There are five types of foods

Fruits and Vegetables
Due to the amount of nutrients present in fruit and vegetables it is important to have a portion of five a day. Preferably 3 vegetable and two pieces of fruit.

Protein comes in the form of meat such as chicken, fish, pork and beef. It also comes in the form of nuts and seeds. Protein is the building blocks for muscle tissue repair and is needed to support muscle and tissue growth and repair.

Milk and dairy Products includes milk and milk products – cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais

Fats and sugars foods such as cakes, biscuits, sweets, sugar-sweetened drinks and crisps are not good for the body and are saturated fats which means they can lead to excessive weight problems and blocked and clogged arteries.

EFAs (essential fatty acids) must be supplied from the diet, and are thought to have a positive effect on heart health and the immune system, these come from oily fish such as tuna salmon.

Starchy foods are all produced from grains, such as wheat, corn or rice. They should be a part of all meals, filling about a third of your plate. They can come in two forms – refined or unrefined (often known as whole grains). Whole grains such as brown rice, brown pasta other whole grain bread. These are the best options for you.

Refined foods have been stripped of their brown original coating and inner germ come in the form of white rice white bread and white pasta.

The human Body consists roughly of 60% water in males and 55% in females. It is one of the most important substances for our existence. It is therefore important to stay hydrated throughout the day, having a minimum of 8 glasses a day.

Dehydration symptoms include headaches similar to hangover, muscle cramps, a sudden episode of visual snow, dizziness, decreased blood pressure. Untreated dehydration causes swelling of the tongue , delirium and, unconsciousness and sometimes death.

The dehydration symptoms become noticeable once the body loses 2% of its normal volume. This maybe seen in the skin being very dry, thirst, loss of appetite. If this occurs within athletes they may have a loss in performance of anywhere up to 30% and increased heart rate.

This briefly outlines the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day.
Creatine Supplements

Creatine is a naturally produced substance in the body and is used for energy production. Athletes and body builders supplement their diets with creatine in phases to load up. This will have increases in strength, muscular size and endurance. However, this substance only lasts for a maximum of 10 seconds during a workout. Therefore, bodybuilders and athletes alike who wish to gain extra muscular strength and mass consume Creatine supplements.

The process of getting energy to your cells is adopted by your body via creatine being synthesised within your body from arginine, glycine and methionine in the kidneys, liver and pancreas. Although creatine is produced within your body, only short burst are provided at one time, meaning that those who are partaking in sessions of intense exercise or are bodybuilding, need more.

Specifically, research suggests that creatine offers these benefits:

Increases fat-free mass
Improves maximal strength (as measured by 1RM bench press)
Improve muscular endurance

Increases anaerobic power and performance

By loading up on Creatine you also need to increase ones water intake as creatine allows your body cells to retain larger amounts of water and thus an increase in body weight will occur. It is recommended that for every 3 grams of creatine taken daily there should be a extra consumption of water approximately 1pint.
Key Messages


Metabolism refers to all the chemical processes going on continuously inside the body that allow life and normal functioning (maintaining normal functioning in the body is called homeostasis). These processes include those that breakdown nutrients from our food and those that build and repair our body. Building and repairing the body require energy that ultimately comes from your food. The amount of energy, measured in kilojoules (kJ) that your body burns at any given time is affected by your metabolism. If we eat and drink more kilojoules than we need for our metabolism and exercise, we store it mostly as fat. Most of your metabolism is out of your control, but you can make it work for you when you exercise.
Two processes of metabolism

Your metabolism has two parts, which are carefully regulated by the body to make sure they remain in balance. They are:

Catabolism – the breakdown of food components (such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats) into their simpler forms, which can then be used to create energy and provide the basic building blocks needed for growth and repair
Anabolism – the part of metabolism in which our body is built or repaired. Anabolism requires energy that ultimately comes from our food. When we eat more energy than we need for daily anabolism, the excess is stored in our body mostly as fat.

Metabolic rate

Your body’s metabolic rate (or total energy expenditure) can be divided into three components, which are:

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) – the amount of kilojoules (kJ) burned at rest. It accounts for 50-80 per cent of your daily energy use
Energy used during physical activity – in a moderately active person (30–45 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day), this component contributes 20 per cent of daily energy use
Thermic effect of food – the energy you use to eat, digest and metabolise food. It contributes about 5-10 per cent of your energy use.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR)

The BMR refers to the amount of energy your body needs to maintain homeostasis, and accounts for 50-80 per cent of your total daily energy use.

