To reach our sports goals we must combine a few things, know our body, and what’s really important – be determined.
In armwrestling, not many people pay attention to diet. We often eat what we have at hand, stuff ourselves with sweets or start a day with a buttered scone. Many of us don’t realize that what we eat affects the effects of our work. Remember, diet cannot be a sad chore. It’s a way of life, a basic process, like sleep or teeth brushing.
You’ll probably ask, what to eat and what to avoid?
Let’s start with what’s important – number of calories and quantity of macronutrients and their balance. Our caloric demand is an individual matter, everyone should get to that themselves, to know what to eat to gain or lose weight.
WHAT DO WE THINK WHEN WE HEAR THE WORD “DIET”?
Usually the first thing that comes to mind is increased protein intake, and decreasing fats. “I’ll eat a lot of proteins, it’ll make me stronger”, “I cannot eat fat, it’ll make my stomach grow”. I heard those words before, and they mostly come from lack of knowledge, or believing what the colorful magazines tell you.
To put it simply, protein is one of macronutrients contained in a diet, combined of :
Today I’ll tell you about carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the main source of calories in a diet, usually about 40-70 % of ingested calories. They are the easiest available source of energy, much cheaper than proteins and fats. Choosing carbs wisely is not easy, as they are divided into complex and simple sugars. An ordinary person usually takes in mostly simple sugars, contained in fruits, candy, table sugar. In armwrestling, like in other sports, what counts is the quality of calories. Complex carbs are digested much slower than simple sugars, don’t cause blood sugar increases, and supply energy for longer periods of time. They often contain fiber, which serves to eliminate toxins and waste from our bodies. Try to contains some complex carbs in every meal. Below you can find a list of most common complex carbs:
- wheat products
- groats, cereals,
A specific and unique time to take in carbs is the time around trainings. Armwrestling trainings are usually long, the more experienced fighters sometimes train up to 2 hours, couple of times a week. Strength training causes large losses of glycogen (main carbohydrate involved in physical strain), so an easily – digestible source of glucose is a valuable asset to have on hand.
I recommend using simple sugars (like glucose) in doses of 0.4 – 0.8 g per kg of body mass, some 30 minutes before workout. This will cause the pancreas to produce insulin, the strongest anabolic hormone that transports glycogen to muscles.
The same happens right after a workout. The organism is almost depleted of glycogen, and needs instant replenishing. Using complex carbs right after training would be less effective, because of longer time of digestion, so the best thing to do would be to have a carb drink, with dosage similar or smaller than before training (up to 1 g of carbs per 1 kg body mass)
For information on the role of protein and fats in diet, read my next articles.