Understanding Our food and how it works.

  1. Understanding Our food and how it works.

    There are 3 energy sources from food that the body can utilize: carbohydrates,
    proteins, and fats. Each is processed slightly differently than the other
    and each has different functions in the body.

    Carbohydrates: These guys are the energy source that our body basically relies
    on and is most efficient at in using. As well the main two
    hormonal releases (insulin and growth hormone) that push amino's
    into the muscle for building and aid in fat breakdown. They are
    also coverted into muscle glycogen to fuel those cells.

    Note: Fibre is considered a carbo but your body cannot digest
    it unless you're of the bovine nature (ie a cow.)

    Proteins: These are the muscle building blocks. The body breaks them down into
    amino acid chains, and peptide chains. Both can be used as fuels for
    the body but only the former can be used to replenish and build
    muscle levels.

    Fats: I know many people cringe when I mention this energy source but it is
    neccessary for our bodies to function properly. Glycogen can be seen
    as our short term energy source and our fat stores are our long term
    energy source... which would you rather be using your fat stores or your
    muscle proteins? As well fat is easliy converted into the sterol rings
    which provide some of most basic body functions like cholesterol, bile,
    testosterone and estrogen amoung a few others. So fat is needed in our
    daily intake... we just have to watch it closer than the others.

    Note: In a very simplistic model a fat gram is a fat
    gram but different fats are actually used differently in our bodies.
    For instance medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are used exclusively for
    fuel and cannot be stored as fat cells in our body. (One of the reasons
    why doctors urge mothers to breast feed as breast milk is high in fat
    but this fat is in MCTs... but I digress... sorry about that. 8^) )

    2) Food in the stomach & digestive tract
    What actually goes on when food is digested is still not clearly understood
    even by the experts. It's kind of like a map with none of the street names
    marked on it... 8^). Here is what is known:

    View all your food in your stomach as one big chemical bath... your proteins,
    your carbs and fats all waiting to de digested. Your carbs (excluding fibre
    which isn't digested at all.) are extracted mainly in the stomach and
    small intestine. Proteins are mainly extracted in the small and large
    intestines. As well fats are also mainly extracted in the small and large
    intestines. (There are some exceptions to this but normally this holds true.)
    (BTW... this is why high protein diets give you more gas and bowel movements
    than a lower protein diet.)

    So what causes your stomach to 'dump' its contents into the intestines...
    simple it's the carbs you're ingesting, and the amount of fats and proteins
    in your food. This is commonly referred to as the glycemic index of food.
    A food with a high gyclemic index will be rapidly ingested into the system
    through the gut and thus the stomach contents will be quickly dumped into the
    intestines for further processing. A food with a low glycemic index takes
    longer to digest and thus dump.

    As a rule of thumb, adding proteins, fibre and fat into one's food is going
    to lower the glycemic index. What does this mean? Well since a lower glycemic
    food doesn't raise the blood sugar levels as much (if comparing equal calories)
    it won't trigger an insulin reponse as frequently and thus most of the blood
    sugar will be absorbed by the liver; a higher glycemic indexed food will be
    more likely to trigger an insulin response and thus push aminos and glucose
    into the muscles and adipose (ie fat) tissue. Both are important and both
    can be used to get results. I have a small gylcemic index available via
    email if anyone is interested in it.

    3) Insulin
    This is one of the main drivers of the human body. Basically, as the blood
    sugar gets high insulin clears the glucose out of the blood stream. This
    action pushes amino acids and glucose into the muscle (for fuel and glycogen
    building but not for muscle building!... insulin is anti-catabolic not
    anabolic. This is why insulin 'regulating' supplements will NOT add lean
    muscle mass. It isn't physiologically possible... from everything I've read
    IMHO.) Insulin puts about half of the possible amino types into muscles and
    restores glycogen (but only if the muscle has been exercised... otherwise
    it doesn't need fuel and glycogen). The remaining glycogen get's pumped into
    the fat cells... thus if you don't exercise you're going to get fat.
    As well insulin is an INHIBITOR of fatty acid breakdown... if you want to
    burn fat you don't want to have insulin in your system! Thus is you eat a
    chocolate cake and then work out none of your fat reserves will be depleted
    by the exercise you're doing.

    Injecting raw insulin (if you're not diabetic) is plain silly. Similarily
    with IGF-1 or any other insulin derivative. It will not help you gain
    muscle mass, it will not prevent muscle breakdown (in most cases. It's very
    selectively anti-catabolic.), and it will likely put you in the hospital for
    a diabetic coma. This sounds silly but there are pros and amateurs out there
    who do this....

    4) Growth Hormone (gH)
    This is one of the anabolic agents in the body. It is the main reason why
    muscle growth occurs and muscle is protected... bad news men... women have
    more gH than us. (And who said life is fair?) Thus less of their body
    protein is broken down in any activity that they do... they hold onto muscle
    better than men. (Of course we have more testosterone which is a big
    anabolic in our favour since it binds to muscle cells aiding in mass
    production. We just have to live with facial hair and baldness.)

    Growth hormone is excreted when there is a low blood sugar level and the amino
    arginine is in the blood stream. (But arginine is 99% in our blood stream
    anyways if we're on a proper diet.) So we want the low blood sugar to
    trigger this... ie we want insulin to clear the blood of glucose. Insulin and
    growth hormone work hand in hand. Growth hormone pushes all aminos into the
    muscle (and is the only one that can.). Once all 20 are in gH triggers actin
    and myosin (ie. muscle) rebuilding and growth (if neccessary.) Aminos are
    only held for about 3 hours in the blood stream... thus you want to trigger
    your amino peak in the blood stream when your insulin and growth hormone
    are there to do their jobs. (ie you want to time your proteins and carbs for
    best results.)

    gH also promotes fatty acid breakdown (fat burning) indirectly, and stops
    cortisol from acting (the chief catabolic hormone in the human body.)
    The body has the greatest ability to produce gH when you're sleeping.

  2. oooooooo Karma for you lil buddy....

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