probably start reading this article in the belief that nothing new will surprise you, that you will read the hundredth time the same content, at most dressed in other words. The scope of issues related to nutrition in sport seems to be limited, the topic of increased protein supply has been rolled so many times in the press, on internet forums or in gym discussions that it is hard to believe that something more can be added, something important You could stay. In my opinion, however, some aspects systematically elude our perception.
If I publicly asked a general question which nutrient is the most important for the athlete, the vast majority of you would say protein. Probably also if I asked what diet is best for an athlete, I would hear the answer – a protein diet. And further, if I asked what is the basic source of it in the athlete’s diet, the answer would be meat, and more precisely chicken breast. And so in my everyday work, whether as part of browsing the forum I meet with monotonous, reproductive diets, porridge breakfast and eggs prepared according to the scheme, then 3 – 4 meals in the form of chicken breast with rice, after training WPC / gainer / carbo and at bedtime, cottage cheese poured with olive oil. Of vegetables, at most, broccoli, in the gusts of cucumber, of course pickled … Yummy. The issue of the general monotony of the diet called by many sports and health aspects of such a nutritional scheme is a topic for a separate article. Now I would like to stay with a slightly different aspect, which on the one hand is associated with a significant supply of protein products, on the other with a low consumption of vegetables. Egg whites, lean meat, lean curd, in the opinion of the majority of people are simply healthy foods. If something is healthy, in the opinion of many there is no need to limit the amount consumed, and even one could say that “the more the better. Error. The high supply of food proteins, especially with low fruit and vegetable consumption, may have its health consequences, even if not necessarily today or tomorrow, in a few years. Why? I encourage you to read further.
To maintain the proper course of life processes in the human body, it is necessary to maintain a proper acid-base balance in the body (the slightly alkaline environment is optimal). This is related to the activity of enzymes that catalyze the course of almost all chemical reactions at the cellular level. Each, even a slight deviation from the norm, impairs their operation and many reactions occur incorrectly. It just happened that the ingredients contained in the food and released in the process of digestion affect the level of the body’s pH, showing potential or alkaloid or acidifying.
The vast majority of foods consumed by modern man is acid-forming. Particularly worth mentioning here are meat, eggs, dairy products (with some exceptions), ie the main sources of protein, as well as most cereal products. Principally, vegetables and fruits primarily act (also those acidic in taste). Let us now consider what the average amateur sportsman’s diet looks like and catch our head. Vegetables are treated as worthless “fillers, often eaten only occasionally in the form of a salad for dinner, if there is still a place in the stomach, after a portion of rice, chicken and a tablespoon of oil. Meanwhile, disturbances of acid-base balance, not only affect our health or well-being, but also intensify the course of catabolic processes. Paradoxically, therefore, high-protein diets are often pro-catabolic instead of pro-anabolic ones. Of course, we have physiological mechanisms that, despite unfavorable conditions, allow the acid-base balance to be maintained, including even a blood buffer system that allows the transport of acidic and basic compounds through the cell membranes without pH changes. We also have the possibility of excretion of excess CO2 by the lungs and the ability to produce ammonia via renal tubule cells. These regulatory mechanisms have a certain efficiency (eg liver enzymes converting ammonia into urea, may under certain conditions not keep up with the needs of the system), and the compensation process itself is aggravating for the body, in the long-term, the acid balance of blood may move towards ” sour.
Consuming a lot of food proteins it is worth to ensure adequate supply of vegetables and fruits, because they are not worthless fillers that can be replaced with a multivitamin, only an inseparable element of a healthy, sporty diet. And the more you should eat them – the more protein we provide with food. When planning a menu in addition to tables with nutritional value, it is worth having handy tables based on the PRAL (Potentail Renal Acid Load) index. They can be found in the network – they are a convenient converter that allows to estimate the acid-base potential of our menu.
So a banana or a handful of raisins can be placed in a post-training meal instead of a common carbo, and chicken with rice for dinner – give in the form of a colorful salad. Thanks to this, meals will become healthier and their consumption will stop being boring. Monotony is one of the main sins of our sports kitchen. However, I will write about it another time.
You can read also: AMINO ACIDS – building blocks of muscles