What is Nutrition?

Collage of foods and recipes in Fit for Golf-Set for Life

Our diet impacts everything we do, and this could never be truer in today’s world of processed, non-organic, and chemically altered foods. There seems to be more food allergies, gastrointestinal problems, and other health issues related to poor nutrition habits than ever before. In order to combat this, nutrition education is the best way to make sure your body is getting the protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals that it needs to be healthy. 

For example, carbohydrates are the master fuel for the body— but there are key differences between simple and complex carbohydrates, making some foods healthier and more optimized sources of carbs than others. Many food items that contain processed sugars can produce certain health risks, and Todd hopes to encourage you to avoid the wrong types of food and fill your plate with the right ones instead.  

Throughout the nutrition section of Fit for Golf-Set for Life, Todd explores how foods can affect performance in sports, what healthy foods you should eat before, during and after sports competitions, and how you can keep yourself properly hydrated throughout the day.  

 

Carbohydrates 

Because of the way carbs are demonized in every contemporary diet, fad, and cleanse in popular culture, you may think that carbs are the enemy and must be avoided as such. In reality, carbohydrates are powerhouse molecules with multifaceted benefits for nourishing the body. Don’t feel guilty about eating (in appropriate serving sizes!) breads, pasta, cereal, rice, quinoa, and polenta, as these foods are packed with starches (complex carbohydrates), the best source of energy for active, bodies. Carbs provide starch, protein, iron, (though less fully absorbed than the iron in animal foods), most of the B vitamins (which are needed for the enzymes that convert food to energy, as well as for a healthy nervous system), and vitamin K (needed for normal blood clotting and bone health). Cutting carbs out completely could be doing your body more harm than good, especially if you’re not supplementing your diet correctly.

Ribbon Pasta Photo by raw pixel on Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

Protein 

This is a highly important food for your diet. Proteins contain about 20 amino acids which are building blocks that we remake into our bodies’ own unique proteins and other compounds. Wondering why you’re not seeing results from all your hard work in the gym? Perhaps you need to put more work into the kitchen! Proteins are responsible for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and formulating bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, & blood. No protein means all these products become depleted, including the muscle tissue you worked so hard for.

 

Bowl of nuts, photo by Rachel Hisko on UnsplashPhoto by Rachel Hisko on Unsplash

 

Fats 

Fat is another nutritional component that has a bad reputation, and while it can be harmful in excess, the body still needs it to function properly. Fat not only provides you with the energy you’ll need for the golf course, but also helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin supplements are no help to your well-being if you are just excreting them, and fat-soluble vitamins actually need fat in order to do their job.  Avoid saturated fats and choose avocados, olive oil and nut butters.

Pear and peanut butter, photo by Christine SiracusaPhoto by Christine Siracusa on Unsplash

Vitamins 

Vitamins are organic substances required for the body’s metabolic processes to function the right way. We need only minute amounts of vitamins, but if we don’t get enough, we will develop vitamin deficiency. Thirteen vitamins are essential for human health, although there may be others still unidentified: Vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin, Folic acid and Vitamin C. Some of the most common symptoms of any vitamin deficiency are weakness and lethargy, which directly impede upon your performance in any athletic setting. Don’t let a deficiency hold you back from your best game.

Watermelon, oranges, pineapples, and peaches, photo by rawpixel
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Minerals 

Potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron are the most common minerals used in the body, and all of them are found in foods such as dairy, nuts, fruits, lentils, whole grains, and beans. As a result, individuals with balanced diets rarely have to worry about mineral deficiency. Similar to vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies leave you feeling fatigued but also weaken your immune & digestive system. There’s a reason why you probably drank so much milk as a child!

Banana, photo by Markus Spiske

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Water 

This nutritional component pretty much speaks for itself. Water is utilized in every internal bodily process that keeps our blood flowing and our organs active. Without enough water, the body simply cannot sustain itself. The more water you drink, the better your body looks and feels, inside and out. 

Glass of water, photo by rawpixel on UnsplashPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

Whether you’re just going for a jog or embarking on an arduous golf tournament, nourishing your stomach will never fail to boost your performance. Take care! 

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