Nutrition Questions

Why is protein important for training?  Protein plays an important role in the health of muscles, bones, enzymes, blood, hormones, tissue repair, and regulation of water.  Proteins also help with growth, and supply energy.  As you can see, they are found in basically every living cell.

Where do I get good sources of protein?  Protein can be found in many sources of food such as meat, fish, eggs, poultry, legumes, nuts, and milk products.

Why are carbohydrates important for runners?  Carbohydrates play an important role in the body by supplying energy to the brain, nervous system, and supplies energy to muscles during exercise through the bloodstream.  During intense exercise, carbohydrates are used in the form of either glucose or glycogen.  If your glucose/glycogen levels drop really low, your body will break down important proteins in the body and convert them to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.  If this happens, it will reduce muscle growth and tissue repair.

Where can I get good sources of carbohydrates?  Carbohydrates come from fruits, vegetables, milk, and grains such as breads and cereals.  The healthiest carbohydrates are the ones eaten in that order.

Is fat important for athletes?  Fats are important in supplying a concentrated form of energy (aerobic), insulation to help retain heat, and provide cushion for organs.  Fats also help with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.  If we did not have fat, vitamins like A, D, E, and K would pass through the body.

What are good sources of fat?  The best sources of fat are found in nuts, grains, fish, vegetables, and animal foods (grass-fed animals are a great source of Omega-3’s).

Why are omega-3 fatty acids healthy for you?  Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and blood clotting.  Omega-3’s can possibly help maintain normal heart rhythms and lower blood pressure for some people.  If you are looking for ways to reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke or even some cancers, Omega-3’s may help.

Where can I find omega-3 fatty acids?  Omega-3 fatty acids can primarily be found in fish, dark green leafy vegetables, walnuts, tuna, and grass-fed animal meats.  Omega-3’s can also be found in oils such as flaxseed, canola, walnut and soybean.  Oils are not the healthiest form, but do provide Omega-3’s.

Why is water important for athletes?  Water is very important because your body is made up of 50-70% water…in weight!  Water aids in chemical reactions and transportation of chemicals.  Water also helps regulate temperature and helps remove products of waste.

Why are vitamins important for the body?  Vitamins help facilitate the action of enzymes within your cells.

Why are minerals important for the body?  Minerals help regulate your body’s functions.  They help with growth and maintenance of your body’s tissues.  They also help release energy.