Category: Nutrition

EVERYDAY HEALTHY EATING FOR ACTIVE FAMILIES

While what you eat before, during and after your sport is very important, a healthy, balanced diet, providing sufficient energy to fuel your training, as well as sufficient macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) should be a high priority for every sporty person. Such a diet will help you and your family perform at your best, have sustained energy, improve your health and prevent illness. Let’s take a closer look at some of the components of a healthy diet as well as guidelines around the amounts required. Take note that while not mentioned in this article, other important dietary components to monitor are your fluid and fibre intake.

ENERGY BALANCE

Achieving an energy balance requires energy taken in through food and drinks to match energy expended through the body’s daily functions and activity. Sufficient daily energy intake is essential for ensuring that the body is able to perform all necessary functions, while still having sufficient fuel for training. It is therefore important to make sure that your whole family’s diet provides enough energy for their specific needs. A diet too low in calories will not see any of you performing at your best

MACRONUTRIENTS

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates play numerous roles in sports, arguably the most important of which is its role in energy provision. They provide an important energy source to muscles during exercise and since the body is only able to store limited amounts of carbohydrates, it is important that adequate amounts are provided through the diet.

For good health, the majority of carbohydrates in the diet should come from nutrient-dense sources such as wholegrain breads and cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, starchy vegetables (e.g. sweet potato, potato and corn), legumes as well as dairy products. Try to always include lower GI products to provide sustained energy.

Protein
Training families require a moderate amount of protein in the diet. Protein is essential for many functions within the body, including it’s often most recognised function, muscle repair and growth. Requirements can usually be met with a well-planned diet. Intake should ideally be spread throughout the day, rather than at one or two meals. Protein can be obtained from both plant and animal sources, but it is important to be aware that animal proteins, while high quality are often high fat and that lower fat options should be prioritised. Below are some examples of both plant and animal protein sources which could be included in the diet.

Animal Protein

  • Skinless chicken or turkey
  • Tuna, hake, trout, salmon
  • Pork without fat rind, fresh ham
  • Red meat, visible fat cut off before cooking
  • Extra lean mince
  • Dairy
  • Eggs

Plant Protein

  • Soya
  • Beans
  • Split peas
  • Chick peas
  • Lentils

Fat
While fat is necessary for absorption and transportation of fat soluble vitamins, protection of organs, brain development and is an integral component of cell membranes, it is also a very energy-dense macronutrient. This means that an excessive intake can lead to weight gain. While fat requirements will vary at different ages, the major fat sources in the diet should be unsaturated, coming mostly from plant sources. These are considered “healthy fats” because they can lower “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol which benefits the heart and vascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids also provide many health promoting benefits, while trans-fats should be avoided as far as possible, always check trans-fat content on labels.

MICRONUTRIENTS

‘Micronutrients’ refers to vitamins and minerals, which the body requires in small amounts daily for many necessary functions. Each micronutrient has a NRV or a daily intake considered to be sufficient to meet the currently recognised nutritional needs of the majority of healthy people. Active people may have slightly increased requirements for certain micronutrients, however, with meeting increased energy requirements and eating a healthy, balanced diet, without any food group exclusions, micronutrient requirements are also usually met. Pay special attention to fruit and vegetable intake, making sure that you eat 5 or more servings per day. Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of micronutrients. Ensure that you vary your choices of fruit and vegetables, choosing different colour options.

CONCLUSION

Reaching the nutritional requirements of your active family is not as difficult as many people believe. A diet providing sufficient energy, macronutrients and micronutrients just requires a good understanding of requirements and planning from there.

WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?

Are you pressed for time and struggling to find a quick, great tasting meal to provide your whole family 100% complete nutrition? FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ ticks all the boxes, providing complete nutrition to all ages, with a host of added nutritional benefits.

Amongst its unique features, FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is high in protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, energy and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also low-GI and provides 50% of your daily requirements for vitamins and most minerals in a 50g serving. NOW THAT’S SMART!

CAN PROTEIN HELP ME LOSE WEIGHT?

Type “diet” into google and 963 million results instantly appear. This doesn’t shock me in the slightest. More and more individuals are following crazy “diets” to look and feel better. With continued excitement for eating low-carb, high fat or Paleo diets – diets that have a higher protein intake – the popularity of protein is on a reigning high. You may question why this macronutrient is gaining popularity? Let’s take a closer look.

PROTEIN FOR INTENTIONAL WEIGHT LOSS

When trying to lose weight we need to consume less calories than what our bodies use. A higher intake of protein is usually seen as a good idea due to preserving lean mass during the weight loss period. Let’s see how this all works.

1. PROTEIN AT BREAKFAST

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that eating breakfast assists with long-term weight control, even more so if the breakfast included a protein. Protein helped individuals to reduce their calorie intake later in the day.

