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What Can We Learn from the Nutrition Requirements of Basketball Players

Basketball Nutrition

Playing basketball is an effective way to burn calories, and consequently, burn fat. As explained before in ‘How Effective Is Basketball at Burning Fat?’, playing the sport is “one of the most vigorously active sports in which you can participate; therefore, it is “a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.” Playing basketball is physically draining and that is why players have to keep certain nutrition requirements so they can compete at a high level.

Basketball players nutritional requirements

In this regard, common knowledge suggests that basketball players must have large stores of carbohydrates from healthy food, like whole grains, fruit and vegetables. The paper ‘Carbohydrate Requirements of Elite Athletes’ underscores the importance of carbohydrate intake, stating that a “key factor in coping with the heavy demands of exercise faced by elite athletes seems to be carbohydrate intake.” In other words, carbohydrate intake affects performance. Players who have consumed enough carbohydrates will have enough energy to play at a high level, while players with insufficient carbohydrate intake will generally tire easily, as they will have very little energy once their carbohydrate stores are depleted.

Fat is needed too, but in much smaller amounts. It is utilised during the game’s less intense moments, when players stop play after a whistle or when they jog during the quiet moments of a game. What happens is that the fat is used in the production of aerobic energy, which is mostly to facilitate recovery. This process reduces fatigue, thereby allowing players to go full-tilt once more when the intensity picks up. 

Protein is another important nutrient that basketball players need. The Association of UK Dietitians explains that protein “is required for building and repairing muscles and plays an important role in how the body responds to exercise.” In other words, protein is a perquisite for both muscle building and recovery. As any basketball player knows, building muscle is key due to the physicality of the game. Recovery, on the other hand, helps players train and play frequently across a short space of time. 

Two famous examples

Given these nutritional requirements, it’s no surprise that elite basketball players take their nutrition — and by extension, their diet — seriously. Take, for instance, the Gasol Brothers, arguably Spain’s best and most popular exports to the National Basketball Association. Pau and Marc are very particular with what they eat, cognizant of the fact that they have specific nutritional needs. Marc is very hands-on with what he eats, especially with his history of being overweight. The younger Gasol tried various diets, and his decision paid off; he has slimmed down considerably, and is now widely regarded as one of the best big men in the league. 

Another player known for being notoriously particular when it comes to his diet is LeBron James, a nemesis of the Gasols in international competition. LeBron James earns £61.5 million (€7.17m) a year and the four-time MVP is the second biggest earning sports star in the world. His talent is obviously undeniable, but his devotion to fitness and nutrition certainly helps his cause. Curiously, James went with a drastic no-carb diet prior to the 2014–2015 season. That diet, admittedly, is contrary to the carbs-as-fuel point raised earlier, however, James, like the Gasols, is an elite-level athlete. That means his nutritional requirements are a bit different from the requirements of other basketball players. Not to mention, athletes like James and the Gasols know how to utilise and optimise their energy systems so that they are fuelled both aerobically and anaerobically. 

Conclusion

Needless to say, nutrition is key to great on-court performance. Conventional thinking, would suggest plenty of carbohydrates, a good deal of protein, and some fat. Then again, you should always assess your individual nutritional needs and find out what best works for you.

Article written by Vanya Banks for chape.fitness

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Superfoods List – Boost Your Inner health and Outer Beauty

superfoods list

Whether you are looking for ways to keep your skin glowing or you want to maintain your health, eating the right food is the best option you can take. The food that you eat determines your overall health. If you are healthy and your whole system is functioning well, it will be reflected through the condition of your skin. This is why you have to choose the foods that are beneficial to your body.

To help you start a healthy diet, here is a list of superfoods you should have in your table:

Avocado

An avocado is tagged as a superfood because of the different benefits that it can provide to the body. It contains vitamins A, B complex and vitamin E. Aside from that, you will also get fibre, magnesium, lecithin, potassium and sterolin from this food. With its amazing taste and its anti-inflammatory features, you will certainly get a well nourished skin. And not only that, avocado also contains omega 3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. So hurry up and add avocado to your meal now.

