Having just returned from the NSCA International Conference on Strength Training in Colorado Springs I learned a lot about how the body gets stronger. While the presentations were amazing the networking was as good if not better. The meal breaks during the conference were included with your registration so you could sit down and eat lunch next to some pretty intelligent and passionate people. Over lunch I was able to pick the brains of a dietitian, Shawn Wells, and a medical doctor, Dr. Dana House, for some valuable nutritional and medical advice.

One of the current themes that came up repeatedly was the importance of dose, timing, content and frequency when it comes to proper eating.

Dose refers to the amount of something. This can refer to food choices both good and bad. For example we can determine the dose of our B vitamins, the amount of fiber we eat or how many glasses of water we drink. At the same time we can also monitor how many refined carbohydrates, trans fats and alcohol we consume. The importance is to know the amount of our choices so we can more easily determine the benefit or detriment they will have on our health and performance. For those who are familiar with the glycemic index we can see how dose is important.

The Glycemic Index is a measure of carbohydrates that indicates how quickly they will be absorbed into the cells. Low glycemic index carbs are absorbed more slowly into the cells whereas high glycemic index carbs are absorbed more quickly. A quick google search will provide a list of where your favorite foods fit on this list.

The Glycemic Load combines both the dose or the amount, of a carbohydrate with its glycemic index rating to give you a better overall picture of the effect a food choice will have on your body. For example a large dose of a low glycemic food such as blueberries may have more impact on the cells of the body than a very small dose of a high glycemic food such as white bread. 

All the best.

Chris

Chris Collins holds a Master of Science degree (M.Sc.) in physiology and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS). Based out of Kelowna, BC he operates Okanagan Peak Performance which serves to minimize the potential for injury while enhancing performance. Chris is the most recent two-time recipient of the 'Top Trainer' in the central Okanagan, is a contributor to a number of fitness publications and a consultant to Olympic, professionals and collegiate athletes and teams.

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