Nutrition Articles

I'm Not The Fitness Grinch But...

I’m Not The Fitness Grinch But…

ChristmasGrinHere we are, Christmas time once again. It’s that time a year we engage in a social marathon of Christmas parties, dinners, functions and family gatherings. They say the average person will gain approximately 5lbs over the four week Christmas season. If this concerns you read on, I created a short Christmas Fitness Survival List for you.

1)     Deep breaths and relax – With inconsistent sleep hours, hydration, and increased or unusual food intake your weight will fluctuate. Understand that it’s almost physiologically impossible to gain pounds of fat in just a few days; much of the fluctuation that occurs is simply a change in intercellular volume, something that will take care of itself once normal habits return.

2)     Don’t be on the naughty list – New Year’s is coming, the clean state, start fresh, oodles of motivation time. Don’t wait until New Year’s to start exercising, start now. Even with unstable nutritional habits regular exercise on a consistent basis, now and through Christmas, will minimize holiday weight gain. Set your body up for immediate change in the New Year, and psychologically ensure you don’t become a dreaded statistic for an abandoned resolution.

3)     Frequency is always important – If you’ve been eating 5-6 times per day up until now, try to maintain that, and if you haven’t try to start. What most of us have a hard time realizing is that our stomach is an amazing calorie burner, every time you put something in it uses a lot of energy to break it down. By eating small meals frequently you can burn additional calories and minimize the impact of the holiday additives.

4)     Drink, drink, drink – Sorry I mean water. If I could only ensure everyone learned one thing about how to look and feel better it would be consume more water. We require much more than 8 glasses per day in to offset the physiological demands of a drastically changing climate, increased amounts of stress, altered sleep habits and of course the possibility of holiday spirits. Increased water intake is a keystone catalyst of controlling how you look and feel a good target for each day is half your bodyweight in ounces.

5)     Speaking of spirits – I’m sorry but it’s the truth, there are few things worse for you metabolically than alcohol. As little as one ounce will drastically reduce metabolic function for up to 72 hours, the more alcohol consume the longer your metabolism is disrupted and the more suppressed its function. Be a socialite but try to pick your functions and minimize consumption, I hate being the bearer of bad news but you will thank me later.

These few tips should help you avoid the holiday weight gain woes but in all seriousness please don’t worry about fitness and weight gain too much at all through the holiday season. This is a time for friends, family, celebration and reinforcing the relationships that matter most. Take this time to enjoy what really matters. Have a Merry Christmas and know that when celebrations settle and normal habits return, the scale will begin to drop and you’ll only be left with the memories of the happy moments shared with others. If for some reason that’s not the case than at least you know a good trainer to help you out, happy holidays from our family to yours.

The Top Carb Sources To Include In Your Diet

If you’re like many people who are currently on a fat loss diet, you may be rapidly cutting out any forms of carbs from your diet thinking that this is the absolute best method to help you shed those pounds that you’ve been struggling with.

While low carb diets definitely can help you see results, often they will do more harm than good. You must remember that there are a number of vital nutrients found in carbohydrates that will be incredibly essential in order for you to maintain proper health.

Any time you go cutting these nutrients out of your diet you’re asking for trouble so by keeping them included in moderation and making sure that you’re choosing the best sources you help maintain good health and still continue to see the fat loss you’re after.

Let’s take a closer look at the top carbohydrate sources that you should be including in your diet.


The first good carbohydrate source that you should definitely consider adding to your diet plan is oats.  Oats are the perfect way to start your day as they’re high in fiber, high in protein, and contain virtually no sugar at all.

So many of the other breakfast cereal choices out there are loaded with sugar or other unnecessary ingredients so by sticking with oats you can ensure you’re getting nothing but the best of nutrition.

Brown Rice

Next up, the second good whole grain carb source that you’ll want to add into your menu plan is brown rice.  Brown rice also contains more fiber than standard rice and will release in the body slightly more slowly to provide you with that hunger control that you’re after.

Brown rice works well with so many different meals that it’s simple to add this to the program as well.


