Post about "Nutrition"

Complete Nutrition – How To Tell If You Are Getting It

Someone who has good nutrition is easy to identify. People who have a healthy diet know that they are healthy. So how do you actually know whether you are getting adequate and a balanced nutrition? In this article, I will try to shed light on 10 signs of good nutrition. It is important that one is going through all of these signs. Only then will one be able to know that they have complete nutrition.

A healthy heart and good blood pressure are the best signs of good nutrition. This is especially true if one is of considerable age since heart and related diseases affect those of middle and advanced age the most.

Getting sick is a sign that we are not quite getting the nutrition we desire. Eating healthy foods boosts the immune system. It is likely that if you are not getting good nutrition, you are likely to get the flu or a cold.

Getting out of bed feeling energized is a sign of being healthy. In fact, many of us get out of bed feeling tired and not quite up to the mark. Moreover, our day does not really get any better as well and we feel tired all day.

Healthy eaters also have good concentration. They do not procrastinate and do not have trouble getting things done.

Eating healthy foods is also good for the skin. People who have a balanced and healthy diet have a fresh and glowing skin. Hence eating good food also has cosmetic benefits and can increase your beauty.

Eating foods that are good for you is also good for the hair. People who eat healthy foods have hair that is full of life and is shiny. It does not have that dull look and is not frizzy.

Great nutrition does not only have an effect on the body, it is also good for the mind. People who eat healthy are usually happier than those who do not. This is because eating healthy foods regulates hormones well which are partly responsible for our mood.

Eating healthy is also good for muscles. Good nutrition promotes cell regeneration and hence muscle mass so if you eat well, you will have bigger muscles.

You do not need to wear glasses if you have good nutrition. Good nutrition provides all the necessary vitamins and minerals that are needed to maintain proper eyesight.

Finally, people who have good nutrition live longer. So if you come across someone who has lived a long and healthy life, you can be sure that they ate well!

How Swimmers Can Achieve Optimal Nutrition

Planning proper nutrition for swimmers can be a complicated process but it is a necessary step if one wants to achieve peak performance levels. Indeed, Dr. Joel Stager, swim coach and professor of kinesiology at Indiana University says that “[e]ating right…may be ultimately as important as swimming up and down the pool.”Swimming is an endurance sport that relies on proper dietary habits to provide its fuel, but these nutritional needs are constantly in flux. In order to achieve optimal nutrition for their sport, a swimmer must know what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat for any given training period.Basic Nutritional Needs of SwimmersAs for all athletes, nutrition for swimmers involves a proper mixture of protein, carbohydrates, and fats in their diets. Protein is essential for muscle development and repair, carbohydrates provide energy for high intensity exercise, and fats provide energy for extended endurance exercises. In the proper combinations, these three provide the energy and muscular needs of swimmers. To that end, experts recommend that 60 percent of a swimmer’s calories should be carbohydrates, 15 percent should be protein, and the remaining 25 percent should be fat.But these numbers can vary significantly depending upon the specific training needs of a particular training period.Nutritional Needs During TrainingA swimmer’s nutritional needs are greatly increased during the competitive season when swimmers are in training. According to the American Dietetic Association, while in training nutrition for swimmers should include:- A daily food intake of 3,000 to 6,000 calories- The majority of these calories should be derived from carbohydrates (2.3 to 3.6 grams of carbohydrates for each pound of body weight per day).- Protein intake should approximate 0.55 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight per day. (A quality rice and green pea protein powder is an excellent adjunct to aid in meeting these requirements).- Fat intake should comprise a minimum of 0.45 grams per pound of body weight per day. (Ensure that the majority of fat consumption is of the monounsaturated or polyunsaturated variety, as is found in canola oil and nuts).- Proper hydration in the form of sports drinks or water – 2 cups 2 hours before practice and 5 to 10 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes during the practice.In addition, some experts suggest that the diet should be supplemented with a pharmaceutical grade, standardized synergistic multivitamin/mineral complexPreparing for a Meet with Carbohydrate LoadingIn general, a swimmer’s nutritional needs while preparing for a meet, or competition, would be the aforementioned methodology. But there are additional ways to use the diet to significantly increase athletic performance. One of the most popular of such methods is called “carbohydrate loading.”Carbohydrate loading is only useful to endurance athletes, such as swimmers, who will be in competition for a minimum of 90 minutes, but it has proven to be remarkably successful.Carbohydrates (such as vegetables, grains, and beans) are the primary fuel source of the body. The body’s digestive system converts carbohydrates into sugar, which then enters the cells to provide necessary energy. Some of this sugar is stored in the muscles as glycogen. But the muscles only store enough glycogen to sustain normal recreational exercise. If one exercises intensely for more than 90 minutes, glycogen stores will be depleted and athletic performance (and stamina) suffers-but not if one practices carbohydrate loading.According to the Mayo Clinic, the process of carbohydrate loading is enacted in two steps.- Step One: A week before the planned meet, the swimmer will reduce carbohydrate consumption to about 55 percent of the daily calories, but increase protein and fat consumption to compensate for the reduced amount of carbohydrates. The training level and intensity, however, will remain the same, which will cause a depletion of the swimmer’s carbohydrate stores.- Step Two: Approximately four days before the meet, the swimmer will increase carbohydrate consumption to 70 percent of the daily calories and reduce some of the fat consumption to compensate for this increase. (Some of the training levels will also be reduced so as to conserve glycogen stores). The day before the meet, the swimmer will completely rest and will not perform any physical fitness or exercise activities.Studies have shown that, for a man, carbohydrate loading can increase the glycogen stores in his muscles by as much as twice the normal amount. Although he will still need to replenish his stores during the meet with a sports drink or a piece of fruit, this additional glycogen storage will increase his endurance levels. (Unfortunately, there are not many studies on the effects of carbohydrate loading on women to enable nutritionists to offer specific advice).Recovery Nutritional Needs Nutrition for swimmers, however, extends beyond the training and actual competition period. Indeed, the recovery period (the time immediately after training or competition, when the swimmer replenishes his energy stores and repairs muscle) is an essential part of this process.And the swimmer has only 45 minutes to enact this part of the process.The 45-Minute Nutritional AdvantageStudies have shown that athletes who eat and drink within 45 minutes after practice recover more quickly than those who do not. One 2004 study, conducted by Dr. Stager, showed that athletes who drank chocolate milk after their morning practice (during this crucial 45-minute period) were better able to perform athletically during their afternoon practice. It appears, said Stager, that muscles do not easily absorb nutrients after two hours. Although there are many reasons why chocolate milk, in particular, may have been so effective in this study (i.e., its sugar content boosted energy and its liquid content was more rapidly absorbed by the body), there is little doubt that there is, indeed, a recovery benefit for those swimmers who eat and/or drink after practice.The results of this and other studies have led researchers to propose a recovery diet for swimmers and other athletes. Within 45 minutes after practice, say experts, a mixture of carbohydrates (for energy) and protein (for muscle repair) should be consumed. The carbohydrates should be composed of colorful fruits, vegetables, and breads while the protein may be derived from from peanut butter, nuts, and high quality gprotein powder.Though proper nutrition for swimmers can be a complicated subject, scientific research is paving the way for a proper understanding of this process. Science has shown that those swimmers who know what, when, and how much to eat have a decided competitive advantage over their peers. Indeed, these studies have proven that proper nutrition for swimmers may be even more important than technique and practice in improving athletic performance.Fortunately, such nutritional choices are completely within a swimmer’s realm of control.