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I want to start this off by saying thank you for reading this hefty article on basic nutrition because it took a long time to write. I have been working on this one specific article for about a year now because of how dense it is. The contents in this article could probably span an entire ebook but here we are.

I also want to state that this is specifically written for the average trainee that want to instill basic nutrition. It is not my intent to write this for people who are competing in a bodybuilding competition of any kind. Those of you who are competing should hire a coach.

I have been training for 5.5 years and for the first 2 years I have made the mistake of not having a system of training and nutrition. Needless to say I have made little gains in those first two years. I was senselessly meandering throughout a maze of confusion because I didn’t have an understanding of basic nutrition.

Left: ~145lbs Right: ~165lbs

I was one of those people who was caught up in the short sighted fragmented information out there. This includes the countless amounts of supplements, fad diets, tempo style training, over prioritizing protein while leaving out fats and carbs, you name it, I was hip to it. At this time I was just an overly ambitious trainee that was going nowhere FAST.

That is until I met a well intentioned dude by the name of Marcel at work.

Marcel put me onto proper strength training and basic nutrition. Or at least the proper order of nutrition and exercise. I had so many questions. Most of them must have seemed silly to him. One day at work I saw him walking by and said:

understanding basic nutrition helped me gain quality weight over the course of 5 years
Left: 140lbs, Right: 196lbs

“Hey bro. Is it bulking or cutting season?”

He laughed. That was the question that made him take me under his wing.

He said “What’s your address? I’ll pick you up and take you to the gym with me after the sort.”

It was this brand of kindness that lead me on the path I am on now. Someone who was willing to show an eager, 5’10” 140 pound guy the way of proper training and nutrition. This meant a lot to me because I really wanted to gain weight. Get muscular and strong.

I have seen him a few years back. He stood about about 5’6” 140lbs when I first saw him. He was small.

At the time I asked him that question, he looked like he could have been atleast 30-40 pounds heavier. I wanted the “secret.”

What the knowledge of basic nutrition can do for you.

What culminated from that interaction comes everything I have produced today on this blog regarding strength training and nutrition. Someone who was willing to give me the information to build my body and strength properly.

I am paying it forward again. Here in this master article of everything you need to know about strength training and nutrition.

I will be addressing:

Basic Nutrition

Within this section I will cover:

  • Calories in vs calories out
  • Macronutrient breakdown
  • Micronutrients
  • Nutrient timing
  • Supplements

I will also cover the importance of changed behaviors and some following remarks about keeping it simple and some common issues in the fitness industries.

Strength Training

Within this section I will address:

All of these will be contextualized within the scope of optimization of adherence.

I’ll also close this section out with some remarks about what science says. Then I’ll give an expanded view of what the fitness industry will show you via social media.

I’ll expand commentary on the clown show that is mostly ego and little respect for the actual craft of strength training and basic nutrition.

Sleep

I mention sleep briefly in the training section but it is such an important topic that I thought I’d address it separately. The fact is that in our social media driven, hard working society, we don’t prioritize sleep.

Sleep is essential for proper recovery. Sleep also plays an important role in the digestion of proper nutrition. We can do everything right but if our sleep is not adequate, it throws everything off.

Supplements Within The Context Of Basic Nutrition

Supplements are mentioned briefly in the nutrition section but again, it is a topic that deserves it’s own section. I will talk about the misconceptions of supplements. I will go into the way people abuse them to no benefit to their training and nutrition.

It is my hope that I can add to the conversation around the topic of strength training and nutrition.

More than ever we need to get back to the basics.

We have to leave the marketing hype alone and get serious about what it takes to reach our goals.

The knowledge is here.

I will also like to add that no matter how much knowledge is pumped out here, YOU have to take initiative and WORK for the results on your own.

Mindset

I’m going to start this off by re-iterating that you need to have the proper mindset in order for this to work. If you do not have the proper go getter mindset, all this information means shit.

You have to make the DECISION to change your life for the better by using this information. It is essential to your success. It is essential to adherence which is essential to consistency.

