Frequently Asked Questions About Nutrition
I love chocolate and candy. Isn’t there any time that I can have a sweet treat?
Abolutely. Sweet treats are fine when imbibed moderately and especially when combined with the other macronutrients. You see, protein, fat and fiber (a carbohydrate), when ingested together, work together to help slow digestion. They are all low-glycemic. When combined in your tummy, even high GI foods can become low GI foods. You could eat candy within 45 minutes of your workout, but remember – empty calories, you could do better?
For Macronutrients, I should be consuming Carbs at 45–65%, Protein at 25– 40% and Fat at 10–15%. How do I keep track of these numbers?
For Macronutrients, I should be consuming Carbs at 45–65%, Protein at 25– 40% and Fat at 10–15%. How do I keep track of these numbers?
Start by writing down what you eat. It only takes minutes everyday. You will quickly begin to understand portion sizes and the amounts of calories, carbs, protein and fat that constitute most of the foods you eat. Remember, carb and protein calories represent 4 calories per gram and there are 9 calories per gram in fat.
Okay, I understand Carbs and Protein, what about Fat; should I avoid all Fat?
Absolutely NOT. Look at cultures across the globe. Some country’s diets consist of 50% fat and they have lower incidents of heart disease and obesity than the US. The difference is the type of fats that they are eating and the amount of exercise their people involve themselves in. American’s diets are high in saturated fat and trans-fats and we sit around all day playing video games. Be sure to eat no more than 15% of your diet in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. These are found in Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Flax seed Oil, Walnuts, Peanuts, etc.
What about other add-ins or supplements, is post-workout a good time to add them to my shake?
Absolutely. Remember, timing is everything. In the first 30 minutes immediately following a workout, your muscle cells are starving. You’ve used up virtually every gram of glycogen and with each lost gram of glycogen you lose 2.7 grams of water. When given high-glycemic carbs during this small window, nutrients are sucked up into your muscle fibers. This is a great time to add Creatine, L-Glutamine, Antioxidants, Calcium – you name it. It really depends on your goals and where you are right now. Tailor these nutrients to help you maximize your workout and achieve your goals faster than you’d ever imagined.
Is Whey Protein best after a workout?
Yes, however, not all whey is the same. Some are more bio-available than others. In other words, how much does your body actually absorb? Whey Isolates and Concentrates are virtually 100% bio-available if processed correctly AND no other artificial ingredients are added to the product. The protein that your gym is using is a blend of concentrate and isolate and 100% natural. There are absolutely NO added synthetic sugars or artificial ingredients. It even has digestive enzymes included. It costs a bit more, but why spend less to absorb only 50%?
I hear Soy Protein is good. How does it compare with other proteins?
All proteins are important and combining different proteins throughout the day is equally as important. Protein comes in many forms; i.e. Whey, Soy, Casein, Egg, Meat, Fish, Legumes, the list goes on. What you need to know is how bio-available the source is and its origin. Whey Protein and Egg Protein are the kings because they are the most bio-available. Fish and meats are next and somewhere in the middle. Soy is derived from a soybean plant and is not as bio-available as whey. In fact, swiig Daily Whey Protein Matrix on your shelf is actually over 104% bio-available, whereas Soy Protein is only 50-55% bio-available.
In addition, all Soy products contain Phytoestrogens, which may mess with your hormones if consumed regularly. It may be fine for post-menopausal women, but for everyone else, if you eat too much and you may feel the impact.
How much protein should I get?
This depends on you. Generally speaking, if you are trying to gain muscle, consume 1–1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you are just maintaining, consume 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Divide this number equally into 6–7 meals in a day. Example: If you are a 180 pound male, consume 30 grams of protein in 6 meals a day. The Recovery Shake counts as a meal.
I hear some folks ask for a protein shake after a workout. Should I just have protein instead of carbs?
No! You must combine carbs with the protein. Protein contains the building blocks to rebuild the tissue that you are breaking down and carbs contain the energy that will refuel your batteries and carry the protein molecules back to where they can begin to do their work!