2. PROTEIN AND WEIGHT REGULATING HORMONEST

Protein increases levels of satiety. Satiety is the feeling of fullness and the suppression of hunger for a period, after a meal is ingested2. Feelings of satiety can influence how much and how soon we eat next. There are several bodily signals that begin when food or drinks are consumed. These are regulated by the hypothalamus area in your brain1.  Hormones are signalled to your brain in response to feeding. A higher-protein intake increases levels of satiety by releasing hormones namely GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin which are appetite suppressing hormones and reduce levels of our hunger hormone, ghrelin1. Individuals then consume less calories as they feel less hungry.

3. THERMIC EFFECT OF PROTEIN

Have you ever heard of the thermic effect of food (TEF)? The TEF is the amount of energy needed to absorb and digest food. Different macronutrients have different thermic effects. The thermic effect of protein (20-30%) is higher than carbohydrates (5-10%) and fats (0-3%)5. This means that protein uses more energy (calories) for absorption, digestion and storage. This has shown to assist in weight management- what a bargain!

4. PROTEIN HELPS REDUCE CRAVINGS

Protein helps to reduce cravings not only due to the satiety effect mentioned above but because protein helps to lower the GI of foods consumed. Lower GI foods help to keep us fuller for longer and give us slow, sustained energy.  A study showed that protein helps to decrease cravings and late-night snacking by consuming 25% of your energy from protein. Cravings were decreased by 60% and late-night snacking by half.

5. HOW MUCH PROTEIN IS ENOUGHS

For healthy adults the WHO recommends 0.8g/kg/day or 15-20% of your total energy7. A high-protein diet is one that contains 25-30% of total energy from protein8. Although many studies have shown that protein can assist with weight loss, we need to remember that protein from animal sources can often be high in fat which can lead to heart problems. High-protein diets are often low in carbohydrates. These types of diets often give short-term weight loss results and long-term evidence on the negative effects or safety of consuming a high-protein diets are not yet available.

CONCLUSION

Protein does help increase satiety, decrease appetite and food cravings and has the highest thermic effect. All these factors can assist you on your weight loss journey, but instead on focusing solely on one macronutrient we would rather want to focus on eating a balanced diet, that includes a variety of foods and eat unhealthy foods in moderation. A more permanent solution is to make a lifestyle change. Eat low-fat, high fibre foods including lots of fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains and cereals, plant proteins, fish, chicken and lean meats and exercise on a regular basis. These lifestyle changes will help improve overall health.

WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?
The FUTURELIFE® range has something for everyone. Most products contain a functional ingredient and are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and fibre, most are also Low GI – sounds super? If weight loss is what you are looking for try FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ or FUTURELIFE®ZERO Smart food™ for the most effective results. Visit http://futurelife.co.za/products/ for more information on the range, eating plans, recipes, articles and a whole lot more.

REFERENCES

  1. Science News. [Online].; 2011 [cited 2018 July 12. Available from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519113024.htm.
  2. British Nutrition Foundation. [Online]. [cited 2018 July 12. Available from: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/fuller/understanding-satiety-feeling-full-after-a-meal.html?limitstart=0.
  3. Austin J, Marks D. Hormonal Regulators of Appetite. Int J Pediatr Endocrinol. 2009 December.
  4. Batterham RL, Heffron H, Kapoor S, Chivers J, Chanderana K. Critical role for peptide YY in protein-mediated satiation and body-weight regulation. Cell Metabolisim. 2006 September; 4(3).
  5. Le T. My Fittness Pal. [Online].; 2016 [cited 2018 July 12. Available from: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-reasons-why-protein-is-good-for-weight-loss/.
  6. Lejeune M, Westerterp K, Adam T, Luscombe-Mars. Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan; 83(1).
  7. Ottermann. Health 24. [Online].; 2013 [cited 2018 July 12. Available from: https://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/Weight-loss/High-protein-diets-are-they-safe-20130210.
  8. Gunnar K. Healthline. [Online].; 2017 [cited 2018 July 12. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-protein-can-help-you-lose-weight#section8.
  9. World Health Organisation. [Online].; 2018 [cited 2018 July 12. Available from:https://www.google.co.za/search?ei=RTxHW47HJeWfgAbKsZQg&q=energy+recommendations+for+protein+15-20%25&oq=energy+recommendations+for+protein+15-20%25&gs_l=psyab.3.3827.6445.0.7006.7.7.0.0.0.0.435.1924.3-2j3.5.0.0.1c.1.64.psy-ab.2.4.1487.33i22i29.
  10. Patel K. Examine.com. [Online].; 2018 [cited 2018 July 12. Available from: https://examine.com/nutrition/how-does-protein-affect-weight-loss/.

SPORTS NUTRITION ON A BUDGET

Posted by Angie Leach

Walk through the aisles of a sports nutrition retailer and you could very easily be forgiven for thinking that proper sports nutrition needs to cost A LOT of money.  The truth is that you can reach all of your sports nutrition requirements with relatively inexpensive foods that you can purchase at your local grocery store and of course FUTURELIFE® is always there to lend a helping hand.

My personal challenge in writing this article is to show you that you can easily get everything you need to fuel for and recover from 3 hours of intense exercise for under R50, as opposed to the hundreds that sports nutrition retailers would have us believe. How is it done?

