Wednesday, August 31, 2016

TRAINING THE HAMSTRINGS

TRAINING THE HAMSTRINGS AND GLUTES



The hamstrings (posterior of the thigh) are another major muscle group (in volume) but surprisingly, are very dissimilar from the quads.

1.     While the quads are primarily slow-twitch dominant, the hamstrings are more balanced between slow-twitch and fast -twitch muscle fibers with fast –twitch fibers having only a slight edge. So the hamstrings are trained differently from the quads. As a result, hamstring exercises should be performed with a slow eccentric movement and an explosive concentric movement.
2.     The hamstrings have only two major movement patterns; hip flexion and knee flexion (flexing at the hips and flexing at the knee)
3.     The different sections of the hamstrings appear to work more in unison as opposed to the quads where the different muscles have more specialized functions.  Only the Bicep Femoris muscle of the hamstring shows more activity during knee flexion.




You’ll notice that the glutes are included in the anatomy chart. While not a part of the hamstring complex, the glutes serve much the same function as the hamstrings and are affected by the same exercises.

While some exercises for the quads also have an effect on the hamstrings and glutes and are definitely useful in development of the hamstrings, the positive effects are only during a portion of the range of motion.  Squats, hack squats and leg press all affect the hamstrings and glutes when “coming out of the hole”. That is, coming out of the bottom half of the movement.  On leg press and hack squats you’ll get better activation of the hamstrings if you place your feet as high as possible on the foot plate.

The top exercises for the hamstrings that follow will include videos. Since hip flexion is generally required, the lower back also comes into play so you want your form to be correct. Begin with light weight and master your form before progressing to heavier loads. Most can also be done with kettle bells or dumbbells, bands or other apparatus. Go to the "Calculators/Resources" tab at the to of the article for other suggestions.

Romanian Deadlift (also called a straight legged deadlift)

video


Deadlift or Sumo deadlift (studies show little or no difference in muscle activation so use whichever works best for you)

video


Glute-Ham Raise

video


Lying Leg Curl

video


Good Mornings

video



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TRAINING THE QUADRICEPS

TRAINING THE QUADRICEPS

As you might guess, the “Quads” are made up of four separate muscles. If you want to develop your legs properly, you need to train all four muscles in the quads. Each one needs to be trained using slightly different exercises and slightly different angles.



There are a couple of things you need to know about the muscles making up the quads:

1.     The quads are slow-twitch dominant. That simply means the muscle fibers in the quads are designed to take heavy loads for long periods of time. You are usually walking or standing on your legs for many hours each day and they are supporting your entire body weight.

If you want to increase the size and/or strength of the quads you have a high threshold to overcome. You have to train the quads with heavy loads and high reps. You’ll want to go to between 15 and 20 reps on leg exercises

2.     The quads are the largest single muscle group in the body by volume. That means seriously working the quads releases more Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and other growth factors than any other muscle group. That means, in turn, if you want to add size to your entire body you have to work the quads effectively. There’s an axiom in the fitness industry that says “If you want to add size to your arms-do more squats”.

The four muscles of the quads (the front of the thigh)

Rectus femoris-( Mid -quad) connects your shin bone to the pelvis through the patella (knee cap). It raises the thigh bone toward your hip and extends the thigh bone at the knee joint.
Vastus lateralis- (Outer quad) connects the thigh bone to the shin bone also through the patella. Extends the leg.
Vastus medialis- (the inner “tear drop” quad) Also extends the leg
Vastus intermedius- is not visible because it lies under the Rectus fermoris. It also extends the leg and adds volume to the front of the thigh.

(The Sartorius shown in the picture above is actually part of the groin (thigh adductors) muscle group and contributes some mass to the front of the thigh but it will be discussed with other muscles of the groin area)

How to train the quads

There are a limited number of exercises needed to train the quads. The quads raise the leg up toward the hip or extend the leg forward or ( to a lesser degree, side to side.)

The key to training the quads is to train all 4 of them effectively. All 4 of the quad muscles can be trained with the same exercises simply by changing the width of your stance and the angle of the feet.

Follow the directions below for all the exercises to hit all 4 sections of the quads.

