T Nation

Some Nutritional Controversies

1.With growing frequency I see it mentioned in several writings that research to date has found no effect on metabolic rate correlating to the frequency of feedings on isocaloric diet’s. This information is often produced in support of Intermittent Fasting Protocols or in writings such as Tom Venuto’s latest edition of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, among others. However the statement that 6 meals a day increases metabolism over lower frequency feeding patterns is still propagated even in articles found on this site.

Some believe that greater meal frequency results in greater satiety, while others feel that lesser frequency (IF proponents for example) find that the reverse is actually true.

Others believe that regardless which case is true higher feeding frequency leads to a nitrogen balance more conducive to muscle maintenance or synthesis. However this is also being contested in research supporting Intermittent Fasting regimes.

2.In Article discussions, the subject of fibre came up in the thread for the recent “Question of Nutrition Article”, and links were provided to information that appeared to demonstrate the damaging effects on health related to the overemphasis of fiber in the diet.

If you feel like discussing these or any other controversies you might have come across this is one thread in which to do so.

Responding to a laundry list contained in another thread, I prefer not to do, and I think anyone that might try it, doing so will not work well.

Do you have one specific example of something that’s supposed to be sound that shows fiber levels and of a nature commonly recommended have “damaging effects to health”?

One specific example text or source, the best one, the one that really shows something.

??

And on the meal frequency question, I have a very simple experiment for you or anyone interested to try.

Come up with a test diet that should, in principle, be completely absorbable or almost completely so (modest amounts of soluble fiber is OK for this purpose.) For example this could be MRP or protein-powder based with added oils and maltodextrin to yield desired total calories, total protein, and macronutrient composition for the day.

Make it a reasonably high protein deal such as, if you are not way under 200 lb, say 240 g per day.

Try a couple days of dividing this into 6 portions per day, therefore taking in 40 g protein at a time. Note the stool volume. Hmm, amazing, most all of what was eaten was absorbed.

Try a couple days of dividing this into only three portions per day, therefore taking in 80 g protein at a time. Note the stool volume. Hmm, so much of what was eaten has wound up as being dead bacteria and not absorbed.

Same exact dietary intake, different amounts of nutrients actually reaching the bloodstream. (If not different, then how is the stool volume different?)

Bill Roberts!

I was reading on another thread about the supplements you take for recovery and just as PWO.

I am not whining or complaining, but when I take my 10 BCAA caps and take my supplements and drink my Grow! PWO, I am seriously full.

How do you take all your supplements with the 8oz of water and be able to eat?

I use powder and not tablets for the BCAA’s. Not because tablets are a bad idea – they’re great in terms of convenience if planned dosage is in a range easily met by tablets – but because there does come an amount where just too many tablets are required.

In my own case, the 30-45 minutes pre-pre workout drink is only 6 ounces water with Power Drive, the BCAA’s and some other things. Followed by a Spike Shooter say 15 minutes later. Followed by a Surge with BCAA’s and ribose in not 8 oz of water, but 16. If it’s a 2 hour workout, then that again at the 1 hour point, or if a 1 hour workout then that again as the final postworkout drink. If a 2 hour workout, then as the postworkout drink a Grow! Whey in 16 ounces and a can of yams. (Or sometimes 4 slices CiCi’s pizza.)

Even with that water content I still need to drink water during the workouts. I try to do it at the 45 minute points so as to allow as much stomach emptying of nutrients.

I don’t find a problem personally with feeling too full. But then again, while hardly big, I suppose I’m half again your size and so direct comparison without taking that into account would be misleading.

Oh, and I don’t wind up taking those particular supplements before solid food meals anyway, so there’s not an issue of already-feeling-full for them.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Oh, and I don’t wind up taking those particular supplements before solid food meals anyway, so there’s not an issue of already-feeling-full for them.[/quote]

So then what is your PWO meal? how long between your workout and your meal? or do you feel your supplements are fulfilling your PWO needs?

also do you take anything special for lactic acid regulation? Sometimes I feel the discomfort from lactic acid kills me far before fatigue.

The post-workout drink, if a 1 hour workout, or if a 2 hour workout and using (as is more usually the case) a drink and the yams, then as described above.

If the post-workout drink is a Surge (1 hour workout) then an hour later I have a moderately high carb solid meal, for example a can of Shelton’s turkey chili, or 4 slices of CiCi’s pizza (Papa Johns would also be acceptable, or Hungty Howie’s if one of the individual stores that follows the chain’s standard not-too-greasy recipe, but some stores vary to much greasier.)

