Traditional approaches to nutrition have taught many generations of body builders the following facts:
* Selecting the foods that you eat is important; essentially, you become what you eat in the end.
* More fat means failure, because weight gain due to fat is never a wonderful thing.
* Counting calories works. Sometimes.
* Calories should be based on your weight loss plans or bulking up plans, and should be balanced by rigorous workout routines.
This is what traditional bodybuilding tells us. But what if we explore a bodybuilding more from a more scientific, progressive point of view? Recent studies suggest that mere calorie counting would not really alter the general composition of the body. Essentially, the body composition remains unchanged and you’re just either shedding the far around it, or building muscles around it.
If this is the truth, then what would be the more desirable direction? One desirable direction is to count calories, select foods vis-à-vis a general knowledge of your genetic structure and your body composition.
How does this work anyway?
Physics tells us so many basic laws of nature- from the movement of heat to colder regions, to the expansion of gas when heat is added to the picture. How about thermodynamics and the human body? What happens when energy is added to a fixed body composition?
The concept of nutrient timing comes into the picture. Nutrient timing governs two of the most important elements of any body building endeavor: gaining weight (as in bulking up) or losing it (as in losing fat for a more lean physique). Energy balance also comes into the picture.
Energy balance is achieved when the body has been fine tuned to produce muscle instead of store fat. Energy balance also means that the conversion of raw substrates goes directly to intended parts of the body- for example, the muscles on the upper body region. Energy balance is never easy to achieve, which brings us back to our earlier question: how can thermodynamics help us?
Thermodynamics tells us that we should balance the calories that we take in, and balance those that are expended in our daily workouts. This might sound easy enough, but the issue is actually more complicated than it looks. Expenditure of calories is never easy to measure, and we can only just estimate how much calories are being stored on a daily basis.
From a conventional food chart, we can say that food A has this number of calories, and we can expend this much energy during our workout. But how much of this is true, and how much do we miss by our calculations?
To buffer the negative effects of miscalculation, we must approach a thermodynamics approach by being more selective about the food types that we consume. Aim for proportion and balance. Aim for quality sources of protein, sources of protein that would provide the highest amount of protein per serving.
This would make sure that while there might be some discrepancies in the calculations, we are still getting the right nutrients at the exact moments that we need it.
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