Fats or lipids, no matter if of excellent quality such as extra virgin olive oil or less valuable as certain seed oils, develop more calories than all other nutrients: 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories of one gram of carbohydrates or proteins.
But the problem is not only in calories, but there are also many other functions that fats can perform, depending on the different chemical structure:
in the good (carriers of fat-soluble vitamins, constituents of cells and other important organic structures);
in the bad (they favor the increase of body weight, but also the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries).
Therefore, although they are also the fats of the essential constituents of our diet, it is advisable not to eat too many, especially when it comes to animal fats.
Before a workout or a competition it is good to avoid too fatty foods such as creamy, fried cheeses, desserts with cream and cream.
There are several types of protein; if we look at their molecules we realize that they are formed by the union of smaller molecules called amino acids.
About twenty different amino acids are known and, depending on the number and order in which they are disposed of, there are different types of proteins.
Of the twenty amino acids, only eight are considered essential for our body which can only find them from food, both of animal and vegetable origin.
Protein is a valuable and irreplaceable material for the growth, maintenance, and renewal of all the cells of the body.
But when calories are scarce, for example in fasting, the body loses substances that it cannot build on its own and which it must supply itself from the outside with foods that contain all the amino acids, which are the smallest elements from which the protein.
The protein requirement is particularly high precision in the period of development, especially in young people engaged in sports.
Therefore foods that supply valuable amino acids (milk and all its derivatives, meats, fish, eggs, legumes associated with cereals) must not be missing and cannot be replaced with impunity with others that do not contain all the necessary amino acids.
However, given that proteins also contain nitrogen, you should not even overdo the portions of meat, eggs and cheeses because the excess of protein foods would not improve the power of the muscles but would force the kidneys to work overtime to remove the toxic nitrogen residues.
This could happen not so much with normal nutrition but when bad advisers, sometimes including the family doctor or sports doctor, suggest unnecessary or dangerous additions of protein supplements, including branched-chain amino acids.
Scholars agree that, for boys who regularly practice sports, the daily protein requirement should be around 1.2 – 1.5 grams of protein per kilo of weight, while sedentary adults are already sufficient 0.8 – 1 g / kg.
Therefore, when taking a supplement containing amino acids or proteins of any nature, be careful to reduce the introduction of other high-protein foods with food.
In the 14 main meals of a week, it is recommended to consume:
- meat: 3 – 5 times, alternating all kinds of meat, including bresaola and ham; sports amino acids
- fish: 2 – 3 times, preferably bluefish, or sliced fish, aquaculture or frozen fish, but also canned tuna;
- eggs: 2 times;
- cheeses: 2 – 3 times;
- legumes with cereals: 2 – 3 times: (pasta and bean soups, rice and peas, etc.)
The proteins necessary for a sedentary individual are equal to about 0.8-0.9 g / kg/day
In those who play sports, this need increases: branched-chain amino acids
- in certain training phases there is an increase in muscle mass;
- protein is also consumed during training;
- with the same body weight, the turn over is greater because the protein mass is greater (it also increases from 14% to 21%);
- the workout itself increases the turnover.
The daily need for protein in the athlete can even reach 2.5 g / kg/day. It is good, however, that the protein intake is distributed at various times of the day:
- in each meal, no more than 30-35 g of protein is assimilated
- if the protein supply is distributed during the day, the effects of training are greater
- The muscle becomes larger if individual fibers increase in volume (hypertrophy)
- Hypertrophy occurs if there is a synthesis of new proteins
- Training (against resistance) is the “training stimulus” for hypertrophy
- The synthesis of new proteins can take place only if the “raw material”, the amino acids, is available