NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 8 – Understanding Nutrition
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NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 8 – Understanding Nutrition 1

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Know the roles that energy-yielding and non-energy-yielding nutrients play in the body.
    • Understand the energy values of food and the aspects such as glycemic index.
    • Know the importance of the various mineral and vitamins in our diet.
    • Recognize the risks of excessive intake of protein.
    • Understand daily requirements for the macro and micro-nutrients.

    Energy Values of Food

    Energy

    The law of conservation of energy states that energy is not able to be created nor destroyed, and instead will be transferred from one state to another through many different mechanisms. This is the first law of thermodynamics.

    Humans have the ability to consume, store, and release energy.

    Energy humans use will have started from plants, and then get to the body through many processes.

    A calorie is the basic unit of measurement for heat, and it is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

    Energy Value of Food

    The value of the energy of our food is respective of the heat yield when the product is used.

    Energy-yielding macronutrients are the ones that provide energy, which we call macronutrients.

    Non-energy-yielding nutrients are the micronutrients, which include vitamins and minerals, and these are necessary for the homeostasis of the body.

    Carbohydrates and proteins both provide 4 kcals per gram.

    Fats provide 9 kcals per gram.

    And alcohol is a nutrient that provides 7 kcals per gram.

    The net energy of food is going to be affected by the digestion and absorption process, and this is referred to as the coefficient of digestibility.

    Dietary Nutrients

    The factors that play a role in dietary sufficiency are:

    Food and nutrient timing

    Food quantity and type

    Variations in nutrient digestion, absorption, and assimilation

    Individual requirements for energy based on physical factors: age, sex, physical activity

    Other influences, such as dietary practices, preferences, and risk of food allergies

    Energy Yielding Nutrients

    The energy-yielding units are going to give the body tissues a way to make the ATP needed to do muscle actions and survive.

    Once energy is put into the bloodstream, the chemoreceptors in the tissues pinpoint each specific type of nutrient and determine the action that needs to be taken depending on the internal environment’s status.

    Some fundamental steps to understand when it comes to the use of energy in the body:

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    First, the energy nutrients are eaten, and the process of digestion breaks these food items down into their most basic form of energy.

    Next, the small intestine works to absorb these small nutrient forms into the blood and transport them to the tissues where they are needed for their respective jobs.

    Last, the metabolic organs find the ultimate outcome of the energy taken in via the regulation of hormones.

    Carbohydrates

    All nutrients are needed for the proper functioning of the body, but carbohydrates are perhaps the most important nutrient relating to physical activity and the central nervous system.

    The carbs are going to fall into three categories:

    • Monosaccharides are the simplest form of carb. These come in the form of glucose, fructose, and galactose.
    • Disaccharides are the carbs formed when two monosaccharides bond to one another. These come in the form of sucrose, lactose, and maltose.
    • Polysaccharides are complex carbs that have long chains of monosaccharides. These come in the form of cellulose, starch, and glycogen.

    Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in animal tissue, and starch is the storage form of carbs in plant tissue.

    Fiber is a non-starch polysaccharide that classifies as a carb. Cellulose is the most common form of fiber in the diet.

    Soluble fiber is a fiber found in nuts, seeds, oat bran, barley, beans, and some veggies and fruits. It attracts water and turns to a gel during digestion, thus slowing the digestive process.

    We find Insoluble fiber in wheat bran, veggies, and whole grains. It helps to add bulk in our stool and helps food pass easily through the intestines and stomach.

    Fiber does these beneficial things:

    • Enhances gastrointestinal (GI) function
    • Reduces irritation to the intestinal wall
    • Mobilizes harmful chemicals and compounds, inhibiting their activity
    • Shortens the time for intestinal transport and excretion
    • Decreases the length of time carcinogenic materials stay in the intestines
    • Slows down the absorption rate of carbs, which has a positive effect on blood-glucose dynamics

    Glycemic Response

    The glycemic index is a measure of the blood-glucose raising potential of the carb content of food. a 100 value is pure glucose.

    The glycemic response is the effect a food or meal has on blood glucose following consumption.

    Glycemic load is the index that describes blood-glucose raising potential of the carbs in food along with the quantity in the food.

    Low glycemic index food is considered to be a value lower than 55.

    A medium glycemic index food is considered to be a value of 56 – 69.

    A high glycemic index food is considered to be a value of 70 or more.

    Processed Carbs

    Food manufacturing manipulates the integrity of many sources of food, and this affects the glycemic response.

    These conditions may be associated with high dietary sugar intake:

    • Obesity, cardiometabolic disease, and systemic inflammation
    • T2DM or normal-weight diabetes and hepatic insulin resistance
    • Elevated visceral fat storage
    • Hyperlipidemia
    • Increased cortisol levels
    • Young age arthritis

    Hunger is the biological need to eat in response to a decline made in blood sugar levels.

    Appetite is the motivational drive to obtain food, and this often will be influenced by one’s own experiences and environment.

