The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member cphafner's Avatar
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    Overnight shakes

    Anyone else wake up and drink a shake(or eat) in the middle of the night? Shelby had me add these in when we were working together. They (along with everything else) have made a good difference. As of this week I'm the heaviest I've ever been.

    I was watching a video with IFBB pro Guy Cisternino. He said his trainer (Hill? from the UK) told him to add them. He said they were the most important calories he would get in all day.

    Anyone else doing this? For all the hardgainers, this is a good way to get in some extra calories. I do set an alarm for 3:30, but I wake up on my own most nights to piss. I keep a shaker and cup of Nitrean next to my bed and pound it on the way to the bathroom. The only drawback is my aim isn't always great when half asleep and I'll wake up with a pile of protein powder on the floor next to my bed...
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    "Now we're finally getting to the chicken or the egg question," I grinned. "Did I eat all that food because my size gives me more of an appetite, or did I get to be this big because I've been forcing myself to eat like this for years?"

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  3. #2
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    ya ive woken up a few times to find my blender on the floor with protein and peanut butter all over the wall. i never set an alarm cuz i dont wanna interrupt my sleep but if i wake up to pee i slam it
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  4. #3
    2008 World Champs! SMK41's Avatar
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    I usually just drink a small shake (1 cup of milk, 1 scoop Nitrean) right before I get in bed. I really don't see how much more valuable it would be if i woke up 3 hours later and drank that shake instead of doing it right before bed.
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  5. #4
    Clean Bulk in Progress james_w8lifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMK41 View Post
    I usually just drink a small shake (1 cup of milk, 1 scoop Nitrean) right before I get in bed. I really don't see how much more valuable it would be if i woke up 3 hours later and drank that shake instead of doing it right before bed.
    I do the same. I drink 24oz of milk and 2 scoops of slow digesting casein protein immediately before bed. I don't see myself setting my alarm for 3:30 anytime soon lol.
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  6. #5
    Wannabebig Member Metal_Man's Avatar
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    I used to work third shift so if I wake up in the night and stay up for any length of time I cannot get back to sleep so I like to drink a small shake before bed. Also, I take ZMA and the shake helps to wash it down.

    I mentioned getting up in the middle of the night to feed to my friend who isn't really very into nutrition and he laughed at me...I guess that's the kind of thing that sets us apart from the rest of the pack...
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_w8lifter View Post
    I do the same. I drink 24oz of milk and 2 scoops of slow digesting casein protein immediately before bed. I don't see myself setting my alarm for 3:30 anytime soon lol.
    +1, its effectively the same thing, but you don't interrupt your sleep!
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  8. #7
    Senior Member cphafner's Avatar
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    Maybe it's something we can get Shelby to address in his next Q&A. What Shelby told me to do, I did without question. The other trainer I mentioned works with Zach Kahn, Guy Cist, and Flex Lewis. The guy obviously knows his stuff. Here is a brief mention of it from Shelby in an interview I found

    "I don’t have any of my clients limit their eating in the evenings, but I usually taper their carbs as the day progresses. The only exception is if they are training at night, in which case they would still have carbohydrates in their post-workout meal. I typically recommend a meal of lean protein – the slower the digesting, the better, to keep a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night – green vegetables, and a small amount of healthy fat as the last meal of the day.

    I have no problem with this meal being consumed right before going to bed. In fact, for many of my clients, I also recommend a “nighttime protein shake” that they sip on before bed and when they wake up at night."
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    "Now we're finally getting to the chicken or the egg question," I grinned. "Did I eat all that food because my size gives me more of an appetite, or did I get to be this big because I've been forcing myself to eat like this for years?"

    From A Body Builder is Born

    i knew you were a beast but not that kinda of a beast that eats grown men and children.. lilmase

  9. #8
    Loves to squat hellagrant's Avatar
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    I don't really see the need to disrupt sleep in order to get in some protein. I guess if you are already up that is fine but I wouldn't recommend someone setting there alarm just for this. Sleep is important. But I am small so don't listen to me.

  10. #9
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    The question is:

    Were your calories and protein intakes identical in both cases?