Third you have quinoa.  Many people often overlook this grain and instead just keep on favoring brown rice but if you’re ready for a change of pace, this one can’t be missed.

It actually contains more protein than brown rice so it’s extremely good for fat loss purposes and also offers a heavy hit of dietary fiber as well.

Serve it in any meal where you would normally serve brown rice as it has a very similar look and feel to it however delivers a slightly nuttier taste.


Barley is yet another type of grain that you can include in your diet when you’re looking for something different to prevent boredom from setting in.  Barley has traditionally always been used in soup recipes however don’t be afraid to break away from that.

Barley can also be added into casseroles or even into salads making it a very versatile source of carbs that you can include.

Sweet Potatoes

Finally, if you’re a potato fan you really can’t miss with sweet potatoes.  These have a lower impact on blood sugar levels than regular potatoes do so are a much better option here.  Whether you want to prepare your sweet potatoes to go with your usual meal or you would prefer to eat them as a sweet tasting dessert is up to you but do make sure that they are in your plan.

So don’t overlook any of these carbohydrate sources. If you haven’t included them in your menu already, now’s the time to do so.

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat and Takes Up Less Room

Ok next time you’re at the grocery store pick up three good sized grapefruits, hold them against your midsection and take a picture. Now do the same thing with three smaller mid-sized navel oranges.

The the grapefruits visually represent the approximate size of three pounds of fat versus the oranges represented approximately the size of three pounds of muscle. In short this visually shows you how much less room muscle takes up than fat. This becomes really important when we consider your endeavor to lose weight or lose body fat.

Resistance training is a remarkable thing, it’s something we all need to do for a variety of reasons; at the top of that list I’d place things like hormonal balancing, bone density and of course burning body fat.

When I meet people for the first time I often find myself telling a story, explaining the general methods of estimating caloric consumption. Twenty years and thousands of clients has shown me that in North America we don’t eat enough, not often enough, or high enough quality of food; yet we’re fatter than ever. Logically we work harder, we create and use fancy supplements, drugs, and we try to eat less and expend more energy to burn off this unwanted fat. Our poor body suffers; we continue to get fatter, to the point that nearly 50% of the people in our region are considered obese further escalating the prevalence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.

We all understand that our physical possessions require a level of maintenance to provide a consistent continual benefit. Our clothes need to be washed and kept in good repair, as do our vehicles and homes for example. If we don’t provide enough regular maintenance they begin to deteriorate and the benefit they provide lessens to the point of frustration or inconvenience. If you look at a bottle of laundry detergent, or consider how much gas you put in your car you soon see that many of these things require a consistent amount at consistent intervals to perform optimally; just like our body.

The story I tell clients comes down to asking them how many calories they think it takes to maintain a pound of live muscle tissue in every 24 hour period versus the amount to maintain a similar one pound of fat. (I’d encourage you to make your own guesses before continuing.)

Remarkably it takes approximately 35-50 times more calories every 24 hours to support muscle than the equivalent amount of fat, that is to say that it takes approximately 1 calorie to sustain each pound of fatty tissue or one Tic-Tac.

The next chapter in my story is one of sorrow; imagine for a moment that you lost your job and that you were going to face financial hardship. We’ve all had to make difficult decisions at one time or another in regard to finances, usually this involves eliminating things that are not essential in an effort to endure. Considering that muscle is 35-50 times more expensive to maintain than fat tissue I think you may be getting a sense of which one your body chooses to eliminate if cost cutting is required. Sadly this is not the only area for biological budget cuts, if we’re not sick our immune resources will be lessened, hormone production meets bare minimums affecting mode, ability to deal with stress, reproduction and more.

We’re all cutting corners all the time, we use a little less laundry detergent, perhaps we stretch a little further to that next oil change, we don’t feed our body enough because we’re trying to lose weight. Our clothes wear out, our cars eventually breakdown and so will our body. If you’re body is functioning optimally, you’re exercising regularly, and you’re consuming balanced or even equal amounts (referring to protein, carbohydrates, and fat) of whole unprocessed food, twenty years and thousands of clients have repeatedly shown, it’s almost impossible to eat too much food. If you are trying to lose weight you now may be getting a sense of a couple of very important things:

1)   Eating less isn’t the answer we want to preserve and even add muscle mass while enhancing optimal body function to burn off body fat.

