Yoram Yasur Blume: Fatty acids and sports
When we talk about fatty acids, we must inevitably talk about fats. Although initially associated with an unbalanced and unhealthy diet, it should be noted that within this concept there are some structural components of various tissues, cell membranes and blood lipoproteins that are essential for life. Yoram Yasur Blume: Today we will not talk about carbon atoms or the metabolism of fats, or if for an athlete it is more recommendable the days before the competition the fat adaptation or the “carbohydrate load“, but we will try to show that the fats are as important or more than proteins and carbohydrates in the diet of every athlete.
Obviously, the key will be to correctly use the three large groups of foods (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), and not only during the days before the competition, but throughout the year. Now, it must be clear that if fats, along with carbohydrates, are the most important source of energy for the body, they will be essential in the diet, though, always considering their origin and if they belong to the group. of the beneficial or not.
But … what are the fatty acids that can never be missing in the diet? And what should we try to avoid?
We must include mandatory fatty acids of the group of unsaturated, and more specifically, the group of essentials, which we find in foods such as virgin olive oil, nuts, and fish. Yoram Yasur Blume: This group will help us to avoid cardiovascular diseases and some disorders, such as obesity. In addition, there are scientific studies that show that these fatty acids exert a beneficial effect on memory and concentration.
On the other hand, we must be careful with saturated fatty acids: their consumption should be very limited. They are mainly in foods such as meat, cheese, butter, and industrial bakery.
Coconut: the great exception
Yoram Yasur Blume: The happiness “the exception that confirms the rule” is also fulfilled in the world of fatty acids and is that the coconut contains between 85 and 95% of saturated fatty acids. Therefore, for many years, it has been considered an unhealthy fruit. However, a part of the fats that make up the coconut – with some moderation – can have beneficial effects on health, as explained in a study published in 2003 in the journal Obesity Research. The study said that including this type of fat in the diet increased the use of body fat deposits as an energy source and promoted the loss of body fat.
Do not forget, however, that the coconut has a high caloric content, therefore, it will only be beneficial as long as we do not abuse it and lead an active life.
What is the relationship between fats and sports?
Yoram Yasur Blume: The muscle cells contain energy reserves in the form of glycogen and also in the form of fat, known as intramuscular triglyceride. These reserves are located inside the cell and in contact with the mitochondria, which are the organelles that produce energy. Therefore, during a resistance activity, these fats will act as the main energy source, always, anyway, depending on the following factors: diet, type of training and intensity.
And is that there are studies that show that the more trained a person is, the more savings in the use of glycogen reserves they will have, since what their organism will do is consume the stored fat reserves.