Sport Nutrition 101

Sport Fitness
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**I do not take credit for this artice. A good friend of mine wrote it, I'm just passing it on.

Diet is without question the most important part of our physique goals. It doesn’t matter how much you work your butt off, if your diet is poor - your results will be poor. Period.

The first thing to do in assessing your nutritional needs is to take into consideration your goals. If you have a large amount of weight to lose, just a few pounds, or are trying to gain muscle and weight - things are going to differ among these goals. But the general basics will be the same, and that is what we are going to cover here.

This thread is organized as follows:
Section One - Calories
Section Two - What are macros?
Section Three - Macro percentages
Section Four - Food timing
Section Five - Food choices


The first step is establish how many calories you need to maintain your weight while resting. This is called your BMR. The following equations can be used to figure out your BMR:

“English BMR Formula”

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

“Metric BMR Formula”

Women: BMR = 655 + ( 9.6 x weight in kilos ) + ( 1.8 x height in cm ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) - ( 6.8 x age in years )
This is just a general estimation, some may be above or below this, but this is a good place to start.

Multiply this number by your activity level factor:

1.0 - Sedentary (doing nothing all day)
1.2 - Very light activity (Working a desk job or on a computer and not performing any type of physical activity during your day.)
1.4 - Light activity (having a non-physical job (desk, computer, etc.) but performing some sort of physical activity during the day (e.g. above average walking) but no hard training.)
1.6 - Moderate activity (having a non-physical job, performing some sort of physical activity during the day, and including a daily workout session in your routine. This is where most of you are at.)
1.8 - High activity (either training plus a physical job or non-physical job and twice-a-day training sessions)
2.0 - Extreme activity (a very physical job and daily hard training.)

Now you have your daily maintenance calories.

Now that you know how many calories it takes to maintain your weight - how many should you eat to achieve your goals?

Well, the general rule of thumb is +/- 500. Plus 500 to gain, minus 500 to lose. However, it can be a better idea to go by percentages, +/- 20% of your maintenance. Remember, if you’re trying to bulk and eat too much - you will gain fat instead of muscle. If you’re trying to lose fat and eat too little, your body will hold on to the fat you have for dear life. Moderation, dear readers, moderation.

So now you know how many calories to eat. How to track them?

FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal is a good site for calorie tracking, especially if you custom enter foods. Use for calorie tracking only though, their exercise calorie estimations are horribly off. is a great and accurate site to find out how many calories are in your favorite foods.


The vitamins and minerals in your foods are called micronutrients. The protein, fats (lipids), and carbohydrates are known as macronutrients. These “macros” can be an important part of our diets.

The biggest thing is to remember calories in vs. calories out, but it is still true that not all calories are created equal.

- 4 cal per gram
Protein is primarily used in the body to build, maintain, and repair body tissues. No matter what your goal, you need a complete lean source of protein with EVERY meal and snack. Yes, even if you’re trying to lose fat. Not only is this healthy for you, but it will seriously help you feel full and more satisfied throughout the day.

As far as protein requirements, this is debated, but the general rule of thumb is 1g per pound of bodyweight as a minimum.

Animal proteins are the only natural complete proteins. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you still need your protein, and a bit of research should go into combining foods to make complete sources at each meal.

CARBOHYDRATES - 4 cal per gram
No, you don’t have to run in fear from carbohydrates. You need them wither your losing fat or gaining muscle. Studies have shown lowering your carbohydrates during a “diet” results in less muscle loss than lowering protien or fats, so when on a “cut” this is the choice macro to start with when lowering calories. That isn’t to say go nuts and run off and do Atkins, we still need them in our diets. REMEMBER: Extreme measures may initially get you extreme losses, but they are not possible to maintain. Again - balance.

Carbohydrates are our main form of energy, but it’s really important to pay attention to what kind of carbohydrates your bringing in. There are a lot of scary ones out there, so here’s some general guidelines:

Most of your carbohydrates should be coming from veggies and fruit. Also acceptable are slow digesting complex carbohydrates. The main reason for this is because carbohydrates have the ability to create your blood sugar to wildly fluxate, causing hunger, tiredness, and a slew of other poor body responses.

The further from it’s natural state - the more you need to avoid it. For example, true whole grain bread vs. white bread. Brown rice vs. white rice.

