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What Men Get Wrong About Building Muscle

How many times have you heard conflicting information about building muscle? Instead of relying on information heard at the water cooler, I headed straight to the credentialed experts to help bust common muscle building myths.


By Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., Men's Journal

How many times have you heard conflicting information about building muscle? Probably every time you step foot in your gym, right? Everyone likes to think they’re an expert. in their own right.

But, instead of relying on information you glean between sets at the squat rack, heed professional advice…y’know, from professionals. We went to the credentialed experts to help bust some of the worst, most common muscle-building myths.
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Myth 1: When it Comes to Building Muscle, More Protein Is Better

More is not better, it’s just more. “Thirty grams of protein—about the size of your palm—of beef, pork, lamb, veal, poultry, fish, seafood, and/or eggs is the most you need at any given meal to build muscle,” says Leslie Bonci, R.D.N., L.D.N. of Active Eating Advice. This amount will give you approximately 8 grams of essential amino acids and about 2 grams of leucine.” If you take in more than 30 grams at a meal, you won’t necessarily see greater growth. However, you could run the risk of gaining weight—fine if you’re bulking, but not so great if you’re trying to get lean while you build muscle—because the surplus will be stored. You ultimately end up eating a greater amount of calories, rather than being strategic with your macros.



Myth 2: You Need a BCAA Supplement to Build Muscle

“While branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are vital to optimal muscle health, you don’t need a fancy supplement before and after a workout, you need food,” says Dana Angelo White, R.D., C.P.T. These specialized protein-building blocks are found in eggs, chicken, cottage cheese, salmon, and plant-based proteins including peanut butter, grains, and legumes. “Most folks get enough without the supplement powders,” claims White, “and the nutritious foods that contain BCAAs will benefit the body in a variety of other ways.”



Myth 3: It's Harder for Vegans to Gain Muscle

[post_ads]“Oftentimes people give up on the idea of veganism, because they think they can’t build muscle without traditional protein sources, such as chicken, beef, and eggs,” says Ridge Davis, C.P.T, lead instructor at The Wall Fitness in Beverly Hills. But there are plenty of food sources that allow vegans to get enough protein—as well as other crucial nutrients. “Tempeh is the most overlooked protein source for vegans; it’s a great substitute for meat,” Davis says. Tempeh is made from fermented and cooked soybeans with one cup providing 30 grams of protein. This is “the perfect amount for one meal,” Davis adds. Other sources include vegan protein powders and smaller sources of protein, including Ezekiel bread, quinoa, hummus, chia seeds, flax seeds, and chickpeas.



Myth 4: If You Stop Working Out, Muscle Turns Into Fat

“Muscle and fat are two completely different types of tissue,” says Jim White, R.D.N., owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. Muscle will not turn into fat, nor will fat turn into muscle. So what happens when you stop working out? “Muscle tissue size can decrease if we don’t keep using it, and fat cells can increase in size, but one will not become the other,” he explains.



Myth 5: To Maintain Your Muscles, You Must Eat Protein Every Few Hours

“Don’t think you need to lug around a lunch box full of Greek yogurt and hard-boiled eggs or you’ll go catabolic,” says Destini Moody, R.D.N., C.P.T. Some people believe you need to eat protein every 3 to 4 hours and, while this is good for hunger control, it’s simply not true for muscle gain or maintenance. “As long as you’re getting all the protein you need for the day through your main meals, you won’t lose your muscle mass,” Moody says. “Just make sure this protein is distributed between your meals as evenly as possible.”

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Myth 6: If You Lift Weights, You Should Limit Carb Intake

Some believe if you limit your carb intake when lifting weights this will help with fat loss. “Carbohydrates are not inherently fattening,” says Nancy Clark M.S., R.D., best-selling author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. If you consume excess calories, it’ll lead to weight gain—regardless of the macro type. Even too much chicken can cause weight gain. “Carbohydrates fuel your muscles, so you can lift heavier weights and have more energy during your workouts.” Further, whole grains, fruits, and certain vegetables—all categorized as carbs—are among the most health-promoting foods on the plant. Stress less about cutting carbs when you’re on a heavy lifting regimen.


See more at: Men's Journal

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Men's Magazine: What Men Get Wrong About Building Muscle
What Men Get Wrong About Building Muscle
How many times have you heard conflicting information about building muscle? Instead of relying on information heard at the water cooler, I headed straight to the credentialed experts to help bust common muscle building myths.
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