Sports Nutrition Tips Library

What can carbs do for you?

People tend to fear carbohydrates, not realizing that carbs may be the most important type of nutrient; our bodies require them in larger quantities than protein or fat. Carbohydrates are essential because they are our primary energy source.

Here we give you the lowdown on the two different types of carbohydrates and the amounts your body requires.

How many carbs should you consume?

Carbohydrates typically contain 4 calories per gram and are needed in the following amounts per day to maintain body weight:

To maintain body weight
Weight (lb) Calories Carbs (g)
150 2070 310
160 2200 330
170 2330 350
180 2470 370
190 2600 390
200 2730 410
210 2870 430

Simple carbohydrates v. complex carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates typically give you a rush of energy and a subsequent crash. This is because they are simple molecules and are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition to supplying a less stable form of energy, simple carbs are also easily stored as fat in excess quantities. Examples of simple carbohydrates include:

  • candy / chocolate
  • fruit juices
  • added sugars
  • biscuits
  • sweets
  • sodas / soft drinks

Complex carbohydrates provide a long, slow release of energy because they contain longer chains of starches that are not easily or quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This slow rate of absorption is important to keep you feeling satisfied. Examples of complex carbohydrates include:

  • breads
  • rice
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • cereals
  • vegetables

The balance between the two types carbohydrates in the diet should be as follows:

  • 80 % complex carbohydrates
  • 20 % simple carbohydrates

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What is creatine?

Creatine is a compound found throughout the body, stored in highest concentrations in muscle tissue. This chart shows the typical amounts by weight:

Creatine in the body
Weight (lb) Creatine (grams)
150 113
160 120
170 128
180 135
190 143
200 150
210 158
220 165

Creatine helps supply energy to all cells in the body, which is why it's so popular with sprinters, bodybuilders and other athletes. Intense exercise can deplete internal stores of creatine, but replenishment is possible through supplementation and diet.

Dietary sources of creatine include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Herring

The muscles actually have the ability to store far more creatine than you could ever eat. This is why creatine supplements are ideal for those looking to energize muscle growth.

How to take creatine

Creatine is best in tasteless, powdered form because it dissolves easily in water. Proper creatine supplementation includes loading and maintenance phases:

Creatine loading involves consuming a larger-than-normal amount for a short period. This 6-day loading plan is based on weight and the dose is divided into 4 times a day:

Creatine loading (per day)
Weight (lb) Creatine (grams)
150 19
160 20
170 21
180 22.5
190 24
200 25
210 26
220 27.5

Creatine maintenance typically lasts 1-2 months. This maintenance plan is based on weight and includes 1 daily dose:

Creatine maintenance (per day)
Weight (lb) Creatine (grams)
150 3
160 3.5
170 4
180 4.5
190 5
200 5.5
210 6
220 27.6.5

After the maintenance phase, you should cut out creatine for at least 2 weeks before starting the cycle over again.

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Biggest bodybuilding myths

Myth #1

The more you work out, the more muscle you'll build.

This bodybuilding myth is one of the reasons why 95% of people in the gym NEVER see any significant results. When you work out too often, you actually prevent your body from building muscle.

Myth #2

If you train hard, it doesn't matter what you eat.

Wrong! If you train hard, what you eat is vital to your success. Most people totally overlook the nutritional aspect of the bodybuilding process, yet it is easily the most crucial component of your entire bodybuilding program.

If you don't know what to eat, how much to eat, or when to eat, you have NO chance of ever achieving bodybuilding success.

Myth #3

Unlock the secret to bigger muscles when you buy this equipment!

Almost all of the fancy workout machines and gadgets you see plastered in the magazines and on the late-night TV infomercials will actually slow down your progress rather than speed it up.

The most effective tools for building muscle in record speed are also the simplest, and can be found in any gym across the country or used from the comfort of your home.

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Ab fit tips

Tip #1

Do cardio before hitting the mat.

When your body is warmed up from a quick run or some time on the elliptical or bike, you'll get better ab contractions. You'll feel the deep muscular burning sensation more intensely after a warm-up and you'll also avoid muscle strains that way.

Tip #2

Flex between sets.

Build abdominal definition by stretching and flexing in between sets.

Tip #3

Abbreviate your breathers.

It's important to rest between abdominal sets, but let's not go overboard. Take only a minute or less of downtime-aspiring towards a 30-40 second break. This way, you'll keep your metabolism high so you can burn fat at a higher rate.

Tip #4

What you eat matters.

Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. Consider supplementation, as well, for maximum results.

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Healthy snack ideas

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