Carb Loading

Carb Loading

When it comes to major athletic events, it is important for athletes and the weekend warriors to understand not only the importance of carbohydrate loading, but how to properly and safely carb load.

Carb loading has been scientifically proven to increase levels of muscle glycogen storage and is best used in athletic events that require increased levels of continuous energy expenditure.  Examples of individuals that would benefit from carb loading prior to a major event include distance runners, swimmers, bicyclists, tri-athletes, and cross-country skiers.  Also, athletes that perform continuous yet stop and go sport play, such as soccer, lacrosse, and tournament play tennis, can also reap the benefits of carb loading.

Carb loading should occur 3-7 days prior to the major athletic event (also important to taper exercise during this time period).  The amount of carbs that an individual should consume differs dependent upon the size of the athlete.  It is recommended that the individual should consume 6-8 Grams or 8-10 Grams per Kilogram of body weight dependpent upon the type of endurance event (kilograms can be found by dividing your body weight by 2.2), which should account for 70-80% of your caloric intake.  It is crucial for the individual to ensure they are receiving the daily dietary requirements for protein and fat, still.  It is also extremely important to not consume excess calories with carbohydrate loading.  The only shift in caloric intake should occur with the percentage of carbs taken in compared to the regular diet.

Example: 3 days prior to event – weight 160 pounds = 72 Kilograms (160/2.2) = 432 Grams of Carbohydrates throughout day (72 x 6).

Timing the carbohydrate loading stage also plays a major role in the individual’s performance.  The last large meal should occur 15 hours prior to the athletic event.  The individual in training should also have a small carbohydrate based breakfast 3-4 hours before the event.

Recommended Schedule: 7 Days Prior to Athletic Event 

Day 1: Depletion Exercise (optional)
Day 2: Mixed diet, moderate carbohydrate intake, tapering exercise
Day 3: Mixed diet, moderate carbohydrate intake, tapering exercise
Day 4: Mixed diet, moderate carbohydrate intake, tapering exercise
Day 5: High Carbohydrate Diet, tapering exercise
Day 6: High Carbohydrate Diet, Tapering Exercise or Rest
Day 7: High Carbohydrate Diet, Tapering Exercise or Rest
Day 8: Athletic Event/Competition

As always, feel free to consult our MidwestFit Team with any questions or concerns!

Benefits of the Chia Seed

by Travis Hall

Remember the Chia Pet? You know, those novelty molds of popular figures that, when watered, sprouted copious amounts of green hair virtually over night. Well today the essential component that made this passing cultural craze possible is enjoying its spot in the American limelight once again—but for much different reasons.

Chia seeds—the tiny, multi-colored by-products of a long-cultivated, South American plant—are being heralded as a miracle supplement by everyone from the average health-nut to global food corporations like Dole and Nature’s Path. Advocates of this modern-day magic bean claim that the benefits of the Chia seed include initiating weight loss, boosting heart health, providing energy and multiple other benefits in high demand among typical American health food consumers.

Here at MidwestFit we like to stay abreast of the latest health fads, but we’re also wary of being caught up in the sensational whirlwind that so often accompanies these passing trends. When it comes to the nutritional merits of the Chia seed we’re prepared to offer up our stamp of approval but only on a pragmatic and limited basis with these keys facts in mind.

1. The Chia seed is a legitimate source of essential fatty acids. In fact, we can safely say that, as far as natural plant sources go, the Chia seed is one of the most potent agents of omega 3 and omega 6 acids on the market. Because these critical nutrients are not produced naturally within the human, looking into supplements with high concentrations of EFA’s is a good move. Among other things they have been proven to support the immune system, promote heart health and stabilize the body’s nervous and reproductive systems.

2. The body of information supporting Chia seeds as an effective aid in proper digestions is sound and legitimate. With 28% more fiber that the popular flax seed, Chia provides up to 20% of one’s daily fiber requirement. The soluble and insoluble fibers found in Chia seeds ensure slow digestion while regulating keeping insulin level low.

3. There are a lot of buzzwords that stand out to the American consumer when he or she considers purchasing a supplement of any kind. One of those words is ENERGY. As a culture we have become borderline obsessed with this word, perpetually searching for the next great energy-boosting product to put in our bodies. And whether we find the means for our much desired energy boost in a bullet-like can full of sugary, ultra-caffeinated liquid or a small bottle we grabbed off the counter of our local Seven Eleven, we are consuming these products at an alarming rate. According to an article published in the Boston Globe back in November, energy drink sales in the U.S are projected to soar as high as $20 billion in 2013. It’s time we started to reshape the way we think about energy as well as the sources that we derive our energy from, and the Chia seed is a great place to start. It’s never going to provide you with the immediate surge and subsequent feelings of sluggishness that are characteristic of moderns energy drinks, but it does have properties that, if incorporated and sustained in your daily diet over a period of time, will leave you feeling healthier and ultimately more vital and energetic.

