T Nation

To Fruit Or Not To Fruit?

I’m in a bulking stage, and a bit confused as to how many carbs it’s OK to get from fruit. From what I understand, these carbs are not directly metabolised into muscle and so don’t contribute to the bulk; can they be considered empty calories?? Should I moderate their consumption, or eat more?

Also, from what I understand of Berardi, he recommends obtaining most of one’s carbs from fruit and veg… if he is correct, are starchy fruit (ie bananas) optimal?

Any help appreciated.

Just eat the damn fruit.

No one ever - EVER - got fat from eating too many oranges.

c’mon
it’s fruit!
id happily die of obesity if all i ate was fruit!
btw - op - that you n your avatar? you in theater/reenactment?

[quote]G87 wrote:
I’m in a bulking stage, and a bit confused as to how many carbs it’s OK to get from fruit. From what I understand, these carbs are not directly metabolised into muscle and so don’t contribute to the bulk; can they be considered empty calories?? Should I moderate their consumption, or eat more?

Also, from what I understand of Berardi, he recommends obtaining most of one’s carbs from fruit and veg… if he is correct, are starchy fruit (ie bananas) optimal?

Any help appreciated. [/quote]

you think fruits are empty calories…

jesus, save us

I remember reading the Atkins diet book, and when he got to the point of saying to avoid fruit is when I checked out. Any diet that tells you to avoid fruits and vegetables has gotta raise eyebrows…

All things in moderation, of course. And if you’re trying to get under 30 carbs a day, fruit won’t help with that.

[quote]ZeusNathan wrote:
G87 wrote:
I’m in a bulking stage, and a bit confused as to how many carbs it’s OK to get from fruit. From what I understand, these carbs are not directly metabolised into muscle and so don’t contribute to the bulk; can they be considered empty calories?? Should I moderate their consumption, or eat more?

Also, from what I understand of Berardi, he recommends obtaining most of one’s carbs from fruit and veg… if he is correct, are starchy fruit (ie bananas) optimal?

Any help appreciated.

you think fruits are empty calories…

jesus, save us

Shrug

[/quote]

If they’re not contributing to my bulk, I don’t see how that opinion is incorrect. Most fruit around here - even those as basic as apples - are really unnatural, and it’s doubtful they have any significant amount of “raw fruit” nutrients in them.

Now, the reason I’m asking is, I f*cking love fruit, and while I always eat some, I need to know if eating more of them for carbs is a good thing or not.

Caveman 101 - duly noted. I’m not in theater, unfortunately; the photo is from a re-enactment of The Three Musketeers, and I love the book, so there we are :slight_smile: Any particular reason for you asking?

Fruit is generally a healthy, nutritious food. Fruit is high in fiber, low in fat and calories and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. If you want something sweet for dessert, fruit is a good choice.

However, there are two groups of people for whom fruit is not the best food choice: bodybuilders and and anyone trying to maximize fat loss. 80-90 percent of the calories in fruit are supplied by simple sugars, fructose and glucose.

Some fruits, such as grapes and oranges, contain a lot of glucose, but most fruits supply the bulk of their calories as fructose, which is also known as fruit sugar. The bottom line is that fructose is rapidly converted to fat by the liver.

Whereas most other carbohydrate sources are preferentially stored as glycogen, fructose is preferentially converted to fat and stored in adipose tissue. This is a consequence of the molecular structure of fructose, which allows it to skip a key regulatory point in carbohydrate metabolism.

This regulatory point is a step in the glucolytic pathway catalyzed by the enzyme phosphofructokinase-I (PFK-I). As you know, from previous articles about carbohydrate metabolism and thermogenesis, the dietary energy (calories) supplied by carbs is used for several purposes.

Some of it is simply lost as heat during its digestion and metabolism in a process we know as diet-induce thermogenesis. You can loosely think of this as �??friction�?? in the metabolic pathway, and this energy loss contributes to the generation of body heat.

Most of the dietary energy is used to maintain the basal metabolic rate (BMR) �?? the energy cost of keeping your body alive. Some of the energy is used to perform work, like exercise and activities of daily life.

