Alongside macronutrients, it is also vital that you pay attention to micronutrients and water as they play a crucial role in human nutrition, including the prevention and treatment of various diseases and conditions, as well as the optimization of physical and mental functioning. Furthermore, if you are not fully satisfying your micronutrient needs, your macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) will not be utilized effectively. You’ll end up wasting your time, energy, and training, and leave both gains and health goals unrealized. So really make sure you are eating a variety of nutritious foods and you shouldn’t have to focus too much on the micronutrients. Low calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables have higher nutrients densities so it is good to aim for your 5 a day. Below you will see an example of some of the necessary micronutrients.
Calcium – milk, yogurt, spinach, and sardines
Vitamin B12 – beef, fish, cheese, and eggs
Zinc – beef, cashews, garbanzo beans, and turkey
Potassium – bananas, spinach, potatoes, and apricots
Vitamin C – oranges, peppers, broccoli, and bananas
Fiber is needed because it promotes the normal movement of waste through your digestive system. The ideal amount of fiber is directly related to how many calories you consume on a daily basis. The average recommendation is around 10-15 grams per 1000 calories per day. So if you eat 2000 calories per day you will need between 20 to 30 grams of fiber. It may vary depending on how your body responds so use your bowel movement as a gauge. Note, if you are currently eating a lot less than your required amount for your caloric intake, it is important to increase slowly otherwise you might end up feeling constipated quite quickly. The best sources of fiber can be consumed through a variety of fruits and vegetable as listed above.
Did you know that even if you are mildly dehydrated it can affect your performance in the gym or at work? Water is central for the overall functioning of the body and plays a massive part in how you look and feel. The minimum amount of water you should drink on any given day, in addition to coffees, teas or juices, is determined by your size and activity level. I use the formula used by The International Sports Medicine Institute which is 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight if you’re not active (that’s ten eight-ounce glasses if you weigh 160 pounds), and 2/3 ounce per pound if you’re athletic (13 to 14 glasses a day, at the same weight). By consuming the correct amount of water for your body it will help you lose body fat and your body will eventually stop holding onto water because it knows that it is consistently getting enough of it. A good way to gauge your hydration level is by judging the color of your urine. The clearer it is, the more hydrated you are.
I know this sounds like a fair bit of information to take on board, but the more you educate yourself the easier all of this healthy eating stuff will be in future.
Let me know if you have any questions and don’t forget to check out my online training programs as I’ve space for two more clients in October.