You have to make this a lifestyle not just a season. Many people think that this information is to be used solely for losing or gaining some pounds and then going back to the way they were behaving before.

No. This is FOR LIFE. Maintenance is the most important thing.

This effects the way you interact with your family because of the simple fact that you spend time eating with them a lot.

You will have to take a hard stance against eating the same way you were before.

Some friendships will be compromised as well. There are going to be some people who do not want you to change because they “like you the way you are.”

Fact is that YOU don’t like the way you are currently.

Change it.

And this is going to require the proper go getter mindset to achieve this.

You’ll notice that it is not so much the weights you will encounter resistance from but your own MIND.

You have to become a STONE BUDDHA, deaf, dumb and blind to the naysayers.

So, let’s get into it.

The first section we are going to cover is nutrition. We are going to break this section up as follows:

  • Calories in vs calories out
  • Macronutrient break down of diet
  • Micronutrients
  • Nutrient timing and frequency
  • Supplements

Basic Nutrition: Calories in vs Calories out

Manipulating Caloric balance is the most essential part of gaining or losing weight. This is where any and every program should start.

We should also take into consideration the importance of rate of weight loss and weight gain because we don’t want to move too fast in either direction, destroying our metabolism in the process.

At any given time we are both anabolic and catabolic.

Anabolic means the “forming of chemical bonds.”

Catabolic means the “breaking of chemical bonds.”

During anabolism the body is storing energy, in this case in the form of muscle or fat mass. This occurs when we are in a surplus of calories.

During catabolism the body is releasing energy from the bonds formed during anabolism. This is exactly what happens when we don’t consume enough calories and the body starts “eating itself” for energy.

The body is constantly breaking and forming chemical bonds but whether the whole sum leads toward anabolic or catabolic comes down to whether we are in caloric surplus or caloric deficit.

Whether we want to be in a caloric surplus or deficit is all up to our goals. This is why starting here is the most important aspect of nutrition.

For example, if a skinny, hardgainer wants to gain weight but he doesn’t know if he is in a caloric deficit or caloric surplus then he won’t make any consistent long term progress.

This would prove to be unproductive because he wouldn’t know which direction he is moving it.

If someone is fat and they don’t know if they are in a caloric surplus or deficit they are most likely putting themselves in a situation to gain weight no matter what because fat loss is a bit more involved than is intentional weight gain.

So how do we know if we are in a caloric surplus or caloric deficit?

We need to know what our current maintenance calories are. Our maintenance calories, or TDEE, is the amount of calories required to maintain our current weight which i’ll go more in depth in the following section.

Maintenance Calories aka Total Daily Energy Expenditure(TDEE)

Basic breakdown of TDEE

Your maintenance or your “TDEE,” which stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure, is the amount of calories needed to maintain your current bodyweight. This number is figured by taking one’s height, weight & general physical activity(using activity multipliers.)

When we have this number, this is where the magic begins. Before I go into the magic, I’ll briefly into more detail about what this number is made up of.

TDEE = BMR + Physical Activity + Thermic Effect of Food

BMR: Your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is your resting metabolism. It is the amount of energy your body uses to maintain itself at rest. It is responsible for 70% of your TDEE! This is why if you are underweight, you are referred to as having a fast metabolism. Having a fast metabolism means that your BMR is high & being that BMR accounts for 70% of your TDEE, it has the most impact on weight loss or weight gain. BMR fluctuates from person to person depending on genetics, age, diet, etc. This is why “diet periodization” is important when the focus is fat loss due to the ever changing conditions that influence BMR.

Physical Activity: Physical Activity is simply how active one is. Whether one is very active, or not very active, this plays a role in TDEE but only 20% of it. Here’s the thing with physical activity that many people who are trying to lose weight or even people who are trying to gain muscle mass get tripped up on. They think that physical activity plays a bigger role in TDEE than it really does. Some people think that they can out exercise a bad diet, which basically means over eating. It really does not matter how intensely one exercises after overeating because chances are they aren’t going to “burn off” what they just ate. It just doesn’t work that way.

Thermic Effect of Food: This is how many calories the body uses to digest and process the food we eat and is only 10% of our TDEE.

