Two Key Concepts For Athletic Nutrition
You want to have access to as much energy as possible AND you don’t want to have your access to energy limited for the wrong reasons
Let’s say you ate and swallowed 6 packs of bubblegum for breakfast.
You probably wouldn’t have much of an appetite for some time…
But you’d still want to be active, and you’d still need energy from food.
Eating the wrong things or the right things at the wrong time can affect your digestive abilities.
There is such a thing as food combining and it is very real. Combine the wrong foods together and you will be gassy or bloated. More energy will need to be spent on digestion, which means less for movement and athleticism.
Athletes are eating the protein myth up at every meal.
The fact is that athletes really don’t have much to do with that extra protein.
They’re not building muscles with it.
They’re not using it for energy.
It doesn’t help their digestion.
Protein does not digest well with starches or carbohydrates.
It also does not digest well with greens (could be wrong).
The proof is in the pudding.
If you eat a steak for breakfast, lunch might not digest as well if you had eaten something lighter.
Protein and fat take long times to digest and stay in the system and block other things from digesting as quickly.
Protein can also be very satiating so you are less inclined to eat more.
For someone who wants to lose weight, that may (or may not) be a good thing…
But for the athlete that wants to have maximum output, they need energy and they need to get that energy from somewhere.
Do you want to train for your sport more?
It will cost you.
Let’s say you want to play competitive soccer, tennis, football, or basketball.
You want to improve, so you want to train.
Let’s say you need to take 10,000 shots to become a good enough shooter.
Well, how many shots can you put up per day?
It costs time. It costs energy. It costs calories. It costs food.
If you can afford it, great.
In order to pay higher energetic costs, you need more usable fuel.
People go for post workout SHAKES not Steaks. For a reason. Sugar. Carbs. High glycemic carbs. They are the immediate source of energy to refuel your depleted glycogen tanks and to go into the bloodstream to be used by your cells.
Protein is not a readily useful energy source. How many marathons have bacon strips or chicken wings in the aid stations? None.
They have bananas, oranges, apples, juice – all over 80% carbohydrate. Some as high as 99-100%
So consider the idea that you might want to increase your training by 3 hours per day.
That could require you to consume 1500 calories more than you’re already eating.
Do you currently feel stuffed?
If you ate foods that digested better, you would be able to eat more food.
Now it brings up another issue which is about which foods scale well since there are certain foods that contain elements that are fine in small portions but reach levels of toxicity if scaled high. Salt, selenium, phosphorus, protein, manganese, even calcium come to mind. There’s simply certain levels of nutrients that can be excessive. Vitamin A from animal sources can be significantly toxic by consuming relatively small caloric portions of liver.
Fortunately we can analyze our total diet with nutrition calculators reasonably well and can see from results in feeling and performance.
Furthermore, I expect that if we’re eating natural foods and eating them in simple meals where we can identify what food has what effect on our system, we can truly benefit greatly from that knowledge.
If people would just eat simply they would be able to realize what’s great and what’s mediocre and what’s harmful.
So to re-iterate the point:
If you want to train more or be more active it will require more calories
If you want more calories you need to consume more food (that you can digest well)
To make consumption of more easily digesting food possible, there’s a variety of things to do and a variety of things to avoid
The next post will go into details as for how to best accomplish this.