Myths just made life a lot harder. That’s because fitness and nutrition misinformation fool men and women into being confused and frustrated in their journey to creating a healthier lifestyle. Even when you’re already achieving results, a small myth or hear say conversation can throw you off. Thankfully, I’m about to inform you about fitness and nutrition misinformation.
Here are five fitness and nutrition fallacies you can forget about for good.
Myth #1 - Dude! You have to eat “X” amount of protein…
The myth we usually hear about protein intake is, we have to eat an “X” amount of protein at each meal because only an “X” amount of protein can be absorbed by the body at a meal. Let this fabrication stop here, once and for all. The body has an extremely high capacity for amino acid absorption. Even if you absorb 100% of the amino acids from a meal containing protein, doesn’t mean it will all reach the skeletal muscle & induce muscle mass. In fact, a very small percentage is used for that role because other organs and tissues extract them and utilize them. (1,2) Studies have shown that it appears that maximizing skeletal muscle protein synthesis requires approximately 15g of essential amino acids (EAA). (3) It has been shown that the amino acid leucine is responsible for the stimulatory effect of muscle protein synthesis and 15g of EAA would contain 3.2g of leucine. For example, whey protein is 12% leucine; therefore, about 27g of whey protein would need to be consumed to reach that threshold for maximal anabolism. So really what it comes down to is the maximum benefit level for protein at a meal varies depending upon the source of protein and the leucine content at each meal.
The bottom line is there is no set number to how much protein one should consume at each meal. Everyone’s body is different and if you have specific goals, your protein intake could vary. Shoot to eat your body weight in grams of protein daily.
If you’re 200 pounds, then have 200 grams of protein a day and divide that number by however many meals you eat a day. This is a good starting point and if you’re eating animal proteins this should get you over the leucine threshold.
Myth#2 - Man! How many times have I told you fasted cardio burns more fat than fed cardio!
Ahh the ever so popular fasted cardio burns more fat than regular cardio myth. Fasted cardio has been around for decades and the theory behind it is by being on an empty stomach, more fatty acids will be dumped into the blood stream and be burned as fat. Also, the notion of being glycogen depleted (no carbs stored in muscle and liver) will maximize pure fat oxidation. Not so fast Amigos! New research has shown that lipolysis (fatty acid release from fat tissue) is not the rate limiting step of fat burning; it’s the oxidation process (fatty acids being burned by tissues). This means the oxidation process is either the same or better if you eat before cardio. This study found that the actual rate limiting step of fat loss isn’t any different or could be better. The reason why it could be better is because studies have shown greater thermogenic (body causing heat) response to exercise when you eat before-hand (4).
In the end, studies have shown there are really no differences in fat loss, whether it be fasted or after a meal.
People get too focused on the substrates to burning fat. They think we have to be glycogen depleted because we don’t want to burn carbs, just fat. But, it doesn’t really matter because over a 24 hour period there’s no difference. You burn more fat during cardio; you burn more carbs during the day. You burn more carbs during cardio; you burn more fat during the day.
Your body makes these adjustments and this is something people don’t really understand. Also, you preserve more muscle mass with a meal in you beforehand and have more energy during cardio to burn more overall calories.
Myth #3 - I’m a woman and if I lift weights, I’ll become buff like a guy right?
Wrong!!! How many times have we heard this one before? This is one of the biggest fitness dogmas that have been around and it still persists. I’ll start off with some science to back my point up: Women on average have about one tenth the testosterone of men, the level of testosterone varies greatly among women and influences women’s strength development more than is typical in men. Women who have higher testosterone levels may have a greater potential for strength and power development than other women. An individual woman’s testosterone level fluctuates, so a woman who is near the upper limit of her testosterone threshold may have an advantage in developing strength compared with other women. Also, Men average about 39 to 48 lbs more lean body mass and 6 to 13 lbs less fat than women. This is why a woman must not fall into the myth of her becoming buff if she uses weights. Truth is, women can build a very sexy and feminine body by lifting weights.
They could also reap the benefits of increasing their metabolic rate, strengthen bone and joints, improve confidence and self esteem, and increase libido. So, step off the treadmills and ellipticals and get under some iron!
