The Human Body:
The human body can perform all sorts of incredible feats physically and mentally from running ultra marathon races to performing complex mental calculations.To perform at any level it requires proper nutrition.
If you owned a high performance car, you would use the correct grade of fuel and oil and not any cheap product that was available.
It always amazes me that many people give no consideration to what they eat and drink. If you want to perform at an optimal level you need to supply your body with the correct nutrition. If you are training or racing you need to eat proper food.
FOOD TYPE BASICS:
The main food groupings can be broken down to the following.
These supply the energy the body requires to function. They are found almost exclusively in plants such as fruit and vegetables. Milk and milk products are the only foods derived from animals that contain significant amounts of carbohydrates.These foods are converted by the body to glucose which is burned by the energy cells to supply fuel for all body functions.These foods include bread, pasta, rice, grains and potatoes . Carbohydrates occur in most fruit and vegetables.
Protein provides the building blocks for the body to build and maintain. It is essential for growth and development. It provides energy and is used in making tissues,hormones,enzymes and antibodies. Protein is broken down to amino acids which are reassembled in the body to form new and repair old and damaged tissue. Meat, chicken, fish, cheese nuts and seeds are some of the basic protein foods.There are also rich protein sources in the plant world such as soy,beans,spirulina.
FATS AND OILS:
These are essential for a healthy diet.They are required for brain function and to provide energy and support growth .These energy rich products are often misunderstood but there is no doubt the body cannot function efficiently without the correct balance of these.These include coconut oil, butter, olive oil, sunflower oil and fish oil.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamins are essential for life .They contribute to good health by regulating metabolism and biochemical reactions that release energy from digested foods. The body requires them in small amounts .These include ascorbic acid (vit c) found in fresh fruit, vit b in egg yolks,yeast,nuts and sprouts, vit a in fish oils,liver and many fruits and vegetables, vit d in dairy products, butter, milk and eggs. It is also produced by the body in response to sunlight on the skin.
Minerals are required by every living cell for correct function and structure. Minerals are naturally occurring in the earth as rock and stone which are broken down to eventually be incorporated in the soil and taken up by plants and then animals,eventually in the food we eat.
Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in all body functions. It helps transport nutrients in and waste products out of the body. It is required for digestion, absorption, circulation and the maintenance or body temperature.
The essence of good nutrition is a balance of the essential food groupings.To read about nutrition and hydration requirements for cycling and working out individual needs click HERE.
Watch this video for more information on protein,carbohydrates and fats .
HOW to Fuel like a pro