Fruits in sports nutrition


Without a diet, you won’t become embossed — everyone knows that. “As few calories and as little fat as possible” is the slogan of those who dream of elastic hips and a flat muscular press.

Fruits, it would seem, are ideal for such a diet: they contain zero fats and calories — the cat cried. In addition, fruits are the most natural products that neither is and, importantly, contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber useful for the body.

Finally, they are simply delicious and can successfully replace sweets. However, advanced bodybuilders and fitness models, for some reason, do not favor fruits at the stage of gaining relief. And there are reasons for that.

Before we begin to clarify the essence of this problem, let’s first consider the relationship between the energy of the human body and carbohydrates. We live, and therefore we breathe, our heart, brain, etc. work for us. In order for all this work to be carried out, a certain amount of energy is needed, which we get from food, one of the components of which are carbohydrates. In sports nutrition, there is such a concept — basic metabolism — the number of calories that the human body burns at rest. What we have just talked about is this very basic metabolism.

Further. A person spends a certain amount of energy on the digestion of food that has entered the body. In addition, part of the energy is spent on various kinds of physical effort, including weight training. Carbohydrates are just the main component that covers all these energy costs. If, after the body has paid off the bills for all the energy costs incurred, it still has a certain amount of unused carbohydrates, it stores them in the form of a special substance — glycogen in the liver and muscles.

The best source of carbohydrates for athletes are complex carbohydrates. Their main advantage is that they enter the blood relatively slowly, enabling the body to assimilate them in the most complete way. Once in the body, carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels, as a result of which the body releases a pancreatic hormone — insulin — in order to lower this level to its original level. A special indicator — the glycemic index — gives us an idea of ​​how certain carbohydrate foods can raise blood sugar levels.

Simple carbohydrates, which include fruits, enter the bloodstream very quickly, as a result of which the body cannot use them as efficiently as possible. Moreover, when taking a decent portion of simple carbohydrates, there is a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and a massive release of insulin, which “pulls” these very simple carbohydrates into fat cells. But that’s not all. The fact is that if you think it over well and delve deeper into the problem, it turns out that fruits are nothing more than a kind of “chocolate” for the body. Of course, including apples, pears and bananas in the diet, you will not get fat, but it will be difficult to make the muscles extremely prominent. So, fruits are also good for athletes, but the main thing is not to get carried away with them!

This is because fructose, a natural sugar found in fruits (although some fruits, such as oranges and grapes also contain large amounts of glucose), is not processed in the liver into glycogen (a special substance that goes to cover the energy costs caused by muscle work). ), but in fat! Once in the body, fructose bypasses a special enzyme — fructokinase-1. And he is responsible for processing the carbohydrates entering the body into energy and decides what to turn the carbohydrates into: into glycogen or into fat. Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, pasta, rice, once in the body, are converted mainly into glycogen, and in this form are deposited in the liver and muscles until there is free space in your body’s «repositories», and only then they will begin to be processed into fat (according to scientific data, the human body is able to store about 250-400 grams of carbohydrates in the form of glycogen). In the case of fruits, as we have already said, everything is much worse: the liver turns fructose into fat, which, when it enters the bloodstream, is immediately absorbed by fat cells.

But that’s not all. It turns out that fructose is still able to turn into glycogen in the liver, but in the form of muscle glycogen, it cannot be deposited in any case. The fact is that muscle glycogen can only be formed from glucose, while the liver is also able to synthesize glycogen from fructose, lactose, glycerol, alanine, and so on. It is curious that, entering the blood, glucose passes almost unhindered through the liver — this kind of body filter and goes straight from there to the muscles. What happens if some of the fructose your body receives gets into the liver and turns into glycogen? And the fact that your wise body itself will say “no” to any other incoming carbohydrates and block their flow both to the liver and to the muscles through the liver. As a result, unclaimed complex carbohydrates will turn not into precious muscle glycogen, which gives your muscles an elastic, filled appearance and provides a powerful burst of energy, but into hated fat!

All of the above has been repeatedly confirmed experimentally. The famous American specialist in the field of sports nutrition, John Parillo, once conducted a series of experiments with competing athletes in order to find out what products and how they affect their athletic form. So, in one of these experiments, 300 calories from rice were replaced in a bodybuilder’s diet by 300 calories from bananas. The result was stunning: the athlete began to get fat! Over the next two weeks, the situation did not change, and only when the bananas were again replaced with rice, the bodybuilder began to lose weight again. The conclusion is extremely simple: if you want to be in shape, do not get carried away with fruit!

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