers
  • Certain toxins including alcohol and cocaine
  • Diet pills (such as ephedra)

Hypertension damages the vascular system, the heart, the brain, the kidneys and the eyes.

There are a number of measures that we can make to decrease blood pressure if it is high, including:

  1. Eliminating alcohol
  2. Avoid all recreational drugs and some prescription  and non-prescription drugs.
  3. Improve diet – reduce sodium, saturated fat, trans fatty acids, refined carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Lose weight
  6. Quit smoking

There are of course medications that are prescribed by doctors to treat hypertension but they do often not without side effects. Before you embark on medications, it may be worth considering attempting to lower your blood pressure the natural way, using diet, exercise, supplements and make lifestyle changes.

The potential side effects of many prescription drugs to lower blood pressure include:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dry mouth
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Swelling of the ankle or leg.

There are studies that have shown that certain vitamins and minerals have been particularly affective in playing various roles in lowering blood pressure in hypertensives, including Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Co Enzyme Q10, Vitamin C,D and E , Omega 3 and 6, B6, Zinc and Flavonoids to name a few.

I will present a few studies carried out with the use of Omega 3 fatty acids looking into their effects on blood pressure. In the 1980s and 1990s studies found that fish might lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In 1989 a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a significant drop in blood pressure when 15 hypertensive subjects were given 15 grams of fish oil per day.

A paper published in Circulation gave an overview of the results of thirty-one fish oil hypertensive studies, concluding that in cases of mild hypertension, the larger the dose of fish oil the more it reduced blood pressure:

  • Less than 4 grams of fish oil per day =no change in blood pressure.
  • Between 4-7 grams per day = a drop of 1.6 to 2.9mm Hg
  • More than 15 grams per day = a drop of 5.8 to 8.1mm Hg

Omega 3s  know to stop lowering blood pressure when they are in a healthy normal range.

In 1998 a study published in the Journal Hypertension looked at what would happen when hypertensives not only took fish oil but also lost weight. The study involved sixty-three overweight, hypertensive men and women, between the ages of forty to seventy, with Systolic readings between 125-180 and Diastolic readings as high as 109. All of them were told to cut back on their salt intake and then divided into four groups.

Group 1 – Made no changes to their diet or weight

Group 2 – Ate one fish meal per day

Group 3 -  lost weight

Group 4 – Ate one fish meal per day and lost weight

The results:

Group 2 – Systolic blood pressure decreased by 6mm Hg, Diastolic blood pressure decreased by 3mm Hg

Group 3 – Systolic blood pressure decreased by 5.5mm Hg, Diastolic blood pressure decreased by 2.2mm Hg

Group 4 – Systolic blood pressure decreased by 13mm Hg, Diastolic blood pressure decreased by 9.3mm Hg

Concluding that when fish was added to the diet and weight was lost, risk of cardiovascular disease decreased as well as the likelihood for the need for anti- hypertensive drugs.

These are just a few of many methods using nutrition that have been used to combat hypertension and not only with the use of Omega 3s but with other important vitamins and minerals too.

If you are hypertensive it is worth considering making necessary lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure through natural means before taking anti-hypertensive drug, consult with your doctor over this first.

Found at Alex Carson Training

TRX Suspention Training

 

Try adding a component of TRX to your training in the gym.  We offer TRX based group classes as well as one on one personal training.  TRX Suspension Training was born in the Navy SEALS, develops strength, power, endurance, balance, flexibility, mobility, durability, and core stability.  The TRX Suspension Trainer is a highly portable performance training tool that leverages gravity the user's bodyweight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal. whether you're young or old, out of shape or a beast, injured or at the top of your game, TRX Training meets you where you are and takes you where you want to be.

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

We lead busy and hectic lifestyles, and we need to take care of ourselves.   If you find yourself skipping meals, eating fast food on the run, and generally not making the time to take care of yourself then try incorporating 1 or 2 of the tips below.

