Several Years back I wrote a blog called ARE YOU A F.R.E.A.K LIKE ME
this blog post was one of my first as a trainer/coach. This blog was originally published for my youth athletes and clients who wanted to train beyond just losing that first 20lb and are dedicated to the process of improving their quality of life and have the option to participate in a physical activity without the threat of injury or long recovery time due to unmanageable soreness. But I digress, this post will examine or expand on the first letter of this acronym that was created years ago. The letter F which stands for fuel in the acronym refers to the food that you consume to fuel your body. The food or fuel that you consume should be viewed as a way to E.A.T. (which stands for E-xecute A-chieve T-hrive) during competition, which is essential to helping you perform at a high level on a consistent bases day in and day out.
The quality of the fuel you consume is the foundation of who you are. Lets break it down in regards to the three main macro nutrients you consume on a daily bases, which are Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. Here is a brief description of all three:
Carbohydrates- Carbohydrates are the main energy source of the body. They are chains of small, simple sugars that are broken down and enter the body as glucose. Glucose is essential for the body, as it is the preferred source of energy in our brain, heart and central nervous system.
Protein- Proteins crucial role in the body includes building, maintaining and repairing body tissue. It is especially important to physically active individuals whose muscle tissue is constantly in need of repair.
Fats- Fat has many roles in the human body. One of fats main functions is protection. This includes insulation to keep body temperature and cushioning to protect body organs. It also promotes growth and development, as well as maintaining cell membranes. Fat, in addition, plays a vital role in the digestion of vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins, meaning they need fat in order to be absorbed into the body. It is also a dense energy source that is used during activities that require endurance.
All three macro-nutrients are interdependent upon each other, but there is always a need for energy which is the reason that two of the three are energy based (Carbohydrates and Fats). This goes into the whole reason that the quality of the athletes nutrition very important. The better the source of fuel the better you will feel, perform, and even your metal and cognitive skills will benefit. With that said limit the refined sugars (candy soda, simple sugars) and low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol/fats). These should be replaced with complex carbohydrates from whole fruits and vegetables, and good high density lipoproteins from nuts, and fish. The quality of protein that an athlete consumes is also important in regards to the building blocks that are used to repair the muscle, bone, and other tissues damaged/altered during physical activity. There is a constant "stream" of amino acids (the protein building blocks) calculating through the systems of the body that are used to repair, initiate chemical reactions thought out the body (enzymes and hormones are made of specific proteins). So consuming quality animal based proteins, from lean meats, and fish are recommended, but soy is also a good source of protein if consuming animal protein is not an option. So as you can see you are what you eat....Literally! You must also eat on a consistent bases in order for you to maintain your level of performance, you can't expect to perform at a high level when you limit the amount of energy you consume on a consistent bases.
There is a direct connection between your performance and the fuel you consume. The energy systems of the body depend on readily available clean, and efficient energy sources to perform at high level, and lean and clean sources of protein that help repair and rebuild the body. So if you want to perform at a high level, the right choices regarding your nutrition is essential to performing like a F.R.E.A.K of nature. This is one element of the process that is in your total control and can be the difference between you being a team member or a team player.