SYSTEMATIC PHYSICAL TRAINING 463
A great many persons who have made a study of the relation of strength and endurance to food, have arrived at the conclusion that a vegetarian diet is the best for quick, permanent, and vigorous development. I, however, have been able to secure good results where a mixed meat and vegetable diet was employed, provided I could secure the desired rotation of foods.
It is a well-known fact that a majority of people continually over-eat. If they do not over-eat in quantity, they do it by consuming such foods that an over-supply of some element of nutrition is obtained at the expense of some other very necessary element.
The ideal diet would be one that combines the exact quantity and proportion of elements that the body consumes in the course of a day. It is comparatively easy for the scientist, equipped with all the apparatus at his command, to determine the elements needed, and their exact proportions. The elements required in the daily ration of a normal healthy man consist of nitrogenous, or tissue-building foods, to give the elements needed to effect repairs in the tissue structure; fats, which are heat-producing, starch and sugar, also heat-producers of a lower grade, and a small percentage of water and vegetable salts.
All these four elements are contained in vegetables, and in approximately the proportions needed by the body. Meat is a tissue building food, and where a mixed diet is preferred, this should be borne in mind, and the necessity for eating a sufficient quantity of vegetables or fruits be not overlooked.
I shall not enter into any extensive discussion of foods here, but I devote sufficient space to give the student a proper idea of the foods he should eat, and how they should be eaten.
For one of average health who undertakes this system of exercise for better physical development, the following regimen of diet should suffice:
At the first meal, eat only fruit, cereals, and milk. This should be thoroughly masticated, and not gulped down without being mixed with a sufficient quantity of saliva to start digestion immediately.