How do we calculate our TDEE? Go to this website: TDEEcalculator.net I’ve been using this website for quite some time & it has helped me curate awareness around tracking my macros.

It is as simple as this. I must warn you that this is not an exact science because there are factors such a human error that play a role. This is why it is important that you stay on consistent. Being consistent in a cyclical manner will give you second nature intuition that this guide cannot provide and can only be provided by consistent practice & implementation of these principles/concepts.

Rate of weight loss

The next step of setting up a diet is to figure out our TDEE calories & use that information to figure out an appropriate caloric intake to map to our goals.

For weight loss, I recommend that we aim to lose 0.5 to 1% of bodyweight per week to keep muscle & strength deterioration to a minimum. So this means if you are a 200lb/90kg male, you would be losing 1 to 2lbs per week(-0.5 to 0.9kg). I always recommend getting it over with if you know what you are doing so 2lbs(0.9kg) is the way to go. If you are a beginner then it’s better to go slowly at 0.5% per week.

If you are under the guidance of a “coach,” they will ofcourse recommend you lose 0.5 to 1lb a week because it means more money for them. But come on over to boydavenuecoaching dot com & I’ll do my best to get you the results you need in a timely(reasonably) manner.

There are about 3500 calories in 1lb(-0.5kg) of fat tissue. So it would make sense that a 500 calorie deficit per day will yield 1lb(-0.5kg) of fat loss over the course of 7 days. Again, this weight loss/weight gain thing is not an exact science because of all kinds of factors that play a role but this is a great place to start. Consistency and patience always plays out well in the long run.

Another thing that I want to mention that influences the scale is muscle gain and loss. You may be trying to lose fat, but you may be gaining muscle before that happens. The body is a chaotic place so we want to be aware that, again, consistency and patience plays out in the long run. You may look in the mirror & look visible leaner but weigh more, that’s ok, your body fat percentage has dropped while you gained a bit of muscle(in rare cases.)

Cardio

Do cardio. I do not have the exact numbers, nor am I interested in going into depth to produce these numbers but I recommend you do cardio to increase your rate of weight loss within the specified numbers. At the time of writing this I am fascinated by sprints and it’s fat loss capabilities. Another form of cardio that I recommend is LISS. Which is basically going to take a fucking walk.

Sprints: You can perform sprints in two or more forms. I prefer the below:

  1. You can do a “HIIT” type of set up where you start off walking for a like 30 to 60 seconds then jog for 30 seconds then do an all out sprint for as long as you safely can then walk until you are recovered,30 – 120 seconds, & then repeat the process. Do this only if you are experienced, have a trainer, or know your body. Do not kill yourself by trying to be a badass & over doing it.
  2. The second type is a start & stop method where you start at a line, take off with an all out effort for as long as you safely can then you stop & catch your breath. No jogging, no walking in between, you just start & stop when tired.

Like I said, I like to combine the two for fun. For example, I’ll do some HIIT type work on the treadmill on day then on another day I’ll do the start & stop method for fun like my friends and I use to do in the old days. I like to pretend I run track and set up like them & everything. The key here is to have fun during cardio because you will be doing a lot of it.

Rate of Weight Gain

This is a tricky subject for people who are looking to put on muscle. The rate at which we gain muscle changes as our training age increases. I’ve mentioned training age a few times without actually talking about what it means. Training age is how long we have been training. We can rank it as Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced. There are some different rates at which we gain muscle in respect to each age.

Beginner: Progress pretty quickly in the gym on a session to session basis. Expected to gain 1 to 1.5% of bodyweight monthly.

Intermediate: Progress at a decent but slower pace at a month to month basis. Some weeks are better than others. Expected to gain 0.5 to 1% of bodyweight monthly.

Advanced: Progress slowly. This progress is measured over the span of multiple months and/or years. Expected to increase 0.5% of bodyweight monthly.

Beginners put on muscle & gain strength pretty quickly because of the aforementioned low threshold for adaptation. Intermediates see muscle come on a bit more slowly & Advanced athletes feel like they are taking forever to gain that 1lb/0.5kg of muscle that they desperately yearn to achieve.