BEFORE EXERCISE

The meal you choose before you begin your exercise plays a very important role in making sure that you are properly fuelled and that any discomfort is minimised during exercise.

In previous articles I have covered the what, when and how of pre-endurance nutrition. Below are 4 cost-effective meal options that I picked. Portion sizes are chosen to fulfil the requirements of a 60kg athlete but can easily be adapted.

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g) 63g/ 15g R7.62
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® + 100g low-fat sweetened yoghurt 65g/10g R7.75
3 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (32g) and 1 tablespoons of Jam (20g) 65g/20.5g R5.10
50g FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 cup low fat milk and 200g fruit salad 61g/17g 61g/17g

DURING EXERCISE

During exercise, nutrition is very important for sessions exceeding 60-90 minutes Glycogen (energy) stores are quickly depleted and need to be replaced in order to keep you performing at your best. 30-60g of easily digested carbohydrates per hour should do the trick for this athlete. Exactly how much you would need within the 30-60g range will depend on the intensity of exercise among other things. Below are some great options, as well as the amount of carbohydrates it would provide in total and per hour for the 3 hours.

Food choice Grams carbohydrate/ Grams per hour Price
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ + 75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 129g/43g R27.20
75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 107/36g R19.50
2 slices of white FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 tablespoons of honey + 1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 90g/30g R9.45
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ +1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3)+ 75g nougat 106/35g R23.15

AFTER EXERCISE

Nutrition after exercise should be rich in carbohydrates to refuel energy stores and contain some lean protein to repair muscles. The carbohydrate to protein ratio should be around 3-4:1. Fluids and electrolytes are also essential to rehydrate the body. Here are some very simple and cost-effective options that will help you to reach these goals. For more information on the benefits of FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ in sports recovery visit: https://smartdrink.co.za/smart-drink-in-sports-

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g)+ 500ml cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 72g/ 24g R14.85
250ml FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ with 2 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Brown Bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. 75.5g/25.8g R19.85
Open sandwich: 2 slices FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 boiled eggs and lite mayo + 150g sweetened fruit yoghurt. 54.5g/24.4g R9.80
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ Muscle fuel smoothie: http://www.futurelife.co.za/recipes/muscle-fuel-smoothie/ 65g/28g R16.19

CONCLUSION

Using these wallet-friendly options pre, during and after your 3 hours of exercise will cost you a minimum of R24.35 and a maximum of R56.96 while giving you everything you need to be everything you want to be.

 

YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT COOKING OILS ANSWERED

BY: Nicola Wilken  

With fat being a hot topic these days, you are probably wondering if you are consuming the right type. With so many oils to choose from, do you feel stumped as to which one you should be buying and using based on your needs? Fear not! Here we will explain the types of fat you should be including in your diet, along with how to do it.

WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF OILS?

Fats and oils have many different functions in the body, including chemical, physical and nutritional. In food, fats and oils provide appearance and texture, flavour, nutritional value (provide calories and are needed for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K), satiety, solubility and heat transfer1.

FATTY ACID PROFILE OF OILS

According to various nutrition guidelines, 20 – 35% of our total energy should be coming from fat2. There are different types of fat that should be making up your total fat intake for the day. Of your total energy this should come from2:

  • 15 – 20% monounsaturated fat (MUFA)
  • 5 – 10% polyunsaturated fat (PUFA)
  • <10% saturated fat

 

Figure 1: Fatty acid composition of oils5.

Figure 1 depicts the fatty acid composition of various oils. As you can see, coconut oil is mostly made up of saturated fat, so you should limit the use of this oil. On the other hand, olive oil is mostly made up of MUFAs, which may help decrease your risk of heart disease. You should thus try to include this in your diet where possible.

COOKING TEMPERATURES & SMOKE POINTS

Cooking temperatures can vary depending on the cooking method1:

  • Pan-frying / sautéing on stove top: 120°C
  • Deep frying: 160 – 180°C
  • Oven baking: below 200°C

When you expose cooking oils to high temperatures, oxidation and a number of other chemical changes start to occur. If oils are heated too high, or for too long, they can start to breakdown and form a number of by-products1. The type and quality of oil, as well as the temperature it is exposed to are some of the factors that dictate the chemical reactions that take place. The end result of heating oil too much and for too long is decreased nutritional value of the oil and the by-products may have adverse health effects1.

The temperature at which an oil starts to break down is known as its smoke point. Different oils as well as whether they are virgin, semi-refined, or refined, have different smoke points as seen the table below3.

OIL SMOKE POINT (°C)
Refined canola oil 400
Unrefined sesame oil 350
Refined avocado oil 271
Palm oil 232
Refined soy oil 232
Peanut oil 227
Sunflower oil 227
Grapeseed oil 216
Virgin olive oil 216
Almond oil 216
Sesame oil 210
Extra virgin olive oil 207
Refined coconut oil 200
Butter 177
Unrefined coconut oil 177
Extra virgin olive oil 160
Unrefined peanut oil 160
Unrefined soy oil 160
Unrefined canola oil 107
Unrefined flaxseed oil 107
Unrefined sunflower oil 107

 

You may have been told to cook with olive oil as it is the healthiest for you, but just be aware of the type of olive oil you are using, as well as the temperature you are going to expose it to. For example, if you are going to be pan-frying a food, it may be better to use virgin olive oil as opposed to extra virgin olive oil.

