It’s not all weight loss….
When we think about nutrition, we tend to default to weight loss, and while this is true there are many other aspects of nutrition we can look at.
The first we can look at is athletic performance, working within the gym this is something that people tend to take for granted. The principle of fueling the body correctly for their activity level and overall goals, what we tend to find is those who are looking to improve performance often overlook the idea of correct nutrition. For most people looking to improve their main focus will be to increase training volume, but not having the correct calories to support this can damper performance. As we look in to athletic performance we can dive in to all sorts of nutritional science, from the very basic of ensuring we are getting enough protein, to the more complex such as sleep and sleep quality. The possibilities of how nutrition can support all of these are endless.
So, let’s say you are looking to increase performance, your goal is to increase strength as well as aerobic capacity, where do we start? The first and most basic point should be our calorie intake, ensuring we are getting enough calories to either sit at maintenance, support muscle growth with a slight increase of calories or help with the reduction of body fat with a small deficit. After this our next area to look at is protein intake, for those who are looking to increase performance should be aiming for 1.8 – 2.0 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (For instance an 80kg male would look to consume 144 – 160g) this is to support the growth and retention of muscle. Next would be the consumption of carbohydrates, carbohydrates are broken down in to glucose which is the bodies primary source. What we tend to find with a lot of our clients and athletes is that this number is massively underestimated, this comes from a pre-conceived idea that carbs are the enemy and make us fat. The last simple tip we can look at is meal timing, ensuring we are eating to fuel our sessions. Consuming a low fat, high carbohydrate snacks an hour or two before exercises can massively increase performance over that session. As well as this ensuring we are replacing our glycogen levels after a session, again a high carbohydrate snack within 30 minutes of exercise or even a sports drink can help aid with this recovery.
Secondly, improve lifestyle, now I understand this is quite a loose statement and could mean anything to anyone, but I am going to explain what I mean. For me improving lifestyle is a couple of factors, it is eating a healthy well-balanced diet that allows our body to function at it’s required level and obtain the right amount recovery. It is having a healthy relationship with food, knowing that we can have sweets and treats and that everything is in moderation, and finally it is understanding nutrition. Having a small level of education to support us making the right choices, living the right way & balancing life.
I could go further on in this post about the benefits of nutrition, but I think we will save them for another day, we can look into improving health & life markers, helping aid injury recover as well as supporting sleep and recovery. Nutrition is the building block for a lot of the success we have in life and we are going to further explore these each week!
CrossFit Level 1 / BTN Academy Nutritionist