If you just give your body protein post-workout, your body will use it for energy replacement, especially if carbs are not present. Over time your body will become dependent on protein for energy and you will literally waste all of those valuable amino acids. You see, your body will adapt to what you teach it. Remember, immediately following a workout your body requires glycogen. Glycogen comes from carbs.
By just drinking protein after a workout, your body metabolizes protein into glucose because that’s what your body requires at that moment. Your body then excretes all of those valuable amino acids as waste. But if you combine carbs with protein in a three to one ratio respectively, the protein molecule sits on the back of the carb molecule and they race back into your muscles together. In other words, the carb molecule acts as a transporter for protein.
So how many calories should I drink for Post-Workout Recovery?
It really all depends on you and what you did in the gym. Athletes, who understand what they’ve burned in the gym and replace all of it achieve their performance goals. The fact is, these recovery shakes average only 300 to 400 calories and an average person burns that easily in 45 minutes of cardio. Many shakes could have their calories increased to equal your output in the gym if you’ve put in a hard workout. A good way to do that is to add a shot of honey and of course protein. Remember, match a calorie in with a calorie out and you will keep your body in an anabolic state.
So, drinking a Smoothie after a workout is a good thing?
It sure is. But don’t refer to them as Smoothies. Smoothies can mean anything. Most Smoothies are nothing more than calorie-rich sugary juice combined with sherbets or frozen yogurts and sweetened fruit. Don’t believe me? Just look at the ingredients of all the large smoothie franchises. Instead, I am talking about a specific type of drink replete with just the right amount and type of nutrient-dense sugars, phytonutrients and proteins from nature. We call these drinks Recovery Shakes.
Why doesn’t sugar affect me after a workout?
It does affect you, but in a good way. Remember, every time you eat, carbs are broken down to their simplest form – sugar – then shuttled off to your muscles and liver to be stored until you need it. This stored sugar is called Glycogen. While you workout, you pull the glycogen from your muscles to get the energy for exercise. Even if your goal is to burn fat, glycogen must be present to burn fat. During a 45–60 minute bout of exercise, it is very possible that you will use all the glycogen that was stored in your muscles because the human body can only store between 200-500 grams of sugar or 800-2000 calories at a time. This is why we continually have to eat throughout the day – because we are constantly burning up what we bring in. In other words, in an average day, you burn up the calories that you eat in a day. Your metabolic rate is elevated during your meals and during and after your workout. Depending on the type, intensity and duration of exercise, your metabolic rate can be elevated for as much as 1 to 18 hours. Your body will want to try and keep this elevated metabolic rate and the only way of doing this is by refueling quickly. Keeping your metabolism humming keeps the fat-burning fires hot.
If you wait too long – an hour or longer after a workout to start the recovery process – it’s too late. Your body has already realized that you have decided to starve your muscle cells and your metabolic rate plummets like a stone. This, unfortunately, is the worse thing that could happen. Your brain still demands glucose, but you have used it all up. First, your brain looks in your digestive tract and if there is no glucose available it goes after muscle; you heard me – muscle! You are probably thinking that it would go after fat, but your body will hold onto fat because it believes it is starving and fat is its long-term survival plan and it will fight to preserve it. Chemically, muscle is converted much easier into glucose than fat is, so it is muscle that begins breaking down to maintain your metabolism. This of course over time makes it harder and harder to burn fat because muscle is what drives your metabolic rate – the less of it that you have the slower your metabolism. Folks who are 35 years old will begin losing 3–5% of their muscle naturally every year if they don’t do weight resistance training to counter balance this natural phenomenon.
So, sugar really is bad for you?
Sugar in and of itself has no fattening properties; it’s the over consumption of it and the ingesting at the wrong times that is the problem. It’s hidden in a lot of the processed foods that we eat. But one thing is for sure, not 1 gram of sugar will be deposited on your love handles or hips if imbibed immediately following a workout. Sugar consumed within 20–30 minutes post-workout is shuttled directly back to your muscles, bypassing your liver, refueling the muscles, keeping your metabolic rate high and repairing your body. The best part is, muscle stays on and fat is naturally lost due to a higher metabolic rate.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that your pancreas releases when you are digesting food. Insulin enters the blood stream, attaching to sugar molecules and shuttles them off to various parts of the body; i.e. brain, muscles, FAT! When you eat high GI foods like processed foods or foods that are high in sugar, and you do this often, the pancreas floods the blood stream with insulin to take the extra sugars out, and then stores them as fat. Diets that continually force the pancreas to release insulin in these elevated amounts, cause a reduced sensitivity to insulin. Sooner, not later, your body’s cells may not process this valuable hormone any longer. This is the beginning stages of Type 2 Diabetes.