1. Eat breakfast daily! Start the day off with a healthy breakfast to have the energy necessary to get through your busy day.  Not eating breakfast increases your risk of overeating later in the day, and often selecting the less healthy options.  Make a point to have 20-25% of your daily calories at breakfast and ensure there is some protein and healthy fat included to help provide longer lasting energy.  If you are pressed for time in the morning, then try a smoothie, which you can even make the night before and drink it on the go.  Try blending:  1 cup berries, ½ avocado, 1 handful of spinach, 1 tbsp chia seeds and about 15-20g of protein powder or ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt with 1-2 cups water.  Now you’ve got an energy dense, slow digesting power breakfast that will keep you moving until your next break.  Look for un-falvoured Whey protein isolate, or an un-falvoured vegetarian protein powder to avoid any artificial sweeteners or flavours.

2. Add water!  Water is one of the best places to start to keep energized, not coffee!  You tell clients about the benefits of water and the importance of maintaining proper hydration, so start listening to yourself.  Water is critical for the transport of nutrients and elimination of wastes from the body, maintaining energy levels and burning fat. Make water your primary liquid, and you’ll also be saving the cost of those $5 coffees.  As active individuals aim to drink at least 2.5-3 litres of water per day.  Remember, that starting a workout dehydrated is a quick way to get injured, and impair recovery.  

3.  Pack Snacks!  I know, we are all busy and on the go, who has time to eat snacks.  However, a little preparation can go a long way.  Packing snacks that are quick and easy to eat will help keep energy levels high for hours and will stop the reliance on energy bars or coffee.  Try bringing a container of raw nuts or seeds to snack on throughout the day.  A serving of 24 almonds have around 160-170 calories and 6g of protein and carbohydrates, a total 14g of healthy poly and monounstaturated fats, as well as some calcium and iron.  These are easy to keep in a bag, purse or pocket and eat a few between clients.  Other great snacks are fresh cut vegetables and hummus, or Greek yogurt and berries.

4.  Schedule lunches or dinner and brown bag it!  Most trainers don’t get paid if they don’t work, however skipping meals will cost you more in the long run.  Make sure you’ve got a mix of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and healthy fats.  Invest in an insulated bag to keep your meals cool during the day and prepare things that are easy to eat on the run.  For example, quinoa salad, with peppers, beets and broccoli with some cut up chicken breast or fish, fits in a bowl and can be eaten with just a fork.  Or find a healthy choice near where you work such as fresh salad and source of protein or a sushi roll and dark green salad.

5. Schedule your workouts!  Begin active is a big part of being a trainer or group exercise instructor.  Plan the time to get your own workouts in there so you can stay healthy and fit and on track of your own goals as well.

Maintain a positive attitude towards nutrition and health and lead by example. Your clients will see first-hand how effective good food and exercise choices are and as a result your business will also have positive results.

Written by  Tara Postnikoff

www.canfitpro.com

Staying Fit Before And After Baby

Saskatoon Well Being Magazine article of the month.  This is something we see around the gym far too often; a mother-to-be giving up on her workout due to pregnancy.  True, under some circumstances it is not safe for an expecting mother to put the extra demand on her body.  The bottom line is that the rules don't change; to maintain optimal health, positive mental state and desired physical appearance, exercise is your best bet.  To take better care of your family, you need to take care of yourself first.
 
Staying Fit Before and After Baby
By Andrea Deopker-Gavidia  

 

Exercise will give you a sense of control of your changing body throughout pregnancy and boost your energy levels by releasing endorphins, which increases your feelings of well being. Establishing a regular fitness routine before becoming pregnant may help you maintain a consistent plan once you become pregnant, as well as when you return to exercise after having your baby. However, if you have not been active in the past, there are still many physical activities that you can safely begin now that will help you stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy. When you become pregnant, your exercise priorities will change to adjust to the emotional, physical and hormonal changes that occur in your body.