2)   Muscle will take up less room than the same amount of fat, this means you can not only gain muscle and get smaller but you can also tone up, lose inches, and get smaller without losing weight. The scale is the worst tool we have don’t rely on it.

A Convenient Source of Protein

I’ve found for many people consuming adequate amounts of protein can be a real challenge. Usually when I ask do you consume meat or protein often I’m met with answers like, “yes like 2-3 times per week.” To me consuming a lot of protein or meat would be more like 2-3 times per day or as a direct component of nearly every meal.


It’s not a surprise that many people struggle to consume protein directly, I mean it’s not always the most portable food. Few people I know prefer cold beef or fish on a day-to-day basis. For portability we often turn to things like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, but then if you are sensitive to lactose as many are; this can quickly eliminate these options also. Additionally it seems like there is a great deal of confusion around foods containing protein. In my coaching I generally only consider a food a good source of it’s primary nutrient, for example a lean cut of beef like sirloin may contain a significantly greater amount of fat than a white fish but I still consider sirloin to be a protein food. Many I have encountered though seem to miss this logic and have thought of things like peanut butter or hemp hearts as solid choices for protein consumption. As a trainer I really disagree with this perspective, I’m sure that statement may not be turning some of you into trusted fans but let me explain.


Time and time again, and all day long, I’m educating people that our bodies require a specific mixture of fuel, specifically the right mixture of proteins carbohydrates and fats. I don’t believe in high protein, low carbs or low fats. Instead I believe in what I’ve found to be a generally effective ratio of all three that is then carefully adjusted based on how your body changes or how you as an individual feel.


It’s in these situations that unfortunately things like peanut butter, hemp hearts and lentils, etcetera just don’t measure up. Relying on these foods to meet your protein requirements will undoubtedly carry the burden of so much additional dietary fat that most people will not achieve the physical feeling or physical changes they are striving for. That’s not to say that these foods can’t or shouldn’t be used, or that they aren’t “healthy” to the contrary they are excellent choices they just need to be used in the manner best intended. In my opinion they are better choices to enhance our consumption of quality fats than they are for proteins.


At the end of the day I’m sure there are many arguments, this is just one to share perspective on what I’ve seen to be a struggle for many when it comes to achieving the body changes they desire.


In an effort to provide a solution for improving convenient, enjoyable and cost effective protein consumption I’d recommend considering a whey protein isolate. Whey is now so common and so inexpensive to produce that almost all is of the isolate variety. Whey isolates have virtually all lactose removed and contain tremendous amounts of energy enhancing branch chain amino acids as well as high volumes of glutamic acid and glutamine; the most abundant amino acid in our body and now considered conditionally essential. Glutamine in particular I find interesting as personally I’ve experience great strength and endurance increases from it’s cell volumizing effects. Additionally glutamine is heavily used by the immune system and as a building block for the repair of many bodily tissues. Additionally it’s been shown to improve gut health and used by the brain as a integral component of the production of our mood controlling hormones like L-dopa and dopamine.


I’m not saying that you should make whey your primary source of protein but rather that if you are struggling to consume consistent amounts of protein throughout the day it may offer a convenient valuable solution. If I were to make a recommendation I love a product made by Bio-X called Xtreme Power Whey Isolate because they now offer a version sweetened exclusively with Stevia making it an even more natural product.


You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

You Can’t Out Train a Bad Diet

fastfoodandtrainingIt’s a common mentality for many to think that when trying to lose weight that the answer lies in an effective exercise program. The body transforming benefits of exercise, quickly diminish when your nutrition is even slightly less than ideal.