Myth #4 - Hey bro! You have to eat 7-8 times a day and every 2 hours!
This myth has been around a long time in the fitness industry and yet we are still confused about meal frequency. We always hear that it takes 7-8 meals to get big or shredded, sometimes even 10, which is absolutely ridiculous! Then we have the whole eat every 2-3 hours myth. Well, time to stick a fork in this one too folks. A study found that after consuming a balanced meal rich in protein, carbs, and fats showed that the duration of protein synthesis (the way you synthesize new muscle) lasted approximately 3 hours long. This shows that the duration of a complete and balanced meal prolongs the duration of protein synthesis.
What was interesting about this study is once protein synthesis levels went back to baseline after 3 hours; there were still plasma amino acids and plasma leucine levels still elevated.
This data was also supported by another study and finding showing that the duration of protein synthesis in response to a mixture of amino acids was only 2 hours long even though the essential amino acids were saturated for six hours! This is why it’s not a good idea to eat every 2-3 hours because you have amino acids that are still elevated throughout your body and it doesn’t make sense to eat another meal and try and promote a rise in protein synthesis again. It could actually be counterproductive.
Therefore, you might be better off consuming larger does of protein at each meal and wait longer between protein doses, rather than the typical 2-3 hours. I recommend having 4-6 meals every 4-6 hours instead of 7-10 meals and eating every 2-3 hours (5).
Myth #5 - It’s better to do high reps, rather than low reps and vice versa. You know that right?
Why must we live in a world of ‘hear say’ and then completely negate everything else, without even doing some research or experimentation ourselves? If someone ever tells you that it’s better to do high reps, rather than low reps and vice versa. Just nod your head and walk away. I believe that every rep range from 2-20 (and even higher in some cases) has value and there are benefits to every range.
Lower reps – 1-5
This range creates more contractile muscle tissue, trains the muscle to store more glycogen, allows the muscle to handle the biggest load which activates all fibers, and helps develop overall strength to handle more weight and thus overloading the muscle even more and creating more hypertrophy (muscle building).
Mid range reps – 6-12
This rep range is the king of all rep schemes because it has many of the benefits from higher reps and many of the benefits of lower reps.
Studies show that this rep range is the best for causing the most hypertrophy. The reason being the rep range is low enough to have our muscles under heavy loads and enough reps are performed to have them under tension with those heavy loads.
High reps – 15+
High repetitions cause enormous glycogen depletion during the workout. The body will compensate for this in the post workout period by increasing the amount of glycogen (stored carbs in muscle and liver) the muscle stores. Since glycogen has a strong affinity for water, this means more water from carbs will be stored into your muscle cells and thus induce more protein synthesis and causing the muscle cells to stretch.
This is a good thing because when muscle cells are volatized, there is greater potential for nutrient assimilation and promotion of growth factors, thus leading to greater anabolic effects (6).
Now that I have told you the truth about these fitness and nutrition myths, you should be able to have a sigh of relief or possibly be pissed off at the person that has been telling you these myths all along. Not to sound like a smart ass or anything, but just because someone tells you something, don’t automatically assume it’s true. Have them explain it to you, so that it will make sense. Make sure there is some science or a study behind the claims, science doesn’t lie. Also, do your own research or experiment yourself.
There’s nothing better than learning through trial and error. Hope you learned something today my friends, I’m out!
(1) Paddon-Jones D et al. Amino acid ingestion improves muscle protein synthesis in the young and elderly. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2004
(2) Tipton KD et al. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol. 1999
(3) Norton LE, Layman DK. Leucine regulates translation initiation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle after exercise. J Nutr. 2006
(4) Schoenfeld B. Fasted Cardio. J Strength & Conditioning
(5) Norton LE. Protein: How much and how often? 2009
(6) Baechle, Thomas R and Earle, Roger W. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning/ National Strength and Conditioning Association. USA: 2008 by the National Strength and Conditioning Association
Normally for Munchie Monday I like to share a healthy, nutritious recipe of my own creation but it’s been a while since I’ve whipped anything up myself. Also, it doesn’t hurt to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive by passing on this tasty sounding meal.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a plate of leftovers from Marie and I haven’t tried out the recipe myself but you should know that I trust ANYTHING that’s recommended by Ms. Lanza.