OILS TO CHOOSE BASED ON ITS USE

Based on the smoke point, some oils would be suitable for cooking at high temperatures. However, some oils may have a high smoke point, but also have a very strong flavour. Can you imagine the taste of French fries cooked in avocado oil? Beyond the taste, avocado oil is expensive.

 

To make things a bit easier for you, the below table lists the oils suitable for various cooking methods or uses4.

COOKING METHOD / USE OIL
Baking Canola oil

Olive oil

Sunflower oil

Cooking Canola oil

Olive oil

Sunflower oil

Coconut oil (moderate amounts of virgin coconut oil in curries, etc.)

Sautéing Canola oil

Olive oil

Sunflower oil

Grapeseed oil

Stir-frying Canola oil

Olive oil

Sunflower oil

Sesame oil

Peanut oil

Grapeseed oil

Deep frying Canola oil

Sunflower oil

Peanut oil (if this is the flavour you are looking for. . .)

Coating pots / pans / grill Canola oil
Dip Olive oil

Sesame oil

Peanut oil

Grapeseed oil

Salad dressing Olive oil

Sesame oil

Flaxseed oil

Peanut oil

Grapeseed oil

STORING OIL

Store oil away from light and heat. A cool, dark cupboard may be just the place. Some oils, especially those high in PUFAs (e.g. grapeseed oil) are prone to turning rancid quickly. Rather store these oils in the fridge.

 CONCLUSION

Understanding the chemistry behind the oil is key to knowing which oil you should be using and for what. The less exposure to heat the better, where some oils are more tolerant than others. After going through this article, I am sure you will be able to impress your guests at your next ‘come-dine-with-me’-styled dinner party!

REFERENCES

  1. Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive. Gray, Sarah. 2, s.l. : ACNEM Journal, 2015, Vol. 34.
  2. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Dietary Fatty Acids for Healthy Adults. Dietetics, Academy of Nutrition and. 1, s.l. : Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vol. 114.
  3. [Online] http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/50/Smoke-Points-of-Various-Fats.
  4. [Online] http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/all-about-oils.
  5. [Online] https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/spendsmart/2013/08/19/vegetable-oils-comparison-cost-and-nutrition/.

 

 

SPORTS NUTRITION ON A BUDGET

WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY: Angela Leach 

 

Walk through the aisles of a sports nutrition retailer and you could very easily be forgiven for thinking that proper sports nutrition needs to cost A LOT of money.  The truth is that you can reach all of your sports nutrition requirements with relatively inexpensive foods that you can purchase at your local grocery store and of course FUTURELIFE® is always there to lend a helping hand.

My personal challenge in writing this article is to show you that you can easily get everything you need to fuel for and recover from 3 hours of intense exercise for under R50, as opposed to the hundreds that sports nutrition retailers would have us believe. How is it done?

BEFORE EXERCISE

The meal you choose before you begin your exercise plays a very important role in making sure that you are properly fuelled and that any discomfort is minimised during exercise.

In previous articles I have covered the what, when and how of pre-endurance nutrition. Below are 4 cost-effective meal options that I picked. Portion sizes are chosen to fulfil the requirements of a 60kg athlete but can easily be adapted.

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g) 63g/ 15g R7.62
75g FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® + 100g low-fat sweetened yoghurt 65g/10g R7.75
3 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart  Bread™  with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (32g) and 1 tablespoons of Jam (20g) 65g/20.5g R5.10
50g  FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ + 1 cup low fat milk and 200g fruit salad 61g/17g R9.90

 

DURING EXERCISE

During exercise, nutrition is very important for sessions exceeding 60-90 minutes Glycogen (energy) stores are quickly depleted and need to be replaced in order to keep you performing at your best. 30-60g of easily digested carbohydrates per hour should do the trick for this athlete. Exactly how much you would need within the 30-60g range will depend on the intensity of exercise among other things. Below are some great options, as well as the amount of carbohydrates it would provide in total and per hour for the 3 hours.