4. No concept sends supplements off the shelves faster than claims of weight loss. There are hundreds of products, from the man-made supplements like Hydroxycut to more natural options like green tea and white bean extract, that are marketed as weight gain suppressants or weight loss facilitators. For us, weight loss claims are one of the red flags we look for when determining whether a particular supplement is worth our time. Usually if weight loss products work at all they do so through unhealthy means, and those that don’t harm you in some way don’t really do anything to cause legitimate weight loss. The Chia seed falls into this latter camp. It can only benefit you on the health front, but it’s not going to function as the miraculous weight loss solution that many of those trying to sell the seed have claimed. That’s not to say it won’t contribute positively to a healthy diet and exercise regiment, but when it comes to weight loss and healthy body weight maintenance there is no substitution for discipline and hard work.

 

Travis Hall is an avid outdoorsman and is a freelance contributor to MidwestFit.com. His work is also featured on www.myapritcothill.com where he works full-time as a senior writer and assistant manager of editorial services. For more information about his freelance copywriting services or examples of his work visit travishallarticles.wordpress.com

New Year and New Goals

Earlier this year, we at MidwestFit contributed to HiveHealth Media with an article regarding rest and recovery. As a lot of our frequent viewers may know we stress the importance of rest a fair amount.  It’s about that time of the year again to focus on new goals to excel you to a new level and to learn how to properly train! We highly suggest checking out this article to increase your Health and Fitness knowledge! Here is the article: The Important of Rest and Recovery for Your Workouts

-The MidwestFit Team

NEW Abs/Core Premium Program!

We’ve got a brand new program out for you all here at MidwestFit!  Check out our new Abs/Core Program and the benefits you can get from it!  We guarantee you will not find an Abs/Core Finishers Program out there as good as ours for the cost of ours!  This has it all, Abs/Lower Back/Inner Thighs/Outer Thighs and Hips.

We guarantee it will help get you the results you want when you throw it on at the end of a workout!  Also look into adding these workouts on top of our STRENGTH Program to get lean, strong, and ripped.

Program Goals:

· Increase Core Strength and Endurance
· Endurance and Isometric Training to Burn Fat and Reveal Abs
· Burn Calories Quickly with Use of High Intensity Exercises to Elevate Heart Rate
· Bust Through Plateau’s with Introduction of New Abs/Core Exercises and Training Styles
· Prevent Injury in Lower Back/Hip Complexes
· Increase strength of the major muscle groups and minor muscle stabilizers included in the hip (abductors/adductor), lower back, oblique, and   abdominal complexes

Abs/Core Training for the WHOLE Core!

Pre-Workout Supplements: The Truth

One aspect of the health and fitness industry that presents itself with extremely diluted information is that of the Pre-Workout Supplement industry. Not only is a lot of the information indecipherable to the average eye (unless you are a biochemist) it can also be extremely unsafe if proper research and precautions are not taken prior to using some of these products.

Many of the major pre-workout supplements contain a complex combination of ingredients that are designed to increase one’s training performance in the gym. Many common ingredients include Creatine, Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, Tyrosine, Phenylalamine, Arginine, Guarana, and many other acid matricies/extracts. While some of these ingredients make sense from a theoretical physiological stand point, it is difficult to find an actual scientific proven link to which has a true effect on performance, as it is tough to pinpoint which mechanism in the blend increases performance.

Many who take workout supplements properly tend to see improved performance with their training (it doesn’t always last though and one should not stay on a product for an extended period of time).

Now, it’s always great to be able to increase one’s athletic performance in the gym, but the problem with many of these popular products (most with lavish names to draw attention: N.O.-Xplode, Juggernaut, C4 Extreme, Assault, MassXXX) is you have absolutely NO IDEA how much of each ingredient is in the product. This is where you will see the words PROPRIETARY BLEND followed by the amount of grams in the blend, and below it is a list of ingredients in the PROPRIETARY BLEND with no actual milligram or gram values listed next to the individual ingredients.

