More N’ More Nutrition

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In the previous article upon proteins, we saw how proteins help in building muscle mass and what should be the preferred plan of intake. Here, we’ll focus on various other nutrients including carbohydrates, fats and multivitamins.

  • Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, and we call it carbs, are the main source of energy to our body. Here is the simple science:

Carbs get digested into simple sugars including glucose, which reacts with the oxygen we breathe to get converted into carbon dioxide that we exhale, little water and a lot of energy. The unused carbs get converted into fats which are nothing but energy reserves. Some good sources of carbohydrates are potato, rice, wheat, sugar, bread, oats and many more.

There is one very famous slogan out there in the world of fitness which goes like “count your calories”. An average man needs at least 2400 calories a day to maintain his bodyweight. Heavier the person, more will be this value of calorie intake for maintenance of the bodyweight. Take lesser calories, and you’ll start losing weight, take more calories and you’ll start gaining weight. The equation is as simple.

carbs

Now, carbs could be of two types – simple or complex. They can be differentiated by the total time to get digested and simplified into relatively simpler molecules like glucose. Higher amount of simple carbs intake may lead to fat accumulation under the skin, while they also help in a good secretion of insulin which is a very powerful anabolic hormone to support the muscle growth.

Implementation:

Breakfast should be the combination of simple as well as complex carbs in addition to some fibers.

Complex carbohydrates become more important before workout. This is because they slowly get digested therefore they serve as a long term continuous source of energy to the muscles.

After workout, simple carbohydrates should be taken to restore the glycogen level in the body and simple carbohydrates quickly replenish that level. If you don’t take it, the body will start decomposing the muscles and start drawing out the energy needs from them.

In the next meal, the one after the workout meal, the level of simple carbs in the diet should be relatively lower, whereas right before the bedtime, there should be no carbs intake at all. The reason is that while sleeping the metabolic rate decrease to a very low level and thus all that carbs get converted into fats. Also, carb intake before sleeping would slow down the process of secretion of the growth hormone, thus lowering the muscle formation rate in the body.

  • Fats. Well most people think of it as an enemy. But let me tell you fats are one of the most vital and efficient source of energy. Leave two people, one fat and one muscular, in a desert without food but with water, and the fatty will survive for a longer time. Dietary fats are as essential as proteins and carbs. In fact all the cell-membranes are made of fats.

fats

The irony is consumption of fats sometimes help in fat-loss as well as building more of lean muscle mass. Here are a few types of fats and their description which will tell you how you should plan your diet for a better physique:

  1. Polyunsaturated fats. Mainly found in sunflower oil, corn oil and soybean oil. Omega 3 is a variant of polyunsaturated fats which are found in fish and it’s very important in terms of its usage in brain and heart development. It also helps in burning the fats present in the body, rather than converting it to glycogen and store it.
  2. Monounsaturated fats. When we say fats, we refer to these. View them as the densely packed bundles of energy because they provide most amount of energy per gram of weight as compared to other nutrients. They are not bad for health and they also give the sense of “full” thus avoiding you to consume higher amounts of carbs when they’re not required.
  3. Saturated fats. They are the bad fats and must be avoided. They’re present in butter, meats and similar stuff and they’re the ones which are actually responsible for the heart diseases. They improve the level of LDL (the bad cholesterol) and reduce the levels of HDL, the good cholesterol. These LDLs further clog the main artery, thus blocking the blood flow which could result in strokes and various other diseases.
  • Multivitamins. These are the sources of multiple vitamins incorporated in a single tablet. Body needs the vitamins in small amounts to perform the basic cellular functions. Bodybuilders, in order to gain and maintain the muscle mass need to consume slightly higher amounts of vitamins.

multivitamins

During the processing of the proteins, vitamin A is required apart from other nutrients because it turns your muscles bigger. The sources are eggs, carrots, cod liver oil etc. Its fat soluble and therefore excess of it gets stored in the body making things toxic in there.

Vitamin B is water soluble and it helps in protein digestion and metabolism. Being water soluble makes it non-toxic in higher amounts.

Vitamin C helps to build muscles faster. It also helps in muscle recovery after the workouts and improves the blood flow by aiding the absorption of iron.

another muggle :|