Thursday, April 17, 2008

The basics then the details.

Nutrition is not rocket science. Eat vegetables, and lean protein. Eat whole foods. Eat breakfast. Simple.
If you're not doing these things, then don't talk about insulin loading during the post-workout refractory period with high-GI carbs, or supplement xyx, or whatever.
I have a friend who has a terrible diet. I've worked with him on it, and it's getting less bad. The other day after working out he rolls up with a bottle of chocolate milk like it's a great thing. It's an excuse to eat junk food. It's sugar and junk protein. If your diet is good, and you have some endurox or surge after a grueling workout, that's great, you're tweaking something that is already solid. However, if it's just more junk in a series of junk, don't pretend that you're being a dedicated athlete.
People who have a crappy diet need to excise the bad stuff from their diet first. They are probably already resistant to insulin, so it's just another spike in a day/diet filled with spikes. The idea is that your body actually respond to the insulin that is released by the sugar, and use it as a transport device to move other anti-catabolic materials into your muscles. If you are insulin resistant, or aren't providing high quality protein to go along with the insulin spike: you're wasting your time.
The second issue is that most people with crappy diet have a low grade addiction to sugar. They need to break those cravings. To create a mental state where food has a purpose, then you can add things back in, either as a cheat/treat, or better yet to make use of the insulin surge to shuttle nutrients to your muscles, but they have to break the habit first.
These types of studies, supplements, and strategies are small advantages you can gain, but you have to do the hard work first. You have to have a diet that preps yourself to perform in the first place. You have to set yourself up to respond to the supplements, and you have to work hard.

Who wants to be the cowboy sitting on a fancy saddle strapped to a donkey?


Jesse said...

Dude, that line about the cowboy is pretty priceless.

I kind of want to be that cowboy. But only because I never got to be as a child. And the donkey looks somewhat enthusiastic about it.

Otherwise, solid nutrition take. I'd say the two biggest positive changes I've made for my own fitness have been a) training for a purpose/competition and b) fixing my diet from no breakfast, junk food snacks, no lunch, then take out chinese and High Life in college

Granted, I still indulge a bit and could stand to improve on a few points (hence the stagnant 180lb body weight and body fat %). But I agree--without a solid foundation of a diet, you can't possibly be realizing your potential as an athlete or otherwise.

J. B. said...

The best part about it is, it's true. People want to do all of the "advanced stuff" but leave out the basics. It just doesn't work that way. You have to do the basics, then add the advanced stuff on top.. maybe.

Donkey's are mean, don't let the smiling face fool you.

We all could do better. No one eats a perfect diet. As long as it keeps getting better, it's fine. But you can't out-train or out-supplement a crap diet.

Code name: 1% said...

I was that poor kid in gradeschool who always had carrot sticks that I would desperately attempt to trade for somebody's pudding or chips. I hated my mother for it.

But now? I'm not addicted to sugar, I barely like sweets at all most of the time (occasional hormone-induced cravings aside), and I love munching on raw fruits and veggies. In retrospect: Thanks, Mumsie.

I am inescapably addicted to caffeine, but I'm pretty sure that builds character, brains, beauty and big butt muscles.