We’ve all heard about the importance of getting fiber in our diet. Still, most Americans only get about half of the 25 to 35 grams of fiber recommended each day. That’s unfortunate because fiber’s value extends well beyond its well-known support of digestive health.
With the popularity of low-carb dieting, excluding grains and vegetables can dramatically reduce your daily intake of fiber. Low-carb diets contain more protein and fats from eggs, red meat, chicken, fish and turkey. The thing is, these high-protein foods are all very low in fiber.
One of the ways that fiber helps you feel full is the comparatively slow digestion rate of fiber-rich foods. It’s a feeling known as satiety. When you feel full, you’re much less likely to eat more than you should or snack. Make exceptions in your low-carb diet by making room for food choices like these:
Artichoke – One medium artichoke contains 10.3 grams of fiber
Spinach – Ten ounces of frozen spinach equals 8 grams of fiber
Peas – One cup of peas equals 8.8 grams of fiber
Broccoli – One cup of broccoli contains 5+ grams of fiber
OPTIMUM NUTRITION’s FITNESS FIBER
It’s generally recommended that adults consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Most Americans only get about half of that amount. Fiber’s value to athletes and health conscious individuals is centered on its important role in digestive support. If you’re not consuming enough fruits and vegetables to meet your fiber needs, adding a teaspoon of Fitness Fiber to your favorite, beverage, protein shake, oatmeal, or bowl of cereal gets you 5 grams closer to meeting your goal – with only 10 additional calories.
Beyond The Basics
- Contains a blend of several different fiber sources
- 5 g of fiber per serving
- Only 10 calories
- Unflavored versatility
- Mixes easily
Very low carbohydrate diets have been shown to reduce body fat during the initial stages of a weight loss program. But since carbohydrates are your body’s primary fuel for physical energy, you’d think this kind of dieting might take something away from your training. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests otherwise.
Researchers recruited 9 gymnasts in their early 20s and had them switch from a typical western diet to a very low carbohydrate diet of green vegetables, olive oil, fish and meat for 30 days. Strength performance was assessed before and after the 30-day program, and there were no significant differences in push up, leg raise, pull up, dip, squat or countermovement jump performance. On average, these athletes lost 4 pounds of fat mass while gaining what study authors considered a non-significant amount of lean muscle.
True Strength Moment: Considering that these subjects continued their regular training while low-carb dieting, the results of this study are impressive. Of course, there are some drawbacks to reducing carb consumption over the long term. Saturday’s Olympia Prep blog by IFBB Figure Pro Alicia Harris and Sunday’s fiber satiety post by Natural Mr. Olympia John Hansen provide interesting insight. Read them at ABBperformance.com
Whey protein is available in several different stages of refinement. Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) has been ultrafiltered to about 80% purity. Whey Isolates are further refined so that most of the fat, cholesterol and lactose has been ‘isolated’ out. WPI weighs in at 90+% purity. If you hydrolyze whey protein, you break down the components for even fast digestion.
Does it matter which variation you choose? According to research on lab rats published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 30 days of supplementing with hydrolyzed whey protein can promote higher levels of the BCAA leucine along with a greater increase in insulin when compared to WPI. Leucine and insulin both play important roles in protein synthesis.
True Strength Moment: While there’s nothing wrong with using WPC or WPI, it appears from this study that hydrolyzed whey offered a performance advantage to rodents who appreciate the value of recovery from exercise. Try a month-long comparison test to see if the advantages can be experienced by human subjects.
It’s pretty common to see questions about creatine on Internet forums. It’s one of the world’s most popular and widely researched supplements. A paper published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutritionmight help fill in some of the blanks for those seeking answers.
The majority of studies used creatine monohydrate, and the consensus is that this sports nutrition product helps increase strength and fat free mass with resistance training better than resistance training by itself. Creatine may also assist with high-intensity sprinting, but the effects start to decrease with the duration of your workout.
How does it work? The generally accepted explanation for creatine’s impact on performance is increased creatine storage promotes faster regeneration of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) your muscles use to fuel short bursts of intense energy.
How much do you need to use each day? The paper references new research suggesting 0.1 gram per kilogram of body weight which amounts to 7.9 grams for a 175 pound adult. This would be considered a daily maintenance dose and not intended for a ‘loading’ phase.
True Strength Moment: The old school approach to creatine supplementation began with a week-long loading phase where you’d take four separate 5-gram doses spread between morning and evening. After that, you went to a 5-gram maintenance dose. Then there was the question of cycling on and off. Everyone responds a little differently to creatine, so experiment for a few weeks at a time to see what works best to support your goals.