How the Addition of Carbs Can Improve Your Active Lifestyle


How the Addition of Carbs Can Improve Your Active Lifestyle

Anyone who lives an active lifestyle knows how important physical activity is to maintaining that sense of well-being. However, you also know how much energy it takes to maintain that lifestyle – workout routines, athletic training, competitions, injury rehabilitation exercises, and even the non-stop pace of your everyday life can take a lot out of you. That’s why carbohydrates are so important.

When your body uses energy, it first turns to carbs. If you’re working hard at the gym or in physical therapy treatments, it is important to fuel up on carbohydrates in order to reach your goals. For more information on how a physiotherapist can help guide you in your carb intake, contact NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness in Winnipeg, MB today.

Why are carbs so important?

To understand the importance of carbohydrates, you must first understand what they are. Carbs are identified as organic molecules comprised of equal parts hydrogen, oxygen, and water. They can also be split into two separate categories: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are also known as simple sugars. Sugar is a fast-burning fuel that your body absorbs quickly. When you are in need of immediate energy in large quantities, your body will burn its simple sugars first. These carbohydrates will increase your body’s natural insulin levels until they are burned off.

Complex carbohydrates contain larger chains of sugars, but unlike simple carbs, they also contain fiber. Complex carbs burn much slower and steadier than simple carbohydrates, allowing insulin levels to increase less dramatically.

Both simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates can post different benefits depending upon the activity in which you are participating. For example, if a sprinter needs to burn a large amount of energy in less than a minute, simple carbs could help significantly. Conversely, endurance athletes who partake in steady, long-term activities will benefit more from the slow-burning complex carbohydrates. Whatever the case may be, carbohydrates can assist you in getting where you need to be for your physical goals.

Why cutting carbs isn’t ideal:

Any unwanted extra weight can undoubtedly hinder your active lifestyle. It not only slows you down and lowers your physical function, but it can also result in long-term effects to your weight-bearing muscles and joints.

Carbohydrates that go unused end up getting stored away as fat instead, which is why many people decide to cut out carbs when they are trying to stay fit. However, a physiotherapist will tell you that carbohydrates should be a plentiful part of your diet! Carbs are good for heart function, brain activity, and other physical processes. Additionally, cutting out carbohydrates from your diet will force your body to burn protein as a substitute fuel source. This can result in reduced muscle mass and an overall sluggish feeling.

Carbs can enhance PT treatments!

If you’re in a physiotherapy program for restoring injured tissues, boosting your muscle strength, or improving your range of motion, carbohydrates can help! If your physiotherapist prescribed active exercises, such as walking/running on a treadmill, swimming, or cycling, your body will need enough glycogen (blood sugar) to remain energetic and stay on track.

Because of this, your physiotherapist can advise you on how you should prep with meals before your physiotherapy sessions; for example, consuming 1 gram of carbs per kilogram of your body weight for each hour of activity. Your physiotherapist may also suggest adding additional carbs to your post-workout meal (in addition to muscle-building protein) because your body will still be burning fuel after your workout is complete.

Carbs can help you achieve the most out of your high-energy tasks or physiotherapy sessions. To learn more about how participating in proper dietary practices can help you achieve optimum results, contact NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness today and schedule an appointment!


The Pros and Cons of Meal Prepping: Will it Work for You?

If you want to achieve the best health and wellness results, you’ll need more than just a workout routine and/or physiotherapy treatments. A strong body must be fueled by a healthy diet, or else you diminish your ability to perform at your optimum physical levels.

Admittedly, this can be a difficult task to achieve. Juggling a healthy diet on top of school, work, hobbies, personal training, physiotherapy, or whatever else your daily life looks like, can certainly prove to be challenging. That’s where meal prepping comes in. By planning out your meals at the beginning of the week, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in your busy life.

Many professional athletes and physiotherapists recommend meal prepping for staying on top of your nutrition – and making it more difficult to have “cheat” days! However, meal prepping isn’t always for everyone – below we’ll discuss both the pros and cons of meal prepping:

How do I know if meal prepping is for me?

The visual image of meal prepping usually includes plastic tupperware containers lined up in neat rows, containing a portion of veggies, carbs, and protein – this is what our physiotherapists consider to be a healthy and balanced meal option throughout the day.

Most people who partake in meal prepping prepare their meals on Sunday, just before the work or school week begins. This ensures that they will not have to spend precious time planning meals throughout the week. It is important to make sure that you allow yourself 3-4 hours to shop, cook, and pack up your meals, in order to make sure you have enough time to get everything together. Our physiotherapists also recommend preparing a meal plan for the month if you have the time and energy to do so, in order to avoid repeating meals every week and staying organized in your prepping.

