Fitness and health are the only treasures that no one can steal or snatch from you. You can buy anything from money even sometimes happiness but once you become unfit or unhealthy you can’t survive from your money.
Whenever we hear someone saying fitness or bodybuilding, It’s a fact that the first thing which triggers in our mind is “Gym and Exercise”. In real the thing which should be coming in our mind should be “Diet and Nutrition”. Alright, now it’s a simple phenomenon to comprehend that our diet is something which makes our body and exercise is something which gives it a shape.
It’s simple to shape something but first, it’s necessary to have that thing into you. The diet and nutrition are the most essential parts to create a healthy body, which I say is the primary goal. Shaping the way, you like, is the secondary motive. To eat a balanced diet, you don’t need energy but to shape it you need it. Many people know what nutrients are and what their importance is but unfortunately, they don’t know how to use those nutrients, from where to get them and in how much amount we should take it.
The essential nutrients needed in a balanced diet:
In this part, I will try my level best to cover these nutrients from basic to detail. These nutrients are divided into 4 main groups.
Proteins are the most important thing that a muscle needs to build itself. You can understand this with an example that protein is like a brick in muscle building simply. Our body breaks the protein into amino acids. There are 22 amino acids (8 essential, 14 non-essentials). Once inside the body, these amino acids are used to make new proteins including enzymes and hormones such as adrenalin. Proteins are sometimes also used as an energy source. That helps in making and repairing of muscles and other organs too.
There are three main types of proteins.
· Fibrous Proteins
· Globular Proteins:
· Membrane Proteins:
Don’t panic yet, as you don’t have to get these from outside because these proteins are synthesized by your body. What you need is to have good and balanced food with a good amount of proteins in it like:
- lean meat, poultry, and fish
- dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
- seeds and nuts
- beans and legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas)
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Chinese cabbage or bok choy
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Brussels sprout.
Now, these are some foods that contain proteins in this list. I have added a lot of ways to get proteins. You have dairy products, vegetables, beans, and Meat. You can have proteins from any of them according to your health, body, preferences and etc. We understood from the above-mentioned things that what to get and from where to get. Now we will see how much to get and when to get.
First, we have to see how much a human body needs. To calculate your protein needs in grams, first, we should calculate our weight in kilograms. Then multiply it with 0.8g per kg. This is the amount you need as proteins in your body. Please keep this in mind that this calculation is a general calculation for healthy adults.
Now comes when to get it, many of the people have in one shot in bulk amounts but according to my experience and health pundits, this is a wrong move. We should divide our daily intake for the whole day this keeps you energized for the whole day and it doesn’t put pressure on your body.
Carbohydrates and its intake is the most complicated thing to discuss on. But I would try my level best to keep it as simple as I can. First of all, understand what carbohydrates are basically? These are the fuel to the human body or simply understand it with the example I gave above. Carbs are the fuel that helps you in the moment and plotting of the bricks (protein). I am saying this because the moments and plotting of bricks (proteins) need exercise and to exercise you need carbs as a fuel.
There are three main types of carbohydrates:
Sweet, or simply you can say the simplest form or processed form of carbohydrates found in foods. Examples are glucose, fructose, galactose, and sucrose. These are used in muscle building including the organs.
These are long chains of glucose molecules or you can simply say less processed or complex forms which body needs to breakdown, and these eventually get broken down into glucose in the digestive system. These are used the same way as sugars are used because these, in the end, become glucose.
Humans are not able to digest fiber, although the bacteria in the digestive system can make use of some of them. These are used directly by our bodies but good digestion is very essential for a healthy body and it helps in that.
So we can understand how these all types of carbohydrates are necessary for our body excluding processed sugars and processed foods. But anything which is good for you if taken more than its needed or taken wrongly can turn into a poison.
Foods that are rich in carbohydrates are:
It is best to eat a variety of vegetables every day.
- Whole fruits:
Apples, bananas, strawberries, etc
Lentils, kidney beans, peas, etc.
Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, etc
Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds.
- Whole grains:
Choose grains that are truly whole, as in pure oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.
Again we have understood from the above-mentioned things that what to get and from where to get. But now we have to see how much to get? When to get? Calculating the intake of carbs is not so easy like protein. It’s a little bit of complex calculation. But understanding this complex thing will increase another knowledge of yours that is knowledge of exercises and the types of bodies.
To calculate the daily intake you need for carbs depend on what you want to do with your body.
If you want to lose weight then having 0 carbs diet is good to lose weight because carbs are the fuel and when you don’t give fuel to the body then your body starts to use its reserves of fuel which are stored in your body in form of “fats”. To keep your metabolism in balance, cheat meals are good once in a week with 0 carbs diet. A simple walk with such a diet can make a big difference.
If you want athlete physique and you intensely train yourself for more than 90 min daily then you need at least 12-8 g carbs per Kg of your body weight. For e.g., if you are 50 kg them multiply 50 with 12-8 kg and the result you get that should be your daily intake of carbs in grams. But always remember only taking such a diet without doing an exercise can be very dangerous so please training with such a high carbs diet is going to be good.
If you want a bulky heavy muscled body and train yourself not according to performance according to just power. Then it’s necessary to get 5-6 g carbs per Kg of your body weight.
