|Q: Tracy, I need to lose some body fat around my butt and thigh area, can you tell me the best way to do that?
A: Yes I can, but (no pun intended) you must understand that there is no such thing as "spot reduction" and as the saying goes "the first on is the last off". The only way to lose from a specific area is to lose from the rest of the body. You must exercise the whole body and concentrate on that problem area. In your case legs and thighs. The diet is of utmost importance. Be mindful of what you put in your mouth. Breads, buns (again, no pun intended) bagels, and pasta will absolutely stick to that problem area. If you have a larger lower body, build the upper body to give symmetry to your physique. This is body sculpting. Many people who go to the gym to lose “weight” don't realize that food is the culprit. Ask any bodybuilder!
Q: Cory can you please explain what glycemic index means and why it’s important to know the glycemic effect of food, especially carbohydrate foods?
A: Knowing the glycemic response of food is just as important as knowing its macronutrient ratio (protein/fat/carbs), micronutrient content (vits/mins/enzymes), acid to alkaline ratio (pH) and influence on the immune system. Successful body composition management relies on this knowledge and for athletes, it is crucial to long-term health and performance. The glycemic index of carbohydrates was developed initially for diabetics as knowing the effect of food on blood sugar is important for monitoring glucose levels. Foods that lead to a slow increase in blood glucose after ingestion and digestion have a low glycemic index. Those that induce a rapid rise in blood sugar have a high glycemic index.
The glycemic index measures the extent to which blood glucose increases after eating a 50g portion of carbohydrate. This increase is then compared to glucose, which is given the value of 100 (high). (< 40 = low / 40-60 = med / > 60 = high) Knowing the glycemic index of different fruits, vegetables and starchy foods is important because a rapid rise in insulin, except after a workout, can ruin your fat-reducing objectives, increase serum cholesterol levels, encourage the onset of fatigue, intensify joint inflammation and set you up for hyperinsulinemia. Athletes need blood sugar stability to perform well.
Carrots, white potatoes, bread, sugar, pop, rice cakes and white rice can cause a rapid rise and fall in blood-sugar. These foods should be avoided before you workout. Pre-workout meals should consist of foods that have a lower glycemic index (under 50), such as slow-cooked oats, grapefruits, green apples, cherries and plums, or a yam/protein combination for example. You can reduce the glycemic influence of any food by combining it with protein, fat or even lemon juice. I use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice as a base for my pre-workout shake, blended with an omega-3 liquid sport oil, whey protein isolate and calcium ascorbate powder.
Q: Cory what significance does the mineral magnesium have in sports nutrition?
A: Magnesium (Mg) is alkaline forming and extremely important for muscle and nerve function. It is a cofactor for over 400 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium is calming and relaxing; it helps counter coronary artery spasm and is greatly depleted in the blood and cardiac tissue of heart attack victims. Magnesium plays a key role in the transfer of phosphates to ATP (adenosine triphosphate). More than half of all athletes are magnesium deficient, as Canadian RNIs (200mgF/250mgM) and American RDAs (280mgF/350mgM) are based on non-athletic sedentary population estimates. Athletes need more Mg due to greater urine and surface losses induced by training, especially endurance athletes. Supply the demand!