    The thermic effect of food is the amount of energy expenditure higher than metabolic resting rate due to the cost of processing food for use as fuel or storage as fat.

    Carbohydrate Depletion

    Carbs affect more than energy output; they also deal with metabolic biochemistry.

    As we’ve discussed, in times where the availability of glucose for energy is low, the body will result in using its protein for fuel.

    Some issues that come from the loss of protein-sparring mechanism:

    • Extended use of lean mass catabolism can reduce metabolism.
    • Oxidation of fat is reduced as the body relies on carbs for the metabolization of fat.
    • The incomplete breakdown of liberated triglycerides causes the buildup of ketone bodies, which increases acidosis risk.

    Carbohydrate Need

    The storage capacity of glycogen in the body is around 300 – 500 grams or around 1200 to 1500 kcals of energy. 75% of this is stored in the skeletal muscles.

    These numbers can be altered with specific changes in diet to assist with the storage of more glucose.

    Fat

    Fats are known also as dietary lipids. These represent the other main source of energy that the body uses to fuel biological work.  

    There are also three categories of lipids:

    • Simple lipids are ones formed from fatty acids like waxes, fats, and oils.
    • Compound lipids are the lipids conjoined with other substances like phospholipids, glycolipids, sulpholipids.
    • Derived lipids are substances derived from simple and compound lipids by hydrolysis.

    Lipids perform many functions, like:

    • Provision of energy
    • Transportation of molecules in the blood
    • Storage of nutrients and vitamins
    • Service as conduction canals in the nervous system
    • Formation of hormones
    • Protection of organs
    • Regulation of body temperature
    • Communication of energy needs
    • Formation of cell membranes

    Trans fats are the fats made by adding hydrogen molecules to veggie oils.

    Monounsaturated fats are the so-called “good fats.” These molecules have one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule.

    Polyunsaturated are fats that have more than one unsaturated carbon in the molecule.

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    Saturated fats are fats that do not have double bonds between the carbons.

    Protein

    These macronutrients represent the main structural parts of non-bony tissues and they serve thousands of the functions in the body.

    The building blocks of protein are the amino acids. These are organic molecules.

    We have 9 essential amino acids, which are leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, histidine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

    The essential amino acids are the ones that cannot be produced in the body, and thus, they must be consume in our diets.

    Non-essential amino acids are the ones that can be produced within the body.

    A complete protein is one that is a source of protein that has the right amount of all nine essential amino acids.

    Incomplete proteins are the protein sources that lack in one or more of the essential amino acids.

    The protein needs based on activity level:

    • Sedentary individuals need 0.8 – 0.9 grams per kilogram of protein
    • Physically active people need 1 – 1.2 grams per kilogram of protein
    • Moderate intensity people with 3 – 4 days per week of activity need 1.1 – 1.3 grams per kilogram of protein
    • High intensity and endurance-focused people will need 1.3 – 1.5 grams per kilogram of protein
    • Those that strength train 4 or more times per week will need 1.6 – 2 grams per kilogram of protein
    • Children generally need up to 2 grams per kilogram of protein
    • Pregnant females need to add around 20 grams to their daily needs.

    Dietary Reference Intakes

    This is an umbrella term for specific standards of dietary intake.

    Estimated average requirement is the average daily nutrient intake level estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a particular group.

    Recommended Dietary Allowance is the average daily dietary intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in a particular group.

    Adequate intake is the recommended average daily intake level, based on observed or experimentally determined approximations or estimates of nutrient intake by a group or groups of apparently healthy people.

    Tolerable upper intake level is the highest average daily nutrient intake level that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population.

    Vitamins and Minerals

    Vitamins

    The vitamins function as mainly metabolic catalysts that release energy from the food consumed and help with the homeostasis to be maintained.

    We have two different classifications for vitamins:

    Water-soluble vitamins are the ones that regulate reactions, control the synthesis of tissues, aid in protection of the cell’s plasma membrane, and allow for the proper tissue function. These are not stored in the body, and instead are moved through the body with water.

    Fat-soluble vitamins require fat in the body and diet to work and pass, and they function to enhance the formation of tissues, prevent damage to cells, and serve as the makeup for certain cell compounds.

    The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K.

    The C and B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins.

    Minerals

    These make up about 4% of the total mass of the body. they are inorganic compounds that serve as the constituents of enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.

    The functions of minerals are to provide components for the health of bone and teeth, regulate the cell metabolism along with actions of the heart, muscle, and nervous systems, maintain the acid-base balance, and regulate the cellular fluid balance.

    Iron deficiency is one of the more common ones to watch out for, and typically has a higher chance of occurring in females.

    The electrolytes are the minerals of particular interest for exercise professionals due to their role in balancing fluid and keeping cell regularity.

    The electrolytes are sodium, calcium, and potassium.

    NCSF Personal Training Study Guide Chapter 8 – Understanding Nutrition 2
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