Your BMR is largely determined by your total lean mass, especially muscle mass, because lean mass requires a lot of energy to maintain. So, anything that reduces lean mass will reduce your BMR.

As your BMR accounts for so much of your total energy consumption, it is important to preserve or even increase your lean muscle mass through exercise when trying to lose weight. Maintaining lean muscle mass also helps reduce the chance of injury when training, and exercise increases your daily energy expenditure.

An average man has a BMR of around 7,100 kJ per day, while an average woman has a BMR of around 5,900 kJ per day. Energy expenditure is continuous, but the rate varies throughout the day. The rate of energy expenditure is usually lowest in the early morning.
Energy used during physical activity

During heavy physical exertion, the muscles may burn through as much as 3,000 kJ per hour. Energy used during exercise is the only form of energy expenditure that you have any control over.

The energy expenditure of the muscles makes up only 20 per cent or so of the total energy expenditure at rest, but during strenuous exercise, it may increase 50-fold or more.

Various activities and the amounts of energy (in kJ per kilogram per hour) typically used during them are:

Sitting quietly – 1.7
Writing – 1.7
Standing relaxed – 2.1
Driving a car – 3.8
Vacuuming – 11.3
Walking rapidly – 14.2
Running – 29.3
Swimming (at 4 km/hour) – 33
Rowing in a race – 67.

Influences on BMR

Your BMR is influenced by multiple factors working in combination, including:

Body size – larger adult bodies have more metabolising tissue and a larger BMR
Amount of lean muscle tissue – muscle burns kilojoules voraciously
Amount of body fat – fat cells are ‘sluggish’ and burn far fewer kilojoules than most other tissues and organs of the body
Crash dieting, starving or fasting – eating too few kilojoules encourages the body to slow the metabolism to conserve energy; BMR can drop by up to 15 per cent. Loss of lean muscle tissue further reduces BMR
Age – metabolism slows with age due to loss of muscle tissue, but also due to hormonal and neurological changes
Growth – infants and children have higher energy demand per unit of body weight due to the energy demands of growth and the extra energy needed to maintain their body temperature
Gender – generally, men have faster metabolisms than women because they tend to be larger
Genetic predisposition – your metabolic rate may be partly decided by your genes
Hormonal and nervous controls – BMR is controlled by the nervous and hormonal systems. Hormonal imbalances can influence how quickly or slowly the body burns kilojoules
Environmental temperature – if temperature is very low or very high, the body has to work harder to maintain its normal body temperature, which increases the BMR
Infection or illness – BMR increases because the body has to work harder to build new tissues and to create an immune response
Amount of physical activity – hard-working muscles need plenty of energy to burn. Regular exercise increases muscle mass and teaches the body to burn kilojoules at a faster rate, even when at rest
Drugs – some drugs, like caffeine or nicotine, can increase the BMR
Dietary deficiencies – for example, a diet low in iodine reduce thyroid function and slows the metabolism.

Thermic effect of food

Your BMR rises after you eat because you use energy to eat, digest and metabolise the food you have just eaten. The rise occurs soon after you start eating, and peaks two to three hours later.

This rise in the BMR can range between two per cent and 30 per cent, depending on the size of the meal and the types of foods eaten.

Different foods raise BMR by differing amounts. For example:

Fats – raise the BMR 0–5 per cent
Carbohydrates – raise the BMR 5–10 per cent
Proteins – raise the BMR 20–30 per cent
Hot spicy foods – for example, foods containing chilli, horseradish and mustard – can have a significant thermic effect.

How to increase your metabolism.

Eat regularly throughout the day, aim for 5-6 small meals during the day. By missing a meal you will slow your metabolism down!
Regular exercise is key.
By building more muscle mass you will burn more calories. If you build 1 pound of muscle it will burn 50kcals a day where a 1-pound of fat burns only 2kcals a day. When muscle mass decreases so does the body metabolism.
Avoid transfats and alcohol. Transfats come in many forms like processed foods and sweets.
Drink a minimum of 2 litres a day especially if you are living in a warm climate.
Eat foods with higher nutritional content