Berries

If you are looking for the best source of anti-oxidants, go for berries. Blueberries, in particular, are rich in anthocyanin, flavonoids and resveratrol. Aside from its anti-aging properties, it also have regenerative properties that is good for the whole body. If you are looking for the best natural food, you can consume a handful of berries and you will certainly feel satisfied with what you have eaten.

superfoods list

Broccoli

Broccoli is a green superfood  that is rich in vitamins C and K. It is also an excellent source of folic acid and potassium. It is known as one of the best superfood because of its properties that can help build collagen and is very helpful in forming the bones and the body tissue. One of the best things that broccoli can do to your body is to protect it from the damaging effects of free radicals that cannot be avoided at times.

Beetroot

The best thing about beetroot is its properties that can help bring and recover oxygen to your muscles. It is also a great natural food for the elimination of toxins from the liver and blood. So, if you are looking for the best way to detoxify, you can just consider making beetroot juice. Aside from those that were already mentioned, beetroot helps boost strength, strengthen digestion and it also lowers blood pressure. This is great for people who want to lose weight.

Dark Chocolate

 Eating a small portion of dark chocolate daily can be beneficial to you. This is a fact that is backed up by scientific evidences. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidant and it can help you improve blood flow. Aside from that, it can also protect you from the risk of heart disease. So, instead of eating junk food and stuffing yourself with unhealthy food during your snack time, why don’t you just get some dark chocolates.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is low in cholesterol and trans fat. It is high in fiber and it is healthy for the heart. With its high potassium and vitamin C content, you can be sure that you will get the best benefits for your body, heart and skin.

Fish (the oily variety)

Fish is known as one of the healthiest food because of the different nutrients that it contains. With its protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D content, you will surely get incredible benefits for your body and brain.

Green Tea

Instead of having unhealthy beverages, you should go for green tea. This is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that have incredible benefits to your system. Aside from enhancing your brain function, it can also help in lowering the risk of cancer. Most importantly, it is a great beverage for people who want to lose weight.

Nuts and Seeds

Peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts are just few of the nuts and seeds that are powerful enough to provide the needed vitamins and minerals for the body. Walnuts are known to be effective in reducing the risk of heart related diseases.

Oats

This is one of the incredibly nutritious foods that you can eat with fruits. It contains soluble fiber and antioxidants. It helps in controlling blood sugar and it is recommended for people who want to lose weight.

Quinoa

If you are the type of person who is gluten intolerant, quinoa is a great food for you. Aside from its high protein property, you can also be sure to get the amount of amino acids you need. Quinoa is higher in fiber compared to other grains.

Spinach and kale

Kale contains nutrients that can help you deal with different health problems. Its fiber, calcium and antioxidant content can help improve your body. Spinach on the other hand is one of the most nutritious green that you should add to your regular diet.

If you want to achieve holistic health, you should consider looking at the benefits of the food that you are eating.

Josh

Josh

Josh is a writer who loves to write articles on health & fitness. He is always involved in fitness. He believes health is wealth and to stay healthy, and for that, we need to have green superfoods along with detox drinks!

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Healthy Grocery List

healthy shopping list

Today I bring you a healthy grocery list that you can carry at all times on your phone and so not forget any ingredient you need.

You can also share the note with the other members of the family so that anyone can stop by the store and buy what is missing to prepare the menu of the day.

We’ve already talked about how you can easily manage your recipes with Evernote in a previous post, and I think this list will be useful and a good starting point to organize and build your grocery list.

Having a well-planned grocery list gets you in and out of the store quickly and helps you stick to your healthy eating plan. Time to stop tossing bad food and money in the trash! This grocery list includes everything your family needs to eat healthy and delicious for one week.

The healthy grocery list includes: Produce, proteins, grains, milk & dairy, legumes, beverages, and pantry staples

The list is extensive but, no worries,  you can edit any section to be something else. Modify as works best for you: 

  • Some people like to arrange the categories in their list around the order in which foods are found in the store.
  • Include categories for non-food items that you purchase at the grocery store such as health and beauty aids and household supplies.
  • “Play” with your master list for at least a month to find what works best for you.

Remember that time spent developing a list is usually less than time spent returning to the store for a forgotten item. Having a list may also contribute to your overall meal quality.

I have added a checkbox next to each product, so all you have to do is check or uncheck the box to verify if you have it in the pantry or you need to buy it.

