Filtering by Category: Nutrition
Recently a few studies have been released about supplements that may have you reconsider your regimen. Now, before you throw out your vitamin cabinet, remember this - the best source for nutrition is food. Every time. Whole foods. That said, I think its important to say that I regularly take Creatine, Beta-Alanine & whey protein. And occasionally take a multivitamin & fish oil. That said - I do my best to buy from reputable companies, I avoid packaged stimulants & I don't use them as a substitute for good diet. So I don't think supplements are universally evil or bad, but should be approached with a skeptical eye & an educated mind. If its sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow largely on the dollars of weight-loss seekers, alternative-medicine enthusiasts & athletes. What many people aren't aware of, is that the industry is largely unpolicied in the US thanks to The Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994 that "keeps the Food and Drug Administration at arm's length from the supplement industry. A supplement manufacturer need only provide the FDA with a "reasonable expectation of safety," and no proof whatsoever of efficacy." (http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/42089796/) Meaning there is a potential mine-field of products on the shelves. A recent study found this:
"Between 2004 and 2012 the FDA recalled 237 supplements because they contained unlisted drugs in their ingredients...In a follow up study the FDA looked at the previously banned supplements that were still on the market. They found that 66.7% of those tested still contained unlisted drugs in their ingredients. Further, 22.2% of the supplements tested contained additional drug adulteration not previously detected."
Bottom line: You don't necessarily get what you pay for. And frequently you get absolutely nothing of what you want.
" A 2013 study using DNA barcoding on herbal supplements found that 59% contained ingredients not on the label. Only 48% actually contained the plant product they were supposed to, and a third of those also contained unlisted fillers and contaminants."
The FDA only tests supplements for 'known or probable drugs', meaning if they are not specifically seeking out an un-labeled drug, they are unlikely to discover it. This means the probability of a much higher percentage of supplements being mislabeled is likely.
And assuming you know what ingredients you are trying to avoid, the intentionally vague & numerous names a given chemical can be given on packaging can be just as confusing.
"DMAA is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency...and the U.S. military. The stimulant was recently linked to the deaths of two soldiers, as well as a woman running in the London Marathon. Products containing it are marketed as sexual aids and legal-high "party pills" when they're not being sold as workout boosters. The FDA warns that DMAA "narrows the blood vessels and arteries" and can cause symptoms ranging from "shortness of the breath to tightening of the chest and/or a possible myocardial infarction (heart attack)."
DMAA would seem like an easy substance to avoid, except that one list published by the Human Resource Performance Center named a total of 31 different aliases for DMAA, from polysyllabic chemical names, to brand names, to innocuous variations on "geranium" (the ingredient in supplements possesses only a passing chemical similarity to the substance found in flowers), to off-the-wall names like "crane's bill extract."
So what can be done? There's 2 solutions.
1. Get educated & be skeptical.
The NFL Players Association recommends their players only take substances from reputable sources & resources to quickly research products that may contain banned substances. And this very logic applies to your 'weekend warrior' who's just looking to lose a few pounds or put on a little muscle with an over the counter pre workout or weights supp. It remains in your hands to buy from reputable retailers & stay aware of the ingredients you ingest. Talk to your doctor, talk to your coach - use your available resources before taking a miracle pill.
2. Don't take them.
The average gym enthusiast may have less need for supplementation than your pro bodybuilder or Olympic athlete.
"Some athletes, particularly amateurs, do not get enough protein or calories before their workout, though Lightsey and others argue that it is a problem best solved with chicken and milk, not expensive powders."
"In the meantime, athletes must know to distrust labels. They should steer clear of unknown suppliers. They should know that even benign health claims are often unverified, that a proper diet can take care of all of their needs, even if they are marathoners or 300-pound defensive ends, and that substances that claim to be powdered antlers or geraniums can not only get them suspended but could cause health risks."
Whatever your choice - be smart & get strong!
The 4th of July has long past, but for all Utahans, the second excuse to light fireworks and overeat is upon us. Pioneer Day, July 24th is coming up and there will be a lot of difficult food choices to be made. To make the barbeque a little easier, why not prepare a side dish that fits your nutritional goals and provides everyone with a healthier option to the marshmallow 'salad'. Courtesy of PaleOMG, here are 50 4th of July recipes that will work just fine for your next family get together. A few sure hits include :
Pulled Pork Waffle Sliders (yes, I said pork AND waffle)
or finish up with a Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich
This article from the Poliquin Group, "Seven Mistakes Women Make When Trying To Change Their Bodies" has great crossover application to men as well but primarily focuses on myths perpetuated in women's weight loss & fitness magazines and popular media. A couple key being
#1. Focusing on Getting "Toned"
#6. Fearing Dietary Fat
Read the full 7 mistakes list here and educated yourself, male or female, on what dietary and training methods work best for you goals.
This cool rainy day is making me antsy for summer days. Lets kick off the positive summer thinking with an amazing recipe for Paleo Burgers from PaleoOMG with parsnip fries and red onions & avocado mousse.
- 1 pound (455 grams) ground beef
- ¼ medium red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled
- ½ cup (100 grams) coconut oil, melted
- sliced red onions
- ¾ cup (180 mL) Avocado Mousse (this will be released in our cookbook) - For now mashed avocado will be just as good!
