Sports diet myths. Why they are misconceptions. The content of the article:
- Calorie counting
- Measure in food
- Low carb foods
- Protein compounds
- The ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates
In this article, we will try to dispel the main misconceptions associated with a sports diet. Today we will talk about five myths inherent in athletes regarding sports diet.
Myth 1: you need to count calories for weight control
Diet plays a very important role in the life of an athlete. But many athletes, composing their nutrition program, have not entirely correct ideas about some of the nuances of this process.
It is believed that it is very important for weight control to closely monitor the amount of calories consumed. Moreover, not only people who are struggling with excess weight think so, but also recommend some reputable diets. However, this may not help to be slim in the long run.
This is due to the changes taking place in the life of each person, and it is not possible to accurately calculate the number of calories needed. No one will argue with the fact that any changes in a person's living conditions have a great impact on his body. That is why all living beings have developed special survival mechanisms, thanks to which the production and consumption of the required amount of energy is regulated.
So, for example, with a decrease in the calorie content of your diet, the basal metabolic rate also decreases. Athletes, when drawing up their nutrition program, should definitely take into account all aspects of this method.
Not all calories are created equal. For example, calories from sugar are more likely to increase your body fat percentage than calories from nuts. The body is able to independently use calories from various food combinations. The same calories in a certain food combination will promote fat storage.
It is worth remembering about meal times. Calories from carbohydrates are useful and effective after the training process is completed, however, they will have a negative effect on the body before it, as the level of cortisol in the blood will increase.
So, one of the most popular and at the same time controversial diets today is a diet that limits the amount of calories consumed. Its creators claim that with the help of their formulation, it is possible to reduce the overall level of metabolic stress, which in turn will extend the lifespan. However, there are many questions that they cannot answer.
At the same time, it is worth recognizing that, thanks to the calculations of calories, it is possible to quite accurately determine the amount of energy received from food. It is only necessary to use this method correctly. Now scientists have found that the amount of calories consumed affects the metabolism of protein compounds.
With an increase in the caloric content of the diet in the body, protein is used to the maximum, and with a decrease, protein synthesis is reduced. Thus, it is safe to say that calorie calculation can be used as a reference measure of energy consumption, but it cannot be applied as the basis of a diet.
Myth 2: you can eat everything, but you need to know when to stop
The term "being moderate" has become quite popular now. Most medical experts claim that everything is possible in moderation.
As a result, a huge number of overweight people cannot understand what they did wrong. And the thing is that you can't eat everything in moderation. Moderation has never been synonymous with success. Many of the greatest personalities in human history have been people of extremes. Roman legionaries trained to survive in extreme conditions. Even then, it was known that moderate training would not help on the battlefield.
The human body is able to adapt to any changes in the environment. The stronger these changes, the more chances that thrifty genes will come into play, thanks to which a person will be able to survive. The main challenge for survival genes is to optimize the amount of energy consumed. Consequently, the ability to get fuel from carbohydrates and fats is considered a critical factor for survival.
How to find a moderate dose for a specific person? According to recent studies, with the slightest changes in the content of trace elements in the diet, skeletal muscles are affected.
The same can be said about the fat content in food, which affects the amount of fatty acids in muscle cells. For example, if the diet is not balanced, then a high content of Omega-6 in the diet can lead to a lack of Omega-3. In turn, this will entail disruptions in the recovery system of muscle tissue, chronic inflammatory muscle processes.
Moderation cannot be applied to an athletic diet. You can not consume a large amount of "junk" substances before starting the training process. This will lead to a change in cortisol levels.
Insulin sensitivity is a very important factor for athletes. When it decreases, the ability to recover from training is significantly impaired. Do not give in to the advice to “be moderate”. After intense training, there should be adequate nutrition. Otherwise, the body will not be able to recover, and the time spent in the gym will be wasted.
Myth 3: low-carb foods can help you lose weight
Probably, in the future, today's time will be called dark for dietetics. Never before have so many people used a variety of diets. At the same time, diseases of the cardiovascular system, diabetes and obesity are now flourishing.
The situation is such that this period in the history of nutrition fell on the maximum number of products that are positioned as healthy. At the same time, the most popular among them are low-carb foods.