    I've done the mid sleep shake, I'd mix it and put it in the bathroom in a little bowl with ice. I found it disrupted my sleep too much.

    To the guys wondering what the benefits are: Assuming you sleep 8 hrs, there is nothing you can eat before bed that will maintain your amino acid pool while sleeping. If most tissue repair occurs during this time, it makes perfect sense.

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  11. #10
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    I've done it, seems like a decent idea for someone needing to get in the calories provided you're not disrupting sleep i.e. I did it when waking up for the toilet. However, I found that just naturally waking up for the toilet affects how I feel next day, so I eliminated most liquids after 7pm and i sleep all the way through, I feel more rested.

    IMO sleeping properly and ensuring appropriate nutrient intake during the day is more beneficial. Incidentally nutrient intake during the day still has to factor in the mid-night shake.

    One other point is that many people assume that food is eaten, quickly digested and then enters the bloodstream, this is not the case.
    Consumed in isolation (i.e. an empty stomach) even a whey isolate is digested and it's amino acid load released into the bloodstream at a rate of approximately 10g per hour. So a 40g serving on an empty stomach (which is most favourable to speedy digestion) will take approx 4hrs i.e. there'll be amino acids in the bloodstream at 4hrs.

    Casein's rate is approx 6g per hour, so the same 40g amount would take approx 61/2hrs.

    Add in a normal mixed diet and things slow even further, throw that on top of the days' previous meals and depending how long you sleep you can still have amino acids floating in the bloodstream - which is the aim of the early morning shake.
    Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 02-18-2010 at 05:00 AM.

  12. #11
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    I myslef probably wouldn't recommend purposely disrupting sleep patterns to take a shake, but im a lazy bastard who lives in my bed

    I do keep a litre bottle of milk next to me most times when im gaining, and I used to drink a lot from that if I ever got woken up though
    Last edited by Alyion; 02-18-2010 at 05:21 AM.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    Consumed in isolation (i.e. an empty stomach) even a whey isolate is digested and it's amino acid load released into the bloodstream at a rate of approximately 10g per hour. So a 40g serving on an empty stomach (which is most favourable to speedy digestion) will take approx 4hrs i.e. there'll be amino acids in the bloodstream at 4hrs.

    Casein's rate is approx 6g per hour, so the same 40g amount would take approx 61/2hrs.
    Good to know.

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  14. #13
    Chubbilicious. VikingWarlord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    One other point is that many people assume that food is eaten, quickly digested and then enters the bloodstream, this is not the case.
    Consumed in isolation (i.e. an empty stomach) even a whey isolate is digested and it's amino acid load released into the bloodstream at a rate of approximately 10g per hour. So a 40g serving on an empty stomach (which is most favourable to speedy digestion) will take approx 4hrs i.e. there'll be amino acids in the bloodstream at 4hrs.

    Casein's rate is approx 6g per hour, so the same 40g amount would take approx 61/2hrs.

    Add in a normal mixed diet and things slow even further, throw that on top of the days' previous meals and depending how long you sleep you can still have amino acids floating in the bloodstream - which is the aim of the early morning shake.
    How are these calculated? It's really hard to swallow the idea that the absorption rates are going to be the same for both a 6yo girl and a SHW powerlifter. This would suggest that the overall requirements are the same since there's a maximum absorption rate, so any more than that would be, essentially, useless. We know this not to be true.

    I've been looking for a reliable and reputable source for information on absorption rates for a really long time. I've never found any that agreed with any other. It'd be great to have one bookmarked for quick reference if you have a link or something.
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  15. #14
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    There is a contradiction in all the data, for example chronic high intake results in increased efficency of absorption/utilisation i.e. 6yr old girl vs Superheavy powerlifter. But that analogy though I suspect a deliberate extreme, is flawed too, comparisons between adults with adult digestive systems is more appropriate.

    But anyway the data is limited and comes from all over but a good start point is 'Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion' and 'Splanchnic and whole-body leucine kinetics in young and elderly men' both by Yves Boirie 1997.

    However, despite the 'what happens when you consume more than the data suggests you could' contradiction, there is stuff we do know and that'll be the datum until the dichotomy is explained.