If the post-workout drink is a Grow! Whey and the yams, then 2 hours later a solid meal similar to the above.

I don’t take anything specifically for lactic acid as I consider it a non-problem, but BETA-7 will help maintain cellular pH due to higher carnosine levels, so that may help what you are experiencing. It takes several weeks for the effect to build up.

I’m neither for or against these differing points of view that I’ve listed, I’m just interested in finding some clarification as to whether or not the supporting claims have any merit, and also if there’s anything else out there on the fringe that might be considered challenging to curent methodology that is worthy of discussion.

The information denouncing “excessive” dietary fibre comes mostly from Konstantin Monastyrsky’s website. One claim he makes is that:

“Chapter 10, Colon Cancer cites studies that demonstrate the connection between increased fiber consumption and colon cancer. Also, countries with the highest and lowest consumption of meat are compared. Not surprisingly, the countries with the lowest consumption of meat and, correspondingly, the highest consumption of carbohydrates, including fiber, have the highest rate of digestive cancers, particularly of the stomach.”

As for feeding frequency I recently came across a reference to a study relating the correlation between feeding frequency and colon cancer:

At the University of North Carolina, researchers studied six hundred thirty-six participants with colon cancer and 1,048 control participants. Eating frequency was categorized as fewer than three, three or four, or more than four meals a day.

"At the University of North Carolina, researchers studied six hundred thirty-six participants with colon cancer and 1,048 control participants. Eating frequency was categorized as fewer than three, three or four, or more than four meals a day.

“The researchers found that the effect of eating frequency on colon cancer differed by sex. The male participants in the lowest eating frequency group had approximately half the risk of colon cancer compared with the middle and highest group. And, there were no significant associations for women. So eating three meals a day was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer for men but not for women.”

Inconclusive I suppose if their diets were not controlled.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
The post-workout drink, if a 1 hour workout, or if a 2 hour workout and using (as is more usually the case) a drink and the yams, then as described above.

If the post-workout drink is a Surge (1 hour workout) then an hour later I have a moderately high carb solid meal, for example a can of Shelton’s turkey chili, or 4 slices of CiCi’s pizza (Papa Johns would also be acceptable, or Hungty Howie’s if one of the individual stores that follows the chain’s standard not-too-greasy recipe, but some stores vary to much greasier.)

If the post-workout drink is a Grow! Whey and the yams, then 2 hours later a solid meal similar to the above.

I don’t take anything specifically for lactic acid as I consider it a non-problem, but BETA-7 will help maintain cellular pH due to higher carnosine levels, so that may help what you are experiencing. It takes several weeks for the effect to build up.[/quote]

Hi Bill,

so is the PWO window bigger than I thought it was? I was under the impression that I had to get everything in with 30- 60 minutes PWO?

I am ignorant regarding cellular pH.

Celeste

Hmmm…this thread could get interesting.

I wouldn’t necessarily call the following “controversies” but they are things I sometimes wonder about…

1.) “Megadosing”: Bodybuilders tend to follow a “more is better” mentality, I think…both in terms of training and nutrition. I wonder, though, if the body can really make use of nutrients consumed at 3000x the amount found in nature. Where does the law of diminishing returns take place?

Take Fish Oil. Studies have indicated that, at low to moderate doses, it can reduce depression, improve blood lipid profiles, reduce blood pressure, heighten insulin sensitivity and so on. However, swigging back gram after gram after gram of DHA and EPA…does this really offer any additional benefit? Personally I felt “weird” for lack of a better term on such high doses.

One compound that does seem to offer more benefits at higher and higher doses is resveratrol, although I await further human studies on this.

2.) Micronutrient Isolation/Extraction/Encapsulation: (Damn that was a mouthful!). I consider this overly simplistic and shortsighted. Lets take an old example…Vitamin C…and a “pioneer” of megadosing Linus Pauling. Citrus fruit contains health benefits. When studied, citrus fruit was found to contain Vitamin C. Therefore, extracting and taking pure Vitamin C = Same health benefits as eating citrus fruit. I don’t follow this logic but a LOT of people have, and still do.

What many don’t understand is that there is a whole plethora of compounds contained in a fruit or vegetable that work synergistically together to exert health benefits. Chemically isolating one prevalent compound isn’t going to yield anywhere near the same health benefits as eating the whole fruit or vegetable. I’m skeptical when I go to my health food store and see things like pure quercitin, limonene, anthocyanin, naringin, indole-3-carbinol, EGCG and so on…isolated and capsulized.

