Dispelling Nutrition Myths
by Kathryn Skeean
Hey there everyone! Happy (almost) Fall! This month, I had the pleasure of talking with CrossFit Liberate’s own on-staff Registered Dietitian, Jennifer Price, MS, RD, LD, to get some expert advice on the subject of the biggest misconceptions surrounding nutrition, which is the very base of our pyramid when we consider the development of an athlete (and we’re ALL athletes!).
She took the time to give some excellent answers, so without further adieu, here is what Jennifer thinks are the biggest nutrition myths:
1. Carbs are bad for you
The belief that carbohydrates are inherently unhealthy is not supported by research, and conversely there is lots of evidence indicating benefit of carbohydrates for exercise and sport performance because carbs are our bodies’ preferred fuel source for many types of exercise, not to mention the fact that diets high in nutrient and fiber rich carbohydrates continue to be associated with positive health outcomes. As with all foods, there are more and less healthy sources of carbohydrate and any nutrient can become unhealthy when eaten in excess, but that’s not specific to carbohydrates! Yes, even “white” carbs can be part of a healthy diet ☺.
2. It’s better to do cardio fasted
High intensity exercise performance is almost always going to be better when done in a fed state (HIIT, lifting, etc). Low intensity aerobic exercise performance (when done for less than ~1.5-2 hours) does not seem to be as negatively impacted by fasting. Although fasted cardio does technically burn more body fat than fed, our bodies appear to compensate for that increase in fat burning throughout the day ending up with a net neutral by the evening when compared to doing cardio in a fed state. For high intensity conditioning type work, fed is better. For low intensity, just do what you prefer and feels best!
3. You need protein immediately after working out
Ideally, protein is ingested within an hour or so post-workout, however total protein intake throughout the day matters a lot more for muscle growth and repair than whether or not protein is ingested immediately after working out. Prioritize total protein intake first and don’t stress if you aren’t able to drink a protein shake within 15 minutes of finishing training! Worth noting: if you exercise fasted, prioritizing getting in protein fairly soon after training becomes a bit more important (and carbs, too!).
4. Eating too much protein is bad for your kidneys
Although eating high amounts of protein is not recommended for folks with pre-existing kidney conditions, high and even very high-protein diets have not been shown to harm healthy kidneys over the short or long term. Moreover, high protein diets have been shown to have many benefits including supporting muscle growth and retention in active individuals, supporting recovery, and improving exercise performance.
5. You need to eat every few hours to keep your metabolism up
Digestion does cause a very slight increase in metabolic rate because the process of digesting food requires energy, however, this increase is negligible for most people. It certainly can be helpful to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day, but this is primarily because it provides energy and satiety benefits, more optimal fueling for both workouts and recovery, and it may support muscle growth and retention a bit better – not because of speeding up metabolism.
Have any more questions? Jennifer is here at CrossFit Liberate to answer them. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to a coach at any one of our classes!
2021 09 16