People will begin to exercise with the best of intentions, including improved nutritional habits. The idea of “eating clean” allows them to eliminate the bad things they’re currently consuming; they may eliminate some processed food, sugar, caffeine, saturated fat and so on. Unfortunately most of these things taste good and consuming them results in a positive feeling. At the same time their new exercise program begins to stimulate the metabolism causing them to be hungry more often (generally a positive sign) leading to eating more often (also positive). The problem lies in the relationship of proteins, carbs, and fats. Each time you begin a new nutritional program this ratio of nutrient consumption changes. Even if you know and understand your ideal ratio and how to monitor it at first changing these habits will be met with physical and psychological resistance, usually in the form of cravings.

Cravings are never positive, that is until you satisfy them leading to guilt, many people find reasons to dislike their new nutritional habits or find their mood deteriorating as they subconsciously push themselves to incorporating some or all of the old habits. Essentially this is a detoxification period, much like a drug or alcohol; food exudes very powerful habit forming effects. Our own form of psychology begins to go to work validating why it’s ok to slide on our new habits. We justify that, “we can work out a little longer to compensate for having ______.” This validation comes from the generalized approach of calories in versus calories out made popular by many mainstream weight loss. Unfortunately in the simplest form burning more calories than you consume is completely logical, and with a severe enough restriction it’s likely you will lose weight: 1) You are literally starving your body and 2) (oversimplified) food consumed enters cells and brings water with it, less food, less water. The down side to this is it’s like trying to complete an algebra problem with only addition and subtraction. What isn’t considered in the calories in versus calories out philosophy is that when you restrict calories your body also restricts many metabolic functions. Less water in the cells means less nutrients leading to decreased strength, performance, an increased chance of injury and a suppressed immune system. Oh and there is one more thing, a much higher chance of rebound weight gain.

The answer is absolute consistency with nutrition; in fact we strongly encourage our new clients to weigh and measure their food and consume the same nutrient ratio for the first 10-14 days of any new fitness program. The statistics are staggering, those that do have nearly a 100% success rate and find their lives run smoother, their much happier, have more energy, and are more productive while their body begins to change. Those that don’t are 5 times more likely not to reach their goal. When starting a new exercise and nutritional program your chances of success are higher with the help of an expert, everyone is different there is no absolutely right place for everyone to start. When it comes to nutrition if you’d like to learn on your own a good book suggestion is The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott as a place to start.

Bio-X is one of my favourite protein powders. I worked for them when this product was developed and got to provide my feedback in the development of the taste. The quality and taste is top notch, try it! -Cabel

Whey and Casein Protein Powders


Bio-X is one of my favourite protein powders. I worked for them when this product was developed and got to provide my feedback in the development of the taste. The quality and taste is top notch, try it! -Cabel

Whey Protein Powder


Whey protein is commonly marketed and ingested as a dietary supplement in replacement of other protein sources. The benefit to using a whey protein is it is a portable protein supplement that does not require refrigeration; however, this type of supplement does have a faster digestion period than other types of protein and therefore it does not act to increase metabolism the way an edible proteins source would.


Whey protein is the collection of globular proteins isolated from whey, which is a by-product of cheese manufactured from cow’s milk. The protein in cow’s milk is 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein (as is mentioned in the next section). There are three dominant forms of whey protein:


  • Whey Concentrate – which contain a low, but still noticeable level, of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates in the form of lactose. Typically a concentrate would be 30-90% pure protein by weight.
  • Whey Isolates – which are processed to remove the fat and lactose. This type of whey is typically 90% or more pure protein by weight.
  • Whey Hydrolysates – which are whey proteins that are predigested and partially hydrolyzed for the purpose of easier metabolizing, and are typically less allergenic as compared to other types of whey protein.


Due to its faster and easier digestive period, whey protein is ideal for a post workout meal when the body is craving high quality protein sources that it can easily digest. It should be noted that similar symptoms to that of lactose-intolerance can be caused by ingredients found in lower quality protein powders such as lactose or artificial sweeteners in most commercial whey protein powders. The effects of these substances can be distinguished from the effects of whey alone by switching to an unsweetened whey isolate or hydrolysate. If symptoms are not eliminated by switching to a more pure form of whey protein, be sure to utilize a natural powder that is flavored with stevia.