After that, any energy left is stored as glycogen in muscles and in the liver. If you consume too many calories from carbohydrate after glycogen stores are full, the rest will be converted to fat (triglycerides) in the liver, and transported by the blood to fat cells (adipose tissue) for storage.

So excess calories from any carbohydrate source can be converted to fat. The enzyme that regulates whether dietary energy supplied by carbohydrate is stored as glycogen or fat is PFK-I. It shuttles carbs into glycogen stores until full , then it switches the flow of carbohydrates from glycogen synthesis to fat synthesis.

Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrate in animals, and the amount of glycogen you can store is quite limited. the upper limit is generally believed to be between 250-400 grams, depending on the amount of skeletal muscle mass you have.

This amounts to only 1000-1600 calories �?? not even enough energy to fuel your body for one day. The deal with fructose is that it totally skips the enzyme PFK-I, which is the regulatory step responsible for making sure glycogen stores are full before fat synthesis is switched on.

Instead of being stored as glycogen, fructose gets directly converted to fat by the liver. Now I think you can see why I have a problem with recommending fruit for bodybuilders. to get a detailed understanding of fructose metabolism, we should start at the beginning.

Fructose is absorbed from the small intestine and directly transported to the liver by the portal vein. The first enzyme to act on fructose is fructokinase, which adds a phosphate group to the sugar to form fructose-1-phosphate (F1P).

Glucose is similarly phosphorylated at the six position of the hexokinase, forming G6P. All cells have hexokinase and thus have the ability to phosphorylate glucose. This means that all cells can metabolize glucose for energy.

On the other hand, fructokinase is virtually confined to the liver. So while glucose is a general substrate for all body tissues, fructose represents a carbohydrate load targeted for the liver. The next thing that happens is F1P is split by the enzyme aldolase to form glyceraldehyde (GA) and dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP).

This means that products of fructose metabolism enter the glycolytic pathway at the triose phosphate level (i.e., as three carbon sugars). Glucose, on the other hand, is phosphorylated to yield G6P, which may proceed directly to glycogen synthesis.

To be broken down for energy, glucose must first pass through the rate-limiting PFK-I step. Fructose metabolites enter below this step, and thus bypass an important point of regulation. Fructose therefore is more prone to be converted to fat, while glucose is more prone to be converted to glycogen.

The biochemistry is much more complex than is appropriate for this post, but I have pointed out the salient features of the pathway to explain why glucose-based carbohydrate sources are better than fructose, especially for people trying to minimize body fat stores.

Scientific studies have proven that while fructose is effective at replenishing liver glycogen stores, starch (glucose polymers) is much more efficient at replenishing skeletal muscle glycogen stores.

This makes sense because complex carbs are released into the bloodstream slowly whereas simple sugars are released very rapidly, potentially overwhelming the glycogen synthesis pathway and �??spilling over�?? into fat stores.

Furthermore, the increased insulin release resulting from simple sugars causes more of the sugar to be converted to fat. You�??ve probably heard that fructose is low on glycemic index, which means it raises blood sugar very slowly and elicits only a small insulin release.

You know that a slow, steady insulin response is good. Since insulin is a potent stimulus for fat storage, we want to keep insulin levels fairly low, so be this reasoning it seems like fructose would be good.

The problem is that the REASON fructose has a low glycemic index and results in a small insulin release is that it is converted to fat in the liver. It doesn�??t raise blood sugar very much because it is released from the liver as fat instead of sugar.

Fructose has a MUCH greater tendency to be converted to fat than other carbohydrate sources, so why use it? Now you understand the biochemistry behind my controversial stance on fruit. It isn’t that I NEVER advocate fruit, it is that I would use it sparingly for bodybuilding purposes.

Please define “raw fruit nutrients.”

Our early ancestors may not have eaten beef, either, but that’s not going to stop me from having a steak or two this weekend.

Seriously, I’ve never seen anything but positive effects from consuming fruit.

