Nutrition

If you've done p90x, you know that Tony says "Drink your water people!!"  This email is about the importance of hydration for athletic performance.  In a world that is trying to find the "perfect" pre-workout supplement or magic formula for performance, we often overlook the fact that water is the main component in our blood and maintaining a fluid balance in the body is essential.  Blood delivers oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and a multitude of other substances to cells and removes metabolic by-products from cells.  Did you know that about 66% of a person's total body weight is from water?  Did you also know that well-hydrated muscles are made of about 75% water? 

I'm due for a new blog post, but couldn't think of a concentrated topic - so thought I'd hit on three questions I always get asked, relating to diet and supplements!

To Whey or not to Whey?

Whey protein is probably the number 1 most used supplement around.  It is a great way to deliver high protein/calorie yield to your body and is especially good for people trying to build muscle.  However, I don't recommend it for everyone.  The problem with whey protein is that is isn't formulated to act as a meal replacement (on purpose).  Since you are taking in 80+ calories of protein with no other nutrients, no carbs, no vitamins or minerals, the whey shake by itself will not fill you up and provide a meal's worth of nutrition for you.  However, if you add a whey protein shake sometime during the day as a snack, or perhaps add a scoop to your oatmeal (protmeal!!) and are still within your daily caloric needs, then it can be a good idea.  I must say, because it isn't a meal replacement, many of you who are trying to lose weight as fat shouldn't necessarily be taking it.  If you are trying to create a greater caloric deficit to burn fat, why would you want to ADD calories, even if they are "healthy" and from protein?  Protein delivers essential amino acids to your body that your body cannot produce on its own, and it can help maintain blood sugar levels, but you can certainly get it from whole food sources without have to add 80+ calories a day.

As you know, I like to, as much as I can, relate these blog posts to real life situations.  Well, I met someone recently that had some questions.  He told me he just wanted to get those defined abs he saw on the p90x infomercials but wasn't sure why he couldn't get the last few pounds in that area off.  I immediately went to questions about diet, and asked him to tell me what a normal day looked like.  Well, everything was looking awesome as I was reading his reply - lots of veggies, greek yogurt, eggs, lean protein, whey protein shakes, p90x 5-6 times a week.  Then his last three sentences were:

"I drink 2 diet cokes at night. Sometimes i will have some quaker rice cakes and crackers for a night time snack. I do enjoy my beer.  Let me know your thoughts."

I'm sure when you type that sentence, you don't think twice about it.  But I have to say, sometimes it's really easy being a Beachbody Coach, because it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what, at least part of, the problem is here!

Most fitness and nutrition people will give you the laundry list of why you should never eat out, but listen: we are human, we need to socialize, and honestly, we love to eat.  Important human to human interactions occur when we share stories over food.  Laughing and enjoying yourself is part of being "well."  There is no scientific claim behind this, but I'd say a person who eats an occasional burger with friends is healthier than a person who eats kale all day in front of a laptop.  So this post is about how you can save yourself some calories by making smart decisions when eating out, while still having fun!  Have to thank my wife for a lot of these tips, as she has taught me to be good over time.  Wives can be great inspiration, did you know that Beachbody CEO, Carl Daikeler's wife was the inventor of Shakeology?

I've been pretty busy lately, and so I haven't been able to prepare food as well as I usually do.  We all know that eating healthier is mostly about the preparation!  If you haven't gone shopping for healthy foods, and/or don't have time to cook at home, you will be more likely to fall into bad habits.  Here is a list of some "anytime" foods that are just good to have around the house for snacks or as part of meals. If you are at the store and don't have a list, don't go for the chips, crackers, cookies, and soda - go for these items!

Is post-workout nutrition really like Gold, as it is marketed?

This question is up for debate.  Bodybuilding.com has at least a billion articles about post-workout nutrition alone.  Some claim that the #1 key to your success in gaining muscle and burning fat is your post-workout meal.  Others say it is overrated, and balanced nutrition across the whole day is the most important.  I tend to lean towards the latter statement.  What I believe is that a "smart" post-workout meal will indirectly help you achieve your goals - the meal itself isn't going to shed off pounds of fat, but by taking into consideration the several factors that are at play after a workout, you can help yourself.