Original text is pasted after the graphic. ENJOY!
A lot of you have been asking me about my recipes for the Mardi Gras goodness I cook up every year. Well here ya go!
I get a lot of my ingredients from Cajun Grocer – www.cajungrocer.com and the rest at my local grocery store.
Pistolettes – Cheese
-French dinner rolls
-Sausage (or meat of your choice)
-green onion, white onion, bell peppers
Pistolettes – Shrimp Etouffee
- LA Fish Fry, Etouffee Mix
-Shrimp (or meat of your choice)
For the Etoffee Mix, follow the instuctions on the packaging.
For the cheese pistolettes: Cut up the meat to small pieces. Sautee all veggies until soft. Mix everything into a bowl.
Pour mix into an icing tube with a large mouth or something like it. Take a knife or your finger and cut through almost other side. Then take your tube with the mix and fill the bread.
Bake at 375degrees until golden brown.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
I like a traditional dark roux. I order SAVOIE’s Old Fashion Roux (dark).
-Frozen bag of okra
-Skinless chicken – drumsticks, thighs
-Smoked, Spicy sausage of your choice
Season with Tony Chachere’s seasoning.
Follow the instructions on the Roux jar and ENJOY! Very easy.
Fitocracy is the game you play to improve your fitness. Play it to track your progress, compete against your friends, and get real results in your physical fitness.
To play, just enter your fitness activities on the Track page every day. As you enter your activities into Fitocracy, you’ll earn points. Over time, you’ll earn enough points to get to the next level. Leveling up means you’ve been keeping up with your fitness. But watch out, every so often leveling up unlocks a special challenge. Beating the challenges and leveling up means you’re making progress.
Fitocracy’s mission is to make fitness a more fun, more addictive experience. Play Fitocracy to beat challenges, push your boundaries, and show your friends who’s boss. Get addicted to your fitness.
How do I join Fitocracy?
Fitocracy is currently in limited private release and in beta form. It’s fully functional, operations and there are thousands upon thousands of users. The problem is that you are only able to join via an invite code from someone else who is a member of Fitocracy. Guess what? You’re in luck because I have tons of invites to give out to all of you.
The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare, and the rest of the social Web.
Every year, millions of people visit the Shorty Awards site to tweet nominations for their favorite social media content creators. All those tweets culminate in a highly anticipated awards ceremony that celebrates the winners in dozens of featured categories, as well as thousands of crowd-sourced community ones. For the second time, the Shorty Awards will also honor the industry’s best agencies, brands, and social media professionals.
How do I nominate and vote for Fitocracy?
Easy! All you have to do is click here to nominate Fitocracy and then send out the Shorty Awards tweet. The link will take you to the Shorty Awards webpage for voting under the category of Social Fitness. Now all you have to do in that box with the green header is enter a reason after the “because…” and hit the orange Tweet your vote!” button.
Trust me this only takes about five seconds to complete and you’ll be helping boost an already bolstering fitness community! Help do your part to bring fitness and accountability to more people making the decision to better their lives through activity.
Lastly, you should follow me on Twitter here. This will be the best way to contact me if you have any further questions, concerns, or want to interact with me outside of the blog. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line anytime. I do my best to respond to every message and my door is always open.
I haven’t come up with any cool and healthy recipes in a while so instead of Munchy Monday I want to make this Mentor Monday.
I’ve had a lot of mentors in my life and I try to find a new one everyday. I have more than one mentor because my life isn’t singular. I’m one of the biggest plurals you’ll ever meet. I’d probably go batshit crazy if I only knew one thing.
That said the people that I’m talking about today are my fitness mentors. I know them personally and I’ve gotten good advice from them as well as had good fun with them. This blog is afterall related to fitness so it’s only fitting that I mention my fitness mentors. So don’t feel bad if you don’t see your name here. I still look up to my sista Brandi Bates for literary knowledge and Robert Elway for all things gold related so don’t think I don’t love all y’all.
