The Energy Plan Book Summary - The Energy Plan Book explained in key points
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The Energy Plan summary

James Collins

Eat Smart, Feel Strong, Perform at Your Peak

4.4 (180 ratings)
20 mins
Table of Contents

    The Energy Plan
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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Carbohydrates play a crucial role in your fitness.

    A professional soccer player might train hundreds of times in a year, but he’ll eat thousands of meals during that time, too. Each mealtime is also an opportunity to prepare his body for match time. You might not be an elite athlete, but you, too, should think of food as fuel for peak performance.

    Let’s start by looking at one of the most controversial fuels of all: carbohydrates

    Given the ubiquity of low-carb diets, you might wonder whether you need carbohydrates at all. According to the author, the answer is a resounding yes!

    Here’s the key message: Carbohydrates play a crucial role in your fitness. 

    The carbohydrates you eat are stored in your muscles in a form called glycogen. During high-intensity exercise such as sprinting and hill-climbs, your muscles use this glycogen as fuel to keep going. Once your carbohydrate stores are used up, your legs start to feel like jelly. In endurance sports, this sensation is known as “hitting the wall.” So if you know you’ll be doing a hard physical workout, it’s especially important to keep your carb supplies topped up. 

    While a low-carb diet thus isn’t the way to go, it is true that you should be mindful of how much carbohydrate you consume. The key here is to eat only as much carbohydrate as you require for your activity levels. An elite athlete, for example, might eat just two grams of carbs per kilo of body weight on her rest days, but she’ll eat double that amount, four grams, on her training days. 

    But not all carbohydrates are created equal. This vital fuel can be broadly separated into two different categories: those that are low on the glycemic index (GI), and those that are high. 

    The glycemic index ranks foods according to how quickly your body can break them down into usable energy. Low-GI foods, such as rye bread and oats, release energy into your body more slowly, helping you feel fuller and more energetic for longer. But high-GI foods, such as white bread and cereal bars, give you a quick burst of energy followed by an energy slump a few hours later. 

    You can lower the glycemic index of some foods simply by cooling them down before you eat them. Refrigerating your rice, pasta, and potatoes after cooking will lower their GI, and give you more sustained energy after eating them. 

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    What is The Energy Plan about?

    The Energy Plan (2019) explores a science-based approach to healthy eating. It examines the latest research from the field of nutrition, and outlines how you can use this information to make better choices about the food you eat. 

    Who should read The Energy Plan?

    • Dieters wanting inspiration
    • Gym bunnies looking for fresh insights
    • Those seeking to overhaul their lifestyle

    About the Author

    James Collins is a leading Sport and Exercise Nutritionist, specializing in elite sport. He has worked with Great Britain’s Olympic teams, and was previously the Head of Nutrition at Arsenal Football Club. 

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