Everywhere you look, it’s either the best supplements to get ripped, or top foods to max muscle gains – it seems like eating to boost health and performance simultaneously isn’t important, isn’t possible or it’s simply too boring to talk about.
Don’t become another victim to eating just for looks and performance. It’s very important to eat the right foods for the right reasons, and staying healthy is definitely one of those reasons. Remember, if you aren’t healthy, everything you’re working towards, and all the training you’ve done means nothing.
Let me explain.
Exercise will make a world of difference in the quality of your life, however, exercise, like supplementation, is not meant to make up for neglect and abuse in other areas of your life. A weight loss pill won’t make up for stuffing yourself silly at the Golden Arches and Chucky Cheese every day of the week, and exercise won’t make up for faulty nutrition practices either.
There’s an old Arab proverb that has the number 1 followed by a series or zeros, like this 1,000,000,000,000 etc The zeros represent all of the things in life like money, houses, clothes, your profession, friends, vacation, cars, ad infinitum. The one represents your health.
The lesson learned is, what value does the one followed by all of the zeros represent once you take away the one? Zero, zip, nada, nothing. Without your health, your strength, your muscles, a set of six pack abs will all be worthless.
Dr. Mary McCreery, a Consultant Clinical Nutritionist to both the Irish Olympic Team and the Irish Rugby Team writes:
“A well balanced diet is one that provides the body with enough energy, and all the nutrients required in their correct amounts to prevent illness and disease.”
Many people erroneously follow dangerous nutritional habits like eating twice the amount of protein they actually need, or overemphasizing one macronutrient over another, usually protein rich foods like meats. Others eat unhealthy sources of macronutrient rich foods, like fatty and cholesterol laden cuts of red meat for protein as opposed to the leaner cuts, or highly refined carbs, like white flour. Some barely eat vegetables because “there’s no room left” once they eat the other foods on their plate. And most haven’t a clue as to how much fibre they should be getting in a day, let alone make the effort to actual consume that amount.
What one has to keep in mind is that all the muscles in the world do you no good if only one of your organs fail. Keep this in mind, and make sure you’re eating in a manner that ensures you’re a complete strongman or strongwoman, not simply someone who has one piece of the puzzle.
Keep your macro nutrient intake at healthy levels. Strength trainers need between 0.7 gram to a high of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to support muscle growth. Numerous studies haven’t shown any benefit from consuming more than that amount.
Also, focus on getting 35 grams of fibre spread out over your meals for the day. Eating unprocessed fruits and veggies will help you meet this goal. Using a supplement like ground flax seed is also a great way to boost your fiber intake.
© 2008 Raymond Toulany