6 reasons to love meal prepping:

  1. Most of your meals will be prepared at the beginning of the week! This will allow you with ample time to catch up on exercise, physiotherapy, personal hobbies, or even just relaxing!
  2. You’ll know that each of your meals will be healthy, nutritious, and easy – putting a whole new twist on the term “fast food!”
  3. You won’t have to waste time figuring out what you want to have for lunch and/or dinner. This may also decrease the need for mindless snacking as you decide what you want your meal to be!
  4. Doing all your cooking on one day can be more cost-effective than cooking 10 or more meals each week. You may even get more discounts for buying in bulk!
  5. You’ll probably only have to hit the grocery store once or twice a week at most. This leaves plenty of time for other activities, such as spending time with friends, hitting the gym, or other social engagements.
  6. It’s much easier to meet your nutrition goals when you prepare ahead of time. Consulting with a physiotherapist can also help you determine exactly what portions of each food group you should have, in order to achieve the best physical results.

6 reasons to hate meal prepping:

  1. A good portion of your weekend will be dedicated to shopping and cooking.
  2. You may become tired of the same dishes if you don’t change them up.
  3. If you decide you don’t want something that you’ve already prepped, you’ll have to take more time out of your day to cook.
  4. Sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice creativity (and, at times, overall tastiness) in the kitchen in order to meet your nutritional needs.
  5. If you don’t have a lot of experience cooking, it can be difficult to create meals that are both balanced and fun to eat.
  6. Meal prepping takes a lot of time, patience, and organization! It may take a bit before you notice a difference in saving time and avoiding unnecessary food waste.

Create a happy, healthy, and active lifestyle:

Whether you decide to meal prep or not, a balanced diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. When you eat healthy meals alongside working our regularly and coming in for physiotherapy sessions when needed, you can ensure that your body is operating at peak performance.

If you are looking to increase your physical performance by maintaining a nutritious diet, contact NRG Athlete Therapy Fitness today. Our dedicated physiotherapists will help you create a nutrition plan for fueling your body and staying in top shape.

How a Nutritious Diet Can Improve Your Physical Performance

Nutrition strongly affects your physical performance, whether you’re a dedicated athlete, weekend warrior, or just trying to get out and exercise more. Your body does a lot throughout the day, and the food you supply it with helps it to function properly, whether you’re hitting the gym or simply performing your daily tasks. The more demanding you are on your body, the more attention you’ll have to take on what you are feeling it with. If you are looking to improve your physical performance, a nutritious diet is a great first step.

What does a nutritious diet consist of?

Think of your body as if it were a motor vehicle – gas is the primary life source for a car, and it won’t be able to function without it. However, cars also need the necessary oils, fuels, electricity, etc., in order to run the way they’re supposed to. Much like your car, your body needs a consistent mix of proper nutrients in order to function at its peak performance. There are two primary categories for nutrients: micronutrients and macronutrients.

  • Micronutrients: Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. Some micronutrients –  such as a sodium/potassium pairing or calcium/magnesium pairing – help with regulating the actions of each other. Other micronutrients are only beneficial to your body in trace amounts, such as chromium, copper, and selenium. Most athletes will flock straight to B-complex vitamins as they help to increase energy; however, it is important to also fuel yourself with a healthy mix of A, C, E, and K vitamins in order to keep your body functioning the way you want it to.
  • Macronutrients: Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, and water. The first three of those macronutrients assist your body in creating energy.  Carbs are used first, since they are the ones that burn the quickest, and are therefore helpful for short-burst activities or endurance training. Your body uses proteins second. Proteins contain 20 essential amino acids, referred to as the “building blocks of muscle.” They help in strengthening your most important muscle – your heart. Finally, fats are used last. Your body stores them as a reserve fuel supply. However, they also serve a lot of important duties in the body, such as managing inflammation, producing hormones, lubricating joints, and promoting strong brain health.

How physiotherapy can help with your nutrition intake:

If your nutrients aren’t properly balanced, your physical function can be impaired. For example, neglecting to eat carbs before an endurance event will cause your body to burn fat as a substitute for fueling your energy. Your body may even start burning protein, which can deprive your muscles of the strength they normally have. Comparatively, if you have an overload of calcium intakes, but you’re lacking Vitamin D, the calcium won’t make its way to your bones or tissues. Consulting with a physiotherapist can help you understand how much you should be ingesting of each nutrient, and when more or fewer intakes of a certain nutrient may be beneficial.

A healthy balance of nutrients can help enhance healing, function, and overall comfort. For example, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C both help in reducing inflammation, which promotes faster healing. Certain amino acids can also aid your body in synthesizing proteins. Eating the right amount of carbohydrates at the right times can help give you the energy you need to improve your physical performance.

Our trained physiotherapists can help assist you in how to properly fuel your body with the nutritious diet you need to train for an event or compete in a physical obstacle. Call us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your holistic plan toward peak physical performance!