The 10 Commandments of Bodybuilding Nutrition — Fact or Fiction?
What’s the truth behind 10 commonly held beliefs about muscle- and strength-building nutrition? MMI separates the bodybuilding facts from the fallacies.
Commandment #3: “Thou shalt drink water to shed fat”
It’s standard fat-loss advice, and a report in the journal Obesity confirms it’s truth: Taking in more water can help max out your six-pack. In the study, researchers credited 5 pounds of weight loss to consuming extra water in subjects who upped their aqua consumption to at least a liter a day for a year. The investigators surmise that well-hydrated cells may rev up your fat-burning metabolism. Ideal hydration also helps your muscles look fuller and allows your body to properly use the calories from food.
You’d be wise to follow the National Academy of Sciences recommendation and guzzle at least 16 cups of water per day. And make sure to pack your meals and snacks with water-rich produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, watermelon and berries. Don’t forget that milk and fat-burning green tea also count toward your daily quota.
Commandment #4: “Thou shalt use fruit juice in thy post-workout protein concoctions”
It seems like sound advice: Guzzle fruit juices after a hard-as-nails workout to spike insulin levels and drive recovery nutrients into muscle cells, instigating musle glycogen replenishment and protein synthesis. Yet fruit juices like orange and apple are rich in fructose, a form of sugar that’s predominantly processed in the liver and not the muscle, which may potentially delay your recovery.
Instead of fruit juice, reach for sports drinks such as Gatorade, which is designed to have higher levels of fast-acting sugars. Dextrose powder is another good addition to a post-training shake for a heavy insulin spike. Glucose, maltodextrin and waxy maize are also your best post-workout options for spiking insulin. After your workout, look for fruits such as cantaloupe, peaches, berries and cherries, that have more glucose than fructose.