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Nutritional myths and supplement myths in a fact check: how to protect yourself from false statements

Fats and carbohydrates are unhealthy, too much protein puts stress on the kidneys and eggs are said to be bad for the cholesterol level: there are just as many fitness myths as there are supplement myths. But what is actually all about the hype about supplements? Do you need them as a biohacker or not? We enlighten you!

You probably know this: you have just started training or a new, promising diet when you question your plans with some fitness myths that are currently haunted by the internet. You eat an extra low carb, ketogenic, vegan or vegetarian diet in order to increase your well-being, lose weight or generally become fitter. There are enough headlines that fat and protein are extremely healthy or unhealthy and that you can safely eat eggs or, best of all, remove them from your eating plan entirely. With the multitude of truths and half-truths, you understandably quickly get confused. That is why we have taken a closer look at the most famous fitness myths for you in order to shed some light on the darkness. You will also find out which supplements can complement your diet and why you need them as a biohacker.

 

Fairy tale or truth: what fitness myths are there?

Whether in magazines or on the Internet: Everywhere you stumble across fitness myths that tend to create uncertainty for many consumers rather than help. Especially if you as a biohacker want to push your performance, boost your fat burning or sleep better, helpful tips about your diet, your training or dietary supplements can be extremely inspiring.

Many fitness myths have been proven wrong in recent years - unfortunately others are still persistent. We'll show you which fitness myths are most often discussed.

 

Fitness myth # 1: carbohydrates are bad for you

One hears again and again that carbohydrates are unhealthy. On the one hand, carbohydrates are supposed to support your athletic performance - on the other hand, they are considered the most common cause of obesity and diabetes. But what's right now?

The truth is: Carbohydrates aren't inherently bad. It just depends on how much of it you eat and which carbohydrates you choose.

In addition to fats, carbohydrates are an important fuel that supplies the body with energy (especially before and after training). However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. They are basically divided into single, double and multiple sugars, which, depending on the carbohydrate source, provide us with energy for the short or long term.

While fruit and unsweetened fruit juices provide a quick and healthy boost of energy, carbohydrates in the form of sweets and soft drinks, especially artificial sugar sources in the form of glucose syrup, are generally considered to be "unhealthy". Due to the high sugar content, they cause the insulin level to rise sharply. As soon as this drops off again just as quickly, you will feel hunger again, which makes you resort to sugary foods again. The glycemic index tells you how much food increases the insulin level.

Food made from complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), such as those found in whole grain products and legumes, is much better. They hardly cause the insulin level to rise because the body has to break them down into glucose before they can be absorbed. Complex carbohydrates not only provide long-term energy - they also keep you full for a long time.

Bonus tip: Discover potatoes for your diet! Potatoes are low in calories and yet have important nutrients. In addition, they keep you full for a long time. So anyone on a diet should always give potatoes a chance.

 

Fitness myth # 2: fats are bad for you

The truth is: Fats are even useful if they are the right fats. So-called trans fats, which are produced when heating and frying unsaturated fatty acids and during industrial hardening of oils, should generally be avoided as they are suspected of harming not only your figure but also your heart and brain. Trans fats are mainly found in fried foods, baked goods, fast food, ready meals, snacks and sweets, which may taste delicious but are not very beneficial to health.

Much more important is a good balance between omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ideal ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids is actually 1: 5, but we tend to consume the fatty acids in a ratio of 1:20. Why? Because omega-6 fatty acids are primarily found in vegetable oils, while Omega fatty acids 3 can be found in fatty fish. These should ideally be on the menu once or twice a week.

By the way: Today more and more people are eating ketogenic in order to either lose weight or to improve their athleticism. However, a ketogenic diet that contains a lot of fat and protein with a low carbohydrate content could only lead to a significant increase in training performance in ultra-marathon athletes.

 

Fitness myth # 3: CBD oil can improve your recovery

The truth is: Although CBD oil has many health benefits - an improvement in regeneration has not yet been proven. You can find more detailed information on this in our CBD Guide.

Eggs, egg whites and proteins

Fitness myth # 4: protein is bad for the kidneys

The truth is: Proteins can only become a health problem if you don't drink enough. Because: A breakdown product of protein is urea, which is normally excreted through the kidneys if you drink enough. If you drink too little, kidney stones can form because a large part of the urea remains in the body. Likewise, the blood thickens and your kidneys have a harder time working. Therefore, as soon as you drink enough, proteins cannot harm the kidneys. Three liters of liquid, ideally water or herbal tea, are ideal in this regard.

 

Fitness myth # 5: egg yolks are unhealthy

The truth is: Even though the consumption of eggs is often seen as the cause of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes, there is no evidence that the ingredients in the egg, especially the cholesterol in the yolk, can really harm the body.1 On the contrary: eggs not only provide a lot of proteins and healthy fats - They also contain valuable vitamins and minerals. Especially biotin, niacin and vitamin A, Vitamin D and vitamin E. Make sure that you are not in any Mineral deficiencies as this could really harm your body. You can read more about this in the Academy.

