3 Sources of Fitness Fuel

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While we’ve talked a bit about fitness and starting fitness at home, today I want to talk about nutrition and why it’s important. March is National Nutrition month so I think this is the perfect time to talk about 3 sources of fitness fuel. But don’t just think of this as fitness fuel- think of this as every day life fuel. We want to put the optimal foods into our bodies to keep us going throughout the day. There is much discussion today about basic nutrition.  This is because there is an obesity epidemic on the rise, not just in the United States, but around the world.  People are gaining weight for a number of reasons, including less time exercising  and poorer eating habits.  The poorer eating habits exemplify a lack of basic nutrition.  Many people aren’t even aware of what exactly makes up basic nutrition.

3 Sources of Fitness Fuel

Basic nutrition involves drinking plenty of water and eating right.  Water is essential because the human body is made up of between 45% to 75% of water by weight.  In newborns, the amount of weight made up by water can be as high as 75%.  In a study composed of men and women of all ages, the adult human body averaged 65% water.  Another reason why people must drink water regularly is because they cannot store water; thus, it must be replenished regularly.

Our health, both mental and physical, greatly depends on the choices we make in our diet. There are three main food types – protein, carbohydrates, and fat. All have their benefits, in some way or another, in keeping us going throughout the day. Nutrition also plays a huge role in the results you’ll obtain with your workouts. If your body isn’t getting the proper nutrients to support the type of exercise you do, you will fail to see the type of results you are expecting, and that can be disappointing. So set yourself up for success by putting the kinds of things into your body that will optimize your results when you work out.

Protein

First on the list is protein. Protein comes in two forms – animal protein and vegetable protein. Animal protein comes from meat (beef, pork, etc.), poultry, fish, game animals and eggs. The whey in milk is actually the highest-quality protein there is, followed closely by eggs and beef.

While whey is a very high-quality protein, it is also quickly digested, so consuming protein in this form will not keep you feeling full for very long. Beef and other meats, on the other hand, take longer for our bodies to digest and will help stave off hunger which is important if you’re trying to lose weight.

Vegetable protein comes in the form of beans and legumes, tofu, and some dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach. Corn and potatoes also contain protein, but in much smaller amounts than their animal counterparts. For example, one-half cup of ground beef has approximately 15 grams of protein compared to approximately five grams in a medium russet potato.

The amino acids of proteins from any source help build strong muscles, bones and teeth, and the iron in protein helps to carry oxygen through your bloodstream. This is likely why those with an iron deficiency have a sallow complexion, they simply aren’t receiving enough oxygen to the skin’s surface.

Proteins are extremely important as they support muscle development. Every time you work out and tax your muscles, microscopic tears are the result. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as this is what makes your muscles actually grow bigger and stronger. But in order to mend these micro-tears, your body needs amino acids, and those amino acids come directly from protein sources.

Carbohydrates

Next on the list are carbohydrates. There are two types of carbohydrates (or carbs, as they are also called) simple and complex.

Simple carbs are derived from those substances our bodies don’t need much of – sugar, white flour, pasta, bread and rice. Some fruits and vegetables are also considered simple carbs as they contain fructose, which is a fruit sugar that our bodies respond to in the same way it responds to simple sugars.

Complex carbohydrates consist of foods that stay in your digestive system longer, such as rolled (not instant) oats, brown rice, and lentils.
The Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrate sources depending on their ability to raise the blood glucose level after eating. Simple carbs have a higher number on the Index, and complex carbs have a lower number. A slow, steady rise in your blood glucose level is better for your metabolism, helps you to stay full longer, and also helps to avoid a “sugar crash” that you typically experience after consuming a lot of simple carbs.

Fat

Though it tends to get a bad rap, fat is a necessary and vital part of every single cell in our bodies. From your brain to your toenails, your body needs fat. And contrary to popular belief, you do not get fat from eating fat.

Choose unsaturated fats in the form of lean meats, poultry, and cold-water fish, and you’ll be consuming all the proper fats for proper organ function, healthy skin, nails and hair, and vitamin absorption.

Don’t skip the good fats despite what you hear!

