Mar 24, 2009 8:17 PM GMT
To all the gym rats out there aiming for the perfect body, here are some scientific studies to help you along. What I've learned from both 2 years of medical school and recent research is that a 'perfect body' does not necessarily translate into 'perfect health'. It baffles me how even health conscious people fall prey to ideas that have no basis in respected scientific literature. Here we go....
1. The amount of protein you consume is directly proportional to the amount of muscle built after workouts. In reality....
Two separate sports medicine journals have found that although up 35% of your nutritional intake should be protein, any more than that may not translate to positive muscle growth. Richard Kreiger at U. of Memphis has gone on record as saying that consuming additional protein does not promote muscle growth, in fact, it could have adverse effects on the kidneys. Furthermore, all the protein we need for muscle growth is easily obtained through out diet, making protein supplements negligible. The main effect protein supplements seem to have is the 'placebo effect'. Physiologically, they may do little or nothing. Those claim benefit from them are just ignoring the idea that the immense caloric intake of these supplements is bound to make them gain weight.
2. 6 small meals are better throughout the day than just 3. In reality...
While this one is technically correct, most people actually increase the portions of the 6 meals, rendering their effect counterproductive. Human beings are evolutionarily conditioned to eat larger potions. Besides, no study has ever conclusively studied how 'mini' these small meals should be; leading to overeating among those who seek to gain/lose weight.
3. Eating at night causes you to store more fat.
In reality.... it doesnt matter at what time you eat, as long as you consume lesser calories than your average daily need (in order to lose weight). Eating during diurnal hours IS better though, because of the habits associated with it, not because of the value of the time of day itself.
4. Salt increases blood pressure. This one's so common even some MDs promote the taboo of 'no salt'. In reality..... High blood pressure is causes by a narrowing of the arteries, which is in turn driven by cholesterol. Salt does not figure anywhere in the causation of hypertension. A person with normal blood pressure will NEVER develop high blood pressure despite of their intake of salt. HOWEVER, salt does exacerbate high blood pressure if such a condition is already present. In other words, it doesn't cause it, but it makes it worse. More precisely, it's not salt itself, but the reduced balance between salt and potassium. Regular blood pressure can still be restored by the eating of high potassium foods like bananas, broccoli, and beans.
5. Fresh fruit is better than dried fruit.
In reality... fresh fruit and dried fruit have the same nutritional value. Dried fruit is just fresh fruit with water taken out of it. That's it, no water, everything else is the same. The only difference is that the higher water content of fresh fruit makes more filling, so you're likely to eat less afterwards.
6. Celery has negative calories. In reality...the science is split on this one. The American Journal of Medicine, and the New England Journal of Medicine both count it as false. While the Journal of Nutritional Science says it's true. It simply depends on the individuals digestive process. The stuff is disgusting anyway, I'd stay away from it.
7. Bodybuilders usually are perfect specimens of manhood with above average health. In reality......though the final study is yet to be published, Emory University is conducting a pilot study on the subject, preliminary results show that competitive bodybuilders have a wide range of muscular disorders and cardiac problems associated with prolonged muscular atrophy, all which translated to an age expectancy of 5-6 years under the american average.
Other myths include-
-organic food is better for you..
- 'fat free' food is also good for you.
-American Journal of Medicine. Issue 24/.345
-New England Journal of Medicine. June 23, April 10. 2007/345
-The Lancet. December 2, 2006. no. 56/a78
Also, if anyone finds contradictory evidence for any of this, WITH REFERENCES, please feel free to correct me.
and finally, a rant on people who say 'I can eat anything I want and never get fat'. My response to that is simple. If 'anything you want' included crushed ice and a tictac of course you wont get weight. To anyone who claims that, I'd give all of my money if they can eat 10,000 calories a day for a month and not gain any weight.