Casein Protein Powder


Casein powder is not as well recognized as whey protein powder; however, it is a viable and important source in the maintenance and building of lean muscle tissue. One of the main benefits of using a casein powder is its high glutamine content (glutamine is mentioned in a later section). Casein contains the highest amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which can benefit bodybuilders and athletes by helping preserve muscle mass and aiding immune system function, while acting as a super important essential amino acid.

Another great benefit to a casein powder is that is has more thorough absorption; or rather, casein powder moves through the digestive tract more slowly than whey protein and thus it is more likely to be absorbed and used for the building of lean muscle tissue and other vital organ systems. This slower absorption rate also allows casein to be classified as a greater tool in boosting metabolism due to its slower digestion rate. Casein powder has an anti-catabolic factor to it, or put in other terms, due to the fact that it digests slower than whey powder the body is more likely to stay away from a hypoglycaemic state whereby an individual will not have to utilize its own lean muscle tissue for energy.

Casein protein digests slowly, making it an ideal protein to consume before bed time, or anytime throughout the day when there will be a prolonged amount of time between meals.



cravingsWhen an individual thinks about eating disorders, the two that most commonly come to mind are bulimia and anorexia. Both are sever psychological disorders that have damaging effects on the body; however, there is yet another eating disorder that is commonly being diagnosed. This disorder is orthorexia, and although it may not be as physically dangerous as the above mentioned is does have negative effects on the body and thus hampers with overall health and lifestyle.

Orthorexia is a pathological and disturbing fixation on diet and food. It is very closely related to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and many medical experts believe that it is a differentiating form of OCD. Orthorexia has a large overlap among other eating habits; however, what is known is that it has to do with extreme care and rejection of any meal that does not fit into a particular group or “healthy” as seen by the individual, while these particular groupings can stimulate feelings of violating so-called “laws of healthy eating habits” by the given individual.

Orthorexics usually describe themselves as thorough individuals when eating habits are considered. They plan carefully all aspects of dieting, and perhaps days or weeks in advance. And while they are not planning diets, they usually spend their time simply thinking about food and may involve fanatically ready articles, books, and different websites related to such topic.

Because persons with orthorexia spend all their time reading or thinking about eating and food issues, they often tend to think that they are much more knowledgeable and credible regarding health concerns. In most cases, this feeling of self-regard can causes issues of superiority or contempt towards persons who lack nutritional competence or education. Having keen interest in healthy eating and healthy food is a good thing; however an individual diagnosed with orthorexia tend to take this habit too far.

Orthorexia is common in young women, trying to replicate the body types they see in culture and advertisements, showcased by media and television. With this alleged healthy diet and lifestyle information they expect to attain physical and psychological benefits, avert diseases and evade additives which may harm them.

Orthorexics can suffer from very serious nutritional problems, typically due to massive lack of professional help. Typical issues faced may include: vitamin deficiencies, macronutrient deficiencies, anaemia, loss of bone mass, lack of energy, lack of stamina, increase risk of infection due to given deficiencies, as well as serious psychological disorders.

Bring on the protein!

Bring on the protein!

Bio-X-Isolate-5lb-chocolate-01Macronutrient Basics – Proteins – Part 3


Proteins are considered to be the building blocks of one’s body. More specifically, the amino acids that make up different types of proteins act as these building blocks to help repair tissue that has been broken down. When taking into account that in exercise an individual is essentially “breaking down” their muscle tissue it is important to replace and rebuild this tissue in order to make it stronger. Protein also acts a long term energy source, and because its digestive period is so long it also acts to stabilize blood sugar levels in the time between meals.

Aside from just muscle tissue, protein acts as the building blocks for all other cells in one’s body. In order for an individual to grow there needs to be an adequate supply of protein to do so; therefore it is crucial that a regular dietary intake of high-quality proteins is achieved in order to allow for this growth to occur.

What’s It Good For?

