With The rise of Fad diets, there is so much conflicting information in the media and online. Some of today’s diets ask users to fast for the majority of the day – only eating 1-2 large meals in the late afternoon to evening. Of course, fasting can work and has been shown to be great for fat oxidation and optimizing body composition yet for the purpose of this article, we will be addressing the pillars of nutrition and their correlation to performance for the majority of people. It is our belief when it comes to nutrition and performance is that a well-balanced diet will always prevail. Let’s break down the Pillars of nutrition and their benefits to overall performance Protein The enemy of training is a metabolic state called catabolism. Catabolism is a process that breaks down cellular molecules to be used as fuel – but during a fast, this can actually be muscle proteins. This is why it is crucially important to eat lean protein in the morning. A diet high in amino acids will help to replenish amino acid stores and prevent muscle breakdown. Some research has shown that supplementing a high protein, low carbohydrate recovery drink in the evening, directly before sleep can help to stimulate muscle protein synthesis while you sleep – thereby delaying the onset of catabolism and enabling you to effectively recover faster. For best results try supplementing 25-30g prior to sleep. Carbohydrates When it comes to performance in the gym there is no better nutrient to have in your diet than carbohydrates. Do not confuse carbohydrates with cereals, muffins and cookies – these are high in glycemic index and can actually promote weight gain and insulin sensitivity. For optimal performance, you should be eating carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index, (foods high in fibre are generally low in GI). Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and synthesized into glycogen – to fuel exercise and overall performance in the gym. Optimizing your workout with carbohydrates is a game of quality vs quantity. You should always move towards quality carbohydrates such as fruit, legumes, and dark – high fibre vegetable and greens. Fats This is where we run into a huge variety of opinions on performance and body composition. Your diet should consist of about 20-30% calories from Fat sources. Fat can be included in your morning meal but should be from lean meats and nuts. One of the best and most researched diet regimes for performance is the Meat and Nut breakfast, popularized by world-renowned strength expert Charles Poliquin. Bringing it all together In order to optimize performance, you should have all aspects of essential nutrition included in your diet. This means a diet high in protein & high in carbs and relatively low in fat. When it comes to carbohydrate intake, you need to deserve your carbs. Intense and regular exercise demands carbohydrates to fuel consistent training. For best results, we recommend a macronutrient split of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. Please keep in mind this is a general overview of what works for the average exerciser. You may find a split that works better for you – if this is the case, stay consistent and results will follow.