This can be very dangerous as each individual’s tolerance/hormonal responses differ with the amount/type of ingredients or blend. For example some of these products (not all) can contain up to 19.2 Grams of a “proprietary blend” of many of the ingredients listed above. So you are unsure if you are receiving 10 grams of creatine, 2 grams of creatine, or 12 grams of caffeine, and so on and so forth. This can make a crucial difference as to if you are receiving 200mg of caffeine and caffeine related substances or 2,000mg of caffeine. With products with that high of a proprietary blend, many things can occur within the body causing unnaturally high hormonal changes, heart palpitations, and in some cases with athletes, even heart attacks.

There is still hope though! There are many pre-workout supplements that seem to be effective and have the dosage of ingredients listed, or a small amount of proprietary blend, so you can be sure you are getting a safe amount of the necessary ingredients. One example is EAS Phos Force. It lists all the ingredients used and the amount of grams/milligrams listed in the product.

If you really want to be safe and know exactly what you are putting into your body if you cycle pre-workout supplements, you can always create your own! Here is an example of a stack you can blend on your own.

1. Creatine: Assists with force of muscular contraction. 5-10 Grams.

2. Beta-Alanine: Boosts production of Carnosine, which helps equalize muscular acidity (removal of lactic acid) via removal of excess hydrogen ions. 5-10 Grams.

3. Caffeine: Increase training drive, focus, and decreases fatigue. 200-400 Milligrams (DON’T FORGET TO STAY HYDRATED IF ADDING CAFFEINE TO DIET)

4. Tyrosine: Increases release of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine). 150 Milligrams.

5. Phenylalanine: Increase performance with resistance training and muscular output force. 150 Milligrams.

6. Arginine: Vasodilator that increase the amount of blood flow to the working muscles. 3-5 Grams.

Hopefully we’ve helped clear up (at least as well as we can for a complicated product/market) some common misconceptions and extreme safety issues related to pre-workout supplements.

As always, ask our MidwestFit team if you have any questions related to pre-workout supplements or other health and fitness related issues!

The Importance and Effectiveness of Workout Finishers

Here at MidwestFit we encourage the utilization of our Workout Finishers and Metabolism Boosters. These are simple, yet extremely effective workouts to add on at the very end of a workout to maximize the amount of calories burned, help promote muscular endurance, and to kick the body into overdrive so you are burning calories even after you are done working out. The beauty of these workouts is they only take 5-10 minutes to complete and can burn anywhere from 50-150 calories dependent upon the design of the Finisher. That many calories adds up towards the end of the day/week when looking at calories burned vs. calories taken in (Up to 700+ extra calories burned a week)! These can be especially amped up if you add in short burst, high intensity cardio!

We currently have a small sample of Metabolism Boosters, and also under our resources tabs, we have a series of muscle group specific Finishers. We encourage (aka do it!!!) all of our community members to pick either a Metabolism Booster or Finisher from our small archive to tack on at the end of their workouts for the rest of this week. We guarantee they are effective and will leave your muscles and cardio smoked by the time you complete a Finisher at the end of your workout.

Give them a shot at the end of your workouts this week and feel the burn!

- MidwestFit Team

Benefits of Coffee

Here at MidwestFit, some of us live by coffee. It is our morning fuel. It is what gets us up for the early workout or office cram session. Ahh that savory smell. But is coffee good for you? Well, a lot of recent information is starting to say that YES, it can be. When reading the following benefits try to remember that too much of a good thing can always be bad. Caffeine alone is extremely addictive and when we drink coffee it is almost always limited to 1 cup a day. Also, it is important to know that as a fitness athlete, you should always stay hydrated. This is especially true when drinking coffee as it can cause dehydration.

Ok, enough with that, here are the wonderful benefits:

1. It Could Lower Women’s Depression.

According to a Harvard study women who drink coffee have a lower risk of depression as opposed to women who do not drink coffee.

2. It Does The Brain Good.

A study in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that coffee has an ingredient that interacts with caffeine to boost levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), a growth factor that seems to be capable of fighting off Alzheimer’s in mice.

3. It Could Ward Off The Most Common Form of Cancer.

The American Association of Cancer Research has found that coffee could ward off basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of cancer on the planet. Women who drank coffee saw a 20% lower risk while men saw a 9% risk decrease.

