Written by Nate Winkler
The importance nutrition and recovery have on continual results is a growing realization in our culture. Both the mainstream and strength communities are discovering the positive impact that proper diet, rest, and nutrient timing have on performance, body composition, and longterm health. Results demand recovery, this then begs the question: ‘How do I improve my recovery?’
RECOVERY = REST + NUTRITION
These three aspects: performance, body composition, and health make up the three parameters on which we at Juggernaut judge and select what to put in our bodies — sacrificing one in the short term will eventually sacrifice all three in the longterm.
Performance takes into account your ability to execute the required tasks under the bar, on the field/court, in the office/classroom, and everywhere else your energy is needed.
Body Composition is simply the physique you want and need to accomplish your goals. This parameter is left intentionally vague because some sports and lifestyles demand more or less body weight depending on activity. Increased body weight does not imply increased body fat. Excessive body fat is never useful, but lean muscle mass is. An NFL linemen MUST maintain a higher bodyweight than an accountant of similar bone structure for obvious reasons, and a teenage female athlete should consume more calories than a 35 year old woman working at a desk job.
Longterm Health is the final parameter that is usually excluded in many situations. If what you are consuming today is only going to bring you to ruin 5 years from now, what’s the point? We at Juggernaut have spent years researching and testing (especially on ourselves) countless recipes, nutritional techniques, and supplements to determine the best choices that will make you better today, but not harm your tomorrow. Understanding the organ, glandular and hormonal impact of what you’re consuming must be a point of emphasis. You can achieve and improve in these three areas simultaneously. Don’t believe the ignorant assertions that fast food, pasta, and a tub of Muscle Milk/ice cream are the only ways to get ‘big’.
Supplement’s Role in Your Diet
Sleep is simple, you need more than 6 hours and less than 8, if you aren’t sleeping enough than quit wasting your money on everything else, end of story. With this, the equation turns to Nutrition. We have discussed this topic throughly, but there are three major parameters that make up ‘Nutrition’ — what you’re eating, when you’re eating it, and supplementing the diet.
Our philosophy on how these three parameters interact is also simple: 1) Whole foods should be the foundation of your diet- you can only consume so many powders, pills, and potions till you get to the point of diminishing returns (or bankruptcy).
2) Consume quality calories regardless of goal– you can’t eat garbage. You can’t put unleaded fuel in a Formula One car, our bodies work much in the same way. If you’re wanting to gain mass, simply doubling your calories with McDonald’s will indeed make the scale move, but will it help you get off the line better? If you want to lose weight, halfing your calories and drinking more coffee will work today, but soon you will hit a plateau and wonder why you feel so tired all the time (the weight you initially lost was lean mass instead of fat and the caffeine consumption has exhausted your adrenal glands, ruining your thyroid function and therefore metabolism).
3) Nutrient timing– is a sweet potato healthy? Sure. But if something is ‘good’ for you isn’t the only question. Food is a chemical, and the body’s hormones and parasympathetic/sympathetic (fight/rest) nervous pathways respond instantly to the chemicals you put inside it — sometimes preparing you to rest, other times preparing you to burn fat or perform. When you eat foods, based on their macronutrient composition, is pivotal to reaching your body composition, performance, and health goals.
4) Supplements need to supplement– Pills, powders, and potions can’t be the basis of your diet, for many reasons. Most products that companies make have a chemically engineered version of a vitamin/mineral that you don’t have a chance of absorbing. Protein makers often denature the amino acids during the production process, or just include plastic fillers that will register as ‘proteins’ so they can improve their margins. The diet should be supplemented, but not based on supplements. Many companies have gotten very good at selling poison — make sure that you aren’t drinking the Kool-aid. Choosing the right people and products can make the difference in your body and performance.