Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Much Protein & Carbs Do Runners Need?

How Much Protein & Carbs Do Runners Need?

Athletes need more carbohydrates and protein than sedentary people because of increased needs for energy and muscle tissue replacement. Runners, like all endurance athletes, must eat a diet that consists mostly of carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. According to nutrition specialists at Colorado State University, a diet with up to 70 percent carbs for three days before a marathon or other endurance race may be beneficial. Runners don’t need quite as much protein as strength-training athletes, but their need for protein is greater than the average person's.

To determine how much protein and carbs you to eat each day, figure out your body’s caloric needs. Runners need an adequate amount of energy to perform their best. If you don’t consume enough calories each day, you may limit your overall performance. Calories come from carbs, protein and fats. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, active men and women may need to consume as much as 3,200 or 2,400 calories per day, respectively. Your specific needs may vary, so consult your doctor or dietitian.

According to the International Association of Athletics Federations, runners who exercise at a moderate pace on a regular basis need about 5 grams to 7 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day. Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to convert to kilograms. If you exercise at a vigorous pace, or you run for long distances that take over an hour, your body may need 7 to 10 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day. These amounts will provide your body with an adequate amount of carbs to fuel the recovery process following a race or training session. Carbs convert to glycogen, the body’s main source of energy, once digested and absorbed.

Protein supplies your body with smaller amounts of energy when you run compared to carbs. However, it’s a vital nutrient necessary for muscle recovery. According to Colorado State University, endurance athletes may benefit by consuming 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For example, a 150-pound runner would need about 82 to 95 grams of protein per day. Consume protein in small amounts throughout the day to improve absorption.

A pre-event meal that contains protein and easily digestible carbohydrates can help prepare your body for the upcoming work. A sample meal may include 2 ounces of chicken, one piece of fruit and two pieces of bread. Consume a similar meal one to three hours before training. After a run, it’s important to refuel your body within 30 minutes, according to Colorado State University. You can consume a snack rich in carbs and protein, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or glass of chocolate milk. Another option is to consume a protein shake after you work out, but check with your doctor before using protein supplements.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fruit - A healthy alternative to junk food

The contents of fruit

As the interest in nutrition increases and people are getting more and more conscious about what they eat, the interest in fruit and its contents also grows. But we still don't know that much about fruit and there is much to discover about the substances that fruit contains. We know it is healthy for us, and that people who are sick can be cured by a diet of raw fruits and vegetables. Even cancer can sometimes be cured by this diet but which substances fruit contains is a mystery. That a human being can live healthily on fruit alone has been proven by the fruitarians, they only consume fruit.
On this page we treat the following subjects:

Water in fruit;
The burning process & sugar in fruit;

Why fruit?
Health food
Unhealthy food
Olive oil

Water in fruit
Planet earth is covered with water for 70%. The human body consists of 80% of water. So what should humans eat: food that contains 80% water.
If you think about it, it is very logical to have food that contains much water. Al right, you say, then I just drink 8 to 12 glasses of water each day, so I can have as much food that doesn't contain much water as I want. Bad luck, this won't work. You cannot cleanse your body by flooding it with water. Instead of drowning your body, you only have to eat food that is rich in water: fruit, fruit juices and vegetables are the nutrition that fit this definition.

Why is it better to consume food that has lots of water in it?
All the fixed substances that you consume have to be digested. A steak for instance can take 8-10 hours to digest, while a fruit salad only takes about 30 minutes! If you squeeze the fruit salad and drink the juice, your body can integrate the nutritious elements even faster. In this way your body can use its energy for other purposes than digesting. For example thinking or detoxifying.

Let's take a closer look at how our body extracts energy from food.

The burning process & sugar in fruit
Everything you eat or drink has to be digested to extract the energy from it.
Your body can extract energy from food in two ways:
Burning with oxygen, for sugar and fat (fruit);
Burning without oxygen, for proteins (meat/dairy).
- Burning with oxygen,for sugar and fat (fruit)
The energy fruit contains is in the form of sugars (glucose). Your body can easily turn this glucose into energy by using oxygen. When the body burns the sugars with the help of oxygen there are waste products produced.
The waste products of this chemical reaction are water and carbon-dioxide. Your body can use the water and disposes of the carbon-dioxide through the lungs by breathing.
It is a very quick, clean and easy way to extract energy.

