by STEFAN, BAppSci, IBLS-AIS, CSCS
There are a lot of uncertainties out there when it comes to fitness
or at least that's what we've been told. One thing that is certain
is that without the right diet your efforts will be shortchanged.
How can you accomplish your goals in the gym when you haven't the
energy to get up in the morning? How can you find the energy to train
and train progressively when your squandering all you have to stay
awake at work or in class? It's obviously a tough affair.
We've been told in physics class that energy can neither be created
nor destroyed. What does this mean and how do we apply this information
so that we too have boundless energy?
What some of us fail to realize is that the energy required for us
to go for a run or even build muscle for that matter, doesn't come
out of thin air. It comes from within. It comes from the food we eat
in combination with water and air. While water and air do not give
us energy directly, they are very much involved in the production
As we know or should know, food was not created equal. The type of
food eaten has a direct affect on our energy levels, our body shape
and even our self perceptions. The best and cleanest of all food sources
is undoubtedly fruits and vegetables. And by cleanest I don't mean
free of dirt, I mean free of toxic by products that other foods contain
such as deadly nitrates, sodium and saturated fats.
Do you know that the end product of carbohydrate breakdown is? It's
carbon dioxide and water. Ask the pro-protein people what the end
product of protein metabolism is and most likely they won't know or
won't tell you. I think they believe what you don't know won't hurt
you. How ironic because that's exactly what too much protein will
do: hurt you.
Keep in mind folks, grains, fruits and vegetables are not at the top
of the food pyramid by chance. Years of research and analysis and
millions of dollars have been spent to reach this conclusion so please
take advantage of it. That's because grains, fruits and vegetables
are made up of the body's most preferred food called carbohydrate
and anyone preaching otherwise won't live long enough to see how wrong
they really were.
Not only are they made up of our body's favorite energy source, they're
also jam packed with essential nutrients. In fact contrary to popular
belief, by diversifying your choices of fruits and vegetables you
can get most, if not all your nutrients. You'll be surprised at the
amino acid similarity of beef and spinach. So Popeye was right after
And if that's not enough reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables,
I'll give you another. They provide you with life giving water. Something
that we hear an awful lot about yet many do nothing about it. Water
aids the body in burning fat, helps our energy levels, improves immunity
and numerous other benefits. But nothing will happen until you knowing
put a plan in action to support your lifestyle.
But excuses aside, it's your nutrition that has to improve before
you do. Your body is built for performance much like a formula one
car. Some of you might say, "Hold on Stefan, look at me. My body
wasn't built for performance. I'll be lucky to get into a kart, let
alone race one."
While it's very fashionable to play the genetics and metabolism cards,
I believe that everyone came into this world as equals with potential
to become champions. (A champion is someone that does the fundamentals
many times over and commits to better himself in the process.) According
to doctors, the number of people suffering from endocrine and glandular
disorders is roughly one in a thousand. Yet the excuse 'my metabolism
is slow' is most always heard. What happened in the following years,
has nothing to do with your metabolism but everything to do with your
choices in nutrition and level of activity. And your level of activity
as we've just learnt is also dependent on nutrition.
So you see how important proper nutrition really is? Without a few
key nutrients, your body has a hard time functioning properly. For
example, a deficiency in B vitamins almost always leads to energy
decreases simply because these vitamins are essential for the metabolism
(breakdown) of carbohydrates. An iron deficiency usually leads to
low energy levels because of its importance in carrying oxygen to
cells. And for all you muscle-guys out there, a deficiency in zinc
hinders the production of testosterone. In fact recent studies have
shown that supplementing with zinc, magnesium and B6 vitamin has been
shown to increase strength and muscle gain even in highly trained
people. So before surrendering your personal power or authentic power
and reach for supplementing with steroids, look for other alternatives.
Make sure your diet is right first and aim to improve it, it's really
not that hard.
Getting back to the race car analogy, if you put unleaded petrol in
it the car will run but hardly at it's best. Substituting unleaded
petrol with aviation fuel or high octane will make a hell of a difference.
Same thing with you and your body. What you put in is what you'll
most definitely get out. Put fat in and fat will come out. Just as
in formula one, controlled scientific experiments have been performed
on humans to see which fuel allows for best performance. This always
comes out to be carbohydrate.
Sure it's not cool enough but hei ,...It works!
So when exercising, don't forget to exercise your right to obtaining
high performance fuel for your body so that you not only look forward
to your workout but POWER through it.