You’ve probably heard a coach or health source recommend loading up on carbs before a big game or workout. The reason for that is to have enough energy stored up to get you through the event. After looking further into this, you might decide it’s not as great an idea as it used to seem.
In a Maximized Living Webinar on Nutrition for Peak Performance, Dr. Fred Roberto points out “for all athletes: The fact of the matter is food does matter. It is critically important. Food is your fuel, and food runs the human engine, and so we have to take and convert this quality food into fuel that can then get transferred into an energy source, and that's what really runs human performance. We want optimum performance. The human engine is amazing. It's a high-performance engine. It needs to run on high-octane fuel. You simply don't put diesel fuel inside a race car. It just gunks up the engine. Your body requires high-octane, quality food just the same.... It's not really a game of calories in versus calories out, as most people would think. There's so much more to the story. You've got to put good, quality calories inside of your body. When you put in the food that is designed for your body to run on, your body can run so much more efficiently and effectively.”
In that same webinar, Dr. BJ Hardick warns us to “only use carbohydrates that our body is actually going to utilize. Don't overdo it on carbohydrates, if our body is not going to utilize them.”
Dr. Roberto explains that what we want are Medium Chain Fatty Acids, like coconut oil, because they “are an excellent source of energy (used immediately for energy)... and provide the energy without all the negative effects sugar has in the body.”
He points out that consuming sugar triggers insulin, and insulin has an adverse affect on HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which is a hormone we like to spike because with exercise... for increasing lean muscle.
Dr. Roberto continues: “Foods containing processed carbs and sugars... are anti-nutrients... The body still needs the elements, and so pulls from its stores... not to mention... these greatly reduce your PH and make your body more acidic. Having a proper PH balance is critical for sports performance and recovery time.... That's where performance happens: at the cellular level.”
So, what is recommended is: low-glycemic, high-fiber carbs = veggies = high energy
Instead of sports drinks, reach for some coconut water. It is a great source of electrolytes (15x more potassium than other sports drinks). It might still have sugar, but it’s alkaline! Dr. Hardick warns us that the glycemic index is not the only thing to look at. We need to know whether or not what we’re taking in is causing inflammation and whether or not it causes our body to be acidic. Remember, alkaline is better for our cells, which is where performance really happens.
Dr. Hardick clarifies that only really long duration exercise benefits from a good helping of healthy grains the day before (ie Ezekiel Bread). Then during exercise, concentrate on low-glycemic, easily absorbable and digestable things like coconut water.
Now that you're fueled up, go for it!
...my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—
the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.