The Prenatal Mother

Exercising while pregnant can be beneficial to improve your posture, strength and endurance, as well as help to relieve stress and prevent excessive weight gain. Consult your doctor throughout your pregnancy regarding your physical activity level and discuss any concerns should any complications arise. If you were active before becoming pregnant, continue with your program and listen to your body by making modifications as you need them. If you were not active before becoming pregnant, begin slowly and build gradually as you become more fit.

Use the “talk test” to determine your level of intensity while performing aerobic activities; if you cannot talk during your exercise, you are working too strenuously. Pay attention to your temperature, since overheating can cause problems for your developing baby. Use fans or air conditioning while exercising and avoid over exertion on hot days outside in the sun.

To help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, Kegel exercises can be performed throughout your pregnancy, which will help with bladder control. During your second and third trimester try core-strengthening exercises on all fours, by simply contracting and relaxing your abdominal muscles and avoid lying on your back, which decreases blood flow to your baby. Avoid rapid changes in direction and bouncing, as your joints are more lax with an increase of hormones during pregnancy. A focus on balance exercises is important as your center of gravity changes, especially during your last trimester.

During pregnancy, some effective forms of exercise include yoga stretches and Pilates movements, which use your own body weight, as well as resistance training using dumb bells and resistance bands. Using a body weight suspension training system, such as TRX, may also be useful since you can adjust the intensity of your strength training as your body and center of gravity changes. Using a TRX Suspension Trainer may also help you maintain balance for exercises such as squats.

Take action! Create a list of five positive affirmations such as “My core strength is helping me to maintain great posture and a healthy back throughout my pregnancy.”

The Postnatal Mother

If you had a Caesarean delivery, begin with light exercises, such as walking and stretching, slowly based on your comfort level. Your 6-week postpartum evaluation is an opportunity to discuss with your healthcare provider a safe reintroduction of exercise into your lifestyle. If you were active during your pregnancy and had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you may typically begin walking and stretching within days after giving birth. You may have a gap in your abdominals and exercises like crunches should be avoided until this gap closes, usually 4-8 weeks postpartum. You may then begin strengthening exercises such as plank, side bridge and leg lowers lying on your back, which will help you regain posture and develop core strength.

Listen to your body and slowly introduce aerobic and strength training activities that you enjoy and are familiar with. Develop a realistic plan of incorporating 30 minutes of activity three days per week. Remain flexible so you can adjust your workout intensity or length of exercise sessions with your unpredictable schedule and the added fatigue of caring for your newborn. If you are uncertain where to begin and would enjoy the company of other new parents, search for postnatal fitness classes that are led by a qualified exercise instructor.

Take action! Write down any barriers to performing your workout and make a list of how you are going to overcome these barriers.

Naturally, your main focus is going to be caring for your baby, but it is also important to look after yourself. As you remain fit, healthy and relaxed, you will be better able to care for your baby. Continuing to exercise after your baby’s birth will also help you regain your pre-pregnancy shape and fitness level more quickly. Having a focus on core exercises both during pregnancy and after birth will assist you in staying strong while giving birth and then carrying your baby afterward. The key is to listen to your body and increase your exercise intensity gradually to return to your pre-pregnancy exercise routine.

Outdoor Boot Camps are Starting for Spring

Spring is upon us, Saskatoon! Time to get outside and enjoy the weather after the dark winter months; and our Outdoor Boot Camps are starting May 14th for Members and Non-Members.  This year we'll be offering early morning and evening workouts to suit everybody's schedule.

Evening Outdoor Boot Camps with Robin run May 14th - June 25th, Mondays at 6:30pm
Morning Outdoor Boot Camps with Jenn run June 5th - July 12th, Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00am

Spots are limited, so come down to the gym to reserve your spot with the Desk Staff today.
If you have any questions about availability or prices contact us at (306) 244-6413 or info@fitnessfocus.ca

Follow Fitness Focus Today

Stay in touch with us on your social media network!  Fitness Focus is your gym, so follow us on Facebook, watch us on Youtube and join us @fitnessfocusgym on Twitter!  There are so many reasons why; keep in touch with the Fitness Focus community, stay up to date with upcoming events from in and around the gym, read our health and wellness informational links, all kinds of events thoughout Saskatoon and even upcoming contests.

