During pregnancy, a woman undergoes numerous hormonal changes that, together with different nutritional needs, make food of great importance during this stage of life.
Each phase of pregnancy (and even before pregnancy ) requires specific nutritional needs for both energy and micronutrients, both for the mother and the future baby. It is a great time to put a special emphasis on food.
Weight control throughout pregnancy is also highly relevant, where an increase in the correct weight should be between 10 and 12 kg.
In the following video, Juana Mª González, Technical Director of Alimmenta, gives you the keys to an adequate diet during pregnancy.
The mother’s weight is an important factor to consider before conceiving. If you are overweight, it is best to follow a diet to lose weight before you get pregnant. Women should start their pregnancy at the correct weight and be well-nourished. It is advisable to perform a gynecological review and explain to the doctor the intentions we have.
As for the diet, the idea is to have a varied and balanced diet. The only thing to consider beforehand is folic acid or vitamin B 9. With the diet of today’s society, it is common to make a deficit of this vitamin, for this reason, it is always advisable to take it as a food supplement months before becoming pregnant. Daily folic acid needs are 200 µg and during pregnancy increase to a total of 400 µg per day. A vitamin B9 deficiency in the first weeks of pregnancy can cause malformations in the fetus, such as spina bifida.
Diet during the first trimester of pregnancy
The moment a woman becomes pregnant one of the important changes are slowing down digestion. The objective of this is that the food remains for longer in the intestine and, consequently, the absorption of nutrients is greater.
The weight gain during the first three months must be between 0.5 kg. and 1.5 kg. of weight. This weight gain is very small since the fetus only reaches about 16 cm in size.
Nutrients to consider during the first stage of pregnancy:
- Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates: Its presence is very important, although the recommended amounts are not different from those of a balanced diet. This means that there must be a source of protein at every meal (meat, fish, legumes, cheese, tofu, seitan, or eggs), that complex carbohydrate (pasta, bread, rice, potato) must be present daily and that there is to watch with fats (preferably consume olive oil, nuts, and bluefish).
- Minerals: The diet must meet the requirements of iron, iodine, and calcium, although the amounts of these and other minerals should not be greater until the 4th month of pregnancy.
- Vitamins: From the beginning of pregnancy it is important to increase the consumption of vitamins C, A, D, E, and vitamins of group B. You can cover this contribution with the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, raw olive oil, and dairy products. Many times it is recommended to take some type of natural supplement to ensure the necessary vitamin intake.
- Fiber: The daily consumption of fiber is necessary to have a healthy intestine and avoid constipation. Fiber is provided by fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. A pregnant woman should not consume more than 30 g. of fiber a day since it can decrease the intestinal absorption of important nutrients.
increase and development of muscle mass with Fitness
This article focuses on a part of Fitness, such as muscle growth and development (hypertrophy). The training to increase protein synthesis at the muscular level and thus lead to the development of the musculature will vary according to the person’s experience and the stage of preparation in which they are, in addition, there are various specific training methods to work hypertrophy, But the general guidelines for developing muscle mass are:
- 3 – 4 sessions a week.
- 6 – 8 exercises.
- 3 – 6 series of each exercise.
- 8 – 12 repetitions.
- 60 ” – 90 ” rest between series.
Also, it is important to do exercises that involve multiple muscle groups (for example pull-ups) rather than exercises that involve only one muscle group (for example bicep curl). Pay attention and control the eccentric phase of the exercise, since working correctly this phase facilitates gaining more muscle mass, for example: in a bench press, the eccentric phase corresponds to the lowering of the bar. And, the range of motion should be wide for best results.
Also, remember that approximately every 2 months you have to give new stimuli to the muscle in order to continue evolving and, therefore, it is necessary to change the exercises and/or the training method.
Food for increases in muscle mass
And what about food? How important is it when you want to increase the volume of muscle mass?
Carrying out a diet adapted to the physical characteristics and activity of the person, varied and balanced will allow maximizing the adaptations produced by physical exercise, that is, the results and physical performance will be better.
The caloric intake will have to have an extra contribution of between 400 and 500 kcal a day to promote protein synthesis and an increase in muscle mass.
It is essential to make a high intake of carbohydrates (cereals, bread, potatoes, legumes, fruits, vegetables …), since this increases protein retention and favors protein balance, thus preventing proteins from being used as a way of obtaining energy. In women, this consumption of carbohydrates should be above 4 g / kg and most men 6g / kg and day. Ingesting this nutrient, before, during and after exercise, reduces the use of protein to generate energy, since having muscle glycogen stores at a correct level, inhibits muscle catabolism, that is, the destruction of muscle mass.