4. It Contains Antioxidants

“Antioxidants, those healthy compounds most often associated with fruits and vegetables. While the amount of antioxidants per serving is indeed much higher in things like berries, beans, and pecans, these foods are consumed less frequently than coffee.” (Source: Cnn.com)

5. It Could Ward Off Prostate Cancer

“A Harvard School of Public Health study shows that men who drink six cups of coffee a day have a 60 percent decreased chance of developing a dangerous form of prostate cancer, as well as a 20 percent decreased chance of developing any other kinds of prostate cancer.” (Source: The Huffington Post)

6. It Could Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

“Drinking coffee lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 60 percent in a 2006 study that included people at high risk for the disease. Even former coffee drinkers were less likely to develop the disease than those who never drank it.” (Source: Divine Caroline)

7. It Could Benefit Your Workout

“Coffee before workouts has been shown to be an excellent option for drinking 30 to 60 minutes prior to hitting the gym. As we all know, the caffeine in coffee provides you with greater energy and focus. These same benefits can have a great positive effect on your workouts. You will feel a greater amount of energy, you will be more focused on your exercises and will find a little extra something to help you complete that last rep. ” (Source: Miss Fit Chick)

 

 

Motivation!

Here’s some fun little motivation for you all.  Right when I graduated school this past December, I got a job as a Personal Trainer at a fitness center called Miracles Fitness in West Lafayette, right by Purdue.  To make a long story short, the last 4-5 weeks I worked at Miracles I was able to train the owner’s wife, Jen.  She was by far the most fun client I have had yet in my young life. A challenging one at times, but that’s part of what made it so much fun!  Anyways since about the same time I began working at Miracles Fitness, she began her journey to make a complete life style change to becoming a healthy, fit, and happy individual (sounds like a good goal to me).  Well the past few weeks she has been in the process of developing and writing a blog to help give others in a similar situation some motivation to take the steps in the right direction to getting healthy, happy, and fit.

Her blog has recently gone up and can be found here, http://fit4miracles.com/ 

Be sure to check it out in your spare time to read an interesting story about the steps she has taken to change her life style!  Also you’ll get a few side notes along the way about what it’s like to have me as a one on one personal trainer, and I will have a guest blog post on it in the near future! If you check out the Top 10 things I don’t want to hear my trainer say section, you’ll come to the realization that I love oreos, something most clients don’t like to hear about during a training session ;)

Just wanted to give you all some fun motivation to check out on a nice Sunday afternoon.

Have a good one!

- Ben

Motivation!

Here’s some fun little motivation for you all.  Right when I graduated school this past December, I got a job as a Personal Trainer at a fitness center called Miracles Fitness in West Lafayette, right by Purdue.  To make a long story short, the last 4-5 weeks I worked at Miracles I was able to train the owner’s wife, Jen.  She was by far the most fun client I have had yet in my young life. A challenging one at times, but that’s part of what made it so much fun!  Anyways since about the same time I began working at Miracles Fitness, she began her journey to make a complete life style change to becoming a healthy, fit, and happy individual (sounds like a good goal to me).  Well the past few weeks she has been in the process of developing and writing a blog to help give others in a similar situation some motivation to take the steps in the right direction to getting healthy, happy, and fit.

Her blog has recently gone up and can be found here, http://fit4miracles.com/ 

Be sure to check it out in your spare time to read an interesting story about the steps she has taken to change her life style!  Also you’ll get a few side notes along the way about what it’s like to have me as a one on one personal trainer, and I will have a guest blog post on it in the near future! If you check out the Top 10 things I don’t want to hear my trainer say section, you’ll come to the realization that I love oreos, something most clients don’t like to hear about during a training session ;)

Just wanted to give you all some fun motivation to check out on a nice Sunday afternoon.

Have a good one!

- Ben

NUTRITION: How To Be Healthy At Work

Ahh yes, the good ole lunch break. Most of your office is probably heading to a nearby eatery to grab a quick bite and there is a very good chance that those eating out won’t be eating the healthiest food there is. Although lately a lot of big cities and downtown areas have started to see an increase in healthier lunch options (like Freshii…mmm), so that is a good thing. But even if we have a hearty, healthy meal for lunch at the office, does that mean we are being as healthy as we can be? I mean after all, most jobs require you to sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day and that is not very active, which means not a lot of calories are getting burnt at work. So how can we stay healthy at the office? Well we are going to throw you some tips below to make things a bit easier for you….Enjoy.

Plan. Planning your meals is one of the best ways to stay healthy. You won’t get caught at lunch trying to figure out what to eat and thus will be less likely to make a bad decision. So when you hit the grocery next, have a list of meals for the week and prepare them on Sunday or the day before you plan to consume them. A food schedule is also a great way to keep track of those calories. So please…plan, plan, plan!

Eat a big breakfast. Eating a big (healthy) breakfast will stage off hunger for long, and likely will keep you from over-eating throughout the entire day while you are at work. Try and get some good protein and whole grains in. Maybe you could have some eggs, whole wheat toast, and a tall glass of orange juice. If you are a cereal nut, take a look at some of the Fiber One options and Kashi.