Now maybe you’d want to limit fruit intake if you’re trying to get ultra lean and are having trouble getting to 4% body fat, but it doesn’t make any sense to do so while trying to gain.

Actually, some fruits don’t contain all that much fructose. The percentage of calories from fructose in fruit varies significantly depending on the variety.

[quote]HK24719 wrote:
laroyal wrote:The reason for this is because the calories from fruit come in the form of fructose, which is quickly and easily converted to fat in the liver.

Actually, some fruits don’t contain all that much fructose. The percentage of calories from fructose in fruit varies significantly depending on the variety.[/quote]

Generally, the amount of fructose in a piece of fruit is really quite low – around 5-7 grams per piece. The best time to eat carbohydrates containing fructose will be either before your workout along with glucose or at another point during the day.

You will want to avoid it post-workout, however, as during that time your main goal is to get carbohydrates into the muscle cells for recovery. This is something fructose cannot do. I do not recommend taking in more than 20 grams/ day if your goal is to have MUSCLES full of glycogen.

The body also has a much higher storage capacity for glucose than for fructose since the muscle cells make up such a large portion of your body. Therefore, you are able to consume a lot more glucose than fructose without worrying about the excess weight gain.

What’s more is that in short-term periods of excess glucose intake (think Thanksgiving dinner), the body has a tendency to ramp up its rate of glucose oxidation, causing you to burn much of the excess glucose off so you don�??t gain weight.

That is short-lived, though; if the over-consumption occurs for a longer period of time, you will start increasing your body fat.

The phytonutrients and minerals and the fibre are all necessary to maintain well being, health and digestion when consuming abnormally high amounts of calories.

It’s also good for you to experiment with foods as genetic factors such as allergies and tolerance levels vary from individual to individual. For example; I react better to rice and wheat grains than oats. This may contradict everything I’ve read, but that’s how my body works.

[quote]G87 wrote:
ZeusNathan wrote:
G87 wrote:
I’m in a bulking stage, and a bit confused as to how many carbs it’s OK to get from fruit. From what I understand, these carbs are not directly metabolised into muscle and so don’t contribute to the bulk; can they be considered empty calories?? Should I moderate their consumption, or eat more?

Also, from what I understand of Berardi, he recommends obtaining most of one’s carbs from fruit and veg… if he is correct, are starchy fruit (ie bananas) optimal?

Any help appreciated.

you think fruits are empty calories…

jesus, save us

Shrug

If they’re not contributing to my bulk, I don’t see how that opinion is incorrect. Most fruit around here - even those as basic as apples - are really unnatural, and it’s doubtful they have any significant amount of “raw fruit” nutrients in them.

Now, the reason I’m asking is, I f*cking love fruit, and while I always eat some, I need to know if eating more of them for carbs is a good thing or not.

Caveman 101 - duly noted. I’m not in theater, unfortunately; the photo is from a re-enactment of The Three Musketeers, and I love the book, so there we are :slight_smile: Any particular reason for you asking?[/quote]

why wouldn’t fruits contribute to your bulk?
and if apples are unnatural to u, what isnt???
your steak?!? cmon guy, im not sure if you’re trying to be an intellectual troll but this is really absurd.

would you tell an obese person to gourge on fruits to lose weight? i dont think so.

from what i know, when one bulks, you devour everything in your path. and also from what i know, fiber, essential vitamins and replenishing phytonutrients are predominantly obtained from fruits. if you’re eating 5000 calories a day without fiber, i cant imagine what your shit sessions are like.

I don’t eat anything with fiber…

brb, I need to go to the loo.

…Back. Oh, wait, sorry.

brb, I need to go to the loo.

[quote]ZeusNathan wrote:

why wouldn’t fruits contribute to your bulk?
and if apples are unnatural to u, what isnt???
your steak?!? cmon guy, im not sure if you’re trying to be an intellectual troll but this is really absurd.

[/quote]

Fruits might not contribute to my bulk because fructose does not get metabolised into muscle, but rather into liver alone. That’s what I’m thinking, at least; trying to get answers through this thread. It’s not like I’m going to stop eating fruit: but if I can build muscle through eating fruit, I’m going to eat a lot more of them, and vice versa.

