BMI and Body Fat – They’re the same thing, or are they?
We need fat in order to live. It serves many vital functions, providing energy for the body and helping with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. However some fats are better for the body than others…
Runners can store about 2,500kcal in the form of glycogen (i.e. carb) and that will fuel them for about 2 hours of exercise. Even the leanest athlete carries a reserve of about 50,000kcal as fat, however, so perhaps fat adaptation could be a very useful strategy for endurance events.
A balanced diet is not just about calories; the source of those calories will influence the overall quality of your diet and the true nutritional value.
Ideally we should be aiming for 50% of our calories being provided by carbohydrates, 35% by fats and 15% by protein. That really isn’t very helpful, when we can’t visualise those calories to start with but there’s a useful Public Health England graphic known as the eatwell plate …
What’s the best source of energy for runners – carbs or fat?
As with so many apparently simple questions, the answer is: well, it depends…
Energy bars are convenient, portable sources of – energy, of course! Whilst it’s almost equally straightforward to carry a few nuts or seeds and some dried fruit, the handful of rolled oats won’t go down very easily unless they are bound together with some kind of syrup.
How do sports bars compare with supermarket offerings?
If you pay attention to the popular press and to some of the government’s healthy eating messages you may be thinking that fats are universally bad for us. Does fat have any real value to us? It’s OK to eat ‘good fats’ isn’t it?
I’m often asked what makes a good breakfast. As with any meal, it should comprise balanced amounts of carbohydrate, fruit / vegetables, protein and fat. There are many options available to fulfil those criteria however one of the simplest, and most nutritious, is porridge.
Porridge, and oat-based muesli, contains something called oat beta-glucan which is a soluble form of fibre.
Not to be confused with ‘train high, compete low’ (which refers to altitude), training with low carbohydrate levels and competing with high levels has been referred to recently as a new strategy. The landmark studies that initiated this strategy are relatively recent and the first of these investigations is known as the ‘one legged cycling’ study….
Great recovery food to follow exercise (carbs, fat and protein), but not so good for the dieters! (183 kcal per serving)
Prep time 10mins; cook 15mins; 20 servings.
- 175g buttery-taste low-fat spread (or butter)
- 150g demerara sugar
- 3 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 225g carrots, washed and coarsely grated
- 350g porridge oats
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / Gas 6.
In a large pan, melt the spread, sugar, syrup and treacle together, stirring until melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat and stir in the carrots, oats and seeds until thoroughly mixed.
Tip into a 30x20cm (12x8in) tin, press down well and bake in the centre of the oven for 15mins.
When lightly golden around the edges, remove from the oven. While hot mark out 20 squares, then leave to cool. When cold, remove from the tin and separate properly.
Store in an airtight container. Suitable for freezing.