The world of fitness and nutrition is full of myths; many of these have no scientific backing and, most of the time, not even an ounce of common sense.
By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can achieve a well-balanced and healthier diet plan, while achieving your results faster and also enjoying more flexibility within your diet.
Here are 3 of the most common nutrition myths you should avoid.
You Need to Go Low Carb to Shred Fat
The low-carb diet has taken off in recent years, reaching the fitness industry and creating many carbaphobic gurus who now wrongly state the magical benefits of low-carb diets.
Despite many people achieving great success with a low-carb diet, is there actually anything magical about low carb diets?
Based on the current research, the main mechanisms supporting a low carb diet are the fact that it forces normal people to make 3 quick and powerful changes to their diet:
- Eliminate processed foods,
- Quickly reduce calories,
- Increase protein intake
For weight or fat loss, this is the perfect combination. However, for most experienced Kaged Muscle readers, there’s a big chance that you already eat clean, already consume plenty of protein and know the importance of eating less and reducing calorie intake when dieting.
In fact, for a bodybuilder or someone trying to maximize muscle mass, a low-carb diet may even be detrimental. While too many carbs can certainly be bad for the general public, they play a key role in athletes and are the predominant fuel source for high intensity exercise.
If you are trying to maximize muscle mass, you need carbs for the following reasons:
- They play a role in recovery and reducing muscle soreness.
- They increase insulin, which can enhance protein synthesis and nutrient delivery to the muscle.
- They restore glycogen stores after a workout, refueling you for the next session.
- They reduce spikes in cortisol after training, which can alter your testosterone to cortisol ratio.
- They increase cell swelling and the pump when training, while also helping you train harder, for longer.
As you can see, carbohydrates aren't all bad and actually provide benefits. The key is to use them strategically, while you may need to reduce your intake when dieting; there isn't anything magical about a low-carb diet if you are already eating plenty of protein and counting calories.
You Don’t Need Supplements & Can Just Eat Whole Foods
Another common myth is that there is no need to take nutritional supplements and you can obtain every single nutrient and ingredient you need from whole foods.
While I’ll clarify from the get go, you should focus on whole foods and will obtain most of the nutrients we need for daily function, this doesn’t mean it can be optimal for exercise performance or your physique.
For example, a well-balanced diet will provide a good level of micronutrients (vitamins / minerals) for daily functions and to maintain normal stores. However, there is a big different between maintaining normal or minimal levels and optimizing levels for an athlete, or someone who is training on a daily basis!
Understanding this difference is pinnacle and ultimately, do you want to have “adequate levels” or, have “optimal levels” to aid your intense training regime and protocols.
Remember, the government guidelines / recommendations are based on the general public, or the average needs. They do not account for athletes, nor do they provide “optimal levels”; instead, they provide minimal levels for “OK” health and to avoid deficiencies.
In addition to these points, some key nutrients simply can’t be obtained from a normal daily intake of food. This is because they are required in much larger amounts than food could actually provide, unless you were to eat unrealistic amounts such as 5 steaks per day.
Here are a few examples:
Creatine: You would need to eat several portions of red meat per day
Beta Alanine: Almost impossible to obtain, in the required amount, from food.
Vitamin D: Almost impossible to obtain a high dose which is proven in research and taken as a supplement (i.e. 3000 iu per day)
Citrulline: Impossible to obtain from food.
Betaine: Achievable from eating around 5-6 whole beetroots per day, but, who does that, every single day without failure?
Too Much Protein Will Cause Fat Gain and Kidney/Liver Issues
Another big myth in the nutrition world is the negative health implications from eating too much protein.
As with many nutrition myths, this is normally caused by the general media outlets and uneducated “health experts or gurus”. Sadly, this has caused a lot of the general public to watch their protein intake, when in fact, a ton of evidence has proven that they could reduce disease risk, lose fat and increase muscle mass by increasing their daily protein intake!
Whilst most Kaged Muscle readers will be familiar with the benefits of protein, it should be clarified that a super high protein intake does not cause weight gain or ill health issues. In fact, out of all types of food or macronutrients (fats/protein/carb) protein is the least likely to be converted to body fat.
Several studies have proven this. In 2 recent studies, leading research Dr. Antonio provided participants with around 350 grams of protein per day! The studies lasted around 8 weeks and in one of them the participants performed weight training, in the other, they didn’t exercise.
Interestingly, they also ate around 800 calories over their daily maintenance level, which is a large amount and would lead to weight gain. However, due to the super high protein intake, they found that no additional body fat was stored; instead, participants gained lean muscle and some even lost a couple of pounds of body fat!
This study even measured several markers of liver and kidney health, finding no difference after the super high protein intake. This is supported by lots of other research, showing no negatives from a high protein intake in those with a healthy kidney/liver. The only exception is those with kidney/liver disease or conditions like gout, who may experience some issues from a super high intake.
In a world run by the internet, it’s very easy to be misguided by fake and uneducated gurus or so called health experts whose poor information may be holding you back.
Remember to question everything and stick with the trusted resources, such as www.KagedMuscle.com