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 AstronautJones's Avatar
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    Opinions on this article?

    I'm curious as to your opinions on this article taken from T-mag. It makes it seem like caffeine is extremely bad for a bodybuilder.

    Coffee Drinkers Beware!

    While there were several interesting topics presented, including a lecture given by a MD/PhD and research superstar Wim Saris who confirmed all of my incessant ramblings about the value of protein and amino acids with glucose and maltodextrin in a post-workout drink, the topic I found most interesting was the research presented on caffeine/coffee and insulin sensitivity.

    For a while now I've been cautioning my clients and T-mag readers about the ill effects caffeine and typical thermogenic agents have on insulin sensitivity. Well, at the University of Guelph they've been investigating this issue intensively and here's what they found:

    1) Caffeine intake (in all of its forms) decreases whole body glucose disposal (carbohydrate uptake) by 15-30%.

    2) Caffeine intake decreases skeletal muscle glucose disposal by 50%.

    3) When consumed with a standard carbohydrate breakfast, caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, leading to large increases in blood insulin. But even in the face of this insulin surge, blood glucose doesn't disappear at a normal rate. When the body can't take up carbohydrates properly (as when drinking coffee), it releases loads of insulin to help out. However, the coffee actually prevents the insulin from doing this job and you end up with high insulin and glucose. That, my friends, is the serum profile of the obese, type II diabetic.

    4) Caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity for at least three hours (this is the duration of the longest study they've performed), but the true duration of the effect isn't known. I speculate that it's at least five hours, the half life of caffeine.

    In this case, many people are probably walking around all day with impaired insulin sensitivity. If you're a coffee drinker you should realize that you're living your life like a diabetic except during the times that it could actually be diagnosed. When you go to the doc to see why you're so fat or you feel like crap (if you have any glucose or insulin tolerance problems), what do you have to do? You have to fast overnight and avoid coffee! So 99% of your waking life you're functionally diabetic and that 1% of the time when it really matters and can be diagnosed, you're not. No wonder experts suggest that 50% of North Americans are diabetics who aren't diagnosed as such.

    5) In one study, four groups were used to evaluate the effect of caffeine and glycemic index on insulin sensitivity.

    • The first group got decaf and a low-GI breakfast. They saw a normal blood glucose and insulin response.

    • The second group got decaf and a high-GI breakfast. They saw a bigger insulin and glucose response in the blood.

    • However, when the low GI group got regular coffee with breakfast, their blood profile was worse than that of those who got the high-glycemic breakfast and decaf. Therefore coffee/caffeine can turn a low glycemic meal into a high glycemic meal!

    • Finally, the group that drank coffee and had the high-glycemic meal ended up looking like diabetics.

    6) One interesting hypothesis generated at the seminar was as follows: In terms of insulin sensitivity, caffeine alone is worse than coffee and obviously (as seen above) coffee is worse than nothing. However, some people believe that certain substances in coffee (specific quinides) can actually increase glucose disposal and improve insulin sensitivity. While the quinide content of coffee isn't strong enough to counter the effects of the caffeine, the quinides in decaf coffee may actually increase glucose and insulin tolerance. This hypothesis still needs to be tested and proper doses have yet to be discussed; however, keep your eyes out for this research in the near future.

    So the final word on coffee and caffeine is this — stay the heck away from it! The only way to minimize the damage it causes may be to drink your coffee with a very low carbohydrate meal and eat only low carb meals for the next few hours after your coffee intake. I know, I know, it now sucks to be a coffee drinker! But giving up your java may bring you some great health and physique benefits.

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  3. #2
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    I think the effects are overstated. I'd have to see the studies to look at the doses.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
    "You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
    I has a blog.
    I has a facebook.

  4. #3
    Ecoli die
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    I agree that he's focused a bit on the worst case scenario.

    I do agree that as a whole, we consume way too much caffiene.
    Now in pain, only working out the walking sticks.

  5. #4
    Senior Member AstronautJones's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Tiare
    I agree that he's focused a bit on the worst case scenario.
    That's what I was thinking as well. It just seems a little TOO extreme.

  6. #5
    Senior Member smalls's Avatar
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    I did a quick search and from what I am seeing in other studies the effects are HUGELY overstated in this study. I would post them but I am leaving right now, there are a few on pubmed that are related.
    Diet is key, the calorie is king

    "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
    --Abraham Lincoln

    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination
    alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
    Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
    30th U.S. President

    "If you want to look abnormal you have to eat abnormal,lol."--ST

  7. #6
    Senior Member smalls's Avatar
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    I also found one that found that "Coffee consumption was associated with a substantially lower risk of clinical type 2 diabetes." I know its horrible to not post the studies and all that jazz but bite me, I'm no scientist.
    Diet is key, the calorie is king

    "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
    --Abraham Lincoln

    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination
    alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
    Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
    30th U.S. President

    "If you want to look abnormal you have to eat abnormal,lol."--ST

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