Mid Quad-Feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Toes pointed forward ( 1 set)

Outer Quad-Feet close together. Toes pointed forward.( 2 sets)

Inner Quad-Feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Toes pointed outward. ( 2 sets)


The squat

The importance of the squat is evidenced by the fact that there are thousands of articles and dozens of books about nothing but the squat. Not everyone can do a “proper” squat. It’s said that a proper squat is hard to describe but easy to recognize when you see one."
There are many different ways to do a squat designed to accommodate those who have difficulty with a “proper squat” but I believe we all had the ability to do a squat but that ability has been lost because of our modern life styles.
 ways to progress a new walker:


But I’ll get off my soap box now and back to business.



Leg Press

In addition to the instructions above, keep your feet at the middle of the plate or lower.


Hack Squat

 Hack Squat


Leg Extension

A good leg extension alternative? Here are five.Great exercise for the tear drop quad but not if you have knee joint problems. It puts a lot of stress on the joint if not done correctly.


Dumbbell Lunges

Proper lunge form



By the way, with 4 quad muscles, 2 hamstring muscles, 2 calf muscles and 5 muscles in the groin complex you’re going to need a dedicated leg day. (or 2)


 The struggle is real for those three days.:



Monday, August 29, 2016

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE “QUADS” AND “THIGHS”?

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE “QUADS” AND “THIGHS”?

This question was prompted by an article last week WHICH IS BEST SQUAT OF LEG PRES and the answer is yes. There is a big difference.

The “thigh” is made up of many muscles. Among those are the four parts of the “quads” (quadriceps) . Others include the hamstrings on the rear of the thigh, made up of three separate muscles, and the groin muscles, made of five separate muscles called adductors.  So the “thigh” is very complex group of muscles.

And the thing is, most people only train a small portion of the muscle in the thigh and then wonder why they don’t have legs like Tom Platz. 

TOM PLATZ



Many of the muscles in the three separate groups of muscles in the thigh can be trained using the same (usually compound) exercises by simply changing the width of the stance or a change in foot position during the exercise. But you need a basic understanding of what each muscle does. It sounds complicated but it’s really not. Stand in front of a full length mirror and move you leg in all directions ( forward, backward, in (together), out (apart), rotate left, rotate right, bend at the knee, straighten at the knee) and put your hand on your leg so you feel the muscles and you’ll get a feel for what you need to do to work each muscle.

But there a too many muscles and movements to cover in one article so, over the next few days we’ll cover each one separately; what they do and how to train them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup-has-been-renamed-and-is-now-being-marketed-as-a-natural-sweetener.html?t=ssh


HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP HAS BEEN RENAMED AND IS NOW BEING MARKETED AS A NATURAL SWEETENER

In their never ending battle to mislead the consumer, the food industry has come up with a new name for HFCS. It's now a "natural sweetener"

Below is a link to an article by Samantha Clove with healthy holistic living.


High Fructose Corn Syrup has been Renamed and is Now Being Marketed as a Natural Sweetener



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

IS ORGANIC FOOD BETTER FOR YOU?

IS ORGANIC FOOD BETTER FOR YOU?
I will, undoubtedly, get some hate mail from this article.
Don’t shoot the messenger.
There are many other reasons why people buy organic. This article only addresses the most common reasons people say they buy organic foods.


The organic food industry has exploded over the last few years. Proponents of organic foods often claim that they believe organic foods are safer and more nutritious. Often you’ll hear statements such as “natural has to be better than artificial” or “I prefer pesticide-free food”. Sometimes you hear “It’s just better” without knowing the reason why.

I’m not knocking organic food and, for the most part, support the fact that natural is better. But too many people are using what might be called a “faith-based” approach. They often pay twice as much for their food simply because the label says “Organic”.

Base your decision on reality not on faith. Do you think the food industry never tries to mislead you? Think again. Organic food is a multi-billion industry. I simply want you to buy organic based on the facts-not what you think to be true.

What is natural is not always better

More natural doesn’t always mean safer in terms of human health. The molecular structure and dose determines whether a substance is is safe, Not whether it is synthetic or natural. Many of the most toxic substances in the world are natural.
They include ricin, abrin, strychnine and botulinum.  Almost every plant and microbe carries a variety of more or less toxic chemicals. These are usually produced as a defense mechanism against predators. Some have no obvious purpose but are simply metabolic end products.

Pesticides

According to surveys, the most common reason for buying organic (70% of those surveyed)  was that they wanted to avoid pesticides. Most are surprised to learn that organic farming does permit the use of pesticides. Organic farming uses Retenone (a potent neurotoxin), Pyrethrin, hypochlorite,copper sulfate, boric acid, lime sulfur and elemental sulfur.