[quote]Gumpshmee wrote:
I’m neither for or against these differing points of view that I’ve listed, I’m just interested in finding some clarification as to whether or not the supporting claims have any merit, and also if there’s anything else out there on the fringe that might be considered challenging to curent methodology that is worthy of discussion.

The information denouncing “excessive” dietary fibre comes mostly from Konstantin Monastyrsky’s website. One claim he makes is that:

“Chapter 10, Colon Cancer cites studies that demonstrate the connection between increased fiber consumption and colon cancer. Also, countries with the highest and lowest consumption of meat are compared. Not surprisingly, the countries with the lowest consumption of meat and, correspondingly, the highest consumption of carbohydrates, including fiber, have the highest rate of digestive cancers, particularly of the stomach.”

As for feeding frequency I recently came across a reference to a study relating the correlation between feeding frequency and colon cancer:

At the University of North Carolina, researchers studied six hundred thirty-six participants with colon cancer and 1,048 control participants. Eating frequency was categorized as fewer than three, three or four, or more than four meals a day.

"At the University of North Carolina, researchers studied six hundred thirty-six participants with colon cancer and 1,048 control participants. Eating frequency was categorized as fewer than three, three or four, or more than four meals a day.

“The researchers found that the effect of eating frequency on colon cancer differed by sex. The male participants in the lowest eating frequency group had approximately half the risk of colon cancer compared with the middle and highest group. And, there were no significant associations for women. So eating three meals a day was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer for men but not for women.”

Inconclusive I suppose if their diets were not controlled.[/quote]

Neither study means anything.

In the country comparison study, it’s irrational to point out fiber as the culprit when who knows how many other factors might be responsible.

For example, say those countries with lower protein, higher carb, and higher fiber intake are Asian countries. Who’s to say it’s not the soy sauce causing the stomach cancer? (such a link has long ago been proposed)

Sounds to me like Konstantin has no clue about research, picks one epidemiological study that does NOT even support his conclusion (he’s overgeneralizing), and ignores all the studies about higher colon cancer rates in the US correlating with low vegetable intake.

We learn little from the second study because what were those men eating for meals 4, 5, or 6? How many non-bodybuilders eat so many meals? They may have been morbidly obese men who stop at Dunkin Donuts a couple times a day, and have a big milkshake at bedtime.

[quote]PimpBot5000 wrote:
Hmmm…this thread could get interesting.

I wouldn’t necessarily call the following “controversies” but they are things I sometimes wonder about…

<<2.) Micronutrient Isolation/Extraction/Encapsulation: (Damn that was a mouthful!). I consider this overly simplistic and shortsighted. Lets take an old example…Vitamin C…and a “pioneer” of megadosing Linus Pauling. Citrus fruit contains health benefits. When studied, citrus fruit was found to contain Vitamin C. Therefore, extracting and taking pure Vitamin C = Same health benefits as eating citrus fruit. I don’t follow this logic but a LOT of people have, and still do.

What many don’t understand is that there is a whole plethora of compounds contained in a fruit or vegetable that work synergistically together to exert health benefits. Chemically isolating one prevalent compound isn’t going to yield anywhere near the same health benefits as eating the whole fruit or vegetable. I’m skeptical when I go to my health food store and see things like pure quercitin, limonene, anthocyanin, naringin, indole-3-carbinol, EGCG and so on…isolated and capsulized. [/quote]

Yes, there are effects of whole foods, like oranges, that you may not get from an isolated compound like Vitamin C.

However, why is it hard to believe that there are ALSO effects of large amounts of isolated compounds that you may not get from simply eating food.

They are both true.

There’s no reason you can’t have both.

Its true, whole foods have benefits we still don’t fully understand, AND isolated compounds have their own powerful effects that don’t occur in their whole source. Take amino acids, for example. Tyrosine, Glutatamine, Arginine, these are strongly effective only as isolates. In fact, eating a whole protein with any of these compounds lessons their effects. It isnt nice to fool mother nature, AND its nice to fool mother nature!

[quote]Gumpshmee wrote:
“Chapter 10, Colon Cancer cites studies that demonstrate the connection between increased fiber consumption and colon cancer. Also, countries with the highest and lowest consumption of meat are compared. Not surprisingly, the countries with the lowest consumption of meat and, correspondingly, the highest consumption of carbohydrates, including fiber, have the highest rate of digestive cancers, particularly of the stomach.”

"At the University of North Carolina, researchers studied six hundred thirty-six participants with colon cancer and 1,048 control participants. Eating frequency was categorized as fewer than three, three or four, or more than four meals a day.

