By Chris Mason
For EliteFTS
This months installment we will discuss nutrition. Now, I know what you are thinking, but I said nutrition, not "diet". Being a powerlifter allows you more room for error in your nutritional plan than say, a bodybuilder, but getting the right amount of calories and nutrients is just as important. Just try to eat a balanced diet: that means VEGGIES and meat. In order to achieve this balance, I have come up with a system I call the "pie diet". NO, NO, NO! That does not mean we get to eat pie all day long. The word pie refers to a pie chart. The plan consists of a 40/30/30 mix. That’s 40% protein; 30% fat; and 30% carbs. Try to get your carbs in the form of leafy greens, beans, corn and natural starches, such as brown rice and yams (not french fries and wonder bread). Get your protein from leans cuts of red meat, lean pork, chicken (easy on the skin) and try to get in some fish at least 1x a week (twice would be better). For your fats, cook with olive oil, or use it as a salad dressing. I will use a non/low fat salad dressing, but add olive oil to it. If you must, use real butter, none of that margarine crap. Rule of thumb for a balanced meal: protein source, the size and thickness of your hand, veggies, the size of 2-3of your fists (depends on the type of veggie), 1 fist of rice or potato, and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil or flax seed (a 200 lb lifter gets 2spoons and a 300 lb lifter get 3 spoonfuls).
If you want to be a little more scientific about things, here is an easy way to figure caloric needs: take your bodyweight, double it, multiply by 10. The average Joe who does not train, would multiply by 1.7 and then times 10.
Example: Lifter: 220x2=440x10=4400 calories.
Joe: 220x1.7=374x10=3740
The preceding example is for a lifer comfortable with their current weight. To gain wt, add 250 cal per day, mostly of protein and fats. This should lead to a ½ lb increase in lean bodyweight per week. If in a hurry to gain weight, one could go to 500 cal per day, this would yield 1 lb per week, but you increase your chances of gaining fat along with that muscle. On the flip-side, if you are trying to go down in weight, take out 250-500 cal per day (depending on how long you have to lose the weight). Try to cut the calories by consuming less fat (take out more egg yolks and choose leaner cuts of meat), and starchy (rice, yams and potato) carbs. Now, I am not saying one cannot enjoy the pleasures of the "all you can eat buffets" every once and a while. Just start with a salad, eat as much clean protein as you can, and keep the fried crap to a minimum. I would like to touch on supplements for a moment. They can make or break a nutritional program. Due to rules and regulations in different organizations, I am only gonna recommend products, that I don’t think are banned, but check the rules and regs of your organization before trying any of the following. I know that some of you are on a fixed budget, so these are listed in order of importance. If you cannot afford all that I have listed just go as far down the list as you can afford.
Multivitamin: sorry folks, "one a day " aint gonna cut it, The best product on the market, hands down, is Multiplus, by AtLarge Nutrition(.com). Modern food processing methods, those same methods which give us so much, simultaneously take our health from us. They strip the foods we consume of the vital nutrients (vitamins and minerals) which afford us optimal health. They strip the foods of these health giving components and replace them with health robbing ones like hydrogenated fats and refined sugars. The end result of the consumption of these mass produced foods are today’s tremendous growth rates of diseases which are directly affected by dietary habits. Diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases are at all-time high levels. For the reasons above and others, it is virtually impossible for most people to obtain optimal levels of vitamins and minerals from their diet alone. Multi-Plus was designed to help bridge the gap between the poor nutritional value found in our food supply and the optimal levels of vitamins and minerals we should consume. Multi-Plus was designed as a “training support” product. It was designed to help you get the most out of your training with the inclusion of vitamins and minerals whose consumption are crucial to that goal. These same vitamins and minerals which are crucial for getting the most out of your training are equally crucial to maintaining optimal health. You just can’t have it both ways (for any length of time); you can’t consume an unhealthy diet devoid of vitamins and minerals and optimize your training.
