The strong link between nutrition and health has been known for a long time. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is famed for having said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This is why personal trainers – as custodians of their clients’ health and wellness – need to know what food is good for them to eat and which foods will send their personal training routines into a downward spiral.
Nutrition Lesson #1: Saturated Fats: A Big No-No
There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are found in foods such as butter and cheese. Too much of these substances can cause a build-up of bad cholesterol that clogs up your arteries causing fatal ailments such as coronary artery disease and possibly even death.
Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are extremely beneficial for your health and well-being. These types of fats – or omega 3 essential fatty acids – can be found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel), walnuts and spinach to name a few.
During personal training session, your clients’ heart rates will increase. This means that blood will need to be pumped faster around their bodies so their arteries will have to work overtime to cope with this increase. So if your clients eat a diet rich in saturated fats, the chances of their arteries being blocked are that much higher than a person who favours unsaturated fats. This puts them at a greater risk of dropping dead of a heart attack during training.
Blood pressure also plays a very important part in this. Watch this video to find out more about this vital bodily indicator:
Nutrition Lesson #2: Fitness Athletes Need to Follow a Strict Nutritional Routine
An athlete, bodybuilder or weightlifter has certain goals that he or she will be working towards in terms of their physique and all general fitness levels. To help them achieve their goals, they will engage fitness trainers. These will be, for example, such as sports coaches, sports managers or personal trainers who will put them through their paces and make them the best that they can be. They might even go on a couple of fitness courses, like those on offer at Trifocus Fitness Academy. This is so that they can upskill with a view to handling their training themselves.
Whether they decide to train themselves or hire a professional, a non-negotiable is that athletes need to eat right. For example, long-distance marathon runners need to carbo-load before races. This is so that they have the energy to complete a race. Weightlifters and bodybuilders, on the otherhand, need to up their protein intake so that they can build their muscles in an efficient manner.
The science of sports nutrition deals with how athletes need to be eating. Watch this clip to find out more.
Nutrition Lesson #3: It’s Time to Break up with Sugar
Just as with fat, there are two types of sugar: refined sugar – which is extremely bad for you – and unrefined sugar, which is beneficial for your body.
Refined sugar – which is found in food such as sweets, soft drinks and biscuits – spikes your energy levels very quickly. It depletes your energy levels equally as quickly after that. In technical terms, after you eat the refined sugar, your insulin levels spike and they quickly fall after that. This is why after you’ve eaten a big meal and rounded it off with an extremely sugary dessert all you want to do is fall asleep.
If you want your clients to have sustained energy levels throughout a training session, advise them to eat unrefined sugar. This type of sugar is found in fruit and honey among many other foods. These foods will keep them energised throughout the session.
If your personal training or nutrition clients ask if drinking fruit juice is just as good as eating fruit, advise them against this. Fruit juice is often loaded with a lot of sugar which is often refined. There are also a lot more pieces of fruit in one glass of fruit juice than a single piece of fruit as these have to be blended to make the juice. They reduce in size and sneakily make you eat more. Also, you’ll get a lot more goodness out of eating a piece of fruit – rather than its juice equivalent – as you’ll be eating the nutritious skin as is the case with an apple or a pear.
Having a good knowledge of nutrition will give your personal training clients extra value! Sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Course and become an expert nutritionist!