These are three of the fittest people I know. Fitness for them is a lifestyle. Marie a sexy cajun who’s run many events from ironmans to triatholons. Ace is a certified Tough Mudder and Tiger is the #1 personal trainer in L.A.’s Koreatown.
Hopefully at some point I’ll get to interview each of them for this blog.
Until then check out their websites, bodies of work, and follow them on Twitter. You won’t be sorry!
Three hours later and I’m still riding a major endorphin high! I don’t even know where to begin writing.
In case you haven’t figured it out I don’t want you to go too much farther without knowing that my first real race is in the bag!
*self high five*
So many different things to fill you in on. It was crazy and enjoyable and awesome and did I mention crazy?
Let me start with last night, where the race kind of actually began.
A friend invited me to a concert by Tamer Hosny and one of the reasons I agreed to attend is because my buddy wasn’t planning on drinking since it was about 30 minutes away. I didn’t want to drink the night before my first race so it sounded perfect.
Well the concert was great but since we didn’t drink we decided to each do a shot of extra strength 5 hour energy. Let me say this, to hell with Redbull, Monster, and Rockstar. 5 Hour energy xtra strength is legit. It’s the only energy supplement that ever had any effect on me and I will stand by that till I’m proven wrong.
I started the night off a little lackadaisical but after the energy shot I was ready to party ALL NIGHT LONG!!!! We left the concert around midnight and headed back home. We picked up our buddy “Dhaka Flaka Flame” on the way and then to my other buddy’s house to “pre party”
5 shots of Jameson and a vodka shot later we were on our way to a local club. Inside a Jameson on the rocks.
ERIN GO BRAUGH!!!!
I was still feeling super energetic and the alcohol had not hit me. We closed down the club then headed to a nearby afterhours spot. We ended up smoking our weight in hookah and eating a pile of yummy hummus. Party Time! [inside joke ;)]
Fast forward and I stumble in the door at 430AM. Tried to “carbo load” mom’s spaghetti but figured I was being ridiculous and hit the pillow at 500AM. Woke up around 630 then…
The genius that I am forgot to account for Sunday public transportation schedules and the fact that I had a brisk walk from the train station to the event.
Wait for it…
I missed the start of the 5k by 20 minutes!! :(
What would you do?
Me? I said screw it and did the 10k like a BOSS!!
Now is where the fun starts. I had no proper warm up or stretching. Dogged the last few training sessions. Didn’t have a proper pair of footwear, AND I was carrying a backpack and a shillelagh.
So how did I do? According to my unofficial tick I finished in 1:26:32. A little slower than I wanted but keep in mind this was twice the distance. Also I was NOT prepared for the hilly terrain. I heard there was a hill but Jeebus they didn’t say it was ALL hill.
For non-Angelenos not familiar with the Griffith Observatory/Dodger Stadium area it is a STEEP climb. Not sure of the exact altitude but I was high enough to see a real live hawk land on a tree.
I gotta hand it to the Firecracker organizers, they picked a very scenic and serene route. SO many people stopped to take pics and I noticed a lot of people with GoPro cams documenting their course.
I can honestly say I didn’t cramp up once, no shin splints, no stopping and not one stop at ANY water station. Is that good?
I could go on for pages about my experience but I think I’ll save it for future posts.
One important thing I want to get to is this:
since I made an error and did the 10k this time should I do a makeup 5k in April or another 10k?
Less than a week away from my first real 5k and I couldn’t be more doubtful. Been half-assing my last few training sessions. Shin splints coming from nowhere, hamstrings sore from Zumba class, and I’m still a bit chubby. :(
On the plus side in the past couple of weeks I think I’ve found my pace and fixed my form. Still, I’m not sure how the pack is going to pace themselves and I don’t want to be left behind or burn out in front so I won’t know what to do with myself until gameday.
So this week I gotta really stick with the program rain, shine, or shin splints.
The goal is still the same; finish the race in 30 - 45 minutes without stopping. In all honesty I’ll just be happy to finish this one.