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Modern Wisdom

#793 - Menno Henselmans - The New Science Of Using Protein To Build Muscle

Thu Jun 06 2024
nutritionprotein intakemindsetdietingcaffeinefat losssleep qualityartificial sweetenershigh protein dietsmuscle growthtype 2 diabetestraining wisdompsychological tricksunderrated foodsdietary choices

Description

This episode covers various topics related to evidence-based nutrition, optimal protein intake, mindset and expectations, flexible dieting, caffeine and carb loading, fat burners and sustainable fat loss, sleep quality and artificial sweeteners, high protein diets and health benefits, muscle growth and type 2 diabetes, training wisdom and intrinsic motivation, psychological tricks and underrated foods, and dietary choices and identity.

Insights

Evidence-based nutrition movement

The evidence-based nutrition movement focuses on real science in areas like diet, training, nutrition, sleep, and recovery.

Protein intake and muscle protein synthesis

The body's ability to utilize protein varies based on factors like exercise, previous protein intake, and hormonal levels.

EMTOR and protein synthesis

EMTOR is a key enzyme that regulates protein synthesis in response to signals like amino acid levels in the blood and workout intensity.

Optimal protein intake

For optimal muscle growth, distribute protein intake roughly equally over at least three meals per day.

Excessive protein intake and weight gain

Excessive protein intake can contribute to weight gain as it adds to overall calorie consumption.

Mindset and food choices

Having a mindset focused on protein intake can influence food choices and satisfaction.

Expectations and caloric content

Expectations about caloric content can affect how the body metabolizes food.

Fake steroids and performance gains

Believing in the effectiveness of fake steroids led to significant gains in well-trained lifters.

Perceived brand quality and effectiveness

Perceived brand quality can impact the effectiveness of painkillers and energy drinks.

Flexible dieting for fat loss

Flexible dieting focuses on macronutrients and total energy intake for fat loss.

Chapters

  1. Evidence-based Nutrition Movement
  2. Optimal Protein Intake
  3. Mindset and Expectations
  4. Flexible Dieting and Unconventional Food Sources
  5. Caffeine and Carb Loading
  6. Fat Burners and Sustainable Fat Loss
  7. Sleep Quality and Artificial Sweeteners
  8. Benefits and Uses of Artificial Sweeteners
  9. High Protein Diets and Health Benefits
  10. Muscle Growth and Type 2 Diabetes
  11. Training Wisdom and Intrinsic Motivation
  12. Psychological Tricks and Underrated Foods
  13. Dietary Choices and Identity
Summary
Transcript

Evidence-based Nutrition Movement

00:00 - 07:41

  • The evidence-based nutrition movement is gaining popularity, focusing on real science in areas like diet, training, nutrition, sleep, and recovery.
  • Legendary Foods offers protein-rich snacks with lower calories and sugar compared to traditional options, helping individuals meet their protein targets without spiking blood sugar.
  • There is a misconception that the body can only absorb 20 grams of protein per meal for muscle protein synthesis; however, the body's ability to utilize protein varies based on factors like exercise, previous protein intake, and hormonal levels.
  • EMTOR is a key enzyme that regulates protein synthesis in response to signals like amino acid levels in the blood and workout intensity.

Optimal Protein Intake

07:18 - 14:33

  • EMTOR is influenced by factors like testosterone levels, muscle condition, and workout status
  • For optimal muscle growth, distribute protein intake roughly equally over at least three meals per day
  • Research suggests that the maximum effective protein intake for lean body mass and strength development is around 1.6 to 1.8 grams per kilogram per day
  • Excessive protein intake can contribute to weight gain as it adds to overall calorie consumption
  • It can be challenging to consume excessively high amounts of protein through food alone, requiring supplements or shakes for some individuals

Mindset and Expectations

14:17 - 21:38

  • Having a mindset focused on protein intake can influence food choices and satisfaction.
  • Expectations about caloric content can affect how the body metabolizes food.
  • Believing in the effectiveness of fake steroids led to significant gains in well-trained lifters.
  • The power of expectations can surpass genetic influences on performance.
  • Perceived brand quality can impact the effectiveness of painkillers and energy drinks.

Flexible Dieting and Unconventional Food Sources

21:10 - 28:26

  • Red Bull's taste was initially odd but contributed to its success
  • Flexible dieting focuses on macronutrients and total energy intake for fat loss
  • Calorie tracking may not be sustainable long-term for healthy eating habits
  • Balancing theoretical diet principles with practical implementation is crucial
  • Using unconventional food sources like Haribo for dieting can be challenging and risky

Caffeine and Carb Loading

27:56 - 34:47

  • Skip loading was a carb night once per week to maximize carb intake for metabolic reset
  • Caffeine is mainly a psychological aid with little long-term effects on muscle gain or fat loss
  • Caffeine works better for individuals who are sleep deprived, in the morning, and less trained
  • Overuse of caffeine can lead to negative effects on sleep quality and create a dependency cycle
  • A few days without caffeine can re-sensitize receptors back to baseline levels
  • Caffeine is considered a relatively safe drug compared to banned substances like heroin
  • Caffeine powder or pills (anhydrous caffeine) may work better than pre-workout formulations for performance enhancement

