Welcome back to Week 2 of the Community Fitness Initiative. We hope you enjoyed the first week in understanding and creating solid habits and a morning ritual! Week two we will utilize our new found habits and create some awareness around Nutrition and Hydration. We have the pleasure of introducing our own, Brittney Hegg. Brittney joined MASH as an athlete in high school over five years ago, participated in our internship program and is now one of our Personal Trainers and our Nutrition Specialist at MASH. Enjoy this week's initiative!
Nate Stemper, Head Coach - MASH Performance
Community Fitness Initiative: Week 2 Nutrition + Hydration
My name is Brittney Hegg and I am a Personal Trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist at Mash Performance. I graduated in May 2016 from the College of St. Benedict with a degree in Nutrition - concentration in Dietetics. I work with MASH as Director of Performance at Hill-Murray School, running their weight room throughout the school year. I also oversee the Nutrition Counseling program at MASH where I oversee and direct all athletes (and coaches) on their nutrition.
As a professional in the health and wellness world, it is my commitment to provide others with information and tools to live healthier lifestyles. Being active is definitely important for a healthier lifestyle, but feeding your body with the right fuel is equally, if not more, important. Knowing what foods to consume and the timing of consumption makes a huge difference in one’s energy level throughout the day as well as their workout. Another very important key to a healthier lifestyle is consuming enough fluids – specifically water.
Everyone has different goals when it comes to their diet. Some people want to gain, some people want to lose. One way to help track the food you are consuming and help you stay on track with your goals is with an app called MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is a very user-friendly app that allows you to view your macronutrient (Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat) intake and which meals the majority of your macro’s are being consumed.
It is my goal to create awareness on daily food and water intake. MyFitnessPal is an extremely effective way to do this. The Fitness Initiative activity this week is to use the MyFitnessPal app as a way to track their daily food and water intake. Specifically, when tracking your food, pay attention to your macronutrient intake. This will help you figure out where the majority of food you consume is coming from - mostly protein, fat, carbohydrate, or if you have a well-balanced diet.
Keep track of Macros and water intake. Try to stay in your macronutrient goal and meet daily recommendation for water.
I have included more information on how the body uses macros (Carbs, Fat, Proteins) and what happens with excess of each macronutrient
Carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules – hence the abbreviation CHO. When carbohydrates are broken down, they become glucose (sugar) that your body uses for energy. Glucose is your body’s main source of energy, and for this reason the majority of your calories should be coming from carbohydrates. As you consume and digest carbohydrates, your blood sugar level rises which activates the hormone insulin. One of insulin’s roles is to assist with the uptake of glucose into your muscle and liver. The glucose that is stored in your muscle and liver is called glycogen. Excess carbohydrates become glucose that your body cannot use or store and therefore that energy is stored in your body as fat.
Another source of fuel for your body is fat. The major form of fat stored in the body is as triglycerides (glycerol + 3 fatty acids). Through a process called lipolysis your body breaks triglycerides down to separate the glycerol and fatty acids. The fatty acids are then either A) broken down for energy, or B) made into glucose (energy) through a process called gluconeogenesis. Excess consumption of fat will result in excess stores of triglycerides (fat) that your body does not use as energy. As your body breaks down fat, the number of fat cells remains the same but each fat cell shrinks.
The final source of fuel for your body is protein; though this is not its main function and is the least efficient source of energy for your body (most efficient is carbohydrate with fat following). Protein is an important factor in muscle growth, tissue repair, enzyme and hormone production, and helps keep your immune system healthy. Proteins are composed of 20 different amino acids and they all contain Nitrogen. The uptake of these amino acids into your muscles is stimulated by insulin, so protein should always be consumed with a source of carbohydrate if your goal is to have protein absorption immediately post workout. In fact, the scientifically proven perfect post-workout ratio of CHO:PRO is 3:1 (3 grams of carbohydrate for every 1 gram of protein). Excess protein that is not used for energy is converted to fatty acids and stored as fat. Through a process called deamination, the Nitrogen from the protein is removed and converted to ammonia. This is then converted to urea in your liver and is excreted through your kidneys.
Good luck this week in building awareness on nutrition. Please feel free to reach out directly with any follow up questions on nutrition! I am here to assist in your health and wellness goals!!