Nutrition for Health
Posted On: 2022-03-31

CARBOHYDRATES

 

    Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your muscles and the brain.   Eating a high carbohydrate diet will ensure the maintenance of muscle and liver glycogen (storage forms of carbohydrate), improve performance and delay fatigue.

Simple and Complex

   Any type of carbohydrate eaten is metabolized into glucose.   However, there are different types of carbohydrates.  Simple carbohydrates are monosaccharides and disaccharides.  These contain one or two sugar molecules and taste very sweet.  Examples of simple sugars are glucose, fructose galactose (monosaccharides) and sucrose, lactose, and corn syrup (disaccharides).  Complex carbohydrates are long chains of sugars.  Plants store complex carbohydrates as starch and animals store them as glycogen in the muscles and liver.  Examples of foods that contain large amounts of complex carbohydrates include potatoes, rice, and bread.   Complex carbohydrates are burned as energy or stored in the liver and skeletal muscles for future use during activity.  Glucose polymers are another type of carbohydrate that is used in sports drinks.  Glucose polymers are a 5 glucose chain sugar that is not as sweet as sucrose or corn syrup that is commonly found in cola-type drinks.  These glucose polymers provide a greater amount of energy without being too sweet.

Carbohydrates and Training

    It is important to remember that carbohydrates are the body's primary energy source.  Unfortunately, carbohydrates are not stored in inexhaustible amounts.  A 150-pound man has about 1800 calories of carbohydrate in the liver, blood, and muscles.  The amount of glycogen that a person has will determine how long they can maintain exercise.  When glycogen levels get depleted the ability to exercise decreases.  Many people term this as "hitting the wall", "crashing" or "bonking".  With training and a proper diet, the muscles can develop the ability to store more glycogen than an untrained individual.

    This is not just important for endurance training individuals.   The need for muscle glycogen has a sparing effect on a protein which is important for strength training individuals.  If an active individual does not eat enough carbohydrates the body can begin to use a less efficient fuel for energy, protein.  By consuming adequate carbohydrates, protein will not be sacrificed to be used as fuel and can be used for tissue growth and repair.

Sources and Recommendations

   Carbohydrates are found in bread, cereal, rice, pasta, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and milk.  The Food Guide Pyramid recommends 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group to ensure adequate complex carbohydrate intake.  This should constitute 55-65% of your total caloric intake.  Active healthy adults on average need to consume approximately  8-10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of bodyweight.  Since carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram many people think that they can eat as many carbohydrates as they want.  This is not true.  Remember, calories still count. Fat-free products are not calorie-free.


This is an example of a 2000 kilocalorie diet.  The complex carbohydrates are black and the simple carbohydrates are blue.

SAMPLE 2000 CALORIE DIET

BREAKFAST: 

1 C cereal  

1 C milk 

2 slices of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

4 tsp jam 

1 C juice

 

LUNCH: 

3 oz grilled/baked chicken or fish 

1 C pasta w/ marinara sauce 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C tossed salad w/ 1 Tbs dressing 

1 piece of fruit or 1/2 C sliced fruit 

1 C milk 

1 C juice

 

DINNER: 

3 oz lean meat choice 

1 C rice or potato 

1 dinner roll or slice of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C frozen yogurt w/ 1/2 C fruit  

1 C milk

 

FATS

    Fat is a valuable metabolic fuel for muscle activity during longer durations of endurance exercise at moderate intensity levels. Fat also protects vital organs in the body and insulates. In addition, fat transports fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. One gram of fat provides 9 kcal and one pound of fat contributes approximately 3500 kcal.

    Today, many people are concerned with the amount of fat in their diets. Diets that are high in fat tend to increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Therefore, it is recommended that fat intake should not exceed 30% of daily calories.

    The fats found in both the body and food are cholesterol and triglycerides. The cholesterol in your blood comes from two sources: your own body, made primarily by the liver, and dietary cholesterol from the foods you eat. Dietary cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in foods of animal origin (dairy products, egg yolks, meats, poultry, and seafood). Cholesterol is not found in plants or plant products. The National Cholesterol Education Program considers a blood cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dl desirable, 200 to 239 mg/dl is considered borderline high, and levels of 240 mg/dl or greater are considered high.

    Triglycerides are composed of three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. Fatty acids are either saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature and come primarily from animal products like meat, poultry, butter, and whole milk. Also, some oils like coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils are high in saturated fats. Dietary saturated fats have the greatest impact on total blood cholesterol. Saturated fat should not exceed 10% of total fat intake.  Polyunsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and are found in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils.  Monounsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature and are found in vegetable oils, such as olive and canola oils.


Sources of fat in this diet are highlighted in red.

