Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Eat More Meat!

Most CrossFitters have seen the following pyramid:

While not quite at the level of significance of John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, the CrossFit pyramid outlines the foundations that ultimately lead to improved performance in sports. At the bottom you see nutrition. The general consensus is that 80% of any person's ultimate success in sporting activities will come from the fuel they put into their body. For those computer nerds out there, "garbage in, garbage out". Today I came across a very simple article discussing the impact of growth factors on your muscle development. The biggest focus of the article is on insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a naturally occurring factor produced by the body that results in the stimulation of cell growth (skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, cartilage, bone, skin...basically everything!) By providing the best possible fuel to your body, you can help set yourself up for the type of body transformation you've been looking for.

Here are some pearls of wisdom I gathered from the article:

  • Eat More Meat! Sure, animal protein is the best source of protein for our body to consume. This is what our caveman ancestors consumed, this is what our body is conditioned to utilize. Diets high in animal protein consumption have been shown to increase circulating IGF-1 levels. Your goal should be to consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight on a daily basis.
  • Keep Eating Fat! Fat not only helps to maintain higher levels of testosterone, but also helps to maintain higher levels of IGF-1. Some good sources of fat: beef, poultry, pork, salmon, walnuts, olive oil, and avocado.
  • If you must eat carbs, choose quinoa. I know, all you Paleo freaks are going to say "if it looks like a grain and acts like a grain, then its basically a grain!" But wait! Quinoa is actually a seed. So it has all essential amino acids, unlike grains, therefore it is an excellent alternative to boost your protein consumption if you must have your carbs on the side.
There are a ton of other useful tips provided. They range from dairy consumption, whey protein supplementation, and other supplements that are popular within the bodybuilding culture (ZMA anybody?) That being said, if you don't put the right fuel in your body, you're basically wasting your time at the gym

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