For Optimum Performance & Conditioning…Fuel Your Muscles With Fat!

Part 1 of Series:

Science has long since known that the potential energy contained in one gram of fat is equivalent to nine calories, whereas protein and carbohydrates yield only four calories of energy per gram.  Given this nutritional fact it has always seemed strange that the athletic community heavily emphasizes the use of carbohydrates as a primary fuel source in preparation for and during competition.

In order to achieve peak performance and conditioning, it is essential that an understanding of basic energy metabolism first be obtained.  To give you an example of the available energy stored within the human body (in the form of body fat), consider an individual who weighs 200 pounds and has approximately 20% body fat.  When calculated, this individual has about 40 pounds of stored body fat, with approximately 160 pounds of lean body mass.  Once oxidized, each pound of stored body fat yields approximately 3,500 calories of potential energy, equivalent to about the amount of energy expended by a 150 lb male walking at a speed of 2.5 mph for 13.25 hours.  To further calculate the approximate amount of total fat energy stored by the same individual, we would simply multiply 40 pounds of body fat by 3,500 Calories/lb.  This would then yield a grand total of 140,000 stored calories of energy equivalent to approximately the same amount of calories expended by a 150 lb male walking at a speed of 2.5 mph for 531 hours!

Since body fat provides nearly three times the amount of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy source for muscular contraction) when compared to protein or carbohydrates, it would only make sense to promote and encourage the utilization of body fat as the primary fuel source for muscular contractions (instead of muscle glycogen and amino acids) especially during competition.

Although this seems to be a very simple thought process, achieving the objective is not quite as easy.  The reason being is that for every pound of fat burned in the muscles, a proportionate amount of glycogen (carbohydrate) is required to be burned as well.  In other words, “fat burns in the flame of carbohydrate!”

Watch for Part 2 of this Series…Fuel Your Muscles With Fat!

The INTRAFITT Program concepts and applications are 100% valid and applicable and have been accepted entirely by the Scientific Community currently exploring the dual science of “Diet and Exercise Neuroendocrinology” and “P.N.E.I” (Psycho-Neuro-Endocrino-Immunology) and are supported by a myriad of abstract studies and published excerpts.

In strength and honor,

Will Smith AKA Thunder of the American Gladiators