Food choice Grams carbohydrate/ Grams per hour Price
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ + 75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 129g/43g R27.20
75g jelly sweets + 500ml sports drink 107/36g R19.50
2 slices of white FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 tablespoons of honey + 1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 90g/30g R9.45
FUTURELIFE® High Energy Smartbar™ +1l cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3)+ 75g nougat 106/35g R23.15

AFTER EXERCISE

Nutrition after exercise should be rich in carbohydrates to refuel energy stores and contain some lean protein to repair muscles. The carbohydrate to protein ratio should be around 3-4:1. Fluids and electrolytes are also essential to rehydrate the body. Here are some very simple and cost-effective options that will help you to reach these goals. For more information on the benefits of FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ in sports recovery visit: https://smartdrink.co.za/smart-drink-in-sports-nutrition

Food choice Grams of carbohydrates/protein Price
75g FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ + 1 large banana (136g)+ 500ml cordial (already diluted with water at ratio 1:3) 72g/ 24g R14.85
250ml FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ with 2 slices of FUTURELIFE® Smart Brown Bread and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. 75.5g/25.8g R19.85
Open sandwich: 2 slices FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread™ with 2 boiled eggs and lite mayo + 150g sweetened fruit yoghurt. 54.5g/24.4g R9.80
FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ Muscle fuel smoothie: http://www.futurelife.co.za/recipes/muscle-fuel-smoothie/ 65g/28g R16.19

 CONCLUSION

Using these wallet-friendly options pre, during and after your 3 hours of exercise will cost you a minimum of R24.35 and a maximum of R56.96 while giving you everything you need to be everything you want to be.

THE 101 ON HYDRATION IN SPORT

BY: Angela Leach   /   DATE: April 2018

Roughly 60% of the human body is made up of water, which is a good indication of its importance for all bodily functions and this certainly does not exclude sporting performance. Did you know that just 1% dehydration can lead to a reduction in strength?  Learn the ins and outs of good hydration by reading on.

WHY IS GOOD HYDRATION IMPORTANT FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE?

Many people fail to see the value of good hydration in their sports, until they have experienced the dehydration. Common symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, headaches, mouth dryness and loss of coordination, which can severely impair performance with effects such as:

  • A reduction in physical and mental performance
  • Increase in heart rate and body temperature,
  • increased perception of how difficult the exercise feels
  • Impaired skill level
  • Increase the risk gastro-intestinal problems during and after exercise.

GETTING YOUR HYDRATION RIGHT

Everyday

Day to day we need to make sure that we are meeting our fluid requirements. As a guide it is often recommended that we drink 6-8 glasses or 1.5-2l of water per day, but often relying on thirst is the best indicator because individual requirements vary. It is a good idea to fill a water bottle(s) in the mornings and keep it on your desk to drink during the course of the day. Although water should be our primary source of fluid, we can also fulfil some of our requirements with other drinks and foods. Fruit, veg, dairy products such as yoghurt and soups are all good food sources of fluid. Drinks to use with caution include:

  • Sugar sweetened beverages- these contain empty calories, providing little or no nutrition. Certain cold drinks may also have a diuretic effect, worsening dehydration.
  • Alcohol- alcohol in moderation (1-2 servings per day) is alright, however be aware that besides being harmful to the body, alcohol can have a negative effect on your sporting performance, nutritional status and cause dehydration in excess.

Around exercise

No two people are the same, likewise people vary in how easily they dehydrate. Get to understand your hydration levels better by weighing yourself before and after training. The difference in weight will be the result of fluid losses. In order to compensate for these losses, drink 1l-1.5l per kg lost.

BEFORE: Make sure you always start an exercise session session well hydrated, but beware of overhydrating before as this can lead to increased urination and GI upset during exercise

DURING: In events lasting less than 60-90 minutes you can use thirst as indicator, however longer sessions usually require planned fluid intake. Requirements usually vary between 150ml to 350ml of fluid at 15-20 minute intervals. Beverages with carbohydrate concentrations of 4% – 8% can be handy for intense exercise events lasting longer than 1 hour because they provide for both part of the athletes fluid requirements as well as carbohydrate replenishment requirements. Sports drinks are ideal in this situation as they provide the correct carbohydrate concentration, fluids and electrolytes which assist with rehydration and prevent hyponatremia.

  • AFTER: You do not stop losing fluids as soon as you stop exercising. You continue to dehydrate through sweat and urine losses after you finish exercising. Aim to replace 125-150% of all fluid lost in the hours following exercise. To rehydrate effectively drink your fluids along with salty recovery snacks which will provide much needed electrolytes.

CONCLUSION

Making sure that you are properly hydrated can be instrumental in maximising your sports performance. Following the guidelines above and learning exactly how your body’s fluid regulation works is definitely worth your effort if you want to be the best athlete you can be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHEDDING LIGHT ON VITAMIN D IN SPORT

BY: Angela Leach

Vitamin D is different from other vitamins for two reasons. Firstly, it is in actual fact a hormone otherwise known as calcitriol1. Secondly, while other vitamins must be taken in through diet, the body is actually able to obtain Vitamin D through certain foods or produce it through exposure to sunlight. Despite this fact, Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is common in a large proportion of the world’s population which can cause serious health issues if not recified2.

For a long time the role of Vitamin D in bone health has been widely recognised, but in recent years research has increased in its role in muscle function. This leads us to ask, how can getting sufficient Vitamin D optimise our sports performance?

WHAT INFLUENCE DOES VITAMIN D HAVE ON ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE?

Improved muscle strength

Vitamin D plays a regulatory role in protein synthesis and various studies have demonstrated that Vitamin D can improve muscle strength. These results have been revealed in both upper and lower limbs4,5,6.

