The fitness industry is full of misinformation. One example of this is the common myths about muscle-building nutrition. It’s not just your personal trainer who might be giving you bad advice, but also many people in the media! So what are these popular myths? We’ll take a look at them now.
Myth #01: You need to eat a lot of protein to build muscle.
This is definitely a common myth. In fact, you don’t need as much protein as you might think. A recent study showed that only 0.36 grams per pound of body weight were necessary to maintain muscle mass. This means that if you weigh 180 pounds, you only need 54 grams of protein per day.
You may read on a muscle-building website that you should eat twice as much (0.72 g/lb), but this is based upon the old RDA for adults and not actual studies examining bodybuilders or athletes with high levels of physical activity. Another reason to be skeptical of the high protein recommendation is that it can often lead to weight gain, as protein is calorie-dense.
Myth #02: You need to eat a lot of carbs to build muscle.
Just like with protein, you don’t need as many carbs as you might think to build muscle. In fact, one study showed that athletes who followed a low-carbohydrate diet for four weeks had the same muscle mass as those who followed a high-carbohydrate diet.
The key is to find the right balance of carbs and protein for you. If you’re eating too many carbs, you might not be getting enough protein, and vice versa. Experiment with different ratios until you find what works best for you.
Myth #03: You need to eat a lot of fat to build muscle.
This is another common myth, but it’s just not true. In fact, if you’re eating too much fat, you might be getting in the way of your muscle growth. A high-fat diet can lead to weight gain and can make it more difficult to build muscle.
Myth #04: You need to eat six times a day (or every few hours) in order to gain muscle mass.
Muscle growth is not about how often you’re eating but rather the calories and protein that you consume. If you have too many meals throughout the day because your trainer told you to, you may gain weight.
Myth #05: You need to eat every two hours in order to build muscle mass.
This is just another myth that has not been proven true by science. Studies show that it doesn’t matter when or how often you eat as long as the total calories and protein are right. So if your goal is to build muscle mass, you can eat three meals per day or six small ones. Just make sure the total calories and protein are right for your goals.
Myth #06: You need to eat before bedtime in order to gain muscle.
It’s also a myth that eating before going to sleep will help you build more muscle mass. In fact, eating late at night can actually lead to weight gain. The best time to eat is when you’re going to have the most energy and be able to work out hard.
Myth #07: You need supplements to build muscle mass.
This is another myth that just isn’t true. You don’t need supplements in order to build muscle mass. However, if you’re lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, they might help. Protein powder can be a good way to get extra protein when your diet is not providing enough of it.
Myth #08: You need to eat “clean” foods in order to build muscle mass.
This myth has been popularized by celebrity trainers like Jillian Michaels. The truth is that you don’t need to avoid processed foods in order to build muscle mass. In fact, many bodybuilders eat a lot of junk food every day and still gain amazing amounts of muscle.
Myth #09: You shouldn’t lift heavy weights because it can cause injury or burn out your muscles.
If you start lifting very heavyweights, you might be at risk for injury. However, if you lift a weight that’s appropriate for your level of fitness, you should be safe.
Lifting heavy weights can also help you build muscle mass more quickly. Just make sure to start slowly and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
Myth #10: You can’t gain muscle if you’re a woman.
This is another myth that just isn’t true. Women can definitely build muscle mass. They just might not be able to achieve the same level of muscularity as men. With hard work and the right nutrition, women can definitely see results.
So there you have it: ten myths about muscle-building nutrition that have been debunked by science. Now go out and start building some muscle!