Another thing to keep in mind is to eat carbohydrates according to your activity level. Plan on sitting on your butt for a 4 day weekend? Stay away from the pasta, buddy. Going for a half marathon today? You best be looking into some long sustaining good complex carbohydrates, pal!

FATS - 9 cal per gram
Your body needs fat to function properly. Yes, read that again.

Besides being an energy source, fat is a nutrient used in the production of cell membranes, as well as in several hormone-like compounds called eicosanoids. These compounds help regulate blood pressure, heart rate, blood vessel constriction, blood clotting and the nervous system. In addition, dietary fat carries fat-soluble vitamins — vitamins A, D, E and K — from your food into your body. Fat also helps maintain healthy hair and skin, protects vital organs, keeps your body insulated, and provides a sense of fullness after meals.

Just like any other of the macros, too much fat leads to excess calories which leads to excess body fat. It is the calories, not the macro itself, that leads to this gain.

However, you have to be aware of types of fats and which kinds you want to bring into your body. There are 3 basic types of fats we’re going to touch on here - Saturated, Unsaturated (mono and poly), and Trans-fat.

The majority of your fat should be coming from un-saturated fats, both poly and mono, with the rest being supplied by saturated fats. Trans-fat should be completely avoided at all times.

As for ratios of types of fat, at a minimum half of your fat should be coming from un-saturated, but ideally it would look more like 33% saturated, 33% mono-unsaturated, 33% poly-unsaturated.


In general, we should be eating for balance. We need all three of the macro’s to reach our goals. YES, you need carbohydrates. YES you need fats! Don’t be afraid of these, the key is balance and moderation. There are times when low fat, carb cycling, etc… come into play, but over all balance really is superior.

A tip from the blog of personal trainer Leigh Peele (user Leigh P.) -
“Eat for Balance-Get at least 30% of every nutrient in a day (protein/carbs/fats). The other 10% is to do whatever you want with it.”

This isn’t always what you need, but I tell you what - it’s a good place to start. We’re all different and if you are watching your calories, getting in your protien, eating balanced - you WILL see progress. From this starting point you can adjust your macros to your own personal body chemistry, what you feel the best on, what your body likes to run on.


There are two basic approaches, the one that says get each of your macros in each meal, and then the one that says you should separate carbs and fats (leaving you with protein/carb meals in the morning, and protein/fat meals in the evening). Honestly, both work.

You need to eat 5 - 6 small meals, eating every 3 - 4 hours. This is one of the best things you can do for yourself in regards to adhering to your diet. If you’re in a deficit, it will help keep you from getting hungry. If you’re in a surplus, it will help you eat enough food.

Sound hard? Here are some tips to help

It’s okay, and even good for you to eat in the evening time as well as the day. The longer you starve yourself, the more likely your body is to hold on to fat and slow down your metabolism into survival mode.

The one time you need to have specific concerns about your macros are pre and post workout. By workout we mean weight training, not cardio.

If you are new to weight training, honestly you probably don’t need to worry about this too much. Just make sure you’re getting a good meal in within a reasonable time after your workout.

If you’re having a hard time gaining weight or totally busting your body down in the gym… you want a high glycemic carb such as dextrose at a 2:1 ratio to a quickly digesting protein such as whey. Avoid fat completely PWO. You need these nutrients to get to your muscles quickly to replenish glycogen stores and help aid in repairing/build your muscles.

Dextrose/Maltodextrin and Whey is my PWO drink of choice.


This is the hardest part for some people. Decided what is and what is not healthy. Hopefully through reading the rest of this thread you can discern between some healthy choices and some not-so-healthy choices, but to aide you in the process as well, here is LV’s Grocery List.

These aren’t by far the only things you can eat, but it’s a really good place to start.

Here is a small list of foods that are commonly believed to be healthy but are NOT HEALTHY:
Yogurt (unless specifically low-sugar)
Cereal (90% of cereal is horrible for you)
Health bars
Nutri-grain bars
Protein bars
Slim fast

Look out for “low-fat” items, the fat is often replaced with fluffer carbs. Learn to accurately read nutrition labels. If you can’t understand the ingredients - you probably don’t want to eat it.

Still confused? Need some more help? Feel free to ask a question throughout the forum, however, please be as SPECIFIC as possible. We get a lot of questions and the more vague you are the less answers and less quality information you will receive.
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