Injury prevention

Vitamin D deficiencies are linked to an increased risk of muscular injury as well as prolonged recovery time6, keeping you away from training and improving.

Decreased risk of stress fracture

Due to the very important role Vitamin D plays in bone health, supplementation has demonstrated significant effects in the prevention of fractures, including stress fractures5,6,7.

Reduced inflammation

Studies have demonstrated that increased levels of Vitamin D can reduce the level of inflammation following intense exercise. The benefit of the decrease in inflammation would be an earlier resumption of training7,8.

Immune system benefits

Increased blood Vitamin D levels are associated with a strengthened immune system, the result, less colds and flu and fewer infections to keep you away from training6,8.

Over and above these benefits in sports there is also research to show that Vitamin D can reduce cancer risk9,10,11, type 1 diabetes10,11,depression11, osteoporosis10,11 and overall morality,10,11 amongst others.

WHAT IS THE BEST DIETARY SOURCE?

For those periods where soaking up some sun is just not possible, cod liver oil is the top dietary source of Vitamin D with just one tablespoon providing more than double the daily value for this nutrient.

The FUTURELIFE® Smart Food™ range is also a great source of Vitamin D providing 100% of the NRV per 100g.

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/
  2. https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-vitamin-d-to-take/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513873/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25156880
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725481/
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497950/
  7. http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2016/03000/Nutrition_and_Athletic_Performance.25.aspx
  8. https://authoritynutrition.com/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms/
  9. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/vitamin-d-fact-sheet
  10. https://authoritynutrition.com/9-reasons-to-optimize-vitamin-d-levels/
  11. https://authoritynutrition.com/vitamin-d-101/

 

COFFEE SAFETY AND ITS MANY BENEFITS

REVIEWED BY: Angela Leach   

 

Java, Mud, Joe, Brew. People love coffee so much that in 5 seconds I was able to find 30 nicknames for it. Fortunately coffee is one of those rare treats that contain next to no calories and offers health and performance benefits. It is also one of the leading sources of antioxidants in the Western diet. What are the proven benefits (and risks) of coffee? And are there specific safe dosage limits? We take a look.

SAFE INTAKE LIMITS

The following guidelines have been issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA):

Adults

In healthy adults between the age of 18 and 65, a daily dose of 400mg of caffeine does not raise safety concerns. Note: this guideline refers to caffeine as a whole and not just caffeine from coffee, it is important to consider all sources of caffeine in your diet when calculating your coffee allowance. Below is a table showing of the caffeine content of various sources:

Mug of brewed coffee 100 – 125 mg Mug of instant coffee 70 mg
Bar of dark chocolate 65 mg Can of Cola – 350 ml 50 mg
Mug of tea 45 – 75 mg 30g dark chocolate (a third of a bar) 20 mg
Mug of cocoa 15 mg Mug of green or white tea 15 mg
30g milk chocolate (a third of a bar) 6 mg Mug of decaffeinated coffee 2 mg

Beware: Too much caffeine (over 500-600mg) can cause restlessness, tremors, irritability, insomnia and an upset stomach.

Children and adolescents

On the whole, significant amounts of caffeine aren’t recommended for children and adolescents; this is due to the fact that caffeine interferes with sleep, which is necessary for proper growth and development. Safety has been established at a limit of 3mg per kg body weight for people between the ages of 3 and 18 years. This would equate to 60mg for a 20kg child.

Pregnant and lactating women

Because the physiological effects of caffeine are passed from the mother to the foetus/infant, its safety in pregnant and lactating women has long been debated. Caffeine has been linked to miscarriage, growth restriction and childhood leukemia, but largely in quantities exceeding 200mg per day. An intake of below 200mg is approved as safe by EFSA. However, to be cautious it is advisable to keep consumption as low as possible.

Specific health conditions

Those with pre-existing heart conditions or type 2 diabetes are advised to keep to an intake of below 200mg or follow their doctors’ instructions regarding intake.

There are some people that are ultra-sensitive to caffeine. In such a case it is difficult to establish a safe limit, but it is recommended to start intake at 50mg per day and increase or decrease from there.

BENEFITS OF COFFEE

Research on the benefits of Java is continuously emerging, some are mentioned below. The majority has shown health benefits from at least three 230ml cups of coffee per day, it may be even more beneficial to split this up into smaller amounts of about 80ml every hour. For those needing to limit their caffeine, decaf typically (with exception) offers the same benefits.

Liver protection

Coffee prevents liver cirrhosis and other liver diseases. The liver is an extremely important organ, responsible for many important functions in the body. Coffee plays a very important role in liver defence, which is particularly important if you drink alcohol. People that drink at least 4 cups per day have up to 80% less chance of developing liver cirrhosis.

A happier you

I’m sure you don’t need any article to tell you this, but coffee makes you happier! Coffee drinkers are 10 to 20% less likely to be depressed, they are also about half as likely to commit suicide. I would say a double expresso is a good reason to wake up in the morning!