Remember, you and you alone control this by your diet. Eat too much sugar or processed foods as a lifestyle and you will have long-term negative implications. Conversely, eat a well-balanced diet on a regular basis, then cheat once in a while – say once a week; and your body will store those added empty calories as extra glycogen in the muscles. Teach your body to store sugar calories as fat and that’s what happens. Eat responsibly as a habit and your body remembers that. Understand too, your body would much rather make the simple chemical conversion from sugar to glycogen instead of the very complex chemical conversion of sugar to fat. So, watch what you eat, sugar is hidden in many things and will force your body to do things that will make you scratch your head.
So after a workout you want fast-digesting carbs – when do you want to eat slow-digesting carbs?
Every other meal you eat. Just remember, eat foods as close to the original state as when they were harvested. Each time food is processed, digestion becomes easier which speeds the rate at which the energy is absorbed. The lower the number, the slower (and the better for all meals except for post- workout recovery). For example, an apple has a Glycemic Index (GI) of 20, crush that apple up and
turn it into apple sauce and the GI jumps to 30. Turn that apple sauce into apple juice with pulp and the number jumps again to 40 but remove all the pulp and fiber and the GI skyrockets to 60! Ouch! Here’s another example; old fashioned oat meal has a GI of 40, while they’re processed cousins – Quick Oats have a GI of 65; again fast-digesting. Then take those oats and pulverize them into fine flour and watch out, the GI jumps to 85. Believe it or not, they will breakdown into sugar faster in your body than white table sugar. When we constantly eat processed foods, our bodies become resistant to insulin and we begin to store calories more as fat, which may lead to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
How about fruit juice after a workout?
That’s fine too; however, fruit juice is devoid of the hundreds of phytonutrients found in the whole fruit. Sure, fruit juice is replete with the calories your body needs after a workout, but why not make every calorie count by maximizing them with nutrients.
What kind of carbs should I put in my body after a workout?
That’s easy; the fast-digesting kind – High-Glycemic, but make sure that they are nutrient-dense and in a liquid form. In other words, don’t put empty calories in your body. There are many kinds of sugar and by themselves they are empty calories, but when combined with the skins, seeds and pulp of the whole fruit – well, then you have a nutritional powerhouse.
After a workout, I just want water – right? After all, why would I want to put calories back in my body, especially if I’ve just burned them off?
Of course you want to replace the water that you’ve just sweat out, but if water is all that you take in, you’re probably wasting your workout. To burn fat and build muscle you need to keep your body in an anabolic state (a favorable state in the body created by a combination of good training, nutrition and rest that leads to increased lean muscle mass and fat loss or simply a muscle-saving state).
When you finish your workout, whether you’ve just completed an hour of cardio or just weights, your body is in a catabolic state (the opposite of anabolic, a muscle-wasting state). Simply put, your body is starving! The same thing happened when you skipped all those meals earlier. Skip a meal and your body stores the next calorie as fat!
Remember when your body is starving it begins breaking down muscle tissue (not fat) into sugar or glucose so that your body can continue to have the necessary energy it needs to keep its metabolic rate constant. Sure, over time your body loses weight, but it loses more muscle than fat and the net result is you have a higher fat to muscle ratio which slows your metabolism even more than before you started and makes it harder and harder to lose weight.
Carbs are indeed your friend. Don’t listen to anyone trying to sell you on a low-carb diet. In fact, if you hear the word diet, run! Diets are at best temporary and at worst detrimental to your health.
Carbs should represent 45–65% of your diet daily and they should be the slow-digesting kind, minimally-processed and Low Glycemic. They should come from whole grains, legumes, fruits and veggies. They are nature’s energy source and they contain phytonutrients – compounds that are the micro-building blocks of every cell in your body. As your body replaces up to 300 billion cells a day, they do so using the phytonutrients and micronutrients from veggies, fruits, legumes, beans and grains – Carbohydrates!