Their main target audience is people who are confident that thanks to this they will be able to lose weight. They start on the heaviest, low-carb diets, but are unable to achieve lean body. Fat deposits return again, and weight gain occurs, exceeding the one that was previously managed to get rid of.
There are two reasons for this:
- When a small amount of carbohydrates enter the body, less energy is produced, which slows down the process of building tissue.
- Low-carbohydrate foods often use low-quality chemicals.
For example, some protein-rich bars have an unpleasant aftertaste and can also lead to stomach upset, bloating, and other unpleasant effects.
Due to the poor combination of nutrients and the presence of chemicals, such foods significantly increase the burden on the liver. In turn, the liver accumulates all kinds of carcinogens. This disrupts normal metabolism, leading to obesity.
People who are overweight and use a low-carb diet do irreparable harm to their bodies. Not so long ago, a study was completed in Sweden, according to which people with impaired metabolism have symptoms of obesity and impaired lipid metabolism.
For this reason, using low-carb diets can only accelerate the onset of negative effects. As a result, the content of lipids in the blood may increase, and as a result, insulin resistance will increase. Weight after that will only be gaining.
There is no need to deceive your body. Avoid foods that are high in chemicals or low quality carbohydrate substitutes. Eating them can be your worst nutritional decision.
Myth 4: to grow muscle mass, you need to consume a certain amount of protein compounds
One of the most common myths is the belief in the need to consume a certain amount of protein compounds. And to calculate this amount, you need to know your weight. It is believed that this is the only way to build muscle mass.
No one is trying to argue the importance of proteins in tissue building, but this is just one factor among many. By and large, body weight practically does not affect the process of building tissues, and the amount of protein compounds is more dependent on other components, for example, hormonal balance, meal schedules, training intensity, and the biological value of protein compounds.
When creating new tissues, the body needs to maintain a certain balance of hormones. With a hormonal imbalance, even with a large amount of protein consumed, muscle mass will not increase.
An equally important factor is the intensity of training sessions. At high levels of intensity, the blood levels of growth hormone and androgens increase, which promotes muscle tissue development. But it is also important to remember about rest. If the body does not have enough time to recover, then muscle tissue breakdown is possible.
When consuming proteins, it is necessary that they enter the body within half an hour after the end of the workout. If you do not adhere to this rule, then the rate of synthesis of protein compounds in muscle tissues will significantly decrease. It is much more effective to take 30g of protein after completing your workout than 60g after a few hours. However, excess protein before training can have a negative impact on the process of building muscle tissue.
For maximum assimilation of protein compounds, they should not enter the body in pure form and in large quantities. The latest clinical studies have shown that high-calorie foods increase the bioavailability of protein compounds. A relatively small dose of protein may be more beneficial than a double dose taken very late.
Myth 5: carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the nutrition program must be present in a certain ratio
Even to assume that there is some common ratio of these elements for all people is simply ridiculous. No less amusing is the belief in the existence of an ideal value for this indicator, which can help a person achieve their goal when gaining muscle mass.
This has not been proven experimentally. On the contrary, it was found that the human body is accustomed to seasonal nutrition and, consequently, to a different ratio of macronutrients. In addition, given the initial need to survive using all kinds of food sources (animal and plant origin), people had to adapt to all kinds of combinations of macronutrients.
There is simply no optimal fat / carbohydrate / protein ratio. This indicator is influenced by many factors. For example, due to the geographical and climatic characteristics of their residence, the inhabitants of the Far North are more adapted to eating fatty raw fish than the population of Africa. In tropical climates, the human body will prefer fruits and cereals to fish.
The notion of exact macronutrient ratios is merely an attempt to simplify theory for practical application and adapt to the nutritional community. But in matters of proper nutrition, there cannot be a quick solution and an ideal ratio indicator.
All the debate around the specific meaning of the correct macronutrient ratio is a marketing ploy. Scientists believe that the genes of our ancestors are present in modern man. The body has long been adapted to survive on foods that still resemble what humans ate several millennia ago.
Watch a video about sports diet:
To understand the absurdity of claims about the existence of an ideal macronutrient ratio, you just need to think about one thing. Did the caveman have time to look for this ratio to maintain it? Of course not, but he survived.