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Hey all!  I usually write on a more general level as it pertains to fitness but I have had some requests to address Sports Nutrition.  I have strived to keep it simple here while giving you some nutritional techniques that will help take your sport to the next level.  You will notice that I do not go into calorie ranges as that will vary from person to person.  Visit www.myfitnesspal.com to find an appropriate range for you.   This article focuses primarily on macronutrient (carb, protein, fat) breakdown.  Please enjoy the article and please feel free to post any comments!

Base Conditioning:

The purpose of this conditioning phase is to allow the muscles of the body to become accustomed to physical exercise above and beyond what it is used too.  As a result, muscles joints, and soft-tissue in general will experience greater loads than usual.  Consequently the body needs more protein to adequately recover.  The following ratios are recommended to recover from the effects of exercise:

Carbohydrate: 40%

Protein: 30%

Fat: 30%

The reason:

Your body needs adequate energy and this demand is met through 40% carbohydrate.  Your body also needs to repair muscle, tendon, ligament and other soft-tissues involved in the exercises that your body is currently involved in.  Fat at 30% is intended to provide the essential fatty acids that are more rapidly depleted from exercise as well as joint repair, cholesterol maintenance and metabolism.

Endurance (Stamina) Training:

The purpose of this type of training is to train your muscles to endure sub-maximal loading for a sustained amount of time.  For example if you are an athlete such as a rower, you would benefit enormously from this sort of training, as it would prepare your muscles to endure long bouts of exercise.  This is a more demanding form of exercise and as such requires more fuel in the form of carbohydrate.

Carbohydrate: 50-70% depending on the length of your training and or your sporting event.

Protein: 15-25%

Fat: 30-35% depending on the length of your training and or your sporting event.

The reason:

Because your body is consuming more fuel it needs a higher percentage of carbohydrate to convert into immediate and usable energy.  If you fail to do this you will experience “hitting the wall”.  You rely much less on protein at this point and more so on carbohydrate hence the lowering of your protein.  Fat, is a secondary source of energy as your body breaks down fats into free fatty acids that your body burns as fuel.  As such your ratios need to be a little higher.

Hypertrophy (muscle-building) and Power Training:

The purpose of this type of training is to increase your muscle size and strength.  It is a fairly exhaustive form of training and your muscles get broken down.  When they get broken down it is imperative that you build them back up so that you will realize the objective of hypertrophy training.

Carbohydrate: 50%

Protein: 30%

Fat: 20%

The Reason:

This training is based on building muscle, therefore your protein levels need to be higher to make sure that your depleted muscles are adequately fed and repaired.  Your carbohydrate levels also have to be higher so as to promote energy levels which will be used to increase intensity of training.

Power Training:

The purpose of this type of training is to increase the speed of your muscles contractions.  Simply put it makes you quicker, faster and more reactive.  It is especially important for athletes as they depend on quickness, explosion, and power.

Carbohydrate: 50-60%

Protein: 30%

Fat: 15-20%

The Reason:

This training metabolizes carbohydrate at a very high level due to the nature and duration of the training.  Your body does not even have a chance to dip into fat or protein stores during the event (at least significantly) so it is forced to break down carbohydrate into energy.

Disclaimer:  These values are approximations based on research.  These values will work for the vast majority of people engaged in these training protocols; however it should be noted that there is a component of individual variability with all of the aforementioned guidelines and you should consult a physician or registered dietician to fine tune these values to your needs.

Well there you have it my friends!  Have a great weekend…Life is good!

Griff

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