Why is enough food important?
If you don’t get enough food, you may actually risk that your metabolism becomes significantly reduced. Your body demands regular and sufficient supply of energy in order to have enough surplus to perform normal activities during a day, even if it is just laying on the couch.
Tired and exhausted
If you shall function in a good way, you need sufficient supply of energy and nutrients every day. It means that if you don’t get enough food, you will also not get enough of the nutrients that the body needs. This may lead to a feeling of tiredness and exhaustion, and also bad mood and lack of concentration. On a longer term, the consequence may be that your immune system will be weakened, and that you may get deficiency diseases due to lack of crucial vitamins and minerals. Wrong type of food may give the same consequences as insufficient amount of food. It is therefore important to have sufficient intake of the right type of food. By eating the right type of food, it is easier to listen to the body. It knows how much it needs, through the sense of being hungry and being full, and by the abscence of desire for sweets.
Loss of muscles
The body’s stores of energy gets empty if food intake is insufficient. You store energy in the form of fat, sugar and proteins. In which sequence these sources of energy is being used, depends on what kind of nutrients you take and the frequency of intake of them. No intake over several hours will lead to burning of both proteins from muscles and sugar that is stored in liver and in muscles, and fat. This is frustrating for those who want to reduce their percentage of fat and at the same time keep or even build muscles.
Emptying the body’s storage of energy
The blood needs a constant and stable level of sugar. To keep the level stable, regular supply of moderate amounts of sugar (preferrably through slow burning carbohydrates) is needed through the food. However, if too much sugar is supplied, the blood sugar sugar level will be too high, and the surplus will be stored as fat and glycogen. When there is no supply of sugar to the blood, it has to be taken from then body’s own storage of energy. Then, the body’s activity level, hormonal status and what you have eaten, will decide where the sugar (energy) will come from. The glycogen stores in the cells will be used quite quickly, and after having emptied this source, further energy will be taken from the fat stores and from muscles. So, if you want to keep or increase the mass of muscles, you need a regular intake of proteins and correctly designed strength training.
Read more about healthy nutrition and nutrition for runners in these articles:
- Runners’ health
- You become what you eat
- Nutrition during ultra runs
- How to deal with the desire for sweets
- How much fluid intake is needed for running
- Marte’s power shake
- This is the best you can have for breakfast
Author: Marte Kristiansen