Here’s the difference illustrated a bit more between beginner & advanced lifters. A beginner who puts on 5lbs in a month & an advanced lifter who puts on 5lbs in a month will have disproportionately different muscle to fat ratios in their gains. This means that the advanced lifter’s 5lbs is more than likely a majority of fat while the beginner’s 5lb gain is a majority of muscle.

Keeping this in mind we want to address calorie surpluses for each of the stages for both male & female lifters at 180lbs(82kgs) & 130lbs(59kgs), respectively

Beginners: 1-1.5%/month = 200-300 kcals/day & 1-1.5%/month = 150-225 kcals/day

Intermediate: 0.5-1%/month = 100-200 kcals/day & 0.5-1%/month = 75-150 kcals/day

Advanced: Very slight increase up to 100 kcals/day & Very slight increase up to 75 kcals/day

As you can see, as the training ages go up, the calorie surpluses go down to account for the slowing of muscle growth relative to training age.

If you want calculate your surpluses relative to you training age, we can go back to the “3500 calorie rule.” 3500 calories = 1 pound = 0.5 kg, right? So if you have a target rate of weight gain of 3 pounds as an intermediate, you multiply 3500 by 3(3500 x 3) & then divide it by 30 & you’ll get your daily surplus increase.

All of this is helpful just so long as you are using it with the context of the weekly averages of daily weigh-ins. This breeds awareness that allows you to adjust your approach according to the weight fluctuations based on the “3500 calorie rule.” This is literally most of the work. This is how you stay on the nutritional ferris wheel. This is cyclical. We go through phases of “cutting, bulking” and maintaining, year round. It is all a big circle that we do not want to fall out of.

These tools make easy work of getting started because it gives us a baseline to start with. We can adjust our calories and weigh in each week to see if we are making progress or not.

The process is this, when we get our maintenance calories and we either consume or less calories than that number. Simple.

I always recommend that people who are new to this to just start tracking calories to get into the rhythm of tracking calories relative to their maintenance.

Doing this for two weeks or more will show you the power of keeping track of your calories. It will also show you “hardgainers” that despite you repeating over and over again that “no matter how much I eat I can’t gain weight” is simply not true. The question is “how do you know that? Have you been tracking?” No you haven’t. You’ve just been stuffing your face until you’re full. Not taking into consideration that there is a caloric balance that has to be tended to.

Don’t think I forgot about those of you who are looking to lose weight. Many people who are losing weight understand that not overeating is essential to losing weight but they make the mistake of eating TOO LITTLE and end up gaining weight anyway. I’ll elaborate more on this in the next section.

People who might be satisfied with their current weight and just want to maintain and recomposition their bodies, want to pay attention to maintenance calories as well. These are the people who want to go from fluffy to a bit more lean and muscular at the same weight.

Fat Loss, Muscle Gain & Body Composition Via Basic Nutrition Concepts

Macros are the building blocks of your overall caloric intake. These building blocks come in the form of: Fats, Protein & Carbs.

Setting up your macros determines your body composition, along with genetics & other factors but for now we are going to talk about macros’ effect on body composition. Body composition is the make up of the human body. For the purposes of fitness and nutrition, we talk about the muscle to fat ratio and use things such as Fat Free Mass Index(FFMI) which tells us how much fat free mass(muscle, bone, etc) we have.

In order to calculate our FFMI we use out height, weight body fat percentage. FFMI is also used to guess who is “natural”(not using performance drugs) & people who are “not natural.” But don’t worry about that.

Now that we know how many calories we need to consume per day with respect to our goals, we need to figure out how those calories come together. We will comprise our macros within 3 different categories: for fat loss, muscle gain & maintenance of our current body weight. There are three types of calorie sources, protein, carbohydrates & fats.

In this section we will learn the function of these macros and how to prescribe them with respect to our calorie set up. Remember, this is basic nutrition. We want the knowledge that is actionable enough to get us to our goals.

