The Truth About Nutrition

The Truth About Nutrition, An Interview with Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S. by T-nations Chris Shugart reveals some interesting facts about nutrition that go against the traditional view of how human physiology works. Much of what he says isn’t new to the body building or peak performance group but it does challenge some of the more pervasive views of our food consciousness. For example, whole grain cereals as being a healthy choice for breakfast; as if they are not the well marketed equivalent to an extra large cup of triple sugar coffee and a doughnut.

A few things to consider that I took out of the article:

  • The food you eat should rot fairly quickly – notice the shelf-life difference between boxed cereal and blue berries.
  • Food is only as good as the environment that it was produced / raised in. Cows that don’t have the chance to walk around and have to eat grain (cereal) that isn’t part of their naturally evolved diet tend to suffer a lot of ailments that lower the quality of their meat.
  • When alcohol is in our blood stream our body stops processing fat for energy – beer and a few slices of pizza WILL boost fat storage more than eating too much pizza alone.
  • Carbohydrates are non-essential. The body will make whatever glucose it needs from protein. This doesn’t mean that you will achieve peak performance if you don’t eat carbs, you just won’t die as you would if you didn’t eat either fat or protein.

There is a lot more in the article and I recommend you give it a good read.

CanFitPro Toronto 2008 – Some Lessons/Observations

I attended the CanFitPro conference in Toronto this weekend. Rachel volunteers at it every year and brought me along so she could share the experience with me. I had a really good time and learned a lot. I took the Spinning orientation course on Thursday because I want to start creating my own indoor cycling classes and didn’t have the credentials to do it; now I do and will write more about that in a later post. Below are some of the things that I took out of attending the conference that didn’t relate to indoor cycling:

  • Whey protein is both anabolic and anti-catabolic. People who have normal kidney function will not run into difficulties by taking it. In fact, the positive effects of taking it are so great that almost everyone should be taking it.
  • When someone has an allergy, their body’s cannot handle a certain protein that a food contains. People who have difficulty with lactose are intolerant and NOT allergic to it. For these people, they may be able to consume whey isolate because it contains almost no lactose.
  • Elderly people, children and some athletes do not get enough protein. The protein requirements for endurance athletes are greater than all other athletes because once the stored glycogen is used up, the body starts to use protein to create glucose to keep movement going.
  • The absorption rate of creatine is almost 50% when taken with 90 grams of carbs or with 45 grams of whey and 45 grams of carbs. Therefore, if you are taking creatine, you should be taking it in your post workout shake and never by itself.
  • Free range or wild meat is better for you than commercial meat because it contains less chemicals and it grew-up eating what it evolved to eat; not relying on humans to create a diet. It’s important to realize that commercial farmers are going to feed their livestock to maximize profit vs. boosting nutrient density.
  • I have developed a sort of immunity to beautiful sales people. I’m more likely going to listen to what an average person has to say about a product vs. a beautiful person. When I talk to beautiful people about what they are selling I get that feeling in my gut that someone is trying to control me. I credit “Blink” for this sense and it is still most important book that I have ever read.
  • The fitness industry is loaded with trends and distractive  products and marketing. Is it any wonder why many outsiders don’t want anything to do with fitness professionals given the line of crap that many of us spew? I don’t believe that standing on a vibration plate for 10 minutes is the same workout as running on a treadmill for 60 minutes; but many people are convinced to believe this and are out thousands of dollars because of it. Oh, and gym sticks are so hot right now.
  • Almost anything works for as long as it takes the body to adjust to it. Time under tension is one variable to control, but you’ll get good results not caring about it for a while so feel free to switch things up every now and then.
  • Power endurance is built by eliminating the rest time between the strength move and the power move during the super set – do your heavy front squats and move immediately to your jump squats instead of waiting 45 to 60 seconds between them.
  • It’s a bad idea to schedule a pre-season NFL game the same weekend as a fitness conference. Buffalo and Pittsburgh played at the Rogers center on Thursday. When I walked out of the convention center and happened upon 1000’s of NFL fans I couldn’t help but notice the difference between these two groups of people. On one side is a group of people who care about their health and fitness and on the other side are a group of people who care about football and tailgating. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going because I had been inside most of the day where the fitness people were looking like fitness people being lean and eating fruit and healthier food. Outside the people had a different type of mass, there was lots of beer and the smell of sausages filled the air. Both groups got along in so far as the fitness people could feel superior about their lifestyle choices and the football fans knew they could kick some ass.

I had a lot of fun and look forward to going back to it next year! If you have never gone you may want to consider it.

Thinking About Fish Oil

People should eat more fish because fish is an excellent source of protein and fish oil.

The benefits of taking fish oil are huge – check out Fish Oil And Fat Loss for a fairly detailed list of the positive effects. I personally have noticed a decrease in the joint pain since I started taking them about 8 months ago. My skin has improved; I have less acne and fewer ingrown hairs. My body feels better than it did before I started taking them. I am stronger than I have ever been and I have been able to add a fair amount of lean mass while maintaining a fairly low body fat percentage.  I take between 3-8 grams of fish oil per day and would recommend this to others, particularly people who are over weight or active.

I take 1 gram capsules which I leave in the freezer to eliminate the fishy after-taste. I try to take them with other food so the body won’t use the fat for energy – I’m not sure if this makes any difference but it seems logical that the body will use the sugar first. My morning breakfast is oatmeal, protein powder, water with some fish oil capsules and a few multi vitamins.

Of all the supplements I take, fish oil is one that I can say does something for me. If I stop taking them for a few days, my shoulder pain returns. The ones I take are made from wild Pacific salmon. They cost less than a $0.50 / day and for the benefit they offer, they are a bargain. If you are not taking them already, consider buying a bottle and taking them for a few months to see it they help to improve your health and well being.