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Sodium…the hidden enemy!

By Coach Miles

Are you over-consuming salt? Did you know that 90% of Americans eat more salt than the recommended 2,300 mg per day? That is the equivalent to about one teaspoon per day. In fact, the average American consumes an average of 3,400 mg per day, a full 1,100 mg more than the U.S Dietary Guidelines recommend. 

Don’t get me wrong, salt makes food taste great, and a small amount is important in a healthy diet. But in excess, salt is linked to high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Here are 5 things you can do to reduce your daily consumption:

  1. Read the Label – Most of the salt we eat comes from processed foods and restaurants. If you eat something that comes out of a bag, box, or can, read the nutrition information for sodium content. Chain restaurants are now required to provide the nutritional information about their menu items.
  2. Pay Attention to Serving Size – Serving sizes can be deceiving, and very small! For example, a can of soup often contains two servings. If each serving has 650 mg of sodium and you eat the whole can, you’d have consumed more than half of your daily sodium in one meal!
  3. Know Where Salt Lurks – Sodium goes by many different names. Read an ingredients list, and you may see it called salt, sea salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sodium alginate, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide, and sodium phosphate. Salt usually hides within other ingredients as well like yeast extract, natural flavor, malt extract, malt flavoring, natural beef or chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices and anything called “extract,” especially in savory foods. MSG is an ingredient in many additives including hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, sodium caseinate, and calcium caseinate.
  4. Choose “Low-Sodium” Foods – Look for the words “unsalted” or “low-sodium” on labels. These mean that the product has no salt or very little added salt. Avoid packaging that says “reduced-sodium.” That label only says that there is 25% less sodium than the original version, which is usually still too much. Just because something is low in salt doesn’t mean the product is good for you. Manufacturers often make up for the loss of flavor by adding sugar, fat, or additives.
  5. Salt is Not Just an Ingredient in Junk Food! – Even pantry staples can be high in sodium. Check the sodium content of jarred pasta sauces, lunch meats, cheese, condiments, canned beans and vegetables, broths and soups.

We have all been using MyFitnessPal to track our nutrient and macro intake. Sodium is one of those tracked nutrients. Take a look at your sodium intake over the past several days. Were you over your daily limit? If so, take some of these tips I’ve listed above to help you reduce your sodium levels. 

The Scoop on Gluten

By Coach Miles

Everywhere you go, and everywhere you look someone is talking about GLUTEN. It has become a favorite nutrition topic as of late. Your family, friends, and co-workers are talking about it. You’ve seen it on restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. Flip open a page of your favorite magazine, and you’ll find a story about a celebrity going GLUTEN-FREE.

So, what’s going on here? Are all these people ditching gluten because its trendy? Or is there more to this new trend?

Let’s start by discussing what gluten exactly is. Gluten is a protein composite found in grains. Wheat is the most well-known gluten source, but you can also find it in rye, barley, spell, and all kinds of other grains too. Gluten is made up of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is the one that gives people problems after they eat it. When you mix flour made from gluten-grains you get a sticky mixture. This is what helps the dough stretch and allows it to rise when you bake it.

 

Now, that doesn’t sound so terrible, so why is gluten getting so much attention?

Did you know that a scientific review published in the New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 diseases that can be caused by eating gluten? It’s true. There’s an incredible range of conditions; ranging from fatigue and canker sores to osteoporosis and inflammatory bowel disease. All of these conditions are associated with eating this seemingly innocent protein. Gluten causes trouble by making the body inflamed, resulting in effects all throughout the body. This means gluten can affect your brain just as well as it can affect your joints or digestive tract.

Most people struggling with inflammation-related conditions focus on treating them at the surface level. They take medications to minimize the symptoms of the condition, but they have to keep taking these medications because they never get to the root of the problem.

If you’re struggling with a chronic health issue, or even if you feel okay, eliminating gluten can have an incredible impact on your health. The Greek physician Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine.” And more and more scientific research is proving he was right. It might be time to change your “prescription.”

All you need to do to help your body is to look at your food you’re consuming. Labels are there for a reason. If it is gluten free, it will say so.

Its Prepping Time!

By Coach Miles

Picture this, it’s Sunday evening, and you have no plans, what can you do with your free time? Game of Thrones is over, and Walking Dead hasn’t started yet. So, what could you do? Oh, I got it! You can meal prep for the upcoming week. If you’ve never meal prepped before then, you’re in luck s today is the day where you’ll receive a crash course on meal prepping and its advantages.

Meal prepping is quite simple. All you do is prepare your meals 3-7 days out in advance. You can either cook them, package them, freeze them or do whatever you want to do to make your life easier when it comes time to eat a meal. Spending those 10-15 minutes each day before each meal trying to figure out your calories, or macros and what foods you can and can’t eat can stack up to a lot of wasted time and energy.

