SCIENCE TALK: why nutrition matter?

How important proper nutrition is for you? There are roughly three types of people; eat what they like and don’t really care about nutrition, eat rich nutrient food and cares about nutrition and people between these groups.

It’s easy to think that after training hard, you can eat what you want as you have burnt calories. Nutrition is not only how many calories you will eat, how much protein, fats and carbs you will include each meal. You can count calories, but if your calories come from junk food they don’t affect your body the same way proper healthy nutrient-rich food.

When we train our body, we make microscopic tears and harm to our muscles, our immunity level drops and so on. Therefore, our body needs the energy to repair all of that. We all know our bodies getting stronger and faster in the rest – repair process. So, what we eat is directly in connection with that process.

physiological and functional aspects of nutrition

  • Defence and repair – immune, inflammation, infection, etc.
  • Energy – energy regulation, mitochondrial function, etc.
    • pre fuelling, energy demands, exercise fuelling, hydration status, etc.
  • Biotransformation and elimination – toxicity, detoxification
  • Transport – cardiovascular, lymphatic system
  • Communication – endocrine, neurotransmitters
    • metabolic efficiency, metabolic recovery, etc.
  • Structural integrity – from subcellular membranes to musculoskeletal structure
    • protein resynthesis, muscle recovery, GI integrity, etc.
  • Assimilation – digestion, absorption, microbiota/GI, respiration
    • nutrient timing, digestive support, etc

How to top up your nutrition game

As we now know a little bit more about how nutrition affects our body function, we can start to rethink our nutrition. I won’t tell you what to eat or how to eat, as I’m not a registered dietitian and what works for others doesn’t work another. I want you to start thinking about how you eat and when you eat, especially if you haven’t pay attention to this before.

You don’t need to hire dietitian if you healthy and you don’t have any digestion, recovery, etc. problems. Also, you don’t have to count calories if you don’t want.

Firstly, think about how much mental, emotional and spiritual sides affect your eating. Mental include cognitive, function and perceptual patterns. Emotional include things like emotional, regulation, grief, sadness and anger. Whereas, spiritual include meaning and purpose.

Do you use food as a reward after a hard training session? Did you skip your training session, and eat less as you didn’t burn as much calories. Similarly, did you eat junk food, because of you though it doesn’t matter as you already skipped training session too? Are you eating something because people around you eat it too? Once, you learn your eating patterns, you will learn what to change. Recognising external and internal factors that affect your eating habits, help you to shift the use of food as a body’s petrol, which makes you choose nutrient-rich food rather than eating for emotions, etc.

take-home message

The physiological and functional aspects list above shows some of the factors of how nutrition affects our body. That doesn’t mean you have to start thinking about how each piece of food affects those factor. You can always spend hours in the gym, or run as much as you can, but you won’t develop your physics as much if you don’t give it proper petrol.

You can still eat junk food and enjoy your life, as long as it not every day or every week thing. This post is just a reminder of nutrition role of everyday life and training.

Training alone doesn’t make you a healthy, nutrition and rest are as important.

If you want to know more about how food affects our body while training, I recommend watching The Game Changer – fueled by the truth document.

Sources: Nutrition lecture – Dr Justin Roberts, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

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