 

Fitness Myth # 6: BCAAs and EAAs are good for training

The truth is: Those who eat a balanced diet can confidently do without an additional intake of amino acids, even if they are supposed to be useful for athletes.

Many bodybuilders take the essential amino acids "EAAs" isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine and the branched-chain amino acids "BCAAs" valine, leucine and isoleucine isolated as a dietary supplement in order to improve overall performance Accelerate muscle building.

The small protein building blocks that make up a protein are contained in sufficient quantities in animal foods, especially in red meat, eggs, fish, nuts and cheese. If these foods are often on the menu and you have a varied diet, additional supplementation with BCAAs and EAAs does not make sense.  

 

Fitness myth # 7: Food is always superior to nutritional supplements

The truth is: This statement is not always true. This can be shown with the following example: The curcumin contained in turmeric is difficult for the body to absorb on its own. In connection with fat or the active ingredient piperine contained in black pepper, the bioavailability of curcumin can be significantly improved so that the substance can develop its full effect.

 

Fitness myth # 8: Dietary supplements are necessary

The truth is: Food supplements are not absolutely necessary for a balanced and varied diet, but - as the name suggests - they can certainly complement them. Especially if you are very active at work or in sports and therefore have a higher need for certain nutrients. Then vitamins, minerals or protein shakes can complement your diet in a meaningful way.

 

Fitness myth # 9: You should eat “clean”

The truth is: Clean eating is all the rage. But what does it actually mean to eat “clean”? Clean eating describes the consumption of as untreated (organic), unprocessed and regional foods as possible. Vegetables, fruit and nuts are allowed in clean eating as well as fish, meat, eggs and legumes. Clean eating is not a diet, but a nutritional concept that is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Our tip: Make sure that the food does not cause you stress and that you may force yourself to do something that you actually do not want. Remember: Eating can also cause a lot of stress, which in turn decreases your performance and can shorten your lifespan. That doesn't mean that you should use fast food, but a piece of chocolate or a piece of cake every now and then can't do any harm, as long as you eat a fundamentally healthy diet.

 

Fitness Myth # 10: Eat more often to get your metabolism going

The truth is: How often you eat has no significant impact on your diet. Much more important is the calorie deficit that you have to achieve in order to be able to lose weight.2

Mahlzeiten

Fitness myth # 11: You have to have breakfast

The truth is: Some have breakfast, others like to skip breakfast. Breakfast is a matter of personal taste. Ultimately, you have to find out for yourself whether or not you feel better when you start the day with breakfast.

 

Fitness myth # 12: You mustn't eat anything before bed if you want to lose weight

The truth is: Consuming several bars of chocolate before bed can definitely have a negative effect on your figure. After all, chocolate contains plenty of fat and sugar. However, there is nothing wrong with a full meal consisting of fresh, untreated food. Because: what counts is the calorie deficit if you want to lose weight.

 

Which supplements do i need?

The fact is, supplements aren't all bad. On the contrary: for many people they can even be beneficial in order to increase mental and / or physical performance and improve well-being.

A varied and balanced diet should always be the basis of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be severely restricted if we are very involved in our work and therefore have little time to cook. However, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats are important in order to be able to fully utilize one's physical and mental performance. If they are missing, your performance will fall by the wayside for the short or long term.

In times when you are physically and mentally very active, your immune system is weakened and you sleep less because of work and are therefore stressed, supplements can complement your diet to avoid or compensate for deficits in the vitamin and mineral balance.

In general, it has been shown that an optimal ratio of omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids and an intake of B vitamins (especially vitamin B12 for vegans) and vitamin D can have a positive effect on our performance.

This is not an absolute duty. Diet and nutritional requirements through exercise, for example, are always individual factors. Everyone has to take responsibility to see what makes sense for themselves and where possible deficits could be.  

At a vegan diet can be supplementation of

  • B vitamins (especially vitamin B12)
  • Creatine
  • Vitamin D (especially in winter from algae or algae oil)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from algae or algae oil

make sense because these nutrients are mainly found in foods of animal origin.

Also can people who are after either Paleo or ketogenic feed, benefit from a dietary supplement to avoid or compensate for nutritional deficits. Next

  • Creatine
  • Omega fatty acids 3
  • Vitamin D

MCT oil could not only be a useful nutritional supplement, but also a quick source of energy. MCT oil is an extract made from palm, rapeseed or coconut oil that is rich in medium-chain triglycerides and a fast supplier of ketones.

However, as already mentioned, the following rule applies: Often only a blood count can show whether supplementation is necessary and which nutrients you need in detail. Because many people suffer from nutritional deficiencies without even realizing it. It is often enough to take the supplements individually, alternately or on a daily basis to find out to what extent well-being, performance and sleep quality have changed.

 

Summary

Fitness myths can be just as confusing as supplement myths. In the end, you have to decide for yourself which diet is the best for you and which supplements you really need. The fact is, however, that supplements can complement a healthy and varied diet. Especially when you are stressed, do a lot of sport and therefore have an increased need for certain vitamins or minerals, or when you demand maximum performance from your body and brain and want to increase your physical and cognitive performance.

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23676423
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17413096