Bodybuilding Nutrition Myths and Facts
This article would be 100 pages if we were to list all the debunked myths over the last 50 years, so we have selected a few points that we feel will be relevant to the reader hoping to improve fat-loss and muscle gain. Each myth will be followed with a brief explanation.
Eating more often will boost your metabolism
When the expert nutritionists tell us to eat as many times a day as possible when trying to lose fat, we seem to forget the most important fact when losing fat. The total calories you eat in a day are a LOT more important than how many meals it took to reach that calorie count.
Unfortunately eating many meals a day has a much better chance of consuming more calories at the end of the day than planning three healthy meals within your caloric requirements. Good food can be close to zero calories because they use so many calories to get fully digested, but be careful of forgetting the calorie count because you are eating 6 times a day.
Your "Anabolic Window of Opportunity" will not shut down 45 minutes after training
It is common for most bodybuilders to believe that they only have a 45 minute window of opportunity to replenish the protein and complex carbs needed to repair the muscle done after the last workout. This is simply not true, especially if you have eaten a good meal before the workout.
Research done on this specific issue tells us that we actually have up to three hours before we start getting completely starved of amino acids to repair the muscle. This means it is not necessary to watch each nanosecond after we complete our workout to rush to a protein shake.
Whole eggs will put you in danger of heart problems
We all know that whole eggs should be avoided because of the high cholesterol with each egg containing about 450mg of cholesterol and the recommended daily dose only 300mg. But the truth is that this measured cholesterol is blood cholesterol levels and have nothing to do with the enormous benefit one can get from the dietary cholesterol of an egg yolk.
Egg yolks are packed with carotenoids that are good for eyesight, plus the richest source of all the in B complex vitamins like choline directly slows down inflammation and significantly improves neurological function. The experts all seem to agree that one egg yolk a day, no matter how many egg whites you eat will improve your health and not diminish it.
Don't "spike" insulin to build muscle, just raise it a bit
Like many bodybuilder myths this one started with taking in any and all fast-absorbing carbohydrates immediately after a hard workout to get the dramatic insulin spike required to help repair the muscles. We already know that insulin is a highly effective anabolic storage hormone, improving muscle growth and muscle repair.
But raising these insulin levels after a hard workout has not conclusively shown to improve or speed up protein synthesis. Recent research on the subject tells us that a point of saturation is quickly reached. This simply means that the extra insulin you now have floating around because of that sweet dextrose-laden Gatorade you just drank after your workout will not speed up muscle growth or repair.
Eating complex carbohydrates after your workout will have a much more gentle insulin release. The slow and transient insulin response to good food will provide all the energy and anabolic insulin hormone release you need to continue with the protein synthesis required to repair the muscle.
Are 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight required to build muscle?
There has now been extensive research done on the subject of daily protein requirements for strength trained athletes. The objective when eating protein is to maintain protein synthesis for 24 hours and maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Studies recently done clearly show that a lot less is required. A recent study done on strength athletes clearly shows us that only about 1.25g protein/lb of all lean body mass will be the optimal 24-hour total for all protein synthesis to happen, as well as to maintain the important nitrogen balance.
It is important to note that this does not apply any bodybuilder who is taking steroids or some performance enhancing drug (PED). Therefore for those bodybuilders taking PED's they should stick to around 2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.