“The researchers found that the effect of eating frequency on colon cancer differed by sex. The male participants in the lowest eating frequency group had approximately half the risk of colon cancer compared with the middle and highest group. And, there were no significant associations for women. So eating three meals a day was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer for men but not for women.”

Inconclusive I suppose if their diets were not controlled.[/quote]

Yes, precisely.

Agreeing, below, with andersons’ analysis:

In the first case the diets were definitely different in regards other than fiber, so it’s utterly unwarranted to conclude that fiber caused the difference. It’s not even suggestive.

In the second, without any demonstration – and that is the problem with a source being some website or article reporting their account of somebody else’s original article – that the total daily dietary intake was the same regardless of differing meal frequency in the groups, it would be unwarranted to assume that the nutrient composition and amounts were the same.

And without any demonstration that lifestyles were the same between the groups that ate with different frequency, again it would be unwarranted to assume that they were.

It also seems on the face of it dubious to me that they found so many people that ate five or more meals a day if those were nutritious meals per day. It’s an uncommon practice, almost exclusively practiced by bodybuilders and athletes. It seems a whole lot more likely – but again we have no way to check without access to the original research article – that some of the “meals” were pigouts on junk. Plenty of people have 2 or 3 at-least-somewhat nutritious meals per day, and then several feeding sessions with crap, and might self-report this as 5 meals or more per day.

If this was being compared to people that for the most part ate 3 real meals per day, well no wonder the 3 meal per day group did better in some objective measure.

As you said, inconclusive. At best.

I think’s it’s probably best to let the Konstantin fellow speak for himself rather than through me.

http://www.fibermenace.com/fiber/chinashop.html

Now that I think of it his writing style probably wouldn’t seem out of place here on T-Nation.

As for intermittent fasting I’m still not convinced that it is without merit considering it’s studied health benefits. And individuals such as Martin Berkhan and his clients seem to demonstrate that such a protocol can be pursued while maintaining an appreciable physique. Whether it is as effective as multiple feedings for gaining muscle as some of the studies I referenced in the other thread suggest I am not sure. Though Serge Nubret made it work who’s to say it might not have been better for him to have eaten more frequently throughout the day.

I would like to see more research in this area.

PimpBot5000,

I don’t know if the fish oil recommendations I’ve seen are excessive if our ancestors ate nearly as much brain and bonemarrow of naturally fed animals as I’ve been led to believe.

Well, as for myself, I never want to be expected to go to some laundry list of claimed objections that I have good reason to believe are – from the conclusion – wrong, and then I’m supposed to go through all of that stuff and then no matter how many points I demonstrate to be wrong, if short of the full lengthyl list, there will be then “Well what about THIS point?” from deep within the list.

Or, if I write a 20,000 word response covering every single item on his list, then again this is no good because the end result is so extremely confusing simply from sheer length that everyone will wonder if maybe there was something right in that list after all, since reading the whole lengthy response is just too mind-numbing and it seems unwarranted to assume there couldn’t have been something true in there after all.

So, as for myself, I won’t do it that way for those reasons.

What’s this guy’s ONE best argument?

Can we agree that if we identify his best, in your opinion, argument and it sucks goat gonads, that he is discredited and for the purposes of this thread we can forget his quackery?

(After all, if he’s right then surely he’d have at LEAST one argument that, on examination, doesn’t suck. I am not asking too much.)

Already when I asked that, the two arguments provided both obviously failed to prove the point, as you noted yourself, but we can try one more round if you want. But I can’t address everything this fellow says, for the reasons stated.

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
Hi Bill,

so is the PWO window bigger than I thought it was? I was under the impression that I had to get everything in with 30- 60 minutes PWO?

I am ignorant regarding cellular pH.

Celeste

[/quote]

I’m not Bill but I did read his post in Alpha regarding recovery strategies:


if it’s a 1 hour workout then that is the post-workout drink; and if it’s a 2 hour workout then postworkout is a BCAA/ribose/glutamine drink followed by Metabolic Drive or sometimes Metabolic Drive Complete and a can of yams, drained and rinsed of the sugar syrup.

Indicating that he has some workouts that are longer. I think when he said “1 hour” he meant workout length and NOT referring to the PWO window (e.g., 1 hour post-workout).

Bill can put me in my place if I misread his post…

Not at all, you said it exactly. That is what I was saying.

On Celeste’s question, failing to get nutrients in the first hour (at worst) or 30 minutes (better) is a mistake, but the ability of the muscles to enjoy increased uptake I don’t know to be limited to only one hour. I assume it tapers off.

Thanks! I do try to get my nutrients in quickly but I always wondered about the optimal time.