Are carbs really out? Should you be consuming only fat? Does sugar have to be your sworn enemy? This month brought a lot of questions as our previous beliefs about healthy diets were challenged. We learned a lot about the shifting nutrition trends of athletes, and these don't appear to be passing fads, but long-term changes recommended for all of us. There is a lot of research still being done on the effect of fats, sugars and carbohydrates during exercise and in all honesty there's a lot we still don't know. BUT, here are the 3 articles we think can shed some light on our changing diets.
1. New Dietary Guidelines
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is suggesting a pretty big change in our recommended diet, and people are paying attention. There was a huge reaction to the decision to change the guidelines, but overall we think they're right on the mark. Here are the basics:
Cholesterol is okay to eat again. It is "not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption." So bring on the eggs!
Sugar is out. It is universally understood now that so many of our health problems stem from added sugar in our diets, and it needs to be limited. For athletes, sugar can still serve a purpose when used correctly. Learn more on our blog.
Vegetarians over Carnivores. While meat doesn't need to be eliminated entirely, a plant-based diet is touted as being "more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact."
Coffee lovers rejoice! Your morning cup (or 5) of joe is a-okay! It's less damaging than previously believed, and has been tentatively linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Need some beans? Try some of our favorites.
The focus should be on your diet overall. It's less about quantity, more about quality. Think Mediterranean-style diet, high in whole foods like vegetables, fish, nuts and oils.
Read the full article here: http://huff.to/18LwreA
2. Carbohydrates CAN improve performance
Asker Jeukendrup wrote an article with the help of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and the School of Sport and Exercise Sceince at the University of Birmingham. Extensive research and testing with runners and cyclists led to more specific and personalized recommendations for optimal carbohydrate intake while exercising. Nutrition is never one-size-fits-all and the duration/intensity of exercise, your fitness level, your body composition, as well as type of carbohydrate and when it's consumed will affect your performance differently. Shorter, less-intense workouts don't benefit from carbohydrate as much, but longer and more intense workouts, as well as more highly-trained athletes will require more carbohydrate. Here's a handy graphic to give you the gist:
You can (and should!) read the full article here: https://thefeed.com/blog/2015/02/12/new-study-impacts-carbohydrate-intake-for-endurance-athletes/
3. Fat as a fuel source
We've been looking at fat a lot this month. Bryan and Michael are on a no-sugar diet
right now, and are testing the effect it has on their performance. It's a hot topic in the world of science and sport, and there is a plethora of research being done. Although carbohydrate can be used to better your performance, training your body to more effectively burn fat can also be beneficial. High-fat diets often lead to weight loss, and ketosis (the process of breaking down fat for energy) can reduce inflammation throughout the body and decrease muscle damage. Our bodies carry so much adipose reserve tissue (that's a fancy term for body fat) we should essentially be able to fuel multiple marathons. Learning to efficiently use that fat could revolutionize the way we perform in prolonged endurance-based events. It's thought that the ideal athlete diet may be less than 20% carbohydrate, 65% fat, and the rest protein. While the jury's still out, we're excited to see what this shift in diet reveals and what new athletic frontiers it takes us to. Looking to limit your sugar and increase your fat? Check out our low-sugar for endurance athletes box.
Find the full article from the NY Times Well Blog here: http://nyti.ms/1GIwliR