When we put ourselves through an extensive exercise regime, there’s a higher demand on the body to function at optimum level, however when we are not eating or absorbing the right kind of nutrients, our bodies are put under strain and performance is compromised.
Malnutrition is not only a huge problem in developing countries, but has become an ever increasing issue in first world countries, resulting in the same health detriments.
There are an estimated 3 million malnourished people in the UK at any time, with many more at risk of becoming malnourished; (source: www.nhs.uk).
Malnutrition, or vitamin and mineral deficiency, has been known to cause the following:
- skin problems or rashes
- swelling or oedema
- poor vision at night or in dim light
- feeling out of breath and tired all the time
- bone and joint pain
It is important to note that Daily Nutrition is very different to Sports Nutrition. When eating for sports training, you will require an entirely different diet, an excess of calories including high doses of protein at regular intervals throughout the day, and a balanced amount of certain vitamins and minerals. Normally you will be building muscle mass which requires the right amount of protein intake at specific times during your training routine. To find out more, go to: http://www.anatomymanchester.co.uk/personal-training/nutritional-analysis
The NHS list several symptoms of malnourishment:
The NHS also states that the best way to assess malnourishment is by monitoring your BMI (Body Mass index) which essentially is your weight(kg) divided by your height (cm) squared.
As simple as this calculation is, the BMI calculator does not differentiate between fat and muscle mass, as it only takes into account your overall weight. If you are lifting weights, your muscle mass will increase, actually elevating your BMI indicating an unhealthy outcome when in fact the opposite is true.
BMI can therefore be a very inaccurate measurement of health and more fitness professionals are now looking at measuring body composition to establish an accurate assessment of health.
A very quick, inexpensive and non-invasive method to measure body composition can be carried out with a portable Bodystat machine which uses bio-electrical impedance (BIA) to accurately measure the quantity of fat, lean muscle and water you have in your body.
You are therefore able to track these measurements as you build muscle or lose body fat. This can be a very encouraging and motivational tool when embarking on a fitness regime, giving you insights and daily trending information to monitor your progress.