I have many athlete friends who are competing for international competitions. Many of them have seen the advantages of a vegetarian diet. But their coach has the impression that vegetarians have wobbly legs and are not very strong. For him, nothing beats the energy derived from meat. He thinks vegetarian athletes would definitely fare less in competitions than if they are carnivorous.

But what does an athlete need to compete at a high level of performance?  He needs determination – he wouldn’t do well without it. Of coarse, proper training is indispensable. But without the right amount of energy, all these are meaning less.

We’ve learned of many different ways by which we can attain a high energy level; we’re also told to do the dos and don’ts of proper nutrition. Now, we can believe everything we hear – the nest is to objectively know how carbohydrates fuel the athlete’s body with loads of energy.

We are talking about two basics types of carbohydrates; starches (complex carbohydrates) and sugars (simple carbohydrates). “Blood sugar” or glucose comes from simple carbohydrates. This kind of sugar circulates in our body and supplies it with energy. Starch is the most common carbohydrates. It is made up of hundreds of chains of glucose units. Starch provides a longer-lasting source of energy, since it has to be broken sown before the body can utilizes it.

Glycogen is the result when the body converts simple and complex carbohydrates. Glycogen is stored in the muscles and the liver as energy reserve. Carbohydrates – simple or complex – basically provide energy, but it is more advisable to eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates. Such carbohydrates don’t cause a sudden shoot up of energy like simple carbohydrates, which leaves us with an energy slam.

Aside from being an excellent source of dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates usually contain large amounts of essential nutrients. Root crops like potatoes, sweet potato, cassava, ube, bean sprouts, whole grain breads and cereals, pasta are example of such carbohydrates. Suger foods only provide excess calories and leave you feeling listless later on.

Athletes interested in being vegetarians may wonder when it is the best time to eat to have more energy. Studies made at the University of Texas Exercise Science labs show that our bodies uses carbohydrates most effectively within two hours after a work-out. John Ivy suggest that the best way to fight fatigue and still feed the muscles is to eat a protein and carbohydrates meal shortly after exercising, this will maximize the absorption of essential nutrients.

Carbo-loading is commonly known to athletes. The theory behind it is that by “starving” skeletal muscles of their primary source of energy (glycogen) for a few days-by eating high carbohydrates food in much smaller amounts than normal and increasing exercise – you can coax the muscles into soaking up glycogen when foods high in carbohydrates are eaten shortly before competition. According to research, a meal heavy in carbohydrates can boost muscles glycogen by nearly 80% and enhance endurance, if not speed.

A typical carbo-load diet reduces one’s intake of complex carbohydrates by about 40%-60% and adds more protein, fats (from beans, nuts, and dairy products), and fruits. Then two or three days before competition, one must increase his complex carbohydrates to 70%-75% of his diet, and eat at least three big meals of carbohydrates, with some proteins and fats.

Doing this increases the stored glycogen in the liver and muscles. Then the body can easily retrieve the stored glycogen, which it converts to energy. Glycogen is burned first for energy, and then if more is needed, the fats are used. If there is low body fat, proteins in tissues are tapped to provide energy.

With the carbo-loading diet, some athletes report an increase in their sexual energy and a good feeling known as “runner’s high”. So, who says vegetarians have wobbly legs? In fact Mr. Coach, I have two vegetarian friends excelling in international competitions; one of them has been a vegetarian since birth.

Thanks to Marilitz’s thoughts.

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Slimming Naturally 3

The Exercise Factoryoga

Medical science strongly supports the importance of regular exercise. A group of middle-aged men and women followed a fitness program. They showed lower level of blood sugar, fats , cholesterol, and gains in flexibility, strength, and stamina. Longer programs reaped greater benefits such as reduced tensions, improved respiratory capacity, lowered body fat, and increase in one’s sense of well-being.

With regular exercise, the metabolic rate increase, the digestive and circulatory system improve, the heart muscles grow stronger, and the skin acquires glow.

Regular exercise could mean a 5-mile brisk walk a day, swimming, taichi, biking, or yoga asanas. But if you have a heart or uterus problem, jogging is not advisable.

General yoga practice helps combat obesity by toning muscles and enhancing body awareness and willpower, facilitating a more sensible eating pattern. Abdominal contractions prevent and reduce fat bellies and lessen the risk of incurring back disorders.

Alternative Waystai_chi

The Ayurvedas has many recommendations for losing weight. Using lemon juice is a very effective means. This is like going to a juice fasting, which also cleanses your body of all toxins.

On the first day, juice or three pieces of lemon mixed with an equal amount of water should be given. One lemon per day should be added until the juice of 12 lemons is consumed per day. The number should be decreased in the same order until three lemons are taken a day You will feel hungry and weak on the first two days, but after that, your condition will stabilize.

Another formula is using bananas and skimmed milk. The daily diet is restricted to six bananas and four glasses of skimmed milk for a period of 10 to 15 days. Then green vegetables may be gradually added, reducing the intake of bananas from six to four. Continue this diet until you achieve the desire weight level. Bananas are ideal for overweight people as it has practically non sodium.

Base on some recent researches, cabbage has a valuable ingredient called tartonic acid which inhibits the conversion of sugar and carbohydrates into fat. Taking cabbage salad would be one of the simplest and painless ways of staying slim. A hundred grams of cabbage yields only 27 kilocalories of energy, while the same quantity of wheat bread will yield about 240 calories, so you get fewer calories while having a lasting feeling of fullness in the stomach. It is also easily digestible.

Losing the first few pounds is easy as this is only water, but shedding the next ones will be a bit hard. Don’t get discourage by this. A steady weight loss is better than an abrupt one because it stays, provided that you also maintain this with proper food intake. Have a better healthful feeling and “thoughts”

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