Health & Fitness Corner: Eating a Balanced Diet--What Should Swimmers Eat? (part 2) Print
Written by Raul Reis   
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 08:45
I started this article on a balanced swimmers' diet last week by focusing more generally on the book "In Defense of Food", by Michael Pollan, in which he discusses how best to eat in these days of mass-produced food and conflicting nutrition and health information.

Today, I'll focus more specifically on the swimming/diet aspect, and reproduced below an article by Mat Luebbers in which he also gives out some helpful tips. Enjoy!

Eating for Swimmers, by Mat Luebbers: "Avoid fat; fat is OK, eat it up. Avoid carbohydrates; carbohydrates should be the major portion of your diet. Consume a high amount protein; eat balanced portions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there. What to do, what to do....

That depends on who you believe and what you are trying to achieve with your food intake. The word diet, in this case, means "what you eat"; everyone is always on a diet. Many people go on special diets from time to time to lose weight or body fat, gain weight or lean (muscle) weight, or maintain weight (among other reasons).

What is the best diet for you - how much fat, protein, and carbohydrate - and how to decide what will work for you? The answer is up to you, your physician, and your personal needs.

This article will touch on some of the current ideas in nutrition, and some of the ways those apply to swimmers. You should consult your physician before beginning any type of specific diet to avoid or reduce the chance of medical complications. (Click here to continue reading Mat's article).
Health & Fitness Corner: Eating a Balanced Diet--What Should Swimmers Eat? part 1 Print
Written by Raul Reis   
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 08:39
Raul ReisWith so much conflicting information out there about diet and nutrition, and about how a healthy (or unhealthy) diet affects our overall health, you'd be completely forgiven for being very confused on the subject of food and health.

I think the two most common questions all of us have are:

1. How does what we eat influence our overall health and fitness?

2. And what does a healthy, balanced diet consist of?

I just finished reading an amazing book on the topic of healthy eating that I recommend to everyone: "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto", by Michael Pollan.

A Berkeley-based science journalist who has written other award-winning best sellers, Pollan tries in his latest book to answer those two basic questions by investigating the food and "nutrition" industries. What's really fascinating about his book is the simplicity and clarity of his ideas, and his commonsensical approach to food.

Pollan investigates the emergence of the modern food industry (it's staggering to find out how many processed food products we eat on a daily basis); how the food industry lobby has worked hard to de-regulate dietary restrictions (the corn industry and its widespread high fructose corn syrup are big villains here); and how most of what we eat would not be recognized as "real food" by our grandparents or great-grandparents.

At the same time, Pollan looks at how the nutrition/health industries have taken all the fun out of eating by breaking up food into its basic nutrients, concentrating on the individual components of food (fat, carbs, vitamins, proteins) and forgetting about the importance of how those nutrients interact, or the whole fun, social, aspects of eating good food.

To get us thinking in a completely way about what/how we eat, Pollan comes up with a simple, helpful motto: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He does a great job of explaining each part of that motto, and gives out some great suggestions or "rules" on how to re-educate ourselves about food, and how to eat healthier on a day-to-day basis.

Next week, I will continue on the topic with a Part 2 that will focus more specifically on healthy eating for swimmers. In the meantime, eat some great food!
Getting Fit in Six-Minute Intervals? Swimming Rats May Hold the Answer Print
Written by Raul Reis   
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 08:19

Fitness & Health Corner

We start today a semi-regular column on fitness, health and wellness issues. Being a social and fitness-oriented swim team, the Grunions are particularly interested in spreading the word on new trends, discoveries and tips on these areas. Our goal with this column is to provide a valuable service to all team members who want to be well informed about fitness and health issues.

The column, which we plan to publish at least once a month, will include original stories and interviews, as well as links to interesting articles previously published by trustworthy sources.

To get us started, I'm pasting below a link to an interesting story published by the New York Times on June 26. Scientists and fitness specialists have long believed that only long workouts can have a long-lasting positive effect on an athlete's endurance.

It seems that now many of those scientists are questioning that old mantra, and they are trying to find out if it is possible to get some of the same fitness benefits with much shorter (but strenuous) workouts at regular intervals. Lo and behold, they're using swimming rats(!) to test their hypothesis.

Find the article here, and have a fun read!

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