When you make sure that you get all three of these main food groups every day, you’ll be fueling your workouts the right way, and you’ll see the results you want faster. Your body will feel and perform better, and you’ll be more apt to be consistent with your workouts.

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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is an autistic mom who also happens to have ADHD and Anxiety. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodivergent family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori provides life coaching services for neurodivergent women (and those who identify as women) as well as Oracle card reading, Tarot card readings, and energy healing.

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Melissa Pezza
6 years ago

This is great information for anyone who wants to get the most out of their workouts. I always have a protein shake with some almonds after my runs.

Robin (Masshole Mommy)
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
6 years ago

Thank you so much for clarifying the difference. I know for a fact that I don’t get enough protein in my diet, so I need to get better about that.

Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
6 years ago

Thanks for the great tips. With all the hype surrounding fat, it’s important to remember that good fats are, well, good for you!

Nancy
6 years ago

Super informative and what a lot of people need to hear. I hear all this stuff all the time because my husband is a busy triathlete lol.

Cara (@StylishGeek)
6 years ago

I am definitely bookmarking this post! It is very informative and helpful! I love how you broke down the food groups.

Liz Mays
6 years ago

I didn’t know that whey had the highest quality protein. I’ve seen packages of whey protein and egg protein powder. I’ve used whey protein before!

Nina Say
6 years ago

Protein is always high on my list. I don’t feel the same when I don’t get enough protein.

Chubskulit Rose
6 years ago

I consume more carbs and protein in my diet everyday. I do however incorporate god fatty foods.

Jamie
6 years ago

This is great info and I need to work harder on eating the right foods. I have been working out faithfully and know that if I get my eating more in line I will see bigger results!

touristmeetstraveler
6 years ago

These are very true, carbs are by far the biggest energy boost and good to have a bit more before a big work out session!

Rosey
6 years ago

Simple carbs are the hardest to be rid of… I crave them if I try to eliminate them from my diet.

Rebecca Swenor
Rebecca Swenor
6 years ago

This is awesome nutritional as well as wellness information that everyone need to know. Water is so important for everything work smoothly in our body. Your bodies speak to us we just need to listen. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanine
6 years ago

This is wonderful! Really great to know why and differences! I will be sure to follow all of this while needed!

Kelly Hutchinson
6 years ago

I am pretty good about the protein in my diet but the carbs, not so much. I tend to eat way more simple carbs than I need to.

Tiffany Cutcliff
6 years ago

I need all three! A banana is great for me before or after a long run, but protein keeps me full longer. And fat- oh glorious fat! Haha.

Myrabev
6 years ago

I agree we do not know what constitutes a basic nutrients and what we should consume and what amounts to remove us from this obesity war path. I will admit i do not drink enough water and now working on it.

Bonnie @ wemake7
Bonnie @ wemake7
6 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing this great information. I am starting to get more into exercise and will have to remember these.

diana
6 years ago

Great information. And I definitely need to drink more water. For some reason I always forget about it. And now if I can just get myself to exercise regularly. 🙂

Courtney
Courtney
6 years ago

This is great info!!! I’m all about loading up on proteins!!! I’m trying to get back on my fitness grind after the past month or so of being lazy due to winter and no motivation to do anything… So perfect timing to read something like this 🙂

Carin Kilby Clark
6 years ago

Thank for the info. I always have a protein shake but I’ll also try the other options. Thanks!

Roselynn
6 years ago

I’ve been looking to get healthier and fit so this post is so helpful for me. I had no idea about there being good fats that my body needs for energy, I honestly was thinking of cutting out so much of my new diet.

Lynndee
6 years ago

Those three are pretty much present in our meals. The hubs is very anal when it comes to that.

valerie g
valerie g
6 years ago

I have to be on a very strict diet. The first thing I eat is protein. If i have room left then i can have other things.

Alyssa C
6 years ago

This is great information. I’m always trying to eat healthier but can’t seem to think of things besides salad that are “healthy”

Amber Ludwig
Amber Ludwig
6 years ago

I always try to stick to protein for extra energy! Carbs I feel like I have to burn off right away or I see no results and fats I like to avoid as much as possible 😉 proteins are great!!

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