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Food & Supplements

  • Three Quick Nutrition Tips

    Nutrition is important, no matter what your health and fitness goal. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, improve your fitness or enhance your general health and wellbeing, the foods you eat provide the nutrients (or the raw materials) your body requires to instill these changes.

    So, here are three important tips that you should consider implementing into your nutritional regime to enhance your results and improve your general health.

    Nutrition Tip 1: Eat small, regular meals throughout the day

    Your metabolic rate is highly dependent upon how regularly you consume foods. It's quite simple - if you don't eat, your metabolism will slow right down. This is a survival mechanism hard-coded into the human genome through many generations of evolution.

    A million years ago, we didn't know when our next meal was going to be. It could be days (or weeks) between meals! So, our bodies adapted. The way that the body compensated for this was to raise or lower the rate at which we expend calories (our metabolism). A couple of hours after your meal, your metabolism will slow down to conserve as much energy as possible. Your body still store fat (our hard-coded energy storage system) and your body will break down muscle (because muscle expends so many calories!). This slowing in metabolism occurs when our blood glucose levels drop, approximately 2-3 hours following a meal.

    The answer - eat a small meal every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism elevated and promoting fat break down and muscle gain.

    Nutrition Tip 2: Eat Your Vegetables!

    Vegetables are a highly dense source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, or plant nutrients. They contain an array nutrients that cannot be put into a tablet, or sourced from meats, fish, poultry and dairy. These nutrients are essential for the normal functioning of the human body and to promote good health. Generally speaking, the more colourful the vegetable, the denser in nutrients it is.

    Vegetables are great to curb hunger cravings and to boost your metabolism. They are so low in calories that you could consume kilograms of veggies and they would have a negligible effect upon your daily caloric intake.
    Go for variety in your vegetable intake and ensure to eat plenty of deep green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

    Nutrition Tip 3: Variety!

    Variety is the spice of life. No matter what you goal, you must ensure that you consume a well balanced diet.

    It is NOT healthy to consume tuna all day long and miss out on other meats. Chances are you could experience an undesirable build-up of mercury, in addition to missing out on vital nutrients such as omega-3, iron and selenium from other meat, poultry and fish sources. It is also important not to confine yourself to a single fruit only. Eat widely to ensure that you obtain sufficient nutrients throughout your day.

    A big misconception is that certain natural foods are "better" than others. Have you ever heard a new "superfood" proclaimed on the news? Just because one food has been identified to be good in one respect, does not mean that other foods aren't going to be beneficial for you! There is no single food that should replace all other foods within that same food group.

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    Good nutrition isn't rocket science. By implementing these three principles, you will be well on your way to better health and achieving your fitness goals!

  • Do I Need to Drink Protein Powder?

    "Do I need to drink protein powder" is a common question that plagues many newcomers to the gym. The answer to this question depends very much upon your goals, experience, body and lifestyle.

    If you read my blog regularly, you'll be well aware that I am a strong believer in getting the basics down pat first. This means establishing a sound exercise and nutritional regime based on whole foods. Once these area's have been established and are implemented consistently into your lifestyle, supplements can be considered to enhance your results.

    Protein powders can be wonderful things. By drinking them, they allow your body to absorb high quality proteins much quicker than from whole food. They also provide a convenient and easy to consume source of protein.

    So, let's discuss a few common types of protein powders and when they would be suitable for consumption.

    Immediately Prior to a Workout

    This is of particular use if you are performing a high intensity workout and require readily available amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) upon the conclusion of your workout. The fastest and best quality proteins from supplements are called whey protein isolates and generally take 60-90 minutes to absorb.

    If your goal is to build muscle, enhance your fitness or lose weight, a protein shake prior to a workout could be highly beneficial for you. The greatest benefits will be obtained if your workout is of a high intensity nature. If you are performing a low intensity workout, your body will not require an abundant supply of amino acids and you will expel most of these unused molecules.

    Immediately After a Workout

    In order to "top-up" your supply, a fast acting and high quality protein powder is highly recommended immediately following a high intensity workout. Whey protein isolate is again the best option. This is an ideal compliment to drinking a pre-workout protein powder. The post-workout protein shake will be absorbed within 60-90 minutes and thus provide more amino acids to assist in recovery.

    During the Remainder of the Day

    If you're looking to increase your protein intake, then drinking a protein shake during the day could be a great way to accomplish this. Don't spend excess money on whey protein isolates; you could get away with whey protein concentrate or even a high quality protein blend.