SAMPLE 2000 CALORIE DIET

BREAKFAST: 

1 C cereal  

1 C non-fat milk 

2 slices of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

4 tsp jam 

1 C juice

 

LUNCH: 

3 oz grilled/baked chicken or fish 

1 C pasta w/ marinara sauce 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C tossed salad w/ 1 Tbs dressing 

1 piece of fruit or 1/2 C sliced fruit 

1 C non-fat milk 

1 C juice

 

DINNER: 

3 oz lean meat choice 

1 C rice or potato 

1 dinner roll or slice of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C frozen yogurt w/ 1/2 C fruit  

1 C non-fat milk


 

PROTEINS

 

    Proteins are composed of amino acids linked together in chemical bonds. Protein plays an important role in the regulation of bodily functions. They supply amino acids for the synthesis of new tissue. The composition of genes, cells, and skin is protein. The enzymes that regulate chemical reactions in the body are proteins.

Sources

     There are 20 different kinds of amino acids. Nonessential amino acids are those which may be synthesized by the body. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and must be ingested in foods. They comprise the following: isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Complete proteins contain all the essential amino acids required for the growth and repair of bodily tissue. Incomplete proteins lack one or more of the essential amino acids. The best source of complete proteins are eggs, milk, meat, poultry, and fish. The term biological value refers to an index where all protein sources are rated relative to a standard (eggs) which is considered the most complete protein and given the value of 100.

Recommendations

    The supplement industry advocates high protein consumption for muscle building. However, any excess protein consumed in the diet or through supplementation is broken down for energy or stored as body fat. For sedentary individuals, the recommended daily allowance (R.D.A.) for protein is .8g/kg/bw/day. Athletes who participate in events that demand varying degrees of strength, speed, and endurance may require up to 1.8g/kg/bw/day. It is important to remember that exercise is the key to stimulating the growth of new muscle tissue. Protein only supplies the materials.


This is an example of a 2000 kilocalorie diet.  Many foods are good sources of protein; the primary protein sources in this example are highlighted in blue.

SAMPLE 2000 CALORIE DIET

BREAKFAST: 

1 C cereal  

1 C non-fat milk 

2 slices of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

4 tsp jam 

1 C juice

 

LUNCH: 

3 oz grilled/baked chicken or fish 

1 C pasta w/ marinara sauce 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C tossed salad w/ 1 Tbs dressing 

1 piece of fruit or 1/2 C sliced fruit 

1 C non-fat milk 

1 C juice

 

DINNER: 

3 oz lean meat choice 

1 C rice or potato 

1 dinner roll or slice of wheat bread 

1 tsp butter 

1/2 C vegetables 

1 C frozen yogurt w/ 1/2 C fruit  

1 C non-fat milk


 

WATER

    Water is the most basic nutrient needed. The body is composed of 50-75% of water, depending on age and body fatness (Howley, E. T., & Powers, S. K. (1997). Exercise Physiology (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Brown & Benchmark.) Water is used for three essential body processes: temperature regulation, cellular processes, and body composition. Water is taken into the body through the consumption of fluids, water within solid foods is consumed and created within the cell through oxidation. Water is lost by urine excretion, stool excretion, sweat, and respiration. Therefore we must find a balance between our fluid intake and fluid excretion.

    During exercise, our body regulates its core temperature through sweat. As a result, we often excrete more water than we intake, which can lead to heat cramps, heat syncope, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. The most common electrolyte/fluid imbalances are heat cramps and syncope and dehydration.

Heat Cramps and Syncope

Symptoms of Heat Cramps:

Treatment:

cramps are usually in abdominal or calf muscles during or after sustained exercise 

drink water with .5% sodium content, massage muscle, and rest in a cool environment

Syncope Symptoms:

Treatment:

blurred vision and/or brief fainting or near fainting with normal temperature *May result from dehydration or from blood pooling in lower extremities

lay on back in a cool environment and drink water

Dehydration Symptoms of Dehydration:

Treatment:

fatigue and weakness, dry mouth *Loss of work capacity is a result of dehydration 

drink fluids and sodium replacement Roitman, 

*J.L. (Ed.). (1998) ACSMÆs Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (3rd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.

    Dehydration is the most common water/electrolyte imbalance. If an athlete losses 2% of their fluid reserve, they will have reduced their work capacity by 10-15%. Each pound of weight loss represents 16oz. of fluid or two cups of sweat (Jordan, P. (1995). Fitness Theory & Practice (2nd ed.). Sherman Oaks, CA: Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.). Therefore this measurement should be used as a guideline for fluid replacement after an exercise session. However, precautions for dehydration should begin before during, and after exercise.

General Training Guidelines for Fluid Intake

  • Everybody needs 64 oz. of fluid (water) every day for optimal cellular and metabolic processes.

  • Drink 2-3 cups of fluids up to two hours before an exercise session.

  • During intense and prolonged exercise sessions, or exercising in a hot/humid environment, drink 8-10 oz. every 20 minutes.

  • After exercise drinks enough fluids to replace quench your thirst plus extra.

  • Use bodyweight after exercise as a guideline.

    Another important indicator to use for hydration is the color of your urine. If urine is dark-colored or scanty, you have been dehydrated and need more fluids. Urine should be clear-colored and copious (Jordan, 1995).

 
 
   
 
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