Towards the end of this section, we will talk about how to stay on track without driving ourselves insane with our diets and also fiber intake.

You can contextualize your macro breakdowns within your preferred diet. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, carnivore, keto, etc you can find a macro break down that is right for you.

It may take a bit of planning and ingenuity with diets like keto and carnivore but it can most certainly work.

Remember, the below macro break downs are just guidelines. You do not have to “stick” to the macro breakdown to the exact number in order to see the results.

I also want to mention that I am writing this for people who aren’t competing for bodybuilding shows.

This information is more so for the average trainee who wants to look good and get strong.

How to prescribe macronutrient guidelines within the context of Basic Nutrition

Macros are either prescribed based on bodyweight or percentages of calories. I learned that the best way to prescribe macros is a mix of the two. As mentioned above, we have 3 types of macronutrients that provides calories: Protein, Fats, Carbs. Protein’s function is primarily to build & repair the structure of our tissues. No more than 10% of our energy comes from amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Fats & Carbohydrates are primarily used for energy.

Now, using the mix of the two methods, prescribing macros based on bodyweight & percentages of total daily calorie consumption, I calculate protein intake based on bodyweight & fats & carbohydrates are based on percentages of total daily calorie consumption. This allows for protein to be scaled to muscle mass/body mass since its function is to repair mass & structures of the body tissues & the energy sources, fats & carbs are scaled to our daily energy budget.

The next thing we need to know is how many calories are in each macro per 1 gram. Protein is 4 calories per gram, carbs are 4 calories per gram & fats are 9 calories per gram. The above information & the information we’ve gotten from calculating our TDEE with respect to our goals will aide us in setting up our macronutrient intakes.

Protein(4 calories per gram) = Gram per pound of bodyweight

Carbohydrates(4 calories per gram) = Percentage of total calories

Fats(9 calories per gram) = Percentage of total calories

Setting up macronutrients for fat loss

Now that we have all of the information above, all of the pieces, let’s put them together. When setting up macros for fat loss, the main idea behind it is to prioritize muscle sparing then fat loss. As you can guess, energy intake is the last thing on our list BUT we need a way to stimulate the muscle to keep the muscle intact with the energy we have.

We can prescribe macros two ways, we can do it per gram per pound or kilogram or we can use percentages.

I like to use percentages when when I am bulking and a combination of the two when I am cutting using bodyweight for protein and percentages for fats and carbs.

Setting up protein intake

As mentioned above, we want to prescribe protein on a bodyweight basis, while cutting fat, we go with 1.1 – 1.3grams per pound of bodyweight(2.3 – 2.8g/kg of bodyweight) Studies have shown that moderate to high protein intake conserves muscle mass. The higher end of protein intake provides for more satiety which prevents overeating to an extent.

Setting up fat intake

When cutting fat, we have to keep fats within healthy levels. I find that anywhere between 15 to 25% of total calories should be coming from fats. Whether you are in the upper or lower limits is up to you. It all boils down to a matter of preference because although fats serve as essential to hormonal balance, they also serve as an energy source.

Setting up carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are important for training but not essential so whatever calories are left over feel free to utilize for carbs.

If you are keto then you can simply increase your fats to compensate for the rest of your energy requirements.

Refeeds and Diet Periodization

When it comes to fat loss it is important to learn about when to take a diet break. A diet break is a period of time where the trainee takes a break from caloric restriction in order to offset any metabolic adaptations aka slowing of the metabolism.

The trainee should take a diet break every 4-6 weeks. The diet break should last about 7 days and during these seven days the trainee should cut cardio to about 25% of what it was and increase calorie consumption to maintenance.

In addition to offsetting metabolic adaptations, fat loss continues in the long term. We can think of this as a little reset that allows the body to reach it’s full fat loss potential.

I go into the specifics of fat loss here.

Muscle Gain

Now that we are in the gaining phase we don’t have to worry so much about losing muscle because we are in a caloric surplus. The macro prescriptions are as follows.

Protein intake

In this situation we don’t necessarily have to follow the bodyweight formula but we can set our protein at 0.8g – 1.2g per pound of bodyweight. This insures that we are sparring muscle as well as building muscle.

