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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

My Biggest Misconceptions Growing Up: Nutrition Edition

By: Joel Luedke

I often wish I could go back to my days of trying to be a relatively decent high school athlete with any part of the knowledge I have gained in my career and do it all over.  So many things I have learned through college, grad school and just from working in the field that make me think back and wonder what I was doing then.


I didn't have the chance to take classes in high school so my knowledge of working out and training came from muscle magazines and if I happened to stumble across anything else.  I didn't

know where to look online and the thought of trying to find a book on the topic, well that just wasn't in the cards.

This mini series is going to cover nutrition, performance and general care and mobility misconceptions that I personally fell into when I was coming along in my own working out.

Any Calorie is a Good Calorie
I wanted to get big and strong.  From what I could find you needed to go into a bulking phase and that meant eat anything and everything that you can to put in the calories so they would benefit the workouts.  That ended up working out in multiple chocolate milks which weren't a bad choice but the extra donuts and not just doing school lunch but doing curly fries and cheese curds.

In hindsight this seems pretty obvious that it wasn't the best way to go.  While yes I needed the extra calories they aren't all created equal.  When going into a phase of trying to add muscle or just trying to maintain body composition the types of calories you eat do matter.  You can't just throw in random calories as its going to have so effects that you won't quite appreciate.  A calorie isn't always a calories and your body responds very different to 100g of carbs vs. 100g of protein and you have to take that into consideration.

If a Supplement Says it Works, It Does
In general I believe in supplements but after many years of learning and more money spent than I care to think about I don't believe in all supplements.  There was a lot of money I spent on things that claimed big results and well, not much happened.  This ranged from very expensive, fancy, up and coming combinations that promised unlocking hidden genes you hadn't reached yet....that apparently doesn't happen with a pill.  Other things like L-Glutamine that can be very beneficial maybe shouldn't be high on this list of immediate priorities.  It can have a good effects but shouldn't be option 2 or 3.

What I should have done is clean up my diet, stick to the basics of supplementation and focus on those areas.  No need to chase a short cut that doesn't exist.

Fat is the Enemy-Stay Away, Far, Far Away
This is one of these topics we have talked a lot about on TAT and the research coming out on ketogenic diets is extremely promising.  Not all fat is created equal so you can't just go after it all and think things are going to work.  That being said you don't have to be afraid of the word either. Putting in more options like coconut oil, avocados and eating more nuts can be hugely beneficial for your diet and your health.  Getting high doses of Omega-3s is a good thing and makes for a better operating body and some potential repairing of nervous tissues is too good to pass up.

Not all fat is created equal and not all fat is bad.

Gatorade is Best For Replenishing Your Body (Propel as well)
AJ talked about Gatorade in the article below and I wish I would have known more about this growing up. While it can be helpful in certain situations just because it is a 'sport drink' does not make it healthy.  Therefore you should not be drinking it all day everyday because of the high levels of sugar and acid in the drink.  This can cause so many problems over the long term that you just don't need.  There are many other solid options for rehydrating and refueling your body such as old school water.  Looking back I would not drink my calories as much as I did and stick to the basics.


You Need Caffeine (RedBull, Mountain Dew, Etc... to Get Ready for Your Game)
There are a lot of studies out there showing the beneficial effects of caffeine on performance, that part I'm not arguing and saying I may have messed up back in the day.  The part I messed up was the path in how I took it and the timing of it all.   Slamming RedBull and other caffeinated drinks right before a competition a) wasn't smart because of the GI problems it can produce and b) the effects weren't coming online until much later than I wanted them to.

Just utilizing basic caffeine supplements prior to warm up without the excess sugar would have set me up to have the effects kicking in right at game time.  This would have kept me from any GI problems and spared me the excess sugar I didn't really need.



While none of these things probably really hindered me in the long run I could have done much better with not so little things that would have made a huge difference.  I also think there are a lot of things that could have saved me time and money which is never a bad thing either.

Next topic up, My Biggest Misconceptions in Performance.

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