You will never have to write or reprint again the grocery list, and then leave it forgotten at home. This list will always be on your phone, updated and synchronized with the other members of the family.

Just click on the image below to get the note and make your life much simpler.

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Top 10 High-Fiber Foods

Top 10 High-Fiber Foods
Fiber is a form of carbohydrate found in plants that humans lack the enzyme to digest. It helps us feel fuller on fewer calories, keeps things moving through the gastrointestinal tract, can help support cardiovascular health, and can help support healthy blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar after a meal.
 
If you’re looking for a simpler way to slim down and improve your health, eating more fiber may help you get there.
 
Without fiber, the digestive tract suffers and people may develop high cholesterol that could lead to heart disease.
 
So, the question is, are you getting enough fiber?
 
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that women ages 19–50 get from 25–28 grams of fiber daily; men ages 19–50 should aim for 30–34 grams daily. Due to today’s lacking Western diet, it is estimated that less than 5% of population get the recommended amount of dietary fiber each day.
 
All of the foods listed below are not just foods with the highest fiber content, but essential nutrients that help our bodies thrive.

Flaxseeds

Total dietary fiber: 2.8 grams of fiber per tablespoon of whole flaxseeds (10 grams) 
Essential nutrients: Protein, thiamine, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids

Chia Seeds

Total dietary fiber: 10.6 grams per ounce (28 grams)
Essential nutrients: Protein, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids

Coconut

Total dietary fiber: 7.2 grams per cup (80 grams)
Essential nutrients: Manganese, omega-6 fatty acids, folate, selenium

Almonds

Image credit: https://www.ketogenicsupplementreviews.com/
Total dietary fiber: 11.6 grams of fiber per cup (95 grams)
Essential nutrients: Protein, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, riboflavin, omega-6 fatty acids

Artichokes

Total dietary fiber: 10.3 grams of fiber per medium artichoke (120 grams)
Essential nutrients: Vitamins A, C, E, B, K; potassium; calcium; magnesium; phosphorous

Raspberries

Total dietary fiber: 8 grams of fiber per cup (123 grams)
Essential nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate

Avocados

Total dietary fiber: 10.1 grams per cup (150 grams) 
Essential nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K, potassium

Peas

Total dietary fiber: 8.8 grams per cooked cup (160 grams)
Essential nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, manganese, folate, vitamin A, protein

Chickpeas

Total dietary fiber: 12.5 grams of fiber per cup (164 grams)
Essential nutrients: Protein, copper, folate, manganese, omega-6 fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids

Lentils

Total dietary fiber: 15.6 grams of fiber per cup (198 grams)
Essential nutrients: Protein, iron, folate, manganese, phosphorous

Now, I´d love to know: How do you plan to combine these foods to get the fiber you need daily?

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Not all calories were created equal

How many of you have been told that if you burn more calories than you eat, weight loss will be inevitable? How many of you have discovered that this advice does not seem to apply to you no matter how hard you try?

Then you think, “I must be doing something wrong, I’ll exercise more and I’ll eat fewer calories than I already am, that should work!” Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t.

You might think that a calorie is a calorie. But the way the body breaks down carbohydrates, protein and fat, and the effect they have on our bodies differ vastly. Instead of just counting calories, you should take care where these calories come from. The source of the calorie changes how you digest it and how you retrieve energy from it.  Even more important is the fact that different foods and macronutrients have a major effect on the hormones and brain centers that control hunger and eating behavior. The foods we eat can have a huge impact on the biological processes that govern when, what, and how much we eat.

Selection of food for weight loss

Protein

Protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer by slowing digestion, but its primary role in the body is to maintain and build new cells, growing and adding new tissues. Protein is beneficial for weight loss, as it contributes to satiety and offsets the amount of lean muscle that is burned for energy, in addition to fat, during a calorie deficit.

Proteins provide about 4 calories per gram but there are higher quality proteins, which may reduce appetite and optimize muscle repair and recovery (fish or eggs), and lower quality proteins (hamburger meat) that are loaded with branched-chain amino acids, which have been linked to metabolic disease and insulin resistance.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are by far the most complex because our bodies use the different types of carbohydrates (such as fiber, starch, and sugar) in very different ways. Carbohydrates are used by the body as a quick source of energy, particularly for the brain, liver, and muscles.

All carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram (with the exception of fiber, which our body can’t digest). Though not a source of calories, fiber is considered a high-quality carbohydrate since it slows digestion and moderates the absorption of other nutrients, like sugar. For this reason, high-quality carbohydrates typically contain fiber and are minimally processed. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Lower-quality carbohydrates almost always lack fiber and add little more than “empty calories” to our diets.

Carbohydrates have been categorized as simple or complex in the past but many doctors are pulling away from those narrow categories and moving toward glycemic index. An apple is a simple carbohydrate because it is digested quickly by the body, but the fruit is better for you than other simple carbohydrates like chips or crackers. That’s why the glycemic index as a more accurate measure of a food’s value (good or bad). When something has a low glycemic index, it raises your blood sugar levels slowly, increasing your insulin levels gradually.

Apple 600

Focus on low-glycemic foods like whole-grain pasta, wheat bread, fruits, beans, and nuts. High-glycemic foods include candy, croissants, and scones. By choosing the low-glycemic foods and thus the minimally processed foods, people can lose more weight, feel fuller longer, and remain healthier.

Let’s take it a step further and compare calories from two different types of sugar: glucose and fructose.

Starchy foods like rice, potatoes, and pasta are predominantly made up of glucose, a simple sugar that can be burned for energy by every cell in our bodies. It’s stored in our liver and muscles for a quick source of energy during exercise or while we sleep. Unprocessed starchy foods, like brown rice, potatoes with the skin on and whole-wheat pasta, contain the food’s natural fiber as well as some vitamins and minerals.

Fructose can only be broken down in the liver. It’s also the sweetest tasting of the three simple sugars. In nature, fructose is found in fruits bound tightly to indigestible fiber that, as we already know, reduces and slows its absorption. Unfortunately, the majority of fructose in our diets isn’t from fruits (it’s from calorie-containing sweeteners added to sweetened beverages and the majority of processed foods). Fruits also have fiber, water, and significant chewing resistance, which mitigate the negative effects of the fructose. So, try to change these processed foods for real fruits.

Calories in fruits [Convertido]    

Fats

In addition to being a potent and flavorful source of energy, fats slow digestion, deliver important fat-soluble vitamins to the body, and provide important building blocks for every one of our cells.

All dietary fats provide about 9 calories per gram but some fats are better for our health than others. For example, polyunsaturated omega-3 fats, found in foods like wild salmon and flaxseed, have protective, anti-inflammatory properties, whereas artificial trans fats have been linked to increased inflammation and heart disease.

A study funded by the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) from the 1960s found that cholesterol and fat were the main contributors to weight gain and responsible for an increased risk for coronary heart disease. With fat removed, food lost taste and appeal, so manufacturers added sugar to combat this. The intake of sugar and processed carbohydrates went up, while our intake of fat went down. Dr. David Ludwig, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says “Overall, these processed carbohydrates are worse than the fats they replaced.

Also, very-low-fat diets may actually slow a person’s metabolism down to a level where it is not burning calories as effectively as it could, says researcher David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, who directs the Optimal Weight for Life program at the Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital in Boston.

The thermic effect of food

The thermic effect of food is a measure of how much different foods increase energy expenditure, due to the energy required to digest, absorb and metabolize the nutrients. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways. The more efficient a metabolic pathway is, the more of the food energy is used for work and less is dissipated as heat.

The metabolic pathways for protein are less efficient than the metabolic pathways for carbs and fat. A large part of the protein calories is lost as heat when it is metabolized by the body. This is the thermic effect of different macronutrients:

  • Fat: 2-3%
  • Carbs: 6-8%
  • Protein: 25-30%

If we go with a thermic effect of 25% for protein and 2% for fat, this would mean that a 100 calories of protein would end up as 75 calories, while a 100 calories of fat would end up as 98 calories. Studies show that high protein diets boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, compared to lower protein diets.

Put simply, high protein diets have a metabolic advantage. If people increase their protein intake, they start losing weight without counting calories or controlling portions. Protein puts fat loss on autopilot.

Ultimately, the quality of what we eat impacts not only our weight but also our overall health and well-being.  Counting calories alone doesn’t work because ultimately it matters where those calories come from; this matters more than the number of calories ingested.

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