How to Eat More, Workout Harder and Get Better Results

By Dave DiFabio

• Minimum caloric intake should be approximately 1200-1500 for women and 1800-2000 for men (ACSM). Eating less could lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

• Estimated Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Caloric Requirements (Harris-Benedict Equation):

Males: RMR= 66 + (13.8 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) - (6.8 x age) Females: RMR= 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) - (4.7 x age)

To estimate your daily caloric requirements, multiply RMR by the factor that best represents your activity level:

Bed rest = 1.2
Sedentary = 1.3
Active = 1.4
Very Active = 1.5
You may also need to consume an extra 500 calories/day to ensure adequate recovery from intense weight training sessions.

Increased dietary calories should be made up of appropriate percentages of protein, carbohydrate and fat to ensure gains in lean muscle mass. The following percentages are recommended (ACSM):
• Protein = 15%

• Protein intake should increase in proportion to greater caloric consumption (NSCA). An easy calculation for recommended grams of protein is (.8 grams) x (Body Weight in kg) for minimum consumption and (1.7 grams) x (Body Weight in kg) for maximum consumption. A variety of high quality sources of protein include fish, lean meats, nuts, and beans. Protein can be broken down into branch-chained amino acids (BCAA), which can serve as an additional energy source.

• Carbohydrates = 55%

• Carbohydrate sources should consist of fruits and vegetables.

• Fat = 30%

• Your total daily fat intake should provide 20 grams or less of saturated fat and no more than 2 grams of trans-fat (zero grams would be best). Saturated fat raises your bad cholesterol. Trans-fat raises your bad cholesterol and lowers your good cholesterol. One of the great benefits of exercise is that it raises good cholesterol levels. Don't undo that by consuming trans-fat. The bulk of your fat intake should be made up of healthy fats (poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, etc.). Healthy sources of fats include almonds, flax seed, and salmon just to name a few.

To keep your energy up throughout the day, consume 4-6 balanced and nutritious meals per day. • Try to space meals evenly throughout the day, every 3-4 hours, and never skip meals, especially breakfast.

• Breakfast should include complex carbohydrates, from fiber-rich multi-grains, and slow digesting proteins such as casein (milk protein) and albumin (egg protein) for sustained energy.

• Plan ahead and pack meals that are readily available.

• Replace junk food snacks that are high in fat with more nutrient-rich, energy dense foods such as fruit, yogurt, trail mix, and chocolate skim milk.

Fuelling up and replenishing your fuel stores at the right time can help maximize results.

Pre-workout meals should include a greater amount of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy during your workout. • Meals should be eaten 45 minutes to an hour before your workout to ensure proper digestion.

• Pre-workout meals should also include some protein if your goal is to increase lean body mass. A 4:1- 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is optimal for maintaining blood glucose levels during your workout while minimizing gastric distress.

Post-workout meals should include a 3:2 carbohydrate to protein ratio for optimal recovery. • Don't let more than 45 minutes pass between the end of your workout and your post-workout meal.

• This meal should include fast digesting carbohydrates and proteins (whey). During this critical window of time, your muscles more easily store glycogen (sugar stored in muscles) and whey protein will provide you with important branched-chain amino acids and glutamine to promote quick recovery and the rebuilding of skeletal muscle (NSCA).

Stay hydrated to maintain body temperature, prevent muscle cramps, and maintain optimal cardiovascular function. • It is recommended to consume 8-10, eight ounce glasses of water each day (USDA).

• 16oz of fluid should be consumed 2-3 hours pre-workout and 8-16oz just before the workout.

• During workouts, 6 - 8 oz of water every 15 minutes is a good rule of thumb. Sports drinks can be used for intense exercise sessions lasting more than 60 minutes.

Till next time.... Train Like You Play & Play Like You Train

Dave DiFabio MA, CSCS, USAW

Owner/Strength & Conditioning Coach - Team Speed Fitness LLC