Snack time is a good thing. Wait? I thought eating between meals was a bad thing? Umm no, it is quite the opposite folks. Eating healthy snacks between meals will help reduce your calorie intake when you do have a meal. It will also boost your metabolism (we will get into that more later).

Here are some healthy snacks:

-Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts)

-Fruit (regular or dried)

-Light Yogurt

-Protein Shake

-Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli)

-Fat Free-Sugar Free Pudding

-Fiber One Bar (or something similar, maybe a Clif Bar)

-Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop

And there are plenty more out there, just be smart…

Split your lunch in half. Eat lunch around 11:30 or 12, but only consume half. Then when 2:30-3:00 rolls around, consume the other half. That way, you aren’t gorging yourself and you will most likely not be “starving” for dinner. Thus, no food binge at night. Also, this means you will consume at least 4 meals in the day. You should try and consume 4-5. Doing this is much better for your metabolism than consuming 3 large meals a day. Seriously, look it up.

Take your time, it isn’t a race. There is a delay from the brain to the stomach. Therefore, if you eat fast, you will over eat. So eat slowly and take your time. Have a bite, then wait a minute before you have another. This will let you know when you are truly full and that way you can save some of your meal for later. Even better, this helps you save money!

Put down the soda! Quit drinking that diet coke all the time. Especially quit drinking that regular coke! Instead, grab yourself a diet green tea (100% all natural). Green tea is known to boost metabolism. Also, have a cup of joe. The caffeine in the coffee will get your heart pumping and burning cals and it is a better way to get caffeine than from a diet soda. Either way, always be sure to take in water throughout the day. But you already knew that.

Split up your workouts. Yes, this requires getting up early. But try doing your run or bike in the morning, and your strength exercise later in the day (or vice versa). Either way you split it up, doing 2 workouts a day will rev your metabolism and you will be blasting fat 24/7!

Okay, so hopefully that was pretty helpful.

Foods That Fight Fat and Boost Metabolism

We are always looking for ways to boost metabolism, whether it is through our intense runs or tough circuits. But one of the best ways to get your body burning fat, is combining good exercise with good nutrition. So, we wanted to share a quick article that shows a few things you can put into your body to help get the most out of it.

15 Fat-burning Foods

-The MidwestFit Team

Chocolate Milk – The Perfect Post Workout Beverage

We absolutely love chocolate milk here at MidwestFit, and for all those looking for an excuse to drink it, here you go!  In an exercise physiology class of mine we studied an experiment performed with the IU Cycling Club that covered all of the benefits for drinking chocolate milk between exercise bouts.  Give this similar article a read!  Chocolate milk has the perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and sodium (still drink your water of course) to use in between your exercise bouts to replenish your blood and muscle glucose levels, to repair your muscles, and to get you ready for your next workout!

Benefits of Chocolate Milk

Have a great weekend!

- MidwestFit Team

NUTRITION: Smoked Salmon Wrap

Here’s a great recipe for some smoked salmon.  It’s grilling season, so here’s one to grill with and keep healthy!

Salmon is a rich source of omega 3 as well as protein. Couple that with sprouted grain tortilla and fresh arugula and you’ve got yourself a healthy, balanced meal that’s ready in only 5 minutes.
Servings: 2

Here’s what you need:
1 Sprouted grain tortilla
1 Tablespoon low fat cream cheese
4 oz Smoked salmon
1/2 cup Arugula
Dash of salt and pepper
Spread the cream cheese evenly over one side of tortilla. Place the salmon in the center of the tortilla. Top with arugula. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Roll the tortilla and slice in half.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 175 calories, 6g fat, 12.5g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 16.5g protein.

WARNING: We are not responsible for anything you may be allergic to or any other health issues you may have with the food we suggest to eat. The responsibility is up to you to make sure what you put in your body is healthy and safe for you personally.

Benefits of Green Tea

We recently stumbled across an article listing some of the benefits of green tea.  It has many potential benefits that include boosting metabolism to help lose weight and burn fat, plus it is rich in antioxidants which are responsible for keeping our cells and body healthy.  Give it a read!

Benefits of Green Tea

- MidwestFit Team

Natural Health Drinks and Coconut Water

For anyone looking for new, healthy drinks, we suggest checking out this site.  This website has some different, very healthy drink selections for anyone to check out.  Each one brings its own dynamic on how it can benefit you greatly!  Runners should really look into the basic coconut water because it is rich with electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and chloride (more so than regular juices) that are highly beneficial to one’s hydration.

10 Reasons to Drink Coconut Water
ONE Drinks Main Website

Give the website a browse and learn something new today!