5 Rules of Performance Nutrition – Rule 1
These 5 basic rules are a great place to start when learning about healthy eating, making correct food choices, planning your meals, portion sizes and getting your daily nutrition to co-inside with your weekly exercise routine.
Rule One: Always eat a least 5 meals a day. Two or three meals are simply not enough. It is permissible to regard two of these meals as “snacks,” provided they contain sufficient calories to get you to your next meal, and they are comprised of the appropriate ratio of macronutrients – 1 part fat, 2 parts protein and 3 parts carbohydrate (this will be discussed in further detail in RULE TWO) By having a least 5 meals a day, some of which are small “snack” meals you blood sugar and insulin (a hormone in your body, which if not regulated causes fat retention) levels will be controlled as well as your energy level.
It’s important for all athletes to know that their performance level largely depends on their muscles and how they have been developed to address the skill needs of the sport. The more developed you are on the inside – your muscles, cardiovascular system, joint strength, etc, it is safe to say that the better your performance level will be. It is necessary to provide your body with the resources necessary to rebuild, repair and grow.
By having more meals during the day, you are combating break down from accruing in the body. When you body doesn’t have nutrients to draw on for energy then your body begins using muscle for energy – when this happens your body is literally breaking down and you are burning muscle. By having meals with protein throughout the day your body then has a constant supply of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, to prevent breakdown.
So by supplying your body with small amounts of protein throughout the day to support growth and recovery, not only is your body not going into break down but, and most importantly body fat will not be stored, but instead mobilized as an energy source. It’s a fact that by providing your body with a consistent and frequent supply of just the right number of calories, it’s need to store fat is reduced. This is because your body’s metabolism is raised, your body processes and utilizes food that comes in frequently because your body knows more food will come 2-3 hours later. Conversely, when you eat infrequently, your body recognizes a “famine” situation and your entire endocrine system (The system in your body consisting of the glands and tissues which release hormones. It works with the nervous system in regulating metabolic activities, it’s responsible for powerful hormones produced inside your body that control how you grow, recover, and produce energy) is thrown a loop. Then too much food you consume is stored as body fat in preparation for the famine to come.
Meal planning and correct foods are also a very important part of the puzzle which I will discuss in later articles. I’m sure you know it goes without saying that healthy, non processed, sugar and fat free foods, low in salt and chemicals are what are important in your 5 meal plan. We will discuss correct foods next month in RULE TWO . Until then put this rule into practice, eating plate size healthy light food.
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