Fitness Focus Saskatoon Twitter

Fitness Focus Health & Athletic Centre

Nutrient Timing - Part II

Muscle Breakdown and Muscle Building

Nutrient timing capitalizes on minimizing muscle tissue breakdown that occurs during and after training and maximizing the muscle repair and building process that occurs afterwards. Carbohydrate stored in muscles fuels weight training and protects against excessive tissue breakdown and soreness. Following training, during recovery, carbohydrate helps initiate hormonal changes that assist muscle building. Consuming protein and carbohydrate after training has been shown to help hypertrophy (adding size to your muscle). The proper amount and mix of nutrients taken at specific times enables your body to utilize them most efficiently—that’s one of the Nutrient Timing Principles.

Immunity

Nutrient timing can have a significant impact on immunity for athletes. Strenuous bouts of prolonged exercise have been shown to decrease immune function in athletes. Furthermore, it has been shown that exercising when muscles are depleted or low in carbohydrate stores (glycogen) diminishes the blood levels of many immune cells, allowing for invasion of viruses. In addition, exercising in a carbohydrate-depleted state causes a rise in stress hormones and other inflammatory molecules. The muscles, in need of fuel, also may compete with the immune system for amino acids. When carbohydrate is taken, particularly during longer-duration endurance training (two to three hours), the drop in immune cells is lessened, and the stress hormone and inflammatory markers are suppressed. Carbohydrate intake frees amino acids, allowing their use by the immune system. Carbohydrate intake during endurance training helps preserve immune function and prevent inflammation.

Certain vitamins and minerals also play a role in immunity: iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, B6, and B12. However, excess intake of iron, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E can have the opposite effect and in some cases impair the body’s adaptation to training. An eating plan incorporating all of these nutrients in reasonable quantities, such as amounts found in food, can help athletes maintain immunity. The quality of the foods selected is very important and needs to be just as much of a priority as the focus on carbohydrate or protein, for example. For instance, eating a bagel for the carbohydrate but also including an orange for the vitamin C is important; drinking a protein shake can be helpful at the right time, but including some lean steak or shellfish for the iron and zinc is also essential.

Injury Prevention

Did you know that dehydration and low blood sugar can actually increase your risk of injury? Avoiding injury due to poor nutrition is absolutely within your control. Inadequate hydration results in fatigue and lack of concentration. Low blood sugar results in inadequate fueling to the brain and central nervous system. This leads to poor reaction time and slowness. Poor coordination as a result can lead to missteps, inattention, and injury.

Additionally, chronic energy drain (taking in fewer calories and nutrients than needed) will increase your risk of overuse injuries over time. Stress fractures are one example; poor tissue integrity can happen when athletes think solely about calories taken in but not the quality of the calories consumed. This is what is behind the phrase “overfed but undernourished.” Eating lots of nutrient-poor foods will not provide your body with the building blocks for healthy tissues and overall repair. Inadequate protein will also hinder the rebuilding of damaged muscles during training. If muscles are not completely repaired, they will not be as strong as they could be and will not function optimally. The damaged muscle fibers can lead to soft-tissue injuries. Both protein and carbohydrate along with certain nutrients are needed to help with this repair. For instance, gummy bears may provide carbohydrate, but they don’t contain any vitamin E, which is helpful in repairing soft-tissue damage that occurs daily during training. Therefore, the goal is both an appropriate quantity and an appropriate quality in food selection.

This article was taken from http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/learn-the-advantages-of-nutrient-timing

Fitness Focus Saskatoon

The Importance of Nutrient Timing - Part I

Here is a great read we found in a recent Canadian Fitness Professionals Magazine.  http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/learn-the-advantages-of-nutrient-timing

What Are the Benefits of Nutrient Timing?

