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How Much Water Do We Need

For all around good health, it is important to drink about 5 pints of fluid, ideally plain water, every day. Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day. Fluid intake is dependent on your weight and level of activity - the more you weigh and the more you exercise, the more fluid you need. Check the table to see how much fluid you need on an exercise day - remember, little and often is best. By drinking water regularly all throughout the day, your body’s cells will already be well-hydrated before you begin to exercise.

When you exercise, your daily fluid need increases. Even moderate exercise in the form of a brisk winter’s walk will lead to some loss of fluid. High-intensity sports, such as racquetball and tennis, will increase your rate of loss.

About 75% of the energy generated during exercise is converted into heat. T prevent overheating and maintain a body temperature of 98.6 - 100.4 degrees F, perspiration increases. The longer and harder you exercise, the more your body temperature rises and the more you sweat. In some marathons runners, this can lead to a body fluid loss of 7 pints in an hour. It is vital to replace lost fluid quickly because dehydration can cause nausea, exhaustion, vomiting and even heat stroke.

Keeping a good fluid balance doesn’t just mean drinking before a workout. You need to maintain sufficient fluid intake during the workout to prevent dehydration and a drop in performance.

Enhancing your physical fitness will pay dividends when it comes to performing in the heat - research shows that fit people begin perspiring at a lower temperature because their sweat glands are more efficient.

About half an hour before you exercise, drink 1 to 2 cups of fluid (preferably water). Follow this with between half a cup and a whole cup before starting the session. It is important to keep well hydrated while exercising to prevent dehydration and a drop in performance - you only need to be dehydrated by 2% before your exercise efficiency is impaired.

During your workout, take frequent sips of water. Little and often is best - up to 1 cup of fluid every 15 - 20 minutes. You will lose about 4 cups of fluid for each hour of activity, depending on intensity and temperature. If you start to feel thirsty, it is an indication that you are already dehydrated, so slow down and take a drink.


Glycemic Index

The Basics Up until a few yeas ago, health professionals believed that if a food was composed of complex carbohydrates (starches), it must break down into sugar more slowly in your body than food composed of simple carbohydrates (sugars). Through research, we have learned more about how foods affect blood glucose levels.

When you eat a slice of bread, the flour from the bread breaks down into sugar (glucose) in you body to provide you with energy. The same thing happens when you eat a piece of fruit, drink a glass of milk, or eat a chocolate bar. Each of these foods contain a different kind of sugar. Fructose is a sugar in fruit, lactose is found in milk and sucrose is found in the chocolate bar. All of these sugars are broken down during digestion and provide you with energy.

The speed at which a food is able to increase a person’s blood glucose levels is called the glycemic response. The glycemic response is influenced by many factors. Some factors may be the amount of food you eat, how the food was processed or the way the food is prepared. For example, pasta cooked ‘el dente’ (firm) is absorbed more slowly than pasta that is overcooked.

So, now we know that the Glycemic Index ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels. This index measures how much your blood sugar increases in the two or three hours after eating.

The ranking of different foods based on their response was first studied by Dr. David Jenkins at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The research team conducted several experiments looking at the speeds at which different foods affect blood glucose levels and compared the numbers to a slice of white bread. White bread is given the glycemic index value of 100. Foods that have a value less than 100 are converted into sugar more slowly than white bread. Foods that have a glycemic index value greater than 100 turn into sugar more quickly than white bread.

What the researchers found surprised them. Foods such as milk and fruit tend to have lower glycemic index values than common starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and breakfast cereals. Even sugar (sucrose) had a glycemic index on 83, lower than some starchy foods. The good news is foods that were previously avoided by people with diabetes can now be added to their diet in moderation.

You should also remember that table sugar ca produce a slower rise in blood glucose levels than potatoes, but it lacks the vitamins, mineral and fiber provided by the potato. Decisions on foods must be made on the basis of overall nutrition, as well as the impact on blood sugar

Glycemic Load vs. Glycemic Index

The Glycemic index provides information only about how rapidly a particular source of Carbohydrates is converted to Blood Sugar. It does not provide information about the QUANTITY of Carbohydrate in that food source of Carbohydrates..

Glycemic Load takes both the Glycemic Index and the quantity of Carbohydrates in a particular food source of Carbohydrate into account.

Glycemic Load is the means of assessing the impact of Carbohydrate comsumption on Blood sugar. It is calculated by multiplying the amount of carbohydrates (in grams) in a serving of food by that foof’s glycemic index (%).

* A Glycemic Load of 20+ is regarded as high

* A Glycemic Load of 11 - 19 is regarded as medium

* A Glycemic Load of less than 10 is regarded as low

Health Benefits of a low Glycemic Load Diet

May reduce the risk of ,

Heart Disease, Colon Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, Lower HDL Cholesterol, Higher LDL Cholesterol, higher Serun Triglycerides.