Protein: Nitrean, by AtLarge Nutrition(.com). Nitrean's protein matrix provides the body with the right mix of proteins. Nitrean does not rely solely on one, or even two forms of protein to get the job done. Nitrean contains whey isolates, whey concentrate, whey hydrolysates, egg albumin, glutamine peptides, and isolated casein peptides. Each of these proteins is combined in specific ratios in order to give you the ultimate protein source. Whey is a proven, superior form of protein. It is the best absorbed of the proteins, and the most quickly absorbed. This makes whey great for a pre, or post-workout shake. Whey's quick acting properties also limit its effectiveness as a protein supplement. A hard training individual requires that protein is available for use at all times, not just for a short period after it is ingested. Casein is the solution. Casein is absorbed much more slowly than whey. This allows for an almost "time released" stream of amino acids. Thus, protein is made available to the body over a prolonged period. Casein's prolonged absorption makes it a very "anti-catabolic" protein, more so than whey. Egg protein has a biological value of 95%. Biological value is a comparison of how close a protein's structure is to that of human tissue. This makes egg protein highly usable by the human body. Egg protein has another unique property; it has an absorption rate between that of whey and casein. Combining whey, casein, and egg protein results in a superior delivery of amino acids to the body over a prolonged period.
Meal replacements: For when you don’t have time to eat right: Opticen, by AtLarge Nutrition(.com) Opticen is the ultimate meal replacement powder (MRP). MRPs Opticen contains a special protein matrix, the optimum protein matrix available. A MRP which relies heavily on only one type of protein, whey, for example, is limited in its effectiveness. This is due to the fact that different types of proteins are absorbed at different rates by the body. A whey only protein will be absorbed very quickly, too quickly. After a short period of time, the protein absorbed from a whey based shake will quickly have gone to waste. Your body will make use of what it can during the short window of effectiveness provided by whey, but the balance will then be excreted, used for energy, or stored as fat. Casein, another form of protein, provides a much more sustained release of amino acids. This form of protein, while not as quick acting as whey, will provide your body with needed protein for hours after consumption. A perfect scenario for a shake consumed before bed, or to make sure your body has plenty of available protein during the hours between meals. Opticen combines milk proteins, whey isolates, whey concentrate, isolated casein, isolated glutamine, and egg albumin, all which have unique properties that when combined in symphony (in specific ratios), create the ultimate protein matrix for all occasions.are nutritional supplements which provide you with all of the nutrients necessary to help maximize your body!
Creatine: Creatine monohydrate is the single most scientifically proven lean tissue and strength building supplement on the market. Unbiased studies have shown creatine monohydrate to increase both lean muscle mass and anaerobic strength. AtLarge's creatine monohydrate is made of the purest, finest quality, creatine available. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance which can be found most predominantly in meats. If we ate enough of the right foods, we could be certain to consume a sufficient amount of creatine to achieve an ergogenic effect. The phrase "if we ate enough of the right kinds" is the key. It would be difficult to obtain the amount of creatine needed from our diet on a daily basis. It would require the consumption of 3 pounds of beef, 3 pounds of salmon, or 3 pounds of tuna! That is a lot of meat! If you ate the beef, that is a lot of unhealthy fat as well. AtLarge's creatine monohydrate is a much simpler, healthier, cheaper method of obtaining the creatine you need.
Branch Chain Amino Acids: These are good to drink right before or while training, to keep the body in a anabolic state during and right after training. It can also can speed recovery time.
A typical day should look like this:
7am Breakfast (eggs, oatmeal, turkey bacon) and Multiplus
10am Snack; Protein shake
1pm lunch; salad with chicken, or steak
4pm snack; protein shake
5.30pm train; and B.C.A.A.
7pm snack; shake within 30 minutes of training
8.30-9pm dinner; steak or chicken, veggies, rice, olive oil….
Well folks that’s all for this months edition. I hope this helps. Trust me, I don’t eat perfectly, and I do not expect you to, but knowledge is Power. If you use ½ or even a ¼ of what you read here today, and you get stronger, then it was worth my time to write this down, and worth your time to read it.
Stay strong,