Fitness Myths are not even real, but makes life a lot harder. Especially when it comes to nutrition, myths play an imperative role in confusing and demotivating, men and women, in their journey of adopting a healthier lifestyle. Even a tiny fitness myths is enough to throw you off the track when you are already achieving success. So, how to cope up with these myths? Well, the best way to handle these myths is to be well informed about nutrition and fitness and having defined goals. Today, I am going to debunk some very famous and typical fitness myths and nutrition myths, and help you move forward in your healthy journey.
1. Eating A Specific Amount Of Protein
We should eat only “x” grams of protein at each meal because our body can absorb only “x” grams of protein at a time – is a MYTH. Our body has very high capacity for absorbing amino acids. It can absorb even 100% of amino acids from a protein meal, but, that does not mean it will all be used to induce muscle mass. In fact, a tiny amount of amino acid is used for that purpose, and other organs and tissues utilize the rest. Studies show that almost 15 gms of essential amino acids(EAA) is required for maximum protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. Also, 15g of EAA contains about 3.2 gms of leucine (amino acid), which is responsible for the stimulation effect on protein synthesis in muscle. This means that amount of protein, required to induce muscle mass, does not actually depend upon the quantity of protein you consume. It depends on the source of protein and its leucine content. Everyone has a different body type and different body needs, hence the protein intake could vary accordingly. The best way to start is to consume per pound of your body weight in grams of protein daily. Example: If you weigh 200 lbs, you should consume around 200 grams of protein in a day by dividing it according to the number of meals you eat. Also, eating animal protein is more beneficial because it contains more leucine, as compared to other sources.
2. You Have To Eat 6-8 Meals A Day, Every 2-3 Hours
This fitness myths has been puzzling the fitness aspirants for a long time now. A lot many times you hear people saying that to get big or shredded, one has to eat 6-8 meals a day. Then there is another fitness myths about eating every 2-3 hours. I think it’s time to bust this nutrition related fitness myths. According to a study, when you eat a balanced meal (rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fats), it takes approximately 3 hours for muscles to complete protein synthesis. Even after 3 hours, the plasma leucine and amino levels stay high up to 6 hours. So, it does not make sense to eat another meal while your previous one is still doing its work on your body.
To put it in simple words, I would recommend eating a large quantity of proteins per meal and having four proper balanced meals every 4 hours, rather than having 7-8 meals every 2 hours.
3. Fasted Cardio VS Fed Cardio is Fitness Myths
Coming to the fitness part of the article, this fitness myths has been around since like forever and is still one of the most famous ones. In older days, fasted cardio used to be the talk of the town, but the latest studies have discovered something else. I won’t talk about the science behind this now, as it is quite complicated. Basically, the studies have proven that there is really no difference between fed cardio and fasted cardio; both burn the same amount of fat. In fact, fed cardio has been found to be better than fasted cardio because of greater thermogenic response during exercise. Also, it helps in preserving muscle mass and provides more energy during cardio.
People need to understand that it is a 24 hours ongoing process. If you burn more fat during fasted cardio, you burn more carbohydrates rest of the day. Similarly, if your burn carbs during fed cardio, you burn more fat rest of the day. As simple as that.
4. If Women Lift Weight, They Start Looking Like Men
This fitness myths is very popular among parents, who don’t let their daughters go to the gym because they fear that she would start looking like a man. Seriously? Let’s talk about the science behind this one. Women have way less testosterone than men, about 1/10 of men. Women who have higher testosterone levels, on an average, may develop more strength and power than women with less testosterone. Also, there is an enormous lean muscle mass and fat difference between men and women. Hence, women should not worry about becoming like men and start pumping some iron instead of sweating on treadmills. The fact is, lifting weights can help women in developing a very sexy and feminine physique.
5. High Reps VS Low Reps
Here comes the part where guys get possessive. Some people prefer high reps and preach the same to everyone they meet in the gym, some prefer low reps and preach about their “right way.”
The fact is, there is no right or wrong in this. Start experimenting yourself and do what YOU find is best for YOUR body. In my opinion, one rep has its own value, and 50 reps have their own.
Basically, lower reps (1-5) help you to build more strength by creating more contractile muscle and training the muscle to store more glycogen.
High reps (15+) help you to achieve greater muscle size by stretching muscle cells because of the more protein synthesis. This happens because the glycogen depletion during the workout needs more water and carbs, which induces more protein synthesis.
Mid ranged reps (6-14) is the best of both worlds. Its low range helps your muscle to gain strength with those heavy loads, and the high range helps your muscle to increase size by going under tension.
This is the best range to achieve the highest level of muscle hypertrophy.
Lastly, my purpose is to help you get over these fitness myths because they cause hinderance in your path to achieving a healthy lifestyle. I am sure someone in your gym might have told you one or all of these fitness myths and had you believe them. However, now as you know the truth, you can help them too by bursting their bubble. I would suggest you to try and experiment everything by yourself and learn rather than listening to someone else and getting frustrated by not achieving results.