Effects of High Protein Diets

If you alter your diet to become high protein, low carbohydrates, several alterations will take place. First, you will probably be consuming fewer calories. Most high protein diets are low in calorie.  Because your diet is higher in protein and fat, you will feel fuller and eat fewer calories per day. Whenever one consumes fewer calories than the body needs, weight loss occurs, regardless of the diet consumption. Instead of using protein and fat to promote fullness, you should increase the intake of fiber from whole grains and legumes to produce the same effects.

Second, your low carbohydrate diet will not allow your body to maintain it’s stores of glycogen in your liver and muscles. This glycogen is stored with water. Thus you will lose weight as a result as this loss of glycogen and water from the body. Third, you are not providing the body with enough carbohydrates to supply the energy you need. The excess protein and fat you are eating must therefore do carbohydrates job of providing energy to the brain and cells. When excess proteins and fat are consumed, the liver and kidneys have more work to do. Protein contains nitrogen, a waste product not found in carbohydrates. Nitrogen must separate from the protein molecule and processed by the liver. The kidneys must then filter the excess nitrogen out of the body. The more protein you eat the harder the liver and kidneys must work to accomplish this task.

When fats do carbohydrates job, ketones may be produced. Ketoses must also be processed and excreted by the liver and kidneys to prevent ketosis, a potentially fatal condition in which the body becomes too acidic. Because the kidneys must filter out the excess nitrogen and ketones, you may become dehydrated, leading to further weight loss. In a dehydrated state, your body may not be able to maintain its temperature properly, making you more susceptible to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Lastly, because you are eating more protein, your intake of fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat will likely be high. The American Heart Association recommends an intake of no more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. Just one 3.5 ounce piece of white meat chicken without the skin, roasted contains 77 mg of cholesterol, one quarter of the daily limit. One 3.5 ounce portion of extra lean ground beef, baked to well done contains 107 mg of cholesterol. Diet providing 16 ounces of lean meat and 4 ounces of cheese per day can provide almost double the amount of dietary cholesterol recommended by the American Heart Association daily.

Avoiding carbohydrate may also compromise intakes of dietary fiber. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends the consumption of a diet high in whole grains, cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables and limited in animal foods.

Protein Needs

1.7 to 1.8 g/kg of body weight (212 to 225% of currebt RDA)

To determine your protein needs multiply your body weight by the conversion factor of .8 to 1.8  This will give you the grams of protein you need per day.

Sendentary or sporadic exerciser:

.8 grams per kg of body weight or,

.4 grams per pound of body weight

Active exerciser:

1.2 1.4 grams per kg of body weight

.5 to .6 grams per pound of body weight

Very active exerciser, weight lifter:

1.7 to 1.8 grams per kg of body weight

.7 to .8 grams per pound of body weight


Eating Right

Eating the right foods for all-day energy.  Having energy to meet the demands of your job and personal life starts with your diet. To maintain your energy levels, your body breaks down the food you eat into glucose (blood sugar) – the body’s main fuel, and sends a steady stream of it to your cells. To feel energized throughout the day, your blood-glucose levels should stay within a certain range. If your blood glucose drops too low –which can happen if you go too long without eating – you are going to feel lightheaded and lethargic. If you eat the wrong kinds of foods, your blood glucose can spike and drop, eventually causing the same symptoms. With this in mind, here’s how to eat for all-day energy and keep your blood-glucose level stable.

 Don’t skip meals

Not eating meals is one of the fastest ways to low blood sugar. If you skip breakfast, your ability to concentrate will suffer all morning. Skip lunch, and by 3pm your energy level and concentration will crash. The reason: your brain needs glucose to function. To keep your blood glucose from dipping, and zapping your physical and mental energy, eat three (3) meals or six (6) smaller meals a day and don’t go more than four (4) hours without eating something.

Balance meals

Make sure your meals include a mix of complex carbohydrates – such as grain products, fresh vegetables and fruit, beans, lentils and other legumes, protein and some fat. At breakfast, have waffles topped with fresh fruit and a cup of low fat or nonfat yogurt (a mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat). At lunch, have a ham and cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread (this provides protein, fat and carbohydrate) and a piece of fruit (this is mostly carbohydrates). A combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat helps moderate blood-glucose absorption so you blood sugar rises gradually. On the other hand, if you eat only carbohydrates, such as fruit alone, you blood-glucose level will rise and drop quickly, leaving you hungry and low on energy within an hour or two after you eat. Likewise, if you only eat protein, you’ll get calories, but they won’t kick in fast enough to make you feel energized when you need it.

Snack smart

 To counteract energy lulls you feel during the day, eat snacks that mix carbohydrates, Protein and fat. Good energy-sustaining snacks include low-fat yogurt with fruit, cheese And crackers, an apple with peanut butter, and low fat cookies, such as ginger snaps or Graham crackers and a glass of skim milk. If you experience an energy low that makes you feel shaky or keeps you from focusing on your work, opt for a carbohydrate-rich Snack, such as a whole-grain breakfast bar or a glass of fruit juice. Doing so will raise your blood-glucose levels quickly. Either way, be sure to keep you snack light to avoid weight gain.