Peak physical performance is the goal of every athlete. Proper training is of vital importance to achieve this goal. But keep in mind that while exercise moves the body, food not only fuels the body but actually makes the body.
We’ve all heard the analogy about needing to eat good food for high-energy fuel just as our cars need good gasoline. But a living organism is quite different from a car. Our fuel literally makes and remakes our bodies as we grow, metabolize, tear down, and ultimately rebuild our bodies on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cycle. After several year’s time, you will have replaced virtually every cell and other component that makes up your body! And what are those made up of? Everything you eat. So the adage is true: “You are what you eat!”
Nutritional Components of Peak Performance
Why is this significant? Because to achieve peak physical performance, you need “high-octane” fuel for peak energy and high-quality fuel for building and maintaining your physical “machine.”
“High-octane” refers to the amount of energy that can be derived from the food eaten. We know that carbohydrates are important in creating short-term energy or fuel, while fats create a more sustained long-term energy source. Proteins work more in the area of building and rebuilding. So how do we go about getting the highest quality carbohydrates, fats, and proteins available?
The Search for the Best Foods for the Human Body
Flashback: When I was growing up, my grandmother Louise was a “health nut.” She read Prevention magazine, talked about foods that were “poisons,” such as sugar, and touted “miracle foods,” such as brewer’s yeast and blackstrap molasses (which she added to her cereal every morning). Everyone in our family thought she was a fanatic–except me, because Grandma Louise was the most positive, energetic person I knew, and I wanted to be just like her! Grandma loved life so much that she wanted to live forever (or at least to be 100!).
So I would constantly ask Grandma about different foods and whether they were “good for you” or “bad for you.” She would then explain to me the virtues and pitfalls of all the foods I asked about. I was so relentless with my questions that one day, frustrated, she gave up and said, “Roy, if it’s food, it’s good–don’t worry about it, just eat it!”
As I grew up, my interest in health and nutrition grew and eventually became my profession. The questions I had asked my grandmother were now being asked of me by my patients and clients. Life had come around full circle, and I could see that it was my destiny to help people answer this question once and for all: “How do you figure out which foods are the best (and the worst) for peak performance and for preventing disease?”
Creating the System to Identify the Best Foods
What I came up with is a new twist on a concept called “nutrient density.” Nutrient density …