Friday, April 8, 2011

"Letters To The Editor"

In response to some of the great responses I've been getting on the blog, I thought I'd re-post them in their own blog, see if we can't continue and expand some of the discussion we've been getting.

On the Steroid blog, Sean "P Diddy" Powell had this to say:
"My thoughts are (together with a disclaimer that I don’t use steroids), are basically:

• Where do you draw the distinction between artificial supplements? For example is taking whey protein powder the same or slightly lower on the scale of artificial supplements than steroids. I don’t know if there are any negative side effects to taking protein, creatine, hydroxycut or the various other fat loss or bodybuilding type supplements commonly available from fitness stores or sites like T-Nation etc. You could even say that just going to the gym is artificially increasing your muscle size because lifting weights isn’t a “normal” activity, its something that you’re doing specifically to increase muscle mass, although with that you’re not putting anything artificial into your body. Taking protein powder (or fishoil tablets or multivitamins) adds something which is not naturally there in those quantities (although perhaps it should be if not for our inadequate diets) whereas steroids, depending on the type and method adds something which is either naturally produced by the body (eg, testosterone or human growth hormones) or artificially constructed/concentrated substances.

• Secondly, even if you do take steroids, my understanding is that you still need to work out like a nutcase, probably even harder than normal (which frankly, most of us office workers don’t get to) for it to have any or maximum effect otherwise your body doesn’t use all that extra juice to build muscle.

• Third, I think the major desire for average gym goers (as opposed to competitive athletes) to use steroids is the desire to get a quicker result, so you don’t have to put in 12 months of 5x per week nutbusting effort, which frankly, is hard work when you are there, and hard work just to get there. If you can pop a pill, work out once a week and get more muscle then its an easy fix. If you could take a pill and melt the stomach fat and build muscle, would you still go to the gym? Ie, do you enjoy the process or the result? I’m not sure where I come down on that – probably that I enjoy the process (to a certain extent) but I want the result. I suspect most of your clients would opt for a magic pill and the result though.

My 2c…
Then there was Wolf on the Vegetarianism Pt. 2 (The Nutritional Argument) blog:
"The vegetarian diet has some nutritional good points to it but I do not think it is the optimal diet to choose for purely health reasons nor do I think it is a sufficient justification on its own to become a strict vegetarian.

Here are a few points. While vegetarians tend on avereage to have lower total cholesterol, higher fibre and plant mass and less saturated fat in their diet than the general population, this translates to fairly small end-point reductions. The general findings from large studies and meta-anaylsis are that there is a reduction in ischemic heart disease but no significant difference in several other end points including heart disease and various cancers.

They also tend to have higher levels of Advanced glycation end products, homocysteine and small,dense LDL fractions while also having lower levels of DHA and bone mineral density. All these measurements have been implicated in chronic diseases.

Additionally, meat isnt simply a source of iron and protion (of which vegetarians are also commonly deficient in) but it is a rich source of a vast array of nutrients including CLA, taurine, CoQ10, carnitine, carnosine, EPA+DHA and creatine. All of which seem to play important roles in the body and are almost entirely absent in a vegetarian diet. Even the more common nutrients (vitamins/minerals) are on average, more absorbable from meat. Plants have numerous anti-nutrients including phytates or trypsin inhibitors that bind to nutrients are inhibit their absorption or digestion.

Then there are the common concerns of anemia and protein dificiency. The standard range of 0.6-0.8g/kg was based on nitrogen studies in a small population and does not account for the wide range of metabolic variations as well as the additional benefits that a higher protein diet may provide (hypolipedmic, satiety, BMD etc).

These are just some issues that I think warrent some caution when thinking about adapting a vegetarian diet. I do think that if you do some extensive reading and consistantly monitor your diet then I think you can live a happy life as a vegetarian but I do not think that it is an optimal diet by any means and on its own, I see no reason to adapt it. Including an array of nutrient dense vegetables, I think is advantagous and there are many health issues related to meat that one must consider (cooking methods, HCA etc) but meat is a hugely nutrient dense food source that you shouldnt give up completly, atleast not for your health."

And on the CBD Facebook website (scroll down to the blog post and comments section), in response to my Want To Stay Fat? Keep Running post, Kevin Snedker had this to say:
"Really? We were genetically engineered for running. We're able to lower our internal body temperature via sweating (unlike every other animal out there) thus allowing us to maintain extended periods of strenuous exercise, ie. running. We are able to breathe during intense exercise, where animals cannot breathe and pant at the same time, thus cannot run as long as we can. The arch of our foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, able to distribute our weight evenly at any pace. We used to run down our prey, that is how we fed ourselves - I doubt caveman managed to get any food into their bodies by living heavy rocks. Don't get me wrong, I think lifting weights is an important part of any fitness regime, but to say running is bad for you? Seems like there is a lot more research that suggests otherwise. There are plenty of people that run marathons well into their 90s - when was the last time you saw a 90 year old bodybuilder."

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