Energy

energyfundamentals

For any one who has started to focus on health and fitness, it would be good to understand a few basic concepts before diving deep. The initial posts will be high level generic and we will get more technical as we proceed.

The human body is a very efficient machine and also seems to have built in logic to save energy for difficult times. So we need to understand two concepts. The first one is that you body size will depend on how many calories you consume and how many calories your body uses. If you consume more calories than you use, you would end up putting weight (or muscle if you are working out for those calories).

The calories you consume determine how they integrate into your body. Calories are derived from fats, proteins and carbohydrates. When you are buying a snack in the supermarket, you can start looking at the calories table in the product. Every Carbohydrate unit provides 4 calories, every protein unit provides 4 calories and every fat unit provides 9 calories.

To build, repair and maintain muscles, you need protein. To enable certain oil soluble vitamins like Vitamin D to circulate in the body, you need fats. Trying to avoid fats totally is not a good strategy for this reason.

I would like to use an analogy to explain the concept. Just like your income is used to run the house (food, clothing, rent etc) similarly your food is used by you to run the body. The currency of the body is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). The body converts the food into ATP through three distinct processes. The ATP is then used to pay for work (such as walking, running, lifting weights etc). The breakdown of ATP provides the cells with the energy needed to perform tasks.

From here we will branch into two steams of posts. One Stream will merge into diet related posts and the other will merge into exercise related posts starting with warm up.

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