Why nutrients matter
Nutrient quality is important as the macro and micronutrient breakdown and how your body responds are significant. Clearly 100 calories of soda or candy will have a different effect than 100 calories of carrots. One adds plenty of fibre and contributes an array of nutrients and antioxidants. The other provides simple energy that quickly raises blood sugar levels and sets of an insulin response. Insulin is the hormone that works hard to reduce high levels of blood glucose – glucose is used for energy, but excess is stored as body fat. High levels of insulin mean that not only is fat storage promoted, but the mobilization and burning of fat for energy is prevented. The insulin response is greater the more refined and less fibrous a food (or drink) is.
This concept of nutrients and real foods is worth reiterating to athletes. Often those in hard training can come to rely heavily on sports foods that are usually more refined (as they are designed for a specific purpose). Processing of