T Nation

Where to learn about Nutrition?

So I’ve been thinking of starting bodybuilding. Skinny guy, feminine body, long, dangling limbs, etc. But I was looking as some packages a friend of mine had in his kitchen: single servings of MET-Rx (or something) weight-gainer/protein shake (dubbed the usual, dessert-like name, like “Ultra-fun Chocolate Fudge Pie!” [you get the idea]). Now, I’m not TOTALLY ignorant on the subject of nutrition: I’m the only one of my freinds who does not drink soda, down beer as if water, eat candy galore, and gorge on processed foods. I like whole foods. Instinctively, I think. I don’t know. Anyway, I’m looking at the ingredients, and cocoa powder is the second or third ingredient on the list! I’m thinking to myself: “Wait a second. This isn’t catering to a healthy community… it can’t be! This is catering to all those pretty-boy stud muffins who want to look like Brad Pitt in “Fight Club” so that they can go take advantage of the HOTTEST OF THE HOT.” Sure, it may have 35 grams of protein, but, GEEZ, look at how it’s being delivered!
Anyway, to make a long story short, I need some recommendations on books that cite the principles of nutrition. Now, these don’t have to be only books that correlate with bodybuilding: just anything that teaches solid, documented observations on nutrition, the dynamics of calories (I don’t know much about what those little guys are or what their function is - but I know it’s important), etc. etc. And please, there’s nothing I hate more than to be reading along only to realize that what I’m reading is just another money-thing, where you don’t actually LEARN anything from the material, but are just guided to products that happen to be owned by the same people that released the book. You know. I want the SCIENCE, baby! If you learn the principles of a thing, you don’t need anybody to recite to you a method. You can make your own method… just need the info. And don’t be afraid to throw some good, heavy reading on me: I’m a pretty smart guy, I think, and I like the challenge anyway. Thanks ahead of time ( and sorry you had to go through that… it happens). -Dan

What’s wrong with cocoa powder?

As for learning about nutrition, check out the T-Mag FAQ. I can’t think of a better place to start.

Read everything by John Berardi on this site

The end all say all book is
Optimum Sports Nutrition by Micheal Colgan
He hypes up Twinlab products(insert biotest where needed) But the info is amazing you will have to read it two or three times to get it all.

You’re already HERE Dan. Welcome to the Oracle of training! Forget the book, just hunt through this website. Any John Berardi article provides GREAT scientific info.

I recommend the “Foods that make you look great nekid” article as well…

hope that helps! Welcome to the brotherhood!

…but Beef IS good. But yeah, most, if not all of the weight gainers and MRPs are crap. They’re loaded with Maltodextrin which is worse than sugar. Am I the only one who isn’t afraid to admit this? I steer clear of the stuff.

pick up any first-year fundamental nutrition textbook, it’ll contain all the basics. after you’re done that read human biochem and human physiology.

I’d just like to say that THIS is what a newbie post should be. Literate, clear, and neither “I-wanna-be-hyoooge” nor “please-oh-please-oh-please-give-me-all-the-answers”. How utterly refreshing!

Okay, to answer your question:

First, the advice above is good; the T-Mag website has more good info (and for free), especially pertaining to bodybuilding, than any other resource I know. Furthermore, as you delve into the articles you’ll come across references to other books, studies, etc. that you can go to to improve yourself further. So definitely start here.

Second, if you don’t know much about nutrition at the moment, be afraid, be very afraid, of both “popular” and college texts. Most of them are mired in the ‘80s and contain reams of erroneous information. If you want a good, classic intro to the subject as it pertains to general health, pick up one of Adelle Davis’ old books. Let’s Eat Right and Be Healthy is a good one. It’s well-written and surprisingly current, despite having been published about 50 years ago.

Welcome to the Forum, and best of luck!

Guys and gals, I’m humbled by your responses. A thousand Thanks… I will do as you say. I have already gotten lost backtracking and retracing, printing and saving the hoard of information contained at this site… you all rock.

Start with this site. Next, pick up a copy of the previously mentioned Optimum Sports Nutrition. It’s a great reference. It’s about 10 years old and, while Dr. Colgan was ahead of his time at that time, the book is dated in regards to fat and carb intake (Colgan is a proponent of the low-fat, high-carb 80’ diet, but with some intake of flax oils, cold-water fish, and other Omega 3s). Still a great reference – I re-read it about once a year or so.

Good luck.

Theres nothing wrong with cocoa powder, until you mix it with cream, and or butter, thats where the trouble starts.