Fat Burners and Sustainable Fat Loss

34:33 - 41:34

  • Fat burners do not actually burn fat but may increase energy expenditure and decrease appetite
  • Fiber supplements can result in fat loss by decreasing appetite
  • Modern human weight gain and health problems are attributed to overconsumption of palatable and calorie-dense foods
  • A sustainable fat loss diet involves filling up 'appetite units' with protein sources and fillers like vegetables or fiber-rich foods
  • Tracking macros initially can help develop calorie awareness, leading to sustainable meal plans without the need for constant tracking
  • Time blocking and understanding productivity principles, as well as using sleep trackers, can be beneficial for long-term health and success

Sleep Quality and Artificial Sweeteners

41:07 - 48:06

  • Sleep tracking technology has evolved, but the gold standard for sleep quality remains waking up naturally and feeling refreshed.
  • Optimizing happiness, sleep, and productivity can be counterproductive due to increased stress levels.
  • Sleep significantly impacts fat loss and muscle gain, with studies showing over 50% reduction in fat loss with just two hours of sleep deprivation.
  • Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased willpower, preference for unhealthy foods, and poor training performance.
  • Artificial sweeteners are generally considered safe and effective for fat loss by scientific institutions.

Benefits and Uses of Artificial Sweeteners

47:47 - 54:55

  • Consuming artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose has been deemed safe by organizations like the European Union and FDA.
  • While there may be potential negative health effects of sweeteners, they can also aid in better diet adherence and satisfaction.
  • Artificial sweeteners can help with fat loss compared to high-sugar drinks.
  • Sweeteners do not hijack brain systems but can condition preferences for sweetness based on consumption habits.
  • Using sweeteners to satisfy cravings can be beneficial if it helps avoid high-calorie sugary alternatives.
  • Adding sweeteners to food, like vegetables or tomato soup, can enhance flavor without compromising quality.

High Protein Diets and Health Benefits

54:39 - 1:01:30

  • High protein diets have decisive health benefits in fighting sarcopenia and reducing diabetes.
  • Concerns about MTOR activation and protein intake leading to negative effects are generally overblown.
  • Research shows that protein intake does not have a significant relationship with all-cause mortality or longevity.
  • Protein synthesis is not affected by high protein intakes, and the effects are tissue-specific.
  • Being lean is more important for longevity than potential negative effects of high protein intake.
  • Lower body fat percentage is generally better for most health markers, but very high body mass can put stress on the heart.
  • Muscle growth is effective at lowering blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity, which helps prevent type 2 diabetes.

Muscle Growth and Type 2 Diabetes

1:01:02 - 1:08:22

  • Fat loss and muscle growth can effectively cure or reduce symptoms of type 2 diabetes
  • Muscle mass has positive effects on insulin sensitivity and systemic inflammation levels
  • Body composition significantly impacts health, with leaner individuals experiencing improvements in various health biomarkers
  • Carbohydrate intake is overemphasized for strength training performance, with minimal effects observed
  • Supplements, particularly branched-chain amino acids, are considered overrated for fitness benefits
  • Exercise order flexibility can be beneficial for optimizing workout efficiency

Training Wisdom and Intrinsic Motivation

1:08:03 - 1:15:08

  • Realization of time-saving benefits by supersetting leg extensions and hamstring curls in the gym
  • Accumulating personal wisdom through training age can lead to better understanding of individual training needs
  • Antagonist supersets like leg curls followed by leg extensions can improve muscle activity and performance
  • Obsession with small details in training and diet may not always translate to effective fitness results
  • Motivation plays a significant role in achieving fitness goals, with intrinsic motivation being key
  • Cultivating intrinsic motivation through relatedness, competence, and autonomy can enhance training success

Psychological Tricks and Underrated Foods

1:14:45 - 1:21:53

  • Talking to yourself can be an effective way to motivate and increase your performance, whether done internally or out loud.
  • Positive psychology tricks like self-motivation can be beneficial in various aspects of life, but some individuals may struggle with applying them due to rationality concerns.
  • Being overly rational can sometimes hinder effectiveness and happiness, as seen in the example of religion providing benefits despite potential irrational beliefs.
  • Underrated bodybuilding foods include olives for their health benefits and satiating properties, berries for low-calorie satiety, and pangasius fillet as a flavorful protein source.
  • Eggs are considered neutral in terms of health impact, being nutritious but not necessarily health-promoting or improving biomarkers over time.
  • Red meat is also deemed neutral in its effects on health, being a nutritious food choice when consumed in moderation.

Dietary Choices and Identity

1:21:35 - 1:27:41

  • Meat can be nutritious but may not lead to objective improvements in longevity or health biomarkers unless consumed for specific deficiencies like iron
  • Diet has become a battleground due to its role in signaling identity and social status, especially on social media
  • Attacking someone else's diet can be seen as a reminder of mortality and a way of asserting one's own dietary choices as superior
  • The focus on different diets reflects deeper psychological aspects related to mortality and the desire for longevity
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