Carbohydrates Are Brain Food: Your brain is known to have a very high nutrient and energy dense needs, with glucose being it's only fuel supply under normal and healthy conditions. Unlike your muscle cells, brain cells cannot store glucose and thus depend on a steady supply of this precious fuel, consuming about 120 grams daily.
Glucose deficit, brought on by not eating enough, can cause confusion or dizziness and bonking occur at this level.
Moral of story, if you’re not getting enough carbs you may experience dizziness, confusion etc.
Other well-known Nutrients for Brain Health….
When talking fats, we should think of water: Water is good for your brain. The majority of your blood is water, and blood delivers nutrients to the brain.
Much of your brain sheath is composed of fats. The healthy omega 3 fats seem to improve brain cell communication as well as regulate the immune system and decrease inflammation. Inadequate amounts of omega-3 fats can be associated with depression and other brain disorders.
How to get your Omegas through what you eat:
The best sources of omega-3 fats are fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and trout.
In contrast, too high an intake of saturated and trans fat from fatty meats, whole milk products and hydrogenated oils can lead to blockage of the arteries in the brain, just as they would in the heart muscle. Watch you portions.
Eat lots of healthy unsaturated fat! Fat can also be used for energy. It takes some getting used to but you can actually train your body to burn fat for energy efficiently.
Fiber: Look for foods that are high in dietary fiber. Fiber slows down the absorption rate. Usually, the higher the fiber content of a food, the lower it ranks on the GI. Not only is this important for digestion and energy, but fiber is also very filling, so you can eat less and still feel full. It has also been shown to reduce the risks of some types of cancer.
You will also be looking for foods high in protein.
“I wish I could make the claim that you could eat protein till the cows come home (and then eat the cows) without gaining weight, but the doctors out there won't let me.”
However, it is my experience that if you are striving to lose weight and really need to eat something to feed your grumbling tummy, you are much better off eating a protein than a carbohydrate, especially if it is replacing a simple, high GI carbohydrate.
Why you need Protein?
As an athlete, your protein needs may increase with your resistance, strength and aerobic endurance workouts can rapidly break down muscle protein.
In essence, the more you exercise, the greater your protein needs will be. However, taking it too far, for example more than doubling your protein intake, won't necessarily help you build more muscle.
How to Calculate Your Protein Needs:
1. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg
2. Weight in kg x 0.8-1.8 gm/kg = protein gm.
Example: 154 lb male who is a regular exerciser and lifts weights
154 lbs/2.2 = 70kg
70kg x 1.5 = 105 gm protein/day
No matter what your calculations are, remember that there are no magic foods or supplements that can replace the right training and the right diet. The foundation of any program, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle is a combination of strength training and a healthy diet that includes carbs, with a balance of protein and fat.
Coach Ali is a Personal Trainer, Group fitness Instructor, Nutrition coach, and Yoga instructor. Ali loves anything with fun and adventure in it. From cycling with She rides, to running her next PR in her next Half marathon this July, and hiking NH's 48 4,000 footers with friends and her two adventure dogs fun is top priority!
Contact coach Ali at NHEndurancelife@gmail.com
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Join Ali and the She Rides crew July 2 to cycle up Mount Agamenticus in York, Maine and enjoy a session of Yoga, relaxation and meditation on the top.
"Mountain cycle to Yoga & Meditation"