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The Fit 5: Nutrition Myths

Our resident fitness expert assesses the validity of these workout nutrition claims and rumors.

For all of our fans who shoot us questions on our Facebook page, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, Sean Hyson C.S.C.S., Group Training Director for Muscle & Fitness and Men's Fitness magazines, answers your questions about fitness myths looming around the industry. Be sure to read up on all of Sean’s articles here on MensFitness.com or in Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines each month. You can also catch Sean on Twitter

1) Vitamins and Muscle Soreness asked by David Franco

I’ve read that vitamins C and E help prevent the after run/workout soreness? Is this true? What truly will help with soreness?

“There’s no compelling research I know of to suggest that vitamins will make any noticeable impact on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). At least not beyond what you’d consume in a healthy diet. Exercise scientists still aren’t exactly sure what causes DOMS or how best to treat it, but massage and foam rolling have been shown in some studies to help. Soreness does seem to be the most irritating when you’ve done something new in your workout or ratcheted up the intensity. My advice is, get used to it! It’s a part of the lifestyle.”

2) Post-Workout Shake and Fat Burning asked by Tom Riley

If I only have a protein shake after an intense workout of weights and intervals, would I burn fat more effectively than if I did a protein and carb combination?

"Yes. You won’t maximize muscle growth or speed recovery as effectively as you would if carbs are present, but you’ll stop protein breakdown. The main goal with post-workout nutrition is to get an insulin spike. Whey protein can do this alone but adding some branched-chain amino acids—specifically, leucine—will take it further. Hydrolyzed whey is an even better option than plain whey isolate because it digests even faster, resulting in more insulin release."

3) Creatine and Kidney Health asked by James Heit

Is creatine really hard on the kidneys? And what’s the deal with “loading,” is it needed?

"There’s no evidence to suggest creatine has adverse effects on the kidneys. Protein consumed in high amounts has been blamed for kidney trouble in the past but science has largely refuted those claims. Creatine may or may not need to be loaded for maximum effect, but the loading process entails five days of 20 grams before a maintenance phase of 5 grams daily."

4) Cardio Timing and Nutritional Needs asked by Billy Gallagher

Is there really a better time in the day to do cardio? How about on an empty stomach vs. with food? Will there be a difference?

"It’s not clear how much of a difference it makes, but there does seem to be an advantage to doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach. The theory is that glycogen is low from several hours of fasting (time you slept) and the body switches over to fat for fuel in order to preserve glycogen. "

5) Skipped Meals and Metabolic Effects asked by Marco Rodriguez

If I miss a meal or two because of a busy day, am I screwing up my hormones and metabolism? I’m afraid to miss out on burning fat and building muscle.

“Not at all. Nutritionists thought for years that eating multiple small meals sped up the metabolism but ultimately there’s no truth to it. As long as you get all the protein, fat and carbs you need in a day, the time you get them and the amount at each feeding doesn’t appear to be terribly important—unless it’s within a few hours after a weight workout. Try not to miss this meal. But your metabolism certainly won’t slow down and cause you to gain fat if you miss one or two meals."

 

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