On a chemical level a protein is the combination of one or more polypeptide sequences, which are single linear polymer chains of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds. Similar to polysaccharides and nucleic acids, proteins are an essential part of many daily functions necessary in the human body. There are multiple proteins that act as active enzymes to promote chemical reactions necessary in the digestion of foods; as well, many proteins act as the building blocks in muscle by creating structural cytoskeletons necessary for the maintenance of cell structure of vital organs and lean muscle mass. Other common uses for proteins in the body on a structure level are: cell signalling, immune responses, cell adhesion and cell cycle.

Most organisms and plants are able to synthesize all 20 essential amino acids; however, animals (including humans) are not able to synthesize some amino acids and thus they must obtain them from their diet. These amino acids are also commonly referred to as essential amino acids. When ingested, these proteins are broken down into their amino acid states and are then further metabolized through gluconeogenesis cycles or used for biosynthesis and cell repair/growth.

When Do I Eat It?

For proper human nutrition, protein should be ingested throughout the period of a day. Regardless of whether or not an individual is participating in regular physical exercise, a constant consumption of protein is necessary to allow for the repair of bodily tissue beyond lean muscle mass.

More specifically, protein should be ingested in appropriate amounts throughout the period of day at every meal. Especially meals that follow physical exercise, as well as meals that are eaten before bed the protein content should be high. When ingesting protein before a workout, a direct protein source should be ingested 2 or more hours prior to ensure that the initial stages of digestion are not being performed while the body is in an exercise state.

Incomplete Proteins – Complementary Proteins

The idea of protein combining is a theory that vegetarians must eat certain foods that complement each other to create whole protein chains in their foods. More specifically, it is the idea that by combining two different foods that each of their incomplete essential amino acid sequences will combine to form a complete protein, meeting all amino acid requirements for human growth and maintenance.

Examples of complementary proteins include:

  • Beans and Tortilla
  • Peanut Butter and Bread
  • Tofu and Rice
  • Hummus and Pita
  • Chicpeas and Rice

The issue with this type of complementary pairing is that although one would be meeting all the requirements needed to obtain a full spectrum of amino acids (all 20 to be specific) they would in turn be ingesting an overabundance of carbohydrates to compensate and thus they would not be eating a balanced menu. As well, typically foods needed to create complimentary proteins are items that should not be ingested such as bread products.

You aren't what you eat!

You aren’t what you eat!

fish_oilMacronutrient Basics – Fats – Part 2


Food must be looked at as an energy source, where a carbohydrate is a fuel that burns up rather quickly, fat is actually a fuel that will burn for much longer. This bodes well for the human body because the longer one’s body is metabolizing the food it is ingesting the less likely it is to suffer from any kind of insulin spike which causes us to feel exhausted following a meal. As well, this long slow energy release that the ingestion of fats gives an individual will increase satiety between meals and can leave one feeling less hungry, long term. Fats are also essential to brain, cell, heart, nerve, eye, lung, digestion, organ function as well as immunity systems in the body.

So exactly how much fat can be safely ingested in a day? Because each individual is so different it is hard to estimate proper amounts; however, most individuals can intake about 20-30% of their caloric intake in fats. If one was to break that down, that would mean for 1800 calories/day an individual would want about 40 grams on a daily basis, with about 2.5 more grams for each additional 100 calories that would be ingested.

What’s It Good For?

Chemically, fats are considered to be triglycerides, which are the combination of a glycerol “backbone” and the combination of several fatty acids. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble which means that they can only be ingested and absorbed in conjunction with fats. Fat plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin, healthy hair, protection of vital organs, the maintenance of core body temperature, as well as the promotion of healthy cell function.

Fats are also considered to be long term energy resources for the body whereby the fat is dissociated into its components, and the glycerol can be converted to glucose by the liver to use a source of energy.

Fat can also act as a buffering system against harmful diseases that may be attracted to the body. When a certain substance reaches an unsafe level in the bloodstream, the offending substance can then be stored in fat tissue to help decrease its prevalence in the blood. This helps to protect vital organs and can be removed or ejected from the body at any time through means of excretion, urination, oil letting, and hair growth.

When Do I Eat It?

