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Besides your basic fat, protein and carbohydrates there is another grouping called micronutrients.

  • These are comprised of your vitamins and minerals. 

Micronutrients play a vital role in – energy productionhemoglobin (blood oxygen transporter) synthesis – bone healthimmune function –  and protects the body from oxidative cellular stress. 

They also ASSIST in growth and repair of muscle tissue during and after training.

Different micronutrients are required by the body when different metabolic pathways are utilized,

therefore when metabolic function improves with training, the need for more micronutrients to assist these cellular functions also increases.

When you have a car that performs at a higher level, it needs to be filled with better gas. Simple analogy. 

You can call the addition of good quality vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) to your diet,  the better gas for the car that is your body. 

Calcium, D, the B’s, iron, zinc and magnesium are major ones often found to be in a state of deficiency in many people, as well as C and E, beta carotene and selenium. 

Many individuals who are concerned with weight loss may have caloric deficient diet.

>This is dangerous because they will likely be consuming very little of the vital micronutrients they need<

These people also tend to still train at a fairly high level. This is a recipe for overtraining – which sends the body into a catabolic state and he central nervous system into heavy fatigue. 


In a previous post on supplements which covers some of these micronutrients -REMEMBER – supplements are not a replacement for a good diet. They need to be combined with quality foods. 

Let’s talk a bit about the B vitamins.

The reason being is because they directly influence energy production during exercise.

  • The B6 complex (thiamin, riboflavin and niacin) are the ones related directly to providing energy during exercise. These are crucial.
  • The B12 group ( pantothenic acid, biotin and folate) are the ones responsible for red blood cell production, protein synthesis, tissue repair and CNS maintenance. Also crucial. 

The antioxidants I spoke about earlier are important to training as well.

They protect cell membranes against oxidative damaga -and – Because oxygen consumption increases with exercise 10-15 fold, there is the potential for long term cellular damage to the cell membranes.

  • Good antioxidant consumption and absorption can come from a diet with good macronutrient intake
  • especially good fats as well as fruits, veggies and whole grains. (Stress the whole part) 

Lastly I’ll focus on two main minerals vital for performance of any kind.

Zinc and Magnesium.

Zinc is shown to greatly aid in growth and repair of muscle tissue and energy production. A diet low in animal protein can cause the person to potentially have low zinc levels.

> Zinc has been proven to be related to thyroid hormone levels, basal metabolic rate and protein usage. Which can negatively effect not only training and performance but overall health. 

Magnesium plays a variety of roles in cellular metabolism (glycolysis, fat, and protein metabolism) and regulates membrane stability and neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal functions.

> Magnesium also plays a huge role in smooth signals being sent from the motor centres of the brain to perform muscular contractions – helping modulate the timing and intensity that is desired. Deficiencies in magnesium can cause erratic muscle contractions and thus damage to the tissue. 



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Carbs and Fat for Training

As promised,

we will delve a little bit into how our body uses carbohydrates and fat as substrates (fuel) for training.

All athletes needs to provide their muscle with enough of these substrates to fuel their training.

Whether that’s an everyday individual wanting to become stronger – or an athlete with very specific needs and goals.


There has been research since around the early 90’s stating that you can observe specific carb intake based on a ‘per kilogram of body weight ratio'< very similar to how protein is consumed>


This method is deemed to be antiquated.

It is now understood that in order to meet the carbohydrate needs of an athlete with more accuracy, it is better to gauge:

  • the individuals total energy needs,
  • the specific training needs,
  • performance and recovery feedback from the athlete

Another major thing to consider is –

You must consider what type of carbs you are consuming.

It is best to select the most nutrient rich carbs such as fruits and colourful veggies.

> This may all sound like it is catered to an athlete that is training for a specific sport, but as mentioned before,

We are all athletes of sorts – so we should all try to maximize the benefits we get from nutrition.

Choosing carbohydrates that are of a mid to low on the GI Index are the best ones,

and when paired with good protein sources, act much more efficiently in the GI Tract.

Here is a list of foods on the GI Index



  • Good fats will help you at a cellular level – directly related to how well your mitochondria work.
  • Good fats will help with recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
  • As well as boost mood and energy levels.


Although consuming healthy fats is most definitely a positive thing for overall health, there is no direct evidence that dietary fats improving training performance.

  • Fats improve the peripheral systems that support performance – more than they improve performance directly.


That is all for now,

Until next time!


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