Decreased cardiovascular risk

You may have heard that caffeine increases blood pressure and think that I am talking nonsense? However, this effect usually goes away if you drink coffee regularly (with exceptions). It also does not increase risk of heart disease and may prevent cardiac deaths.

Even better, coffee drinkers that drink between 1 and 3 cups per day have a significantly lower risk of having a stroke.

Effects are put down to antioxidants present in coffee which combat inflammation and a boost in nitric acid which dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Brain benefits

A moderate intake of coffee improves brain function and reduces risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Coffee helps to increase the amount of certain important neurotransmitters which improves, among other things, memory, mood and general cognitive function.

As previously mentioned, coffee is also rich in antioxidants, this, along with its effect on neurotransmitters is thought to be the reason that coffee drinkers that consume between 1 and 5 cups per day have a noticeably decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia and even a form of brain cancer.

Coffee or more specifically the caffeine in coffee also assists with prevention of Parkinson’s disease. It can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s by between 30 and 60%

Cancer prevention

Coffee does not only prevent brain cancer. Due to its antioxidant content it has proven to be helpful in the prevention of skin, liver and colorectal cancers too.

Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a huge health concern which affects about 347 million people worldwide. Interestingly studies have shown that coffee consumption decreases risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Risk is shown to decrease by about 7% with each cup of coffee drunk per day, I.e. The more coffee you drink the lower your risk of developing diabetes. Remember this is preventative in nature and is not the case for those with existing type 2 diabetes.

Improved sporting performance

By stimulating the nervous system caffeine helps to make free fatty acids available from fat cells. These free fatty acids are then available to the body as a source of energy to fuel your exercise.

Caffeine also causes an increase in the “fight or flight” hormone, adrenaline. Adrenaline increases heart-rate, breathing-rate and energy production, preparing the body for an intense workout.

Because of its physiological effects on the body, Caffeine has been shown to improve exercise performance by 11-12%.  It therefore makes sense to have a cup of strong coffee 30-45 minutes before a workout.

Conclusion

While there are guidelines around safe intake limits, good quality coffee provides us with many health benefits. Take note that although roasted coffee contains antioxidants (Chlorogenic acid), its raw unroasted format ‘Green Coffee beans’ provide a stronger antioxidant punch (as roasting will decrease the antioxidant content). So keep a look out for new developments in products containing Green coffee bean extract.

WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?

To combine the goodness of FUTURELIFE® and coffee try this amazing mocha protein smoothie

Directions:

1/2 cup coffee, already prepared
1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
1 handful of ice
50g (5 heaped tablespoons) of Chocolate flavour FUTURELIFE® High Protein Smart Food™

Preparation:
Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend together on full power until smooth. Serve and enjoy.

Serves 1 – meal
Serves 2 – snack

 

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182054
  2. http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/health_reasons_to_drink_coffee_and_cons_to_consider?page=2
  3. http://authoritynutrition.com/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee/
  4. http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2012/acs-presspac-march-14-2012/why-coffee-drinking-reduces-the-risk-of-type-2-diabetes.html
  5. http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=120795&CultureCode=en
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/coffee-health-benefits_n_4102133.html
  7. http://jech.bmj.com/content/65/3/230
  8. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/a-wake-up-call-on-coffee
  9. http://www.fastcompany.com/3034463/coffee-week/exactly-how-much-and-how-often-you-should-be-drinking-coffee
  10. http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-safe-limits
  11. https://www.google.co.za/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAYQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmostlyeating.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F09%2Fcaffeine-content-of-chocolate-cocoa-and.html&ei=3eMkVdSpMcHqUOu-gagO&bvm=bv.90237346,d.ZGU&psig=AFQjCNH7foZo98xnAEU7kQv2ZE259vKDeg&ust=1428567337246970
  12. http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-during-pregnancy
  13. http://www.webmd.com/diet/does-coffee-have-nutritional-value-you-bet

 

PROTEIN PULSING

BY: Danielle Roberts   

Maximum anabolism is ideal for muscle growth, strength and recovery, and the key is to keep the body tilted towards anabolism is to increase muscle protein synthesis.

Protein synthesis is a process where nitrogen from amino acids is arranged into structured proteins to create muscle growth. The more efficient this process, the more you build muscle. Protein synthesis requires two main criteria:

  1. Training- using the muscle
  2. Nutrition- a sudden increase in amino acids signals muscles to repair and grow.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Protein Pulse feeding is the use of fast proteins to spike amino acids in the bloodstream in order to increase muscle protein synthesis. The main way to do this is by ingesting anabolic dense meals often throughout the day. Basically anabolic density means more protein is taken up in less time. A good example of this is whey protein. Whey is broken down and absorbed quicker than casein in the same time, therefore it has a higher anabolic density.

 

The trick with protein pulsing is that you cannot eat a protein with a meal, as fat or carbohydrates, or even slow digesting proteins will delay digestion, and prevent a spike in amino acids. Ideally a protein pulse plan starts with having whey protein in the morning. Upon waking, we are usually in a catabolic state. To put the body into a more anabolic state, drinking a fast digesting protein, such as whey, is a good idea. Thereafter, taking in fast digesting proteins (whey, cottage cheese, egg whites) every 2-3 hours throughout the morning, helps ‘inject’ the muscles with amino acids. Once this has been done for about half a day, more balanced meals including protein, carbohydrates and fat can be consumed, making sure the protein content of the meal remains between 25g – 60g.