There are several benefits of nutrient timing. These involve maximizing your body’s response to exercise and use of nutrients. The Nutrient Timing Principles (NTP) help you do the following:

  • Optimize fuel use so that you remain energized throughout your training
  • Ensure that you repair and strengthen your muscles to the best of your genetic potential
  • Ingest sufficient nutrients to keep you healthy and able to fight off infection, limiting the suppression of the immune system often experienced with intense training
  • Recover from your training so that you are ready for your next practice, event, or training session with well-fueled muscles

Energy

When sports nutritionists talk about energy, we are referring to the potential energy food contains. Calories are potential energy to be used by muscles, tissues, and organs to fuel the task at hand. Much of the food we eat is not burned immediately for energy the minute it’s consumed. Rather, our bodies digest, absorb, and prepare it so that it can give us the kind of energy we need, when we need it. We transform this potential energy differently for different tasks. How we convert potential energy into usable energy is based on what needs to get done and how well prepared our bodies are; how we fuel endurance work is different from how we fuel a short, intense run. It is helpful to understand that you must get the food off your plate and into the right places in your body at the right time.

Clients consistently ask us, “What can I eat to give me energy?” For you, “energy” may have different meanings, depending on what you’re referring to and how you’re feeling. If you’re talking about vitality, liveliness, get-up-and-go, then a number of things effect this: amount of sleep, hydration, medical conditions, medications, attitude, type of foods eaten, conditioning and appropriate rest days, and timing of meals and snacks. Food will help a lack of energy only if the problem is food related. You may think that’s obvious, but it’s not to some. If you’re tired because you haven’t slept enough, for instance, eating isn’t going to give you energy. However, if your lack of energy is because you’ve eaten too little, your foods don’t have “staying power,” you go for too long without eating, or you don’t time your meals and snacks ideally around practice or conditioning, then being strategic with food intake can help you feel more energetic. What, how much, and when you eat will affect your energy.

Nutrient timing combined with appropriate training maximizes the availability of the energy source you need to get the job done, helps ensure that you have fuel ready and available when you need it, and improves your energy-burning systems. You may believe that just eating when you are hungry is enough, and in some cases this may be true. But, many times, demands on time interfere with fueling or refueling, and it takes conscious thought and action to make it happen. Additionally, appetites are thrown off by training, so you may not be hungry right after practice, but by not eating, you are starving while sitting at your desk in class or at work. Many athletes just don’t know when and what to eat to optimize their energy stores.

By creating and following your own Nutrition Blueprint and incorporating the NTP, your energy and hunger will be more manageable and consistent, whether you are training several times a week, daily, participating in two-a-days, or are in the midst of the competitive season.

Recovery

During the minutes and hours after exercise, your muscles are recovering from the work you just performed. The energy used and damage that occurred during exercise needs to be restored and repaired so that you are able to function at a high level at your next workout. Some of this damage is actually necessary to signal repair and growth, and it is this repair and growth that results in gained strength. However, some of the damage is purely negative and needs to be minimized or it will eventually impair health and performance. Providing the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right time can minimize this damage and restore energy in time for the next training session or competition.

The enzymes and hormones that help move nutrients into your muscles are most active right after exercise. Providing the appropriate nutrients at this crucial time helps to start the repair process. However, this is only one of the crucial times to help repair. Because of limitations in digestion, some nutrients, such as protein, need to be taken over time rather than only right after training, so ingesting protein throughout the day at regular intervals is a much better strategy for the body than ingesting a lot at one meal. Additionally, stored carbohydrate energy (glycogen and glucose) and lost fluids may take time to replace.

By replacing fuel that was burned and providing nutrients to muscle tissue, you can ensure that your body will repair muscle fibers and restore your energy reserves. If you train hard on a daily basis or train more than once a day, good recovery nutrition is absolutely vital so that your muscles are well stocked with energy. Most people think of recovery as the time right after exercise, which is partially correct, but how much you take in at subsequent intervals over 24 hours will ultimately determine your body’s readiness to train or compete again.

More to come........

Fitness Focus Saskatoon

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1250 Ontario Ave
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S5
Ph: 306.244.6413

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