Your body does an excellent job: it extracts 50% of the energy. A combustion engine about 10 to 20%, the rest is lost through heat.

Fruit juice takes only about 15 minutes and raw fruit about 30 minutes to digest!

- Burning without oxygen, for proteins (meat/dairy)
Proteins are burnt in a different way. The energy that for instance meat, milk and dairy contain consists of proteins and animal fat. The largest part consists of proteins and the conversion of proteins into energy is more difficult and costs more energy than the conversion of sugar and fat into energy.

When the body burns proteins other waste products are produced than with the burning of sugars. The waste product of the burning-process without oxygen is ammonia which is connected with carbon-dioxide and forms the less toxic ureum which is excreted by the kidneys. It's a more cumbersome way to extract energy.

A steak can take up to 8 or 10 hours to digest, especially when eaten in combination with potatoes. In comparison to fruit (30 minutes) a lot of energy is lost to the digestion of proteins and this means that you can't use that energy for other things. Thinking or the disposing of toxins for example.

When it comes to fruit and vegetables people tend to say: "But what about my proteins? I need them." We all know that we need proteins, because proteins are an important building material for our cells. We also know that meat, dairy and eggs contain many proteins, so we say that we have to eat meat, dairy and eggs to stay healthy.
We have three arguments that prove that the human body doesn't need that much proteins:

The fruitarians;
Amino acids.
- The fruitarians
The vegetarians (no meat), vegans (no animal products) and fruitarians (only fruit) do not consume food that contain many proteins. They live a healthy life without big doses of proteins and look younger too!
Proteins are important though and the best source of protein is from the same raw fruits and vegetables that provide all the other nutrients: vitamins, minerals, enzymes and carbohydrates. Although fruit and vegetables contain less proteins than other nutrition, about 15 to 20 times less than for instance meat, the best way to get all these nutrients, including protein, is to eat a well-balanced variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables.
For the exact amount of proteins in fruit see: contents of fruit.

When a baby is lucky enough to receive the most natural food it can get babies will be breast fed for the first three to twelve months of their lives. Mother milk contains not only the necessary nutritional elements but also protects the child against allergies and infections. It consists only of about 1% of proteins though proteins are the most important material for building cells! Babies grow lots of cells so obviously it's not necessary to obtain much of proteins for the cell-building process. Fruit also only consists of 1% of proteins and that is obviously enough proteins for a human to obtain the amino acids required for building the cells. Fruit doesn't contain much proteins but has everything in it to make fully grown humans and babies grow.

Proteins consist of amino acids and our body uses 20 different amino-acids. There are 8 amino-acids that our body cannot produce itself. They are called the essential amino-acids and our bodies have to obtain them through nutrition. There are many fruits and vegetables that contain all of the eight essential amino acids in the single fruit or veg. This means that it's not necessary to consume animal products to obtain the proteins that contain the essential amino acids our body needs. The following fruits and vegetables contain all 8 essential amino acids:
-Fruits: Bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers.
-Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots (also good for the memory), corn, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, okra, peas, summer squash and kale.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Forget the chips and dip try red grapes for your healthy snack choice

Red Grapes Health Benefits

After the nutritional details, let us look at the various red grapes health benefits. I am sure you have heard that a glass of red wine is good for your heart. What you have heard is true. As you know, red wine is made from red grapes. All the nutritional value of the grapes make red wine good for your heart. So, how is red wine good for you? These grapes contain a lot of flavonoids and if the color of the grapes is strong, the stronger is the amount of flavonoids in them. These flavonoids include two chemical compounds which are called as quercetin and resveratrol. These chemicals help in reducing the formation of blood clots and also reduce the thickening of the blood platelets. This decreases the chances of heart attacks in human beings. Another red wine benefit is the reduction of the bad cholesterol in the blood. Red grapes also help in protecting the heart from fatty foods.

In addition to these, there are several other red wine benefits for the heart. After eating grapes, the nitric oxide levels in the blood increases. This is good as nitric oxide is responsible for reducing the blood clots in the body. Consumption of grapes and red wine has also proved to regulate the supply of oxygen to the heart, through the blood. The heart muscles are said to become healthy because of the grapes. There is a significant decrease in the blood pressure too as red grapes help to regulate the levels of blood pressure in human beings. There is also an increase in the levels of antioxidants and vitamin E in the body. These help in keeping the body energized. The huge amount of minerals and vitamins in these grapes help in detoxification of the body.