T Nation

Men's Health - An Absolute Joke!

I’m about 50 pages through the new issue of Men’s Health (yes, I can’t believe I still read this crap) and I am going through the roof. First stupid point - a reader asks if he can drink diet soda or coffee instead of water, because water is too boring - they suggest “Absolutely!” Second inane point - their version of post-workout nutrition revolves around drive-thru fast foods or an energy bar - yeah, like to see how fast their readers grow!! Sorry about the rant; needed to get this off my chest!

A body cannot tell the difference on the inside if diet drinks or plain water are consumed. Any will do the trick of rehydrating yourself–this is verifyable science. Of course, plain water is preferable to any sugared drink, but that is not the topic. If caffeine in a diet drink bothers a person, use decaf diet. Post workout needn’t be a big deal either–I just make a protein shake. If I want more carb in it, I will use skim milk instead of water. It’s good that you are cautious of your reading. I gleam information from many sources, but I lean toward the more “normal man” type mags that deal with fitness. These generally have “Men” in the title. I avoid the musclebabe kinds. I even learn from this mag too, but I need to watch information overload.

I never drink water and I’m almost certainly bigger and more ripped than you.

However, recommending fast food as post-workout nutrition is poor advice.

I’m with ya on this one Paul.

You gotta realise the target audience. They give sound advice for people who just want to better their current physical condition without making bodybuilding the (or one of the) dominant factors in their life. Think of it this way diet soda IS better then the regular joe who is drinking regular, Any meal (fast food included) IS better then no post workout nutrition. I think it is great it gives people who otherwise would be sitting on their ass drinking regular soda some easy adjustments they can make to make some changes.

Wow, Mike the Lib, you’re psychic AND you grow from Diet Coke. I’m impressed. I think water is a better choice but diet drinks are better than nothing or non-diet stuff. Then again, Mike is probably bigger than me too so I’m SURE he’s right.

Don’t be too tough on the Men’s Health guys. Most of the writers and
staff that I know are pretty darned smart and up to date. It’s just that
since they’re the largest fitness mag (I hear they sell more mags than
every bodybuilding publication out there combined), they probably have
to go with whatever the head honchos deem best for the average guy,
i.e. whatever will sell the most mags and not offend anyone too much.
And to sell the most mags, you have to cater towards those new to the
game. So you end up seeing things like “The cover model workout”
and less than good diet advice like pushing soy. But they may sell ads
to soy milk companies and therefore can’t exactly give anti-soy advice
less some big shot up the chain get ticked off. It’s the trade off for
being so large and popular, and for having to rely on outside
advertising.

Believe it or not, there are quite a few T-mag readers on the Men's Health editorial staff. Plus their readers talk about T-mag articles and supplements quite a bit on their forum. Although a little light, I'd rather read Men's Health than most of the muscle rags out there.

Speaking of “Muscle Rags,” did anyone see the new Muscle and Fiction? I was at work at my gym when the copy they keep sending us for free came. There’s a big special on King Kamali’s diet. I wasn’t really surprised at anything except one of the pictures they included. Besides showing Kamali with some worthless foods like rice cakes, there was a box of Kashi Go Lean Cereal in front of him. I really doubt that Kamali got the way he is with breakfast cereals fortified with soy isolate!

Their website provides some good information. For example, a newbie who didn’t exactly know how to perform certain lifts, could easily learn through their little explanations in their fitness section. It gives worded explanations, along with a vid. clips of the lifts.

I’ll agree that when it comes to lifting hard this is probably the better place to come and get advice, but there is definately some good advice offered in their mag and on their message board. They cover every aspect of health while T-mag is pretty much lifting oriented which is great too. I got my father a subscription to Mens Health because they talk about things like how to live a healthy life at any age. And it doesnt always center around lifting which my dad never does. Then again if my brother wanted advice on lifting smart and getting big I’d send him here to ask you guys. But there are about 10 maybe 12 frequent posters over at the mens health board who offer me some pretty solid advice when I need it so I’ll always use that board as well. If you look over there you might not find a lot of guys trying mag 10, but there is some really educated people over there.

If I may step into this for a moment…

First of all, MH is written for middle-age normal guys who just want advice on getting healthier. Not muscle-bound and rock hard, just healthier. Keep that in mind. Second, there have been some findings that suggest that diet sodas DO hydrate the body, despite the persistent rumor that “it’s a diuretic, man! The caffeine!” Turns out, the caffeine doesn’t dehydrate much after all, so fluid intake from diet drinks CAN count as water intake. MH got that one right.

Third--and this is VERY important--the editors KNOW that some readers are pushing for edgier, harder information about nutrition, exercise, and supplementation. Their online forum has become very helpful to a lot of us (Chris Shugart once even dropped by to say some nice words). Editor Lou Schuler is nudging the entire MH staff into a "manlier" approach with a new book that supplies TOUGHER workouts (you all know that Ian King has done workout exclusives for MH all last year?), and excellent research on high-protein, high-fat diets for male health and testosterone support.

So remember what it is–just a tool that helps mainstream guys starting out. But be assured–when they’re ready for heavier info, MH is prepared with that, too. In fact, MH is how I first found T-mag.

The difference between flavored beverages and water is purely in your mind. You would have no objections to consuming a glass of water and then swallowing a pill that contained all the flavorings added to diet coke, yet somehow you think if you combine the two beforehand, the H20 magically loses its ability to perform the functions required of it by the body. That makes no sense at all. And before you say that caffeine is a diuretic, you should be aware that not all flavored beverages contain caffeine, and that, moreover, heavy coffee drinkers have an extremely low incidence of kidney stones, indicating that whatever diuretic effects caffeine might have are insignificant in comparison to the amount of fluid ingested.

I don’t like water, so I drink non-caloric flavored beverages, as well as lots of milk. I ingest a tremendous amount of H20 – my urine is always clear, I have to take a leak every hour, and I sweat profusely when working out. Point being that water is not essential nor even necessarily desirable for maintaining proper hydration.

You definetly overate the post workout nutrition. Just take a look at what the westisde lifters think about nutrition. Watch what the NFL players do after a game (go out and get drunk). Where people not muscular before JMB’s post workout drink strategies and surge?

Yeah Chris (not Shugart), but most of us aren’t fat steroid abusing powerlifters or gifted pro football players. And maybe those guys could perform even better of they paid attention to postworkout nurition.

There is this crazy guy who goes to all the gyms in my neighborhood. He looks like the old pro-wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage. For every lift, on every rep he lets out this blood curdling scream…“aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhh!” and between sets he plays air guitar and bangs his head. I also see him jogging all over the neighborhood at odd hours of the night wearing one of those orange reflective vests. Nonetheless he makes so much noise and so much commotion it is hard to work out in the same building as him.

Diet Coke rules the world. Ain’t nuttin’ wrong with it no matter how you look at it. Water never tasted so good. Also, I look forward to each MH. Like Akicita, its where I came across IK as well as T-Mag. Ummmm Sam, I think you may have misdialed the number my friend.

I have to say that men’s health often gives advice from several different points of view. Not everything they write agrees with itself, which I find to be a good thing. I bet you not everyone at that magazine would agree with that particular advice. They are certainly middle of the road, but I think that overall they give good advice for the average person. I was actually surprised to find them telling readers in one article to eat .8 grams of protein for every pound of bodyfat. Sure thats not much to us but to the average joe thats a shitload. I don’t really think the people who read that mag necessarily want to “grow” as you put it. They usually want to look like Brad Pitt. Remember that the advice on t-mag is not for the average person.