Fat intake

With fats we will be bringing them up to between 20 to 30%.

Carbohydrate intake

Again in this situation we will leave the left over calories to carb consumption.

Understand that this general macro set up method is not for everyone. Some like to go with raw percentages as follows:

  • High carb option – 30% Protein, 20% fats, 50% Carbohydrates
  • Moderate carb option – 30% Protein, 35% Fats 35% Carbohydrates
  • Low carb option – 40% Protein 40% Fats, 20% Carbohydrates

Everyone is different. Some people may even go full keto and opt out of carbohydrates all together.

What this all comes down to is individuality. You have to find what works for you and what fits into your eating patterns. The way you find out what works for you is by TRYING it.

Age also determines how you respond to eat macronutrient and it’s setups so it is important to be knowledgeable and open mind to all of these different ways to set up your diets.

Also note that 80% of your nutrition should come from actual food. 20% can be “junk” in the form of cheat meals which have their place.

Fiber is another important factor to consider. 10g per 1000 calories should suffice for adequate fiber intake. Fiber counts as carbs so this can be include in your macros.

Oh, people who want to “lean bulk” which is a person who has a small calorie surplus, around 100 calories should program their protein via their bodyweight.

So a 190 pound man would want to take in 190g of protein per day in order to spare muscle. The thing with lean bulking is that it leaves little room for error.

Consuming adequate protein guards against muscle wasting when lean bulking just incase the trainee falls below his maintenance calories for the day.

As for fats and carbs, he can consume 25% of his calories through fats and the rest through carbs.

If he is dieting, all he has to do is drop his carbs and keep his fats and protein pretty much the same.

When it comes to dieting there is no magical formula for a lean and full physique. This information paints in broad strokes. Again, it is up to YOU to apply with these concepts and see how they play out for you.

The basics is where everyone should start. People get this weird idea that the basics do not matter in the fitness space.

Micronutrients

I’m not going to go into micronutrients too much because quite frankly, it’s boring.

Micronutrients help aid the body in functions that keep everything running smoothly. We call micronutrients, “micro” because the requirements of these nutrients are much smaller than the macronutrient counterparts.

So there are two types of micronutrients: vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins are organic, minerals are inorganic.

Some examples of vitamins are: vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, etc.

Vitamins come in two forms: water soluble and fat soluble.

Some examples of water soluble vitamins are: the whole vitamin B complex and vitamin C.

Some examples of fat soluble vitamins are: Vitamins A, D, E & K.

Water soluble vitamins are absorbed with the aid of water and fat soluble vitamins are absorbed with the aid of fat.

Water soluble vitamins are absorbed quickly in the body but the body cannot store them.

Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fat tissues of the body.

That’s all I’m really willing to cover in this section. There are concerns about certain levels of deficiency in either one of these vitamins and minerals but it’s nothing to worry about if you are consuming a balanced diet.

Nutrient timing In Regards To Basic Nutrition

I am not a huge advocate of nutrient timing arguments such as the “anabolic” window because all I focus is net amount of calories consumed over a 24 hour period.

There are studies out there that talk about the benefits of consuming protein powder close to training times to increase nutrient transport.

There’s also people who advocate for only eating at certain times of the day for general health and weight loss as well.

Again, I am not so excited about nutrient timing unless we are talking about meal timing for those of you who are in a weight loss/fat loss phase.

Meal frequency is a different ball game because while we are dieting we want to optimize our chances to adhere to our process as much as possible.

Spreading our caloric intake across 3-5 meals has the psychological benefit of “tricking” our brains into think we are consuming more calories than we really are.

For instance, what if we were to try to consume 2 large meals less frequently in the day? We would probably end up eating more food because we subconsciously think we didn’t eat much for the day.

Whereas if we were to spread our calories out over 3-5 meals we can eat more and even eat with our families which will blunt the whole dieting thing as well.

Having the support of family is also a psychological benefit. We want to be eating with our social circle as much as possible to try to “forget” that we are dieting in the first place.