If you want lean bulking or lean muscle mass with a semi athletic and semi weight lifting training you need 3-4 g carbs per Kg of your body weight.
If you want to do cutting of your muscles, then you just need 3-2 g carbs per Kg of your body weight with a semi cardio and semi weight lifting.
Now here comes the most controversial part of this topic. We all know that fats are considered as a threat to human body and health and its always said to stay away from them but today I will like to tell you that how important fats really are for our body.
Fats are made up of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen mainly and these are the elements that create deference in their types. Fats have other things too but that’s a vast topic not so important.
There are mainly three forms of fats:
Saturated fats are those which are having single bonds between carbon and hydrogen or simply take it as an example that the fats which are just full of fats. Chemically that is not so much active. People think saturated fats are not good for us but it’s not like that a limited amount of saturated fats is also essential for our body but always remembers the limits.
Unsaturated fats are those fats that are a bit more chemically active then saturated fats. These fats have double bonds and these fats have two forms “Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated”. In these, polyunsaturated are the most important ones because our body is not able to make them by itself. These are the most chemically active fats, e.g. are omega 3 and omega 6.
They are those types of fats that aren’t less than any poison. Even if you are taking 1 gram of it. These fats are the ones you find in processed foods like chips and etc. This is a type of fat that is partially hydrogenated. It’s having so strong bonds that it’s near to impossible for the human body to break. This is the reason they cause obesity and other serious problems.
The amount of fats you need for daily intake is 10% to 15% of your whole diets it’s as simple as ABC. It’s better to take unsaturated fats more than saturated ones but not taking unsaturated fats at all is not recommended because your body also needs some of the poisons to function properly but in a very less quantity.
The word “Electrolyte” defines itself. The electrolyte is a combination of two words “ELECTRO” and “LYTE” “ELECTRO” means anything with ions and “LYTES” is derived from a Greek word “LUTOS” which means released. Now I will make it simple for you to understand any of the substances in our diet which creates ions with any charge in our body is known as Electrolyte.
It’s the most essential part of our body because it is a current which helps our organs to make movements and be alive. There are many electrolytes I am going to keep the major ones in front of you.
The types of electrolytes are:
This is the essential electrolyte that helps maintain the balance of water. It’s used for proper muscle and nerve functioning. It also helps with stable blood pressure levels. Insufficient sodium in your blood is a problem that can be dangerous and is known as Hyponatremia.
You can have this electrolyte from simple salts. The normal daily intake for a healthy adult is 2,300 mg per day that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt.
Potassium also helps in regulating fluid levels, it also helps in muscle contraction and nerve signals. It is one of the most important Electrolytes. Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, and grapefruit are some fruits that are rich in potassium. In beans and legumes, you have Pinto beans, Lima beans, Kidney beans, Soybeans, and Lentils.
The daily intake you have to take is 3,500–4,700 mg from foods.
Calcium plays a vital role in the Human Body. Calcium is very essential in muscle contraction, building strong bones and teeth, blood clotting, nerve impulse, transmission, regulating heartbeat and fluid balance within cells. Foods rich in Calcium are milk, cheese and other dairy foods, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach, soya beans, tofu, soya drinks with added calcium, nuts, bread and anything made with fortified flour, fish where you eat the bones such as sardines and pilchards.
The daily recommended intake of Calcium is 1,000 mg per day for most adults, though women over 50 and everyone over 70 should get 1,200 mg per day, while children aged 4–18 are advised to consume 1,300 mg.
This mineral has many works to do in your body it is essential for digestion it reduces the acidity of dietary components and this is very good for your dental hygiene. The baking soda sodium bicarbonate is used for teeth cleaning and for many digestive and kidney issues.
The foods that contain bicarbonate are many in number but some of the major ones are apples, bananas and lemon juice in fruits. Spanish, broccoli, carrots, and potatoes in vegetables. White bread, Cornflakes, Oat flakes and rice in grain products. All the milk products and meat products have this mineral. So don’t worry at all you are getting it easily.
Magnesium is the master of all the minerals because this mineral is used in over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body. The most important parts where it’s essential are maintaining normal muscle functioning and normal nerve. It’s necessary for a healthy heartbeat and adjusts blood glucose levels. It helps in bone stringing and aids in the production of energy and protein.
The foods that contain magnesium are Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale), Fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries), Nuts and Seeds, Legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans), Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus and Brussels sprouts) and Seafood (salmon, mackerel and tuna).
The daily recommended intake of magnesium is 310–420 mg for adults.
It is one of the most important electrolytes in the blood. It helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of your body fluids. The foods that are rich in chloride are tomatoes, lettuce, celery, olive and etc.
The daily intake for a healthy adult is 3.6 grams per day for adults.
The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. The foods that contain phosphate are Chicken and Turkey Organ Meats, Seafood, Dairy, Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds, Nuts and Whole Grains.
The daily recommended consumption is Children 1-3 years, 460 mg; children 4-8 years, 500 mg; men and women 9-18 years, 1250 mg; men and women over 18 years, 700 mg.
The key to fitness is a balanced diet first and then exercise. If you are going to exercise without the nutrients you are going to hurt your bodies more badly so first completely have a look at what you eat because 80% you are what you eat. The other 20% is exercise.