    You may want to drink a protein powder during the day for various reasons:

    • You want a low calorie meal as a snack for weight loss
    • You want to boost your protein intake in order to continue building muscle
    • You are training heavily and need proteins to facilitate recovery
    • Your daily dietary intake is deficient in protein and you require a quick and easy way to boost your intake

    It is imperative that you do not rely on a protein powder during the day as a primary source of protein. A protein powder should only compliment a well-rounded food intake from whole foods.

    Finally, if you feel that you are ready to try out a protein supplement, please be sure to check out our protein powders.

  • Building Muscle with Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein

    Well over three years ago, I conducted a survey for the general public where one of the questions was "What is the most important nutrient when trying to build muscle?". The options were:

    • Protein
    • Carbohydrate
    • Fat
    • A combination of the above

    It may come as little surprise to know that the most common answer was protein. My hat goes off to the supplement companies who have marketed their protein products exceptionally well. No, I'm not being sarcastic, they have actually done a phenomenal job in convincing the "Average Joe" that protein is so superior to fats and carbohydrates that protein alone can do a better job at building muscle than a combination of all three!

    But the objective and proven science paints a completely different picture. Upon reading the "actual" research, it becomes very obvious that protein in isolation is useless at building muscle. Carbohydrates and fats in isolation are also useless in building muscle. It is well established, with all other considerations being disregarded, that without doubt (among the scientific community at least) that a combination of carbohydrate, fat and protein is essential to even consider building muscle mass.

    Let's return to the misconception that protein is the most important nutrient. Yes, it is an important nutrient, but it is equally important as fats and carbohydrates. Proteins are the main consituents of muscle cells when considering these three nutrients. So it comes as no surprise that is it easily assumed that protein is the most important because it is the most abundant. Not true at all. Proteins do not just get absorbed into the blood stream and into the muscle which therefore increases in size. There are many chemical reactions that happen in the process.

    Carbohydrates have a major role in building muscle. Protein synthesis (or muscle building) cannot occur without the presence of insulin. Insulin is secreted in response to an increase in blood glucose. Guess how blood glucose typically rises? Through the ingestion of carbohydrate. Of course, carbs are vitally important for many other processes including energy production, assisting the breakdown of fatty acids, promoting good health etc.

    Fats are responsible for a miriad of processes. One process that is particularly important for building muscle is hormone production. In particular testosterone, which is required for muscle sythesis, is significantly hindered by a super-low fat diet. Other important functions of fats include energy production, maintaining healthy cholesterol, nutrient transport and maintaining healthy skin.

    Building muscle is like a jigsaw. You need all the pieces in their correct places in order to stimulate an optimal degree of muscle growth. The elimination of carbohydrate or fat from your diet will have highly undesirable effects.

    If you are interested in finding out more about this topic, I highly recommend that you sign up to our free course which discusses nutrition in far more detail. The course is called Conquering Your Body.

  • Drinking Water - How much, too much and too little

    Water is such a vital ingredient when trying to improve your health or achieve a particular fitness goal, yet it is often overlooked. I thought that I would share some information within my blog about water. Some of this has been extracted from our free weight loss course, Conquering Your Body Course

    Water, or H2O, is a nutrient. Without water we cannot survive, nor can we be healthy or grow. The typical adult human body contains approximately 58-65% water, which is just under two thirds of it's total body mass. Water is therefore a very important nutrient that is required in very large amounts relative to other nutrients.

    Water also has many functions within the human body, including:

    • A solvent for nutrients
    • Transport mechanism for nutrients around the body
    • Elimination of waste products
    • Lubrication of joints
    • Absorbing shock inside the eyes and spinal cord
    • Regulating the body's temperature

    Of course, too much or too little water can result in some undesirable consequences:

    Too much water (Water intoxification or hyponatremia)

    • Fatigue
    • Light headedness
    • Weakness
    • Cramping
    • Weight gain
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Fainting
    • Disorientation
    • Seizures
    • Coma
    • Death

    Too little water (Dehydration)

    • Thirst
    • Decreased performance output ability
    • Weakness
    • Headaches
    • Hypotension
    • Fainting
    • Convulsions
    • Cardiac arrest
    • Increased pulse and breathing rates
    • Death

    As a basic guideline, 2-3 Litres is recommended for the general population. However, the more exercise you undertake, the greater your water requirements would be.

    A good way to ascertain how much water you should drink when exercising is to weigh yourself before and after your workout. If you lose weight, you would have lost fluids, so you need to drink more. If you gain weight, you have consumed more fluids than you have lost.

  • Protein Powder Information & Overview

    We discuss some general protein powder information, different types of protein powders and a general overview of protein powder supplements.
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