Nutrition

A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated no difference between organic and conventional livestock products. Conventional plant products had a significantly higher content of nitrogen and organically produced products had a higher content of phosphorus and titratable acidity. There was no difference in the two for the other 8 nutrients tested.

Conclusion

Current evidence does not support the claims that organic food is safer or more nutritious than conventional food.

The basis of the article comes from information provided by Jamie Hale’s book “In Evidence We Trust” including the following references:

 References
Bahlai, C.A., McCreary, C.M., Schaafsma, A.W., & Hallett, R.H. (2010).  Choosing organic pesticides over synthetic pesticides may not effectively mitigate environmental risk in soybeans.  PloS One, 5(6),e11250.
Betarbet, R., Sherer, T.B, MacKenzie, G., Osuna, M.G., Panov, A.V. &  Greenamyre, J.T. (2000).  Chronic Systemic Pesticide Exposure Reproduces Features of Parkinson Disease. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 1301-1306.
Dangour, A., Allen, E., Lock, K., & Uauy, R. (2010).  Nutritional composition & health benefits of organic foods — using systematic reviews to question the available evidence. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 131( 4), 478-480.
Dangour, A., Dodhia, S., Hayter, A., Allen, E., Lock, K., & Uauy, R. (2009).  Nutritional Quality of Organic Foods: A Systematic Review. American  Journal of  Clinincal Nutrition, 90,680-685.
Paull, J. (2010 ). From France to the World: The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).  Journal of Social Research & Policy, 1(2), 93-102.
Silver, L.M. (2006).  Challenging Nature.  New York, NY:  Harper Collins
Silver, L.M. (2006).  The Environments Best Friend GM or Organic?  Update Magazine.  May / June.
Topliss, J.G., Clark, A.M., Ernst, E., Hufford, C.D., Johnston, G.A.R., Rimoldi, J.M., Weimann, B.J. (2002).  Natural and synthetic substances related to human health (IUPAC Technical Report).  Pure and Applied Chemistry, 74(10), 1957-1985.
Winter, C.K., & Davis, S.F.(2006).  Organic Foods.  Journal of Food Science, 71(9), R117-R124.



Monday, August 22, 2016

WHICH IS BEST; SQUAT OR LEG PRESS?

WHICH IS BEST; SQUAT OR LEG PRESS?




















It depends on who you ask. Frankly, this debate has been going on for as long as I can remember and I’m older than dirt.

 Right now the squat appears to be king. But you can find trainers, coaches and professional lifters on both sides. In my opinion, both have their advantages and disadvantages so let’s look at the differences.


Differences

The main difference is the amount of weight that be used in each. The 45 degree leg pres allows you to do some very impressive poundage. The difference in weight is a little deceiving though since the 45 degree leg press creates a sizable mechanical advantage.

I’ll spare you the mathematics involving sin’s and co-sins so let’s just simplify by saying that the 45 degree leg press generates resistance of about 71% of the weight loaded.

Still, at 71% of the weight loaded, most people (myself included) can press more weight on the leg press than I can squat. That would seem to give the advantage to the 45 degree leg press. Especially since the leg press puts the load almost exclusively on the legs.

But there’s one aspect of the squat that shouldn’t be ignored. The squat puts sizable stress on the legs, back, deltoids, hips and traps by having considerable weight sitting on your shoulders. This would provide more stimulation to the central nervous system (CNS). That’s a good thing. More stress on the CNS provides a stronger effect of the muscle growth process. The CNS manipulates the hormones (mainly Testosterone and HGH) that cause increased protein synthesis in the muscles involved. Medical testing indicates the protein systhasis is considerably higher with squats.

There is also some argument that the leg press concentrates more work on the quads while lessening the stimulus to glutes and hamstrings. I’m not sure I buy that argument. Emphasis can be shifted to quads or hamstrings/glutes by changing foot position on the plate.

·        


There are many notable bodybuilders who always squat. There are also some who never squat! Strength athletes, of course, have to squat. The squat is one of the moves they are tested on.

For overall growth and strength the squat wins out. But the leg press’ stability allows you to do cool things for hypertrophy  you wouldn’t, or shouldn’t,  even consider while doing squats; drop sets, rest pause, cluster sets, eccentric overload sets (with a partner). Even unilateral presses. 

The Bottom Line

Squats win for overall strength and hypertrophy if you do them properly.

If you don’t or can’t squat properly the leg press is the best alternative. The squat is still king but, as Jimmy Pena put it, “the leg press is definitely in the royal family”.