Here are some benefits of meal prepping:

  1. Saves Time – You can save time by creating, cooking, or even packaging your foods for the upcoming week all at once. Or you can just do it every single time over and over again multiple times a day for every day and waste your time.
  2. Saves Money – By buying in bulk and either planning or selecting a particular type of food to consume during the week can save you a lot of money. You could easily buy a six pack of chicken breast that you can put on the grill and have one for each day. Or you can spend more money by buying six different types of meat. To avoid any boredom of the chicken, you can just place different seasoning and serve it with mixed vegetables or sides for each day. 
  3. Helps Avoid Cravings – It’s in the middle of the afternoon, and you are hungry. But, you woke up late and didn’t have time to make your lunch. Now you’re staring at the McDonald’s across the street salivating. You could have avoided this scenario if you simply meal prepped earlier in the week. If you did meal prep, you would be enjoying a healthy and delicious meal instead of hating your self after that Big Mac.
  4. Helps you stay on Track – Meal prepping will allow you the time to sit down and figure out all of your macros and calories all at once for each meal. Once you’ve cooked and packaged everything you know have that sense of comfort knowing when you wake up the next morning you have your pre planned meals awaiting you. And even better those meals all contain the right amount of macros and calories for you to achieve your weight loss. 

Meal Prepping has been practiced and is still being practiced by most if not all serious athletes, bodybuilders, CrossFiters, and gym goers alike. It’s about time you jumped aboard and saved some money and made your life much easier. 

To Supplement or Not to Supplement…That is the Question

By Coach Miles

Don’t you wish there was a magic pill or potion that could fix all your nutritional problems? A wave of a wand and all of a sudden your ripped! Unfortunately, this is not a fairy tale, and there is no such thing as a quick fix.

Time and consistency are your tools to achieving that amazing body you’ve always wanted. No great athlete got to where he or she is at today by taking a “get shredded” pill from GNC, an online retailer, or your local vitamin shop. Taking those pills or drinks will not and can not give you the results you want. Those are not supplements but rather placebos.

A supplement is something that you take in addition to your daily and regular diet and fitness program, not instead of it. Supplements should be your last thought when it comes to creating and attacking a new fitness or diet program. I’m not saying that they don’t help because they can. But their contribution is so small that you need to primarily focus on your daily consumption of your calories and macros.

As your Coach, it is my job to guide you through the murky waters of supplementation. It can be very overwhelming, and you can spend years and hundreds of dollars on something that does nothing for you. Below, I have listed several supplements that have been tested and proven to do something for you and help with your fitness and dieting goals.

    1. Multi Vitamin – This is so important as most Americans are not receiving all of their vitamins and minerals through their diet. Supplementing with a multi vitamin will help round out your daily intake.
    2. Protein Powder – You need to be careful on the type and brand of protein you’re consuming and what your goals are. A protein with the high amount of carbs and calories is for mass gaining or gaining weight. Ones with little to no carbs or fat but high protein are for weight loss and or someone interested in leaning out and getting ripped. As a rule of thumb if the label on your protein makes a bunch of promises then it probably isn’t legit. Read the fine print! (link)
    3. Fish Oil – Fish oil is an excellent way to receive your omega 3’s and fats. This fact is particularly the case if you do not eat a lot of fish or seafood. If you do, then you may not need this supplement. (link)
    4. Creatine – Creatine has been around for years and has been proven in countless studies to help increase muscle mass and size. Be aware though that what it is doing is swelling the muscle with water. There is nothing wrong with this as it provides hydration to your muscles. Just make sure that if you take creatine that you drink plenty of water and use only creatine monohydrate.
    5. BCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are essential building blocks that help bind the protein to you to create your muscles. BCAAs are essentially the building blocks for your body. You typically receive them through your meats and eggs and other protein sources like beans. But it has been shown that consumption of a BCAA drink during a workout will help with performance and keep you in that pumped state a but linger for your workout.

Outside of those five supplements, nothing else will make a difference. I did not include pre-workout as you may have noticed. Although most people consume a pre-workout drink, including me, it is no better than a cup of coffee.

Today is My 1 Year Anniversary CrossFit. Here’s what I learned…

By Coach Brett

Today marks one year since starting my journey at Naples Strength & Conditioning. 

Here are my 3 Biggest Takeaways thus far….

1️⃣Increased Training Intensity💪🏻

Before getting here, I spent years working out in the Corporate “Globo Gym” Setting. Nice cool AC, Mirrors to gaze into, and a mellow, calm environment. One year ago I stopped exercising and started Training. Started putting time domains on each workout assuring no time was wasted, throwing down weights on completions of hard work sets or even missed reps, and the introduction to training outside in this Florida heat. 

2️⃣ Increased Functionality through Training

I got into the fitness game like the majority of us did, to look better. However, it wasn’t until I started here until I viewed the bigger picture. Alongside looking good, I now added the drive to get stronger, more flexible, improve my conditioning and cardio vascular health. All of this means living a better life and still looking good 😉.

3️⃣ Variation on Training Methods

The constant variety here keeps me on my toes and tests my mental toughness. From having to learn something new on the fly to forced into doing some dreaded accessory GPP work (General Physical Preparedness) such as Farmers Carries or Prowler Pushes. From Max out Squats to Mile time Trials, the variation all together drives my athletic capabilities past heights I could ever even think of. 
For these, I’ve got the utmost gratitude. 💯

When is the best time to consume carbs?