- romaine hearts
- shoestring parsnip fries (from above)
For the frequently discussed & often debated subject of Post-Workout Nutrition, here's a nice list from the Poliquin Group. It includes The Forty Best Tips To Speed Recovery From Your Workout.
Don't get too caught up in the list of supplements here, but focus on the quality and quantity of the foods you eat ALL DAY. Nutrient timing is a moot point if you are eating junk food for 3 meals and hitting that protein shake 10 minutes post workout. Success in the gym comes from what you do the other 23 hours of the day. Some highlight items include:
2: Ensure hydration.
3: Eat high-quality protein and fat at every meal.
11: Eat cruciferous veggies with every meal
24: Eliminate sugar it causes the largest insulin spike of all foods.
36: To reduce muscle pain on the days after a damaging workout, do a moderate intensity concentric-only workout.
Number 39 is a secret weapon with immediate reward, try it. Read the full list here.
Whether you are participating in the CVSC Lifestyle Challenge or just trying to be mindful of your sugar intake, this article from the Poliquin Group is a good refresh on how sugar effects your body, what it is exactly, and how to avoid the excess intake of this addictive, tasty stuff in all its forms.
Here is a list of some of the possible code words for 'sugar' which may appear on a label. Hint: the words 'syrup', 'sweetener', and anything ending in 'ose' can usually be assumed to be 'sugar'. If the label says 'no added sugars', it should not contain any of the following, although the food could contain naturally-occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).AgaveNectarBarleyMalt SyrupCorn sweetenerCorn syrup, or corn syrup solidsDehydrated Cane JuiceDextrinDextroseFructoseFruit juice concentrateGlucoseHigh-fructose corn syrupHoneyInvert sugarLactoseMaltodextrinMalt syrupMaltoseMaple syrupMolassesRaw sugarRice SyrupSaccharoseSorghum or sorghum syrupSucroseSyrupTreacleTurbinadoSugarXyloseRemember, your body doesn't care what the label says, it's all just 'sugar'.
Accept that There Is No Healthy Sugar
Although added fructose may be the worst sugar because of how it slows metabolism and halts fat burning, there is NO nutritional value in any form of sugar except possibly honey. For optimal body composition, avoid ALL sugar. Be aware that “healthier” sweeteners are a myth—agave is one of the worst sweeteners because it is almost pure liquid fructose with an even higher fructose content (88 percent) than high-fructose corn syrup!
Read Is Sugar More Trouble Than It's Worth? for their 10 tips to avoid sugar for a better body composition.
We'll keep this one simple. Nutrition is not just important, it is KEY in reaching your fitness goals. This post from Robb Wolf discusses in depth what sort of post-workout nutrition you should be aiming for. Its a bit of a read, but very worthwhile if you are serious about fueling yourself appopriately to your goals.
Should one use carbs post workout or not? If so how much, and when? Like a great number of situations, how we manage our post workout nutrition depends on where we are and where we want to go. If you have followed my previous ramblings you might be familiar with the orientation I use for most of my decision making: How does a given decision affect Performance, Health and Longevity. Similarly, how does a given decision affect how one looks, feels and performs? Given all this I’m going to tackle post workout nutrition (PWO) first from the perspective of shoring up health, then performance, then longevity.
And if you are more of a visual learner check out his Paleo Troubleshooting Guides
Here is an interesting nutrition post courtesy of The Poliquin Group called,
Often maligned and villanized as the cause for obesity and heart disease, good fats are actually essential to good health and body composition. Its important that you are getting the correct kind and that it is in conjunction with a non-inflammatory diet of low grain, whole food. The article covers several good sources of fat to include fish, coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and more...
OMEGA 3's help you burn fat
"...Eating the omega-3 fats will raise energy expenditure, leading you to burn more calories than you would otherwise. For example, a study of overweight men found that when they increased their omega-3 intake from 0.43 g/day to 2.92 g/day, they experienced a 51 percent increase in the amount of calories they burned after eating. "
"The fats highlighted here will improve insulin sensitivity, decrease inflammation, enhance cellular health and gene signaling, and support hormone balance. But they can't fix the damage that you do if you eat lots of carbs, trans-fats, or processed foods.
[typography font="Cantarell" size="18" size_format="px"]"You can't out-train a shitty diet."[/typography]
You read it on the whiteboard every day but what does that mean to you? There is a vast amount of nutritional resources in print or the web (including those at the footer of our home page ) that I encourage you to read up on. Nobody is the same & finding what works best for you takes some time and patience. BUT if you want the CliffsNotes version, check out what John Welbourn has to say on the matter on his blog, "Just Tell Me What to Eat".
"Talk To Me Johnnie – After reading the information on fats and ketogenic diets, I am confused. Can you just tell me what to eat?
It seems that I needed some counseling, so I did what any intelligent individual would do, I contacted Chuck Norris for his views on nutrition and the Power Athlete Diet ™. I asked for an accurate prescription for what I should be eating. Chuck responded and delivered the information via a mechanical winged messenger given as a gift by the Gods of Olympus."
Of course, Chuck always delivers and the post covers what you can eat, what you should limit and outright avoid. Maybe a good starting point for you?