Fats are considered to be a source of long term energy for the body. Appropriate times to ingest fats would be for breakfast to help prolong the digestion of the complex carbohydrates, as well as pre-workout (more specifically, MCT fats as discussed later). To ingest fats at other times of the day can be appropriate; however, when getting later into the evening it is not as necessary that the body have direct fat sources available as it no longer requires long term energy when its intended goal is sleep and rest.

Fat is also not necessary after workout bout, as the dominant nutrients being ingested should be in the form of carbohydrates to replenish immediate energy resources as well as protein to help with the repairing of muscle tissue.

Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats

Saturated and unsaturated fats differ predominantly in their melting points as well as their energy content. On a chemical level, an unsaturated fat contains less carbon-hydrogen bonds than that of a saturated fat; however, with identical numbers of carbon atoms, and thus is less likely to “pack together” and form a solid structure at room temperature. This formation of a solid structure at room temperature (as found in a saturated fat) can cause atherosclerosis if the ingestion of these fats is too high which can put an individual at high risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular related illnesses.

It is more appropriate when ingesting the long chain triglyceride fats that the majority of the fats being taken in by the body be in unsaturated form (either mono or poly-unsaturated forms). These types of fats are more readily available forms of energy and will not work to clog arteries and raise blood pressure.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are extremely rare in nature and are typically formed for food preservation. Chemically, a trans fat contains a kink in the molecule that prevents the fat from stacking efficiently; however, these fats are not as susceptible to metabolization as other fats, and thus put the body at a greater risk of coronary heart disease

Medium Chain Triglycerides

Most Long-Chain Triglycerides are first hydrolyzed in the small intestine to long-chain fatty acids. These acids are then taken by cells from the small intestine and transported via the lymphatic system to the body. Our body then takes these long-chain fats and distributes them to various tissues, more specifically into our liver and our adipose tissue (fat tissue). When used effectively, these fats can be burned off and used as long-term energy sources for our body to store and use later. What this all means is that long-chain fats are for long-term energy, and because the process by which they break down is so long ones body takes time to efficiently use them, and one will generally not store their fat intake as fat on one’s body.

One of the most overlooked items in pre-workout nutrition is the idea that only complex carbohydrates need to be ingested to optimize performance. However, what one needs to consider are the types of exercise bouts that one is partaking in. The issue with a dominantly carbohydrate-based pre-workout meal is the body tends to burn off these stores relatively quickly, so one’s body is forced to tap into a further form of energy, and if this form is not available one will tend to suffer from low-blood sugar (whereby, one would suffer from a large headache and forced to stop exercise). This is where Medium-Chain Triglycerides come in, as these types of fats are considered ketogenic, or rather they produce “ketones” in our body more rapidly than LCT Fats because they are absorbed rapidly by our small intestine. The metabolism of MCT results in these ketones being carried by the bloodstream to other tissues of the body, where they are used for energy production and utilization at a much more efficient rate. One could almost consider an MCT fat the hybrid of a complex carbohydrate and a Long-Chain Fatty Acid, and thus they are perfect nutrition for exercise bouts lasting 30 to 75 minutes in duration.

A bonus benefit of MCT fats is that recent studies have found that these Medium-Chain Triglycerides increase the “thermogenic effect” of our bodies, and in turn they cause one’s body to burn more calories even when they are not exercising! One of the most abundant sources of MCT fats is actually found in coconut. Supplementing coconut-oil, as well as unsweetened coconut-meat into ones pre-workout meals is a great way to insure that one’s insulin is stabilized and that they will be set up for a very effective, and very productive workout.

Omega Fats

Chemically, omega fats are essential unsaturated fatty acids with a double-bond starting after the third carbon atom from the end of a carbon chain. These fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the human body but are vital for normal metabolism. As well, these fats have shown evidence towards the increase of blood circulation when ingested which can help to prevent and reduce the visibility of varicose veins as well as other scarring and blood clot formations. As well, due to increases in circulation a reduction in blood pressure is also a common outcome which can help to reduce the prevalence of heart attacks and other cardiovascular related diseases.