By Coach Miles

In our last post, we began our topic on nutrient timing and how to plan your macros. With Protein as we saw, the timing of this macro was not as important as its frequency. Today with Carbohydrates you’ll see that this is the exact opposite with this macro nutrient.

Meal Frequency: When it comes to carbs, meal frequency is much less significant. It is the timing of this nutrient that is key!
Carbohydrate Timing to Activity: The timing of carb intake to activity can be quite detailed and comprehensive. To keep it simple we will talk about the five distinct windows of activity where you are to ingest your carbohydrates.

1.Pre-Training
2. Intra (During) Training
3. Post-Training
4. Post-Post Training
5. All other times

Let’s review each of these five distinct times and how it affect you with your carb ingestion and absorption.

1) Pre-Training
The pre-training meal, and particularly the carbohydrate it provides, helps to top-off glycogen stores, supplies blood glucose for muscle contraction as well as nervous system activity, and is also anti-catabolic in the earlier phases in a workout. So, a pre-workout meal containing carbohydrates can top off glycogen stores to a small extent, and allow for better exercise performance. Ingestion of a carbohydrate at pre-workout will also help in the prevention of muscle loss during the training itself. As the intensity of your workout increases so does the ratio of carbs to protein at which you should consume prior. Take a look at this data below which shows the appropriate ratio of carb to protein.

Pre-training meal – Carb: Protein Ratios
-Light Workouts – 1:1
-Moderate Workouts – 1.5:1
-Hard Workouts – 2:1
The timing of consumption of the pre-workout meal ranges between 1 and 3 hours before the training session itself. This depends on the fat and fiber content of the food, as well as the glycemic index of the carb consumed.

2) Intra (During) Training
The benefits of intra-training consumption are very similar to the benefits of pre-training consumption. Intra-training consumption of carbs (particularly) and protein results in a high use of blood glucose for fueling activity (and thus a possible sparing of glycogen, which can be substantial during a fat loss phase). As the intensity of your workout increases so does the ratio of carbs to protein at which you should consume prior. Take a look at this data below which shows the appropriate ratio of carb to protein.

-Intra-training – Carb: Protein Ratios
-Light Workouts – 2:1
-Moderate Workouts – 3:1
-Hard Workouts – 4:1

The timing of the intra-workout shake is rather straightforward. The intra-workout shake consumption must commence at the onset of the exercise, and be finished during or right after the workout is over. It must be noted that the benefits of the intra-workout shake are likely maximized with an easy and fast digesting protein and carbohydrate source, as well as minimal fat and fiber since delays in digestion would turn this shake into a post-workout shake and negate any intra-workout benefits. While the advantages of the intra-training shake are meaningful for hard and possibly moderate workouts, their beneficial effects on light workouts are very negligible. To give you the best example of an intra workout shake would be Gatorade, Power-aid, BCAA’s powder shake, etc. Anything like that is sufficient in an amount of carbs to help keep you fueled during your workout.

3) Post-Training (Carb: Protein Ratios)
The practice of consuming a post-workout shake high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein is as old as time itself. The importance of this training includes anti-catabolism, glycogen repletion, and the activation of anabolic machinery. For various workout types, the recommended post-workout ratio of carbs to protein is similar than for the intra-workout meal. But this time a full meal-size of protein is used, as the next meal won’t be for several hours and the demand and ability to absorb carbohydrates is now considerably higher than it was during the training itself. Take a look at this data below which shows the appropriate ratio of carb to protein.

Post-training 
Light Workouts – 2:1
Moderate Workouts – 3:1
Hard Workouts – 4:1

It is in your best interest to consume the post-workout meal/shake as soon after activity as realistically possible. Having consumed the recommended pre- and during- nutrition can allow a small window of perhaps as long as 30-60 minutes before this needs to be done. Because timing is of the essence, high levels of fat, fiber, and slow-digesting carbs and proteins should be avoided. A fast-digesting protein like whey and a high-GI carb is a good starting recommendation.

4) Post-Post Training (Carb: Protein Ratios)
Training, especially hard training, has been shown to keep glucose uptake of the trained muscles meaningfully enhanced for up to 6 hours after the training process. Thus, to further maximize the benefits of the post-workout meal, the next meal (2-4 hours later) should follow similar guidelines.

Post-Post Training 
Light Workouts 2:1
Moderate Workouts 3:1
Hard Workouts 4:1

5) All Other Times
Taking a look at the numbers of carbs that are recommended for consumption in the workout window (pre, intra, post, post-post), we’re not left with much carbohydrate to consume for the other meals of the training day. That is, once we’ve adequately addressed our workout window needs, most of our daily carbs have already been consumed and consuming much more carbs than that can take us way over our recommended daily carb amounts, thus violating the principle of macro nutrient values. So, however many grams of carbs are left in your daily macro allotment you are to split the up through any and all remaining meals that are not surrounding your workout.