Fueling Your Body for Optimal Performance
From rehab clients to weekend warriors, performance is directly tied to nutrition. If you want to train at the peak of your ability and recover quickly, you must be intentional about what you eat, taking care to feed your body what it needs. Trying to work out with a body that is starving for essential nutrients will end only in frustration; and frustration eats your momentum and resolve with a voracious appetite.
Make the most of every minute you work out by fueling your body sensibly. Let’s look at the basics.
Nutrition 101: The Foundation
The big three nutrients that you need to be concerned with are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. An eating strategy that balances these three macro-nutrients will skyrocket your fitness and therapy results.
- Carbohydrates: Some have argued that carbohydrates are the most important nutrient that a patient consumes, because carbs fuel muscle. Every time you move one of your muscles, you are using carbohydrates. Your body breaks down carbs into sugars and then stores them in your muscles and liver. If you eat more than can be stored in either of these two places, the excess is stored as fat in your body.
Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
- Protein: Muscle is the foundation of getting stronger: without a solid muscle base, you will be ineffective at any fitness pursuit. In order to build muscle, you must have protein. Muscle also plays an important role in protecting you from diabetes. The more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body can uptake glucose from your bloodstream.
It is important to eat protein daily because your body cannot store protein very easily. Protein from animal sources is the easiest way to get complete protein, but plant-based proteins can be combined to provide complete protein as well.
- Fat: It is unfortunate that fat came under such fire during the last 25 years or so. Fat is essential and you need a lot of it. The key is to know what kind of fat to eat. Avoid anything that is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. These fats are also called trans fats and are very unhealthy. Instead, try to get the majority of your fat from extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, wild-caught fish and free-range animal products such as butter, cheese, yogurt, beef, and poultry.
Finding the Balance
If you are like many people, you are often confused about how to balance out the different kinds of foods you eat. It seems as though there is a new diet promotion every day, promising all sorts of miracles.
The key, however, to fueling your body for peak performance is balance and moderation. In The New Rules of Lifting for Women, Cassandra Forsythe insists that eating a ratio of 40/30/30 (carbohydrate/protein/fat) will bring the best results. Start here and then adjust the ratios to see what best suits your body.
Remember: you must give your body what it needs to recover and perform. If you don’t, you will end up tired, weak, and prone to frustration because you won’t have the energy or strength to work out. The better you fuel your body, the better it will serve you in your pursuit of health and fitness.
If you’re interested in online health and fitness coaching from MMPT, here are some of the plans that our therapists can discuss with you:
- Personal Fitness Plan, where we can design a custom exercise plan for you from our library of over 1,000 exercise videos
- Improve Your Gut Health Plan
- Sleep Like a Baby Plan
- Powerful Proteins Plan
- Fantastic Fats Plan
- Clean Carbs Plan
- Drink Water Like an Athlete Plan
- Stress Reduction Plan
Reach out to us at 318-396-1969 or email us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Copyright © 2021 Melanie Massey Physical Therapy