Carbs also allow Protein and Fat to be used for what they are most needed for – Immune system, tissue repair, hormones, etc. Carbs are replete with the phytonutrients of life, the synergistic components that make everything work. They are full of antioxidants that clobber the bad guys in your body. Enjoy a wide variety in every meal.
Eat 5–7 servings a day. Try to include in all of your meals.
FRUITS & VEGGIES
Essential Principals to Shop By: When choosing fruit with thin skins, be conscious of its source – Organic is desirable. Buy local, fresh and in season. In doing so, you support your local farms as well as maximizing vitamin and mineral content, because produce is harvested at peak ripeness. BUT, that said, even local farmers use pesticides and herbicides. Try to buy organic or ask your farmer!
If buying packaged, we suggest only IQF or Freeze-Dried (which is great for Smoothies) this process ensures maximum nutrition content with no added junk.
LEGUMES & BEANS
Essential Principals to Shop By: Buy raw/dried when you can. Since they are dried, they store very nicely in your pantry. Another benefit is you can control the quality of the water your beans and legumes are absorbing. To rehydrate, wash well, then simply soak in pure filtered water with added Sea Salt or Potassium Salt then boil and simmer down.
Hint – Buy local, fresh and in season as well as from manufacturers who align with a philosophy of delivering their customers only pure and natural ingredients; especially those who control the sources of those ingredients. Remember our founder’s motto – you are what your food eats!
Hint – Legumes & Beans should be minimally processed and as close to whole as possible. When a carbohydrate is kept intact, its score on the Glycemic Index is low, allowing for steady blood sugar levels.
Hint – If given the option, choose Organic first.
Essential Principals to Shop By: Ingredients should be simple and recognizable. When shopping for breads, pastries or crackers, one of the first two ingredients should be Whole Grain, Cracked Grain, or Sprouted Grain. Acceptable grains should be always unrefined and unbleached. Do not ever buy a product with the words Bleached or Partially Hydrogenated on the label. Read those labels!
When shopping for grains and flours, you should be able to identify everything in the package and on the label. The ingredients should be representative of the grain only. No other adjuncts ever need to be added.
Hint – If given the option, choose Organic first. Herbicides like Glyphosate can be minimized that way.
I am a busy person. I can not always eat right; sometimes I find I don’t eat all day, skipping meals until dinner. At that point, I am famished and I eat everything in sight. What do you suggest? Help!
We hear this constantly from people. Our society has become so fast paced that we usually forget to take care of ourselves first. We allow the demanding dynamics of life to control our time instead of taking control ourselves. What we don’t realize is that by not eating the right foods at the right times, our efforts in the gym can be completely thwarted, not to mention laying the bricks one by one, cell by cell for diminished health over the long haul. That’s right; that sweat that you work so hard for could be a big waste of time.
Remember, when you skip meals, your brain sends hormonal responses that you are starving – you don’t have to experience tummy pangs to be in this state. Once you are starving, your body cannibalizes its muscle for continued energy and will store more of the calories consumed as fat. Not good!
A meal doesn’t have to be complicated, but all meals should include Protein, Fat and Carbs. Meals should be eaten often – every two to three hours – and figure on 6–7 of them every day beginning within 30 minutes of rising. The protein should be lean, the carbs should be slow-digesting and minimally processed and the fats should be primarily monounsaturated fats. Example, an apple with natural peanut butter is an excellent snack for an On-The-Go meal. In these two simple whole foods, you have all the necessary macronutrients your body needs for slow, sustained energy.
Umpqua Oats, Protein, Walnuts, Blueberries
Yogurt, Granola, Protein, Blueberries
Sqware Meals Shake
Tuna, Broccoli Slaw with Whole Grain Wrap
Amy’s Soup, Canned Alaskan Salmon
Sqware Meals Shake
Apples and Nuts
Carrots and Hummus
Sqware Meals Shake
And remember our founder’s motto –
YOU ARE WHAT YOUR FOOD EATS!