    Edit: had this on my laptop so check the graph from 2004 JA Calbet study Gastric emptying, gastric secretion and enterogastrone response after administration of milk proteins or their peptide hydrolysates in humans
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    Last edited by Daniel Roberts; 02-18-2010 at 03:08 PM.

  16. #15
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    There is a contradiction in all the data, for example chronic high intake results in increased efficency of absorption/utilisation i.e. 6yr old girl vs Superheavy powerlifter. But that analogy though I suspect a deliberate extreme, is flawed too, comparisons between adults with adult digestive systems is more appropriate.

    But anyway the data is limited and comes from all over but a good start point is 'Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion' and 'Splanchnic and whole-body leucine kinetics in young and elderly men' both by Yves Boirie 1997.

    However, despite the 'what happens when you consume more than the data suggests you could' contradiction, there is stuff we do know and that'll be the datum until the dichotomy is explained.

    Edit: had this on my laptop so check the graph from 2004 JA Calbet study Gastric emptying, gastric secretion and enterogastrone response after administration of milk proteins or their peptide hydrolysates in humans

    Wow, very informative post Daniel!


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  17. #16
    Chubbilicious. VikingWarlord's Avatar
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    This seems unnecessary but, if it gets you what you want, more power to you.
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  18. #17
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Honestly I sleep straight through most nights.

    What I have heard of guys doing though was sipping BCAA's when they get up to pee though.


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  19. #18
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    On the rare occasion that I do wake up in the middle of the night, I need to keep it simple, otherwise I wake up too much and have a hard time going back to sleep. Plus, I don't want to wake anybody else up, like the Wife and kids. So, I'll usually drink some milk and maybe chomp on a beef stick.
    Last edited by Off Road; 02-18-2010 at 09:24 AM.
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  20. #19
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I should have my wife Pour a Nitrean shake into my cpap hose while I sleep.


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  21. #20
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    Just as long as she doesn't interrupt your sleep, you're golden.

  22. #21
    Chubbilicious. VikingWarlord's Avatar
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    Thanks, Daniel. I'll check those sources for some more info. Never have found anything that seemed reliable. It just doesn't seem possible to come up with an accurate rule of thumb for something that has as many variables as individual physiology.

    You're also right, it was a deliberate extreme but you still understood the point.
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  23. #22
    Senior Member cphafner's Avatar
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    Appreciate the input Daniel. I normally wake up every night to piss. Have some far this week. This has really helped me get over a bit of a hurdle on the scale. Biggest I've ever been, so I'll keep it up for now.
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    "Now we're finally getting to the chicken or the egg question," I grinned. "Did I eat all that food because my size gives me more of an appetite, or did I get to be this big because I've been forcing myself to eat like this for years?"

    From A Body Builder is Born

    i knew you were a beast but not that kinda of a beast that eats grown men and children.. lilmase

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphafner View Post
    Appreciate the input Daniel. I normally wake up every night to piss. Have some far this week. This has really helped me get over a bit of a hurdle on the scale. Biggest I've ever been, so I'll keep it up for now.
    I'd stick with it if you're getting up anyway, it's another opportunity to get some quality nutrients in without having to force feed them elsewhere.

    Personally, interrupting my sleep even just to pee negatively effects the next day, I just feel ****ty, so on balance it's not worth it for me or the people around me!

    There's just too many people that might read this and think 'that's the secret and the reason why I've not gained a pound in 3 yrs training', when in reality thanks to our digestive systems, eating is very simple until you prepare to step on stage, which Shelby himself has admitted (I think in his most recent Q&A on here). That's the reason I posted some of that stuff.

  25. #24
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    I defintley agree with Daniel. You should never interrupt sleep as it is a huge part in the recovery process. If you are up then its fine, but in my opinion quality deep sleep through the night is much more important.

  26. #25
    Thai Boxing Bodybuilder The Gasman UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    I defintley agree with Daniel. You should never interrupt sleep as it is a huge part in the recovery process. If you are up then its fine, but in my opinion quality deep sleep through the night is much more important.
    This. Never interrupt sleep. Your body won't fall apart and break itself down from sleeping. In fact you might even lose more muscle from waking up as you're interrupting your natural growth hormone cycle and spiking cortisol.
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