 

EXAMPLE:

6am:  25g protein from whey (in water)

8am:  50g protein from whey (in water)

10am: 3 egg whites scrambled

12pm: lunch meal e.g. 200g grilled chicken with baked sweet potato and salad

2pm: FUTURELIFE® High Protein SmartBar

5pm: 25-50g protein from whey (in water) post gym

7pm: dinner meal e.g. 200g grilled fish with brown rice & steamed vegetables

 

This protein pulse idea proposes that the body will be flooded with amino acids which will increase muscle protein synthesis. Another upside to this is more metabolically active muscle tissue, which means the body burns more calories, and thus more fat.

 

While research is still fairly new, protein pulsing then gives one the opportunity to try build lean muscle mass more quickly with fairly little effort in terms of preparing laborious meals. It is certainly worth a try for those looking to increase their lean muscle mass, but should ideally be carried out with consultation of a registered dietitian to ensure that nutritional requirements are met.

GUIDELINES FOR EATING BEFORE EARLY MORNING WORKOUTS WHERE TIMING IS AN ISSUE

BY: Angela Leach  

Maybe you’ve heard that it’s really important to eat before morning exercise? Perhaps you’ve tried it, but you had limited time and really regretted it during your workout because you just felt heavy, slightly nauseas and had tummy issues? Don’t fret, you are not alone, this is a common scenario and a major reason that many people do their workouts in a fasted state. Today I’m going to explain why it is so important to eat before you exercise in the morning and give you tips on WHAT to choose when time is not on your side.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH EXERCISING IF I HAVEN’T EATEN YET?

Food, particularly carbohydrates, is fuel for your body. We all know how far a car goes when it runs out of fuel… Not very far at all. While we fortunately have carbohydrate stores (in the form of glycogen) in our muscles, these stores are limited, even more so if you have not eaten for 10-12 hours since your dinner the night before. You can therefore imagine the effects that going to train fasted would have1,2 3:

  • Premature fatigue
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Decreased endurance capacity
  • Decreased speed
  • Gastrointestinal upsets
  • Negative effects on body composition

Simply put to get the most out of your training and to be able to go for longer it is a good idea to consume something before you train.

THE IN’S AND OUT’S OF TIMING

Your pre-exercise meal should be eaten in a period of 1-4 hours before training. Now, obviously if you are training at 5.30am, eating at 2am is really not an option for most recreational athletes. You may be willing to make some sacrifices before a competition or race, but certainly not a few times a week. Eating 1 hour before may be more realistic, but brings its own limitations; most people really can’t stomach much so soon before.

GUIDELINES ON WHAT TO CHOOSE WHEN TIME IS LIMITED

If you have a good few hours before start of your exercise options of carbohydrate rich breakfasts that will fuel you well are broad. However, when you have an hour or even less before exercise your options become quite limited. Nevertheless, you should ideally get something in, here are some tips that I’ve picked up over time:

Go low residue

Contrary to the types of carbohydrates one should generally try to include in their diet, in this meal you want to try steer away from high fibre foods. Low fibre foods are digested more quickly and will help to prevent gastrointestinal upsets and leave you feeling lighter during exercise4.

Portion with caution

You are most likely not going to be able to stomach a large serving of anything so soon before exercise. My feeling here is something is better than nothing, even if you can only tolerate a few mouthfuls of a carbohydrate rich food, it is more fuel than you would have had if you had foregone the meal.

Fat phobia

Like fibre, while (good) fats play an important role in our diets, they should be kept to a minimum before exercise. The reason for this is that fat slows down absorption of food and will leave you feeling heavy and uncomfortable. As a side note, if you include dairy remember to go low-fat or fat-free.

Drink your pre-exercise meal

This is a dual-purpose guideline. Firstly, this will help you to get in some fluids and assist with hydration levels. Secondly, many people find a liquid meal easier to stomach in the morning, it is also often more convenient to drink a meal on-the-go rather than sitting down to eat.

Personalise to your own tolerance

What works for one person may not work for the next, try different food options until you learn what works best for you. A small period of trial for a lifetime of brilliant morning workouts.

EXAMPLES FOOD OPTIONS THAT MAY WORK FOR YOU

Now that we know the rules, here are some examples of foods that fit the criteria. Remember to keep portions small.

I hope that this information will help you to go from strength to strength in your training and that you achieve all your goals in whatever sport makes you smile.

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Sports-Nutrition-(Adult)/Fuelling-up-before-exercise.aspx
  2. https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/fuelling-recovery/eating-drinking-sport/
  3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/548187-what-are-the-effects-of-not-eating-and-then-exercising/
  4. http://awordonnutrition.com/sepost/fibre-reduction-low-residue-diet/?type=article