[quote]ZeusNathan wrote:
would you tell an obese person to gourge on fruits to lose weight? i dont think so.

from what i know, when one bulks, you devour everything in your path. and also from what i know, fiber, essential vitamins and replenishing phytonutrients are predominantly obtained from fruits. if you’re eating 5000 calories a day without fiber, i cant imagine what your shit sessions are like.
[/quote]

I gain weight easily, so “devouring everything in my path” isn’t an option. As for the fruit, what I’m trying to tell you is that where I live, they contain very little vitamins and minerals. A far shout from organic, they are :slight_smile: I don’t know if it’s GM or what, but that is the case, make of it what you will. As for fiber => vegetables.

[quote]G87 wrote:
Fruits might not contribute to my bulk because fructose does not get metabolised into muscle, but rather into liver alone. [/quote]

If you’re like me, when your liver stores all the fructose glycogen it wants, the rest goes to your love handles. I had to cut back on fruit and up my veggies.

“Training Smart”: in this case I would define it as not using “bulking” as an excuse to devour everything in sight. I don’t know about you, but becoming the strong fat guy is not listed in my training goals.

i does C.14th reenactment and its always nice to meet someone with the same intrests
fruitless in this case

for all that la royal wrote on this topic, he missed posibly the most important point when it comes to fruit. To maintain good health and function, high fibre foods such as fruit and vege are a must. to say that the consumption of fruit is controversial is ridiculous. There are many reasons why all people, bodybuilders included (cause remember, we are people), should eat fruit.

  1. High fibre = lower GI
  2. Low GI
  3. Over all low caloric intake (even laroyal acknowledges this)
  4. saitity effect (fills you up)
  5. a massive array of vitamins and phytochemicals which are beneficial.

to recommend to anyone not to eat fruit is highly irresponsible especially from a health professionals standpoint. For too long bodybuilders look at the black and white macronutrient content of foods and fail to realise that without overall good health, results in the gym will be less than optimal.

Also, dont look at fruit and vege as empty calories. they do so much more for your body than most realise, and with the amount of protein most bodybuilders eat, i would want all the fibre I could get.

and another thing. before fructose is converted to fat in the liver, the liver replenishes its glycogen stores. only then will it convert the excess fructose to fat. the fructose in actual fruit is so minimal, the amount of fat if any that would be produced would not be enough to case significant weight gain, unless the person ate say 20 apples a day above their recommended cal intake.

laroyals paranoia about fat production from fructose is borderline anorexic… your blinding yourself with science, take a step back and look at the broader picture dude.

[quote]dlonra wrote:
for all that la royal wrote on this topic, he missed posibly the most important point when it comes to fruit. To maintain good health and function, high fibre foods such as fruit and vege are a must. to say that the consumption of fruit is controversial is ridiculous. There are many reasons why all people, bodybuilders included (cause remember, we are people), should eat fruit.

  1. High fibre = lower GI
  2. Low GI
  3. Over all low caloric intake (even laroyal acknowledges this)
  4. saitity effect (fills you up)
  5. a massive array of vitamins and phytochemicals which are beneficial.

to recommend to anyone not to eat fruit is highly irresponsible especially from a health professionals standpoint. For too long bodybuilders look at the black and white macronutrient content of foods and fail to realise that without overall good health, results in the gym will be less than optimal.

Also, dont look at fruit and vege as empty calories. they do so much more for your body than most realise, and with the amount of protein most bodybuilders eat, i would want all the fibre I could get.[/quote]

Lol laroyal is talking about FRUIT here with regards to fructose, no mention of VEG. Yeah fruit is low GI, because as already mentioned in the thread, it gets processed straight away in the liver and converted to fats, hence not impacting glycaemic levels! Read the goddamn thread…

I like upping my veg instead anyway, particularly green ones, tonnes of fibre and phytonutrients, and you can eat a boatload for hardly any carbs!