New Research for Sports Nutrition
New research is coming to the main stream in sports nutrition. Living in North America, I know what the majority of trainers and nutritionists say about carbohydrates and fats. Some of the information does contradict between sources. Here is what I have recently found from James Brown of London, UK.
New Research – Carbohydrates
New research suggests that the majority of carbohydrate requirements should be filled with some type of fibre. Use foods like sweet potatoes, brown rice, yams or baked potato. If you are going to have a high GI carbohydrate food, you must combine it with good fats. This is done to slow the uptake of sugar entering the blood stream, and decrease insulin response which reduces immune and inflammatory response.
Trying to determine the nutrients in your day to day food is virtually impossible. Soil and mineral depletion is getting higher and higher year after year. The food that our grandparents ate 50 years ago has no resemblance to food we eat today. Mineral depletion has become so prevalent that if you would need to eat 42 bowls of spinach to obtain the same amount of nutrition as one bowl in 1950!
Nutrient richness compares the absolute nutritional content of a food to its calorie content to determine whether the food has significant nutritional value. If a food is very high in one or more nutrients, but very low in calories, it can be described as “nutrient rich”. These foods contains very little of your days calories but is a rich source of nutrients. The opposite is also true. If a food is low in nutrients but high in calories, it is “nutrient poor” giving you very little in terms of nutrition, but containing a lot of your days calories. This leads to poor health and performance.
DNActiv8 calculates nutrient richness by taking nutrients dividing by the calories.
For example: there are 101 mg of vitamin C and 55 calories in a cup of cooked broccoli.
101 divided by 55 = 1.8
Translated into nutritional language, this means you get about 1.8 mg of vitamin C for every calorie of cooked broccoli you eat. So when you get your vitamin C from broccoli, it does not cost you very much.
It is impossible to get an exact figure of nutrients from food to food. The rule of thumb to remember is that if an athlete is consuming a “high carbohydrate” diet, then their micro nutrients ( vitamins/minerals & EFA’s ) need to be increased to match this. Having a high carbohydrate diet that is relatively low in micros is a recipe for disaster. Sugar and wheat products (which are the mainstay of most athletes’ carbohydrates) are classified as anti-nutrients, as they are virtually void of any nutrition and will deplete the body of nutrients, in particular zinc. So if athletes don’t consume both “nutrient rich” and micro supplements, it is not if but when they will be injured.
New Research – Fats
As for fats, obviously trans fats need to be avoided. But cutting fats from the diet will mess with hormone production and regulation, which is critical for younger athletes. Saturated fats aren’t the problem, it’s the cooking methods of saturated fat that causes ill health as it denatures the fat. Don’t deep fry or pan fry meats and cooking with oils is not recommended.
Most people are of the thinking that “fats” are still bad for us, and in some instances that is true. But the fat dogma seems to be passing.
What healthy fats should you have in a meal? Avocados are brilliant in so many ways. They promote an anti-inflammatory environment, and are a co-factor involved in making Glutathione which is the most important and powerful antioxidant the body produces. It keeps the cells in the body healthy.
Nuts are another great source of healthy fats and are packed full of a variety of minerals which are crucial for keeping you healthy.
Oily Fish are packed full of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acid as are flaxseed, chia seed and hemp seed. unfortunately, the body finds it extremely difficult to convert the seed sources to a usable form.
This may not necessarily be new research but many still follow the old adage of not eating fats and stick to grain sources for your carbohydrates. Eating smart can really change the results you can achieve.
This article was co-authored by James Brown:
I’ve always been very active and sports driven, playing Rugby from the age of 5 and turning Pro at 17. Unfortunately a freak injury whilst playing forced me to retire at 20 so I had to refocus and channel my energy into something new.
I started off taking a basic gym trainer qualification back in 1999 and later a Sports Science degree and further degree in Sports Nutrition/Dietetics. Working as a Strength & Conditioning coach/Personal Trainer and competing in Powerlifting, I’ve worked in a variety of sports with a whole host of athletes from Formula One to International Rugby.
In 2010 two of my cousins died from Cystic Fibrosis, so this drew my interest into the world of genetics and Nutrigenomics. Nutrigenomics is the study of foods and nutrients and the impact they have on genes and gene expression. And 6 years later I have now launched my company DNActiv8, to help athletes perform better and reduce the chances of them becoming injured through making more informed choices with their training styles and the impact that foods and nutrients are have on their genes.
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