Nutrition and Fitness Glossary

Adipose tissue:

Connective tissue in which fat is stored.

Amino Acids:

A class of organic compounds known as the building blocks of protein.

Anabolic Androgenic Steroids:

Synthetic deprivation of the male sex hormone testosterone.

Anatomical Position:

Standing erect, with feet and palms facing forward.


Anatomical term meaning toward the front. Opposite of posterior.


A decrease in cross sectional size of a muscle.

Axis of Rotation:

Imaginary line or point about which an object rotates.

Basal Metabolic Rate:

The energy expended by the body at rest to maintain normal function. Relative to lean body mass.


Branched-chain amino acids

Biological Value:

The amount of protein nitrogen that is retained from a given amount of nitrogen that has been digested and absorbed.


Amount of heat required to raise 1 kg of water to one degree C; used to express the fuel or energy value of food or the output of the organism.


A chemical compound made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates are the chief source of energy for all body functions and anaerobic muscular exertions.

Cardiovascular Endurance Capacity:

The term used to define overall body endurance or stamina.


The tearing down or destruction of body tissue.


A fat-like substance found in all animals fats, bile, skin, blood and brain tissue. Cholesterol is also necessary for the synthesis of endogenous hormones.

Complete protein:

A protein containing all the essential amino in amounts adequate for human use.


Muscle action in which the tension developed causes visible shortening of the muscle. Positive work is performed.


Muscle action in which tension is developed in the muscle and the muscle lengthens. Negative work is performed.


Body type characterized by a light build and slight muscular development.


Body type characterized by a heavy rounded build, often with a marked tendency towards obesity or being overweight.


The capacity to do work.

Essential Fatty Acid:

Fatty Acid that the body cannot manufacture and that may cause nutritional deficiency if not supplied through the diet and/or supplementation.

Essential Nutrient:

A nutrient that must be provided in the diet because the body cannot produce it.

Fat soluble Vitamins:

Vitamins, which can only be absorbed through the small intestine and in the presence of fat.


An essential nutrient providing energy and energy storage.


A state of increased discomfort and decreased efficiency resulting from prolonged or excessive exertion.

Fatty Acid:

Building blocks of fat. Nutrient for the production of energy during prolonged low intensity activity.


The range of movement of a specific joint or a group of joints, influenced by the associated bones and bony structures, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.


Fruit sugar


The simplest form of sugar in which a carbohydrate is assimilated in the body: blood sugar.


The form in which carbohydrates are stored in the body.


Elevated levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood.


Enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part due to an increase in the size of its constituent cells.


A hormone produced by the pancreas, which helps to control blood glucose levels and carbohydrates metabolism.


In weight training, the load or percentage of the maximum lifting capacity is lifted with each repetition.


Condition during which movement is produced.

Lactic Acid:

A temporary product of aerobic glucose metabolism.

Lean Body Mass:

Body weight minus body fat; composed of muscle, bone and other nonfat tissue.


Fat, or fat-like, substance.


A molecule that is a combination of protein and lipid; lipoproteins are the transporters of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Maximum Heart Rate:

The fastest heart rate possible under normal maximal exercise conditions.


Husky body type, with muscular build.


The total of the energy-production and absorbing processes in the body; the energy used by the body.


An inorganic substance which acts as a catalyst in many endogenous biological reactions, such as muscle contraction, nerve transmissions, digestion, metabolism and the utilization of nutrients in foods.


A substance necessary to maintain life, health and the reproduction in an organism.


A percent of body fat greater than 25% for males or 30% females.


A decrease in bone density.


Anatomical term meaning towards the back. Opposite of anterior.


An essential nutrient made up of amino acids. Building block for tissues. A complete protein for humans must have 22 amino acids. 1 gm=4kcals.


The gradual increase to a maximum in a reflex, when a stimulus of unaltered intensity is prolonged.


The number of times a motion for an exercise is completed.

Saturated fat:

A fatty acid with no double bonds and is solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is found primarily in animal products and is a major risk factor for heart disease.


The number of times a group of exercises is performed.


Male sex hormone

Thermic Effect of Food:

An increase in energy expenditure due to an increase in cellular exercise associated with the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of food.

Unsaturated Fat:

Vegetable fats usually contain little or no cholesterol.


An organic substance which occurs in varying quantities in specific foods and is necessary for proper growth and maintenance of health.

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