Supplements

Now the fun part, supplements. I will go more into this topic by giving it it’s own section in a future part of this section because it is such a big concern to people!

People want to believe that supplementation makes all the difference in their progress when I reality it doesn’t. Unless you are talking about supplementing with some performance enhancing drugs, the regular supplements will not make that much of a difference.

Even when taking PEDs you still have to focus on the most important parts of diet and training first before you had the cherry on top.

Supplements are like that finally coat of paint on a nicely built home.

The foundation of the home is established first. Then the sheet rock, wood, etc for the interior and exterior are put into place. We also take care that these materials are of THE BEST quality(food and proper programming).

The paint then comes last. The paint is the supplementation.

I will talk about a few supplements that do give you a little edge though.

Creatine monohydrate

This is a great supplement that gives you increased short bursts of energy when needed for those sets of 3s and sets of 5s.

Creatine also helps you during those short sprints across distance.

The issue with creatine is that it makes you bloated and gives you a soft look so if you are bodybuilding, you might want to taper off of these when you are cutting to look good in the beach for summer time.

Caffeine

This is the only supplement worth taking. Caffeine literally gives you more energy throughout your workouts.

You can apparently training harder and longer when you are on a nice strong dose of caffeine. There have also been studies that have shown that caffeine helps to burn up to 11% more fat during workouts.

The issue with caffeine is that after about 2-3 weeks you will have to cycle off of it because of the brain’s ability to up-regulate the caffeine receptors, requiring MORE and MORE caffeine consumption.

Another issue with caffeine is that you are frying your nervous system day in and day out. If you are powerlifting, you might not want to take this because your ability to recruit your nervous system naturally wanes the longer you take it. You might even come to depend on it.

Citruline Malate

Before citruline was arginine, both of which supposedly do the same things, dilate they blood vessels giving you that all important pump.

Citruline is just a short cut to producing nitric oxide which is responsible for dilating the blood vessels.

I have personally taken this before and it works. It doesn’t really make much difference in my numbers when it comes to training though.

Whey protein

This supplement is not actually supplement in my eyes. It’s more like food BUT once upon a time I was a skinny little hardgainer who found it difficult to get all my protein in from food in one day.

Whey protein shakes helped me stay on top of it.

I will recommend you get grass fed whey protein isolate(instead of concentrate) from antler farms.

So two things here: what is “grass fed?” And what is “isolate?”

So I’ll start with the difference between whey isolate and whey concentrate.

Whey isolate has less cholesterol and less of the other junk that comes in concentrate due to a fine filtering process. This is the better option.

Grass fed whey protein comes from cows that fed naturally out in free range pasture.

This means that they didn’t eat grains that made them sick. They didn’t get sick so they weren’t pumped with anti-biotics.

The grass fed option even TASTES cleaner than the non grass fed option. It literally tastes cleaner.

Conclusion

So we just went through the most to least important aspects of nutrition.

Many people til this day prioritize things like vitamins and supplements before they have even dialed their knowledge of basic nutrition in.

They think there is some major jar of shit that’s going to give them their goal physique.

In part, I don’t blame them because the fitness industry markets that idea to them to fill the laziness.

People are just like that. If they can take a short cut, they will take it. But it doesn’t work like that when it comes to health and fitness.

We have to prioritize energy balance by way of basic nutrition before anything else. Many people walk around convinced that their metabolism is too fast for them to put on weight when in reality they just haven’t had the proper knowledge of basic nutrition to do so.

Many people think the goal to weight loss is starving themselves and ironically they end up gaining weight. Understanding basic nutrition allows for you to skirt the pain of asceticism.

We have to change the narrative around basic nutrition. With obesity growing over the years, people need actionable, knowledge of basic nutrition that is accessible to laymen.

We have a lot of people in the industry that jerk themselves off with all the technical jargon of “evidence based nutrition.” They leave out basic nutrition in order to see more advanced than they really are.

The goal of my blog is to get to a place where people can come to my space, see the information and apply it in an actionable way.

Not to come here, get tangled up in technical, scientific broad strokes then leave more confused than when they came.

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