To ensure that progress is made it is essential to follow a diet that involves eating the most biologically valuable, and indeed organic food sources, while simultaneously relegating or removing all useless calories as they will compete with good calories for absorbtion. Strenous exercise needs to be supported by optimal nutrition to help create the most anabolic environment possible.
The amount of protein needed for growth from weight training is stated as between 1 gram - 2 grams per pound of bodyweight. The vast majority of that should come from first class protein, wholefoods that contain the full compliment of the nine essential amino acids. The best sources are from organic lean red meat and chicken or my preferences for health and ethical reasons - organic egg whites and organic low-fat cottage cheese and fish. To help me reach the protein level required for anabolism I will supplement with whey and casein protein powders and make up the rest with - seeds and grains, nuts and pulses, which when combined complete the full amino acid spectrum. There are actually two schools of thought of how and when to get this protein amount into your system. From this calculate the amount of daily protein you will need, for example for a 200 pound male that amount is a minimum of 200 grams up to around 400 grams. Then divide that amount into an average of 6 - 8 meals throughout the day. However you want to eat progressively less food, especially carboydrates as they are more likely to be stored as fat, as the day moves on. The other strategy is to eat most of your protein in approximately two sittings, the first in the morning at breakfast time and the second during the "window of opportunity" or the anabolic window which is immediately after training when your body will have the highest demand for calories. However there are certain times when specific types of protein should be consumed. These are:
First thing in the morning - Whey protein. Whey is the fastest asorbed protein and so is the optimum protein to have after waking from fasting.
Immediately before training 稥y protein. Training by definition is catabolic so it is important to have an amount of quickly digested protein in your system at this time to preserve muscle while you are breaking it down. This means consuming a protein with high levels of the most important amino acids needed for growth, being the Branched Chain Amino Acids leucine, iso-leucine and valine which are present in high amounts in whey protein.
Immediatley after training - Whey protein with casein protein. The latest research apparently shows that fast digesting whey when combined with a small amount of slow digesting casein, in the ratio of about 80:20 per cent respectively, is the most anabolic. Whey and casein protein are considered to be the best choice post workout because they work synergistically to provide the best supply at this time.
Last thing before sleep - Casein protein. Casein digests slowly so will ensure a more constant protein supply while you sleep.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy and are converted to glycogen during training, and a constant supply is needed throughout the day in order to maintain energy levels. The best sources are a mixture of fibrous and starchy, slow and fast digesting carbohydrates from wholefoods. Good sources of fibrous carbohydrates are: oats, brown rice, wholewheat bread, wholewheat pasta. For starchy carbohydrates: white rice, potatoes, white bread, pasta. Carbohydrates should make up the most of your diet for example the typical meal would contain 50% carbohydratrates, 25% protein and 25% vegetables. As a rough guide I would divide the plate into three distinctive parts 衬f containing the carbohydrates, a quarter the protein and the rest vegetables. The amount of fat needed should already be present in these food types. Most carbohydrates like all calories should be eaten in the morning and gradually reduced throughout the day preferably not with the last meal before sleep because the risk is that they will be stored as fat. As all carbohydrates induce an insulin surge eating them before sleep could mean that those calories are not expended but stored overnight. The majority of intake should be in the morning and with the pre-workout meal about two hours before training. These meals should solely contain the slower digesting fibrous carbohydrate type to ensure a sustained release when energy is needed the most, throughout the day and during training. Post workout the body will require more quickly digesting simple carbohydrates. Meals should consist of starchy food sources that are needed to replenish the now depleted glycogen stores.
Fats should come from vegetable rather than animal sources. I want the fat I need to be unsaturated to avoid ingesting large amounts of cholesterol so I donॡt red meat, egg yolk or full fat milk. The fats I want contain essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6 and non essential Omega 9. Good sources are Extra virgin olive oil from the first cold pressing, which means it hasnࢥen hydrogenated, or an oil blend supplement containing Omega 3,6,9, MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil and flax seed oil. I need to have a supply of good fats especially when dieting to maintain skin and hair condition, and as a source of energy while reducing carbohydrates. Fat is also important to lubricate joints and prevent joint wear caused by heavy weightlifting. Other excellent sources are nuts and oily fish such as mackerel and salmon.
Vegetables and Fruit
Beside the health benefits, I believe a diet rich in vegetables and fruit can only serve to help the recovery process following weight training. As a great natural source of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients they are an invaluable element. I prefer to stress vegetable intake more as I want to keep fruit sugars and simple carbohydrates at a minimal because they can encourage fat retention. Either way organic is the most biologically valuable food source.
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