Precision Nutrition Certification – What I’ve Absorbed So Far

When I first decided to plunge into the certification offered by Precision Nutrition I have to admit, I was really nervous. I was spending a ton of money on something that was solely dependant on my drive to read and complete myself. I wasnt worried so much about if I would finish it or not, I was worried about how in-depth it would be.

For one reason or another, school has never been my strong-suit. When it comes to Strength & Conditioning and Nutrition,on the other hand, I amabsolutely in love! I can read anything related.

As I was typing in my credit card information on the PN site and I couldn’t help but think, can the amount of money i’m about to spend justify the education I’m about to recieve?

About 2 days later a package showed up on my doorstep and within minutes I was reading page 1. Without even noticing I was finished the first chapter! I sat back in my chair and felt satisfied with my purchase. Just by opening the book and reading the first page, you can tell that the book was written in lamens-terms yet very scientific when it needed to be.

I had a hard time putting the book down, and as the chapters continued on it was more and more intriguing.

One thing I have to say about the content is that it’s not light reading. Every page is PACKED with incredibly detailed information. I find myself sometimes re-reading paragraphs at a time just so the information would stick.

I’m about 90% done the certification now. Here is just the tip of the iceberg of what i’ve learnt so far:

  • What good nutrition is – Good nutrition properly controls energy balance, provides nutrient density, achieves health, body composition, and performance goals. Good nutrition is honest and outcome based.
  • Cell structure and function – People respond differently to the digestion and absorption of certain foods because of the unique differences in our genetic makeups. These small genetic differences (genetic polymorphisms) explain why some people respond slightly different to various types of foods.
  • Food intake, digestion and absorption – Bile’s main function is to break down the bolus (ball of chewed food) and absorb the nutrients in the small intestine, along with: acids, mucus and enzymes. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder.
  • Energy transformation and metabolism – The two most important nutrient/energy stores in the body are Triglycerides (stored in fat cells and smaller amounts in muscle cells) and Glycogen (Stored in muscle and liver cells). Triglycerides and Glycogen provide energy to the tissues where they’re stored along with providing energy to cells that can’t store energy producing nutrients, i.e. brain & Red Blood Cells.
  • Energy Balance in the body – In a lab 1g of fat=9.44 Calories, 1g ofcarbohydrates=3.94 Calories, 1g of protein=5.65 Calories. You might have heard that fat=9 Calories/gram, protein=4 Calories/gram and carbohydrates=4 Calories/gram. These aren’t rounding errors, the numbers you’ve heard of are actual physiological values (how the macronutrient behave in the body). Therefor the values obtained in the lab are true values, just some of the energy is lost through digestion.
  • Aerobic & anaerobic metabolism – A benefit of regular aerobic and anaerobic exercise is greater insulin sensitivity. The body responds to carbohydrate intake with less insulin release, allowing insulin to act in carbohydrate uptake and protein synthesis without stimulating fat gain.
  • Macronutrients – There are three different types of carbohydrates: Monosaccarides, Olgiosaccharides and Polysaccharides. The term “saccharide” means sugar. What sets the three groups apart is the amount of sugar groups linked to the carbohydrate chain.  For example: Monosaccharide = 1 sugar group (short chain), Olgiosaccharides = 2 or more sugar groups (short chain), Polysaccharides = more than 10 linked monosaccharides (Long complex chains of linked monosaccharides)
  • Micronutrients – Research states that vitamins and minerals from whole food sources have greater health benefits when compared to vitamins and minerals in supplement form. A large scale study on vitamin E was stopped because it was found that when consumed in isolation, the supplements appeared to increase rather than decrease disease risk. The opposite effects than that of a whole food source.
  •  Water and fluid balance -0.5% water loss = Increased strain on the heart1% water loss = Reduced aerobic endurance3% water loss = Reduced muscular endurance4% water loss = Reduced muscular strength, motor skills & heat cramps5% water loss = Heat exhaustion, cramping, fatigue, reduced mental capacity6% water loss = Physical exhaustion, heatstroke, coma10-20% water loss = Death.
  •  Special needs.  – Some micronutrients may require supplementation during injury recovery to speed up and ensure full, proper healing.Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Copper, Zinc, Iron/Calcium.Vitamin A– Helps collagen formation and stops post-injury immune suppression.Vitamin C – Increases the activity of Neutrophils (white blood cells) and Lymphocytes (immune system cell) during the acute phase of injury.Calcium/Iron – Play a huge role in bone health and prevention of injury.Copper – Forms RBC’s and together with Vitamin C forms elastin to strengthen connective tissue.Zinc – Promotes DNA synthesis, cell division, and protein synthesis

Those chapters were only in the first half!

The second half of the book shows you step by step how to coach a client through the process of positive changes in lifestlye habits.
Next week ill touch up on the biggest take-aways I’ve had from the 2nd half of the PN cert. Here’s a preview of what you’re going to read.

  • Step1: Preparing for your client
  • Step2: Collecting preliminary client info
  • Step 3: Interpreting client information
  • Step 4: Providing a nutritional plan
  • Step 5: Nutritional supplementsaion
  • Step 6: setting behavoir goals and monitoring
  • Step 7: Making nutritional adjustments
  • Step 8: providing continuing education and support
Never stop learning,

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