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Metabolic efficiency: what every athlete should know?

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What is metabolism?


There are many theories surrounding metabolism. But, knowing what metabolism is and how it works so you can further improve it, is very important especially for athletes that are constantly searching for new ways to increase their overall athletic performance.


According to most of the field’s experts, metabolism is the sum of many physical and chemical processes in our organism by which essential material substances are produced, destroyed and maintained and by which our energy becomes available. In simpler words; it refers to all chemical processes that happen in our system that allow everything else to properly function.

Nervous system and hormones are the ones that control our metabolic processes. Our gender, age, diet, muscle-to-fat ratio and activity strongly influence these processes.



What is metabolic efficiency?


If you’re like many athletes that are constantly struggling with the low response your body has to you despite the consistent training and also well-balanced diet, then, your metabolism efficiency might be to blame. Even if you’re just trying to lose weight, not seeing the expected body response despite how much effort you’re putting, is something very common to happen.

The most common concept of metabolic efficiency is defined as: “The energy intake based on your body weight required to maintain the current weight”. To discover your metabolic rate, you can take a simple metabolic test that a dietitian can offer.



Athletic performance and metabolism


It doesn’t matter whether you participate in different athletic competitions or not. Improving and adopting a decent metabolic efficiency will strongly improve your system from inside and out and allow you to better handle any type of physical activity and successfully participate in various of athletic events.

Athletes who have already embraced and accepted their metabolic efficiency as a real thing that can be improved, despite the type of athletes they are (endurance, aesthetic, strength etc.), the results of improving metabolic efficiency are quite impressive:


  • Decreased weight
  • A significantly improved running/cycling velocity,
  • Significantly improved cognitive function,
  • Decreased amount of body fat
  • improved and sustained energy levels and mental alertness during the day/competition/training
  • faster recovery time
  • better power to weight ratio
  • improved sleep


Become metabolically efficient?


Learning how to implement some easy and efficient steps into your daily activity and diet, will definitely help you become more metabolically efficient. Your body will eventually become more able to use the fat stores as energy sources.


The first thing you should do, is to start following the 90/10 rule. Try to 90 percent of your time eating a well-balanced diet, train properly and hydrating. Don’t overwork your muscles and stick to wholesome products. Rest as much as you can. The other 10 percent of your time is just life… This part should include the times you don’t stick to the above-mentioned rules. It’s OK. As long as you stick by these rules 90 percent of the time, you’re free to let yourself deviate from time to time…


Secondly, adopt a carefully-thought diet. Your food selection should include a large variety of nutrition values in the most natural form they can. Keep in mind that on your plate should always be a source of protein rich in omega 3-6 or 9  fatty acids. Then, a normal portion of fruits and vegetables. Finally, around 1/5 of your plate should include whole grains.

Following these simple rules, won’t be difficult at all if you really want to take this commitment. This new behavior might take weeks even months to fully adopt but, it is worthy.


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