My solution is to simply do both.(I do) Use the advantages of both movements to your advantage

For the record; I don’t recommend the horizontal leg press you’ll find in many gyms and this discussion of advantages don’t apply to those machines.

Horizontal Leg Press



















Thursday, August 18, 2016

Your New Fitness Program Started with a Bang. Then What Happened?

YOUR NEW FITNESS PROGRAM STARTED WITH A BANG.
Then what happened?

You’re new to fitness but you finally made the commitment and started off gangbusters. The first 3 weeks you added 3 pounds of muscle and added 10% to all your lifts. Or you lost an easy 5-10 pounds of fat.

Now you’re amped up. “Hey, that wasn’t so hard. I should be able to meet my goals in half the time my trainer told me.”

Then, the next 3 weeks-nothing. You step on the scales every single day. You pick the scales up and shake them. You jump up and down on them. Still they won’t move.

“My trainer is a jerk. He lied to me.” Motivation goes down. Focus goes down. And a lot of people quit. Usually they quit or start looking for some new miracle program just before the gains start again.

Nature is what happened. The same Adaptive Response mechanism that enables you to build muscle or increase strength works in reverse too. Eat fewer calories than you burn and the body adapts to slow your metabolism to meet the caloric intake. 

See A Gift from the Caveman is in Your Inbox

The thing to keep in mind is that all physical improvements come in spurts. None of these improvements are linear. You’ll have a spurt of gains or (weight loss) then little or no progress at all, then suddenly, another spurt.

When progress stalls, just keep working. Give it a chance.





Wednesday, August 17, 2016

False Failure. What is is it and How to Fix it.

“FALSE FAILURE”
What it is and How to Beat it.

In yesterday’s article and in prior articles I mentioned the term “false failure” and I’ve had several questions asking what false failure is.

Failure on your reps is called “Momentary Muscle Failure”. That’s when you reach a point in moving a weight where your muscle is incapable of completing the rep.
“Momentary” refers to the fact that given only a few seconds rest you could complete another rep.

False failure occurs when your reps or sprints or whatever movement reach a point where the discomfort level reaches a point where you fool yourself into thinking you’ve actually reached momentary muscle failure.

Everyone, including me, has done this. It’s common. It’s much more common than it should be.

With all fitness goals you have to push yourself if you are going to progress. In lifting, you don’t need to go to failure on every set. But you do need to do it once or twice on every isolation or single joint exercise or at least on every muscle or muscle group. I don’t recommend for heavy compound lifts (squats, for example).
But pushing a muscle to failure is one of the biological triggers for growth in size and strength.

“Leaving one in the tank” (stopping one or two reps short of failure) is ok until you reach your last set of an exercise. But leaving 4 or 5 “in the tank” is going to put a rapid halt to any gains.

How to Beat False Failure

1.     Extend the set-using rest-pause, drop sets, half reps, slow negatives, assisted sets (you need a partner) or any number of others methods to extend the set. These will provide more volume. But if you’re struggling with going to failure you’re going to have the same problem on methods for extending your sets. You’ll just get in more volume.

2.     High Rep Challenges- I’ve given you several high rep challenges over the last few months. See Up for a Challenge?Are You Ready for Your Next Challenge?The 1000 Rep Workout. The high rep challenges serve several purposes but one is to get your body and your brain accustomed to the discomfort. Do the challenges and your head will eventually adapt to the discomfort and allow you to go closer to failure.

3.     Close your Eyes!-I can’t explain it scientifically. But it works. I’ve been using it for years. When I feel like I’m at or near failure I’ll close my eyes and I can usually get out from 1 to 5 additional reps. Sometimes more.
The only explanation I’ve seen relates to Proprioception mechanisms.  That’s Geek speak for your body’s ability to receive stimuli originating in muscles tendons and other internal tissues without visual guides. Basically, motor performance in muscles improves when you take away visual stimuli. Just as hearing becomes more acute in people visually impaired.
We are also able to think, remember and concentrate better with our eyes closed. Same principle just relating to muscle stimuli in this instance.

And you’ve undoubtly seen it before without realizing what you were seeing. Look closely at Eddie Hall’s eyes on a record 482 kg (1060.04 pounds) dead lift.











Tuesday, August 16, 2016

You Can't Worship at Two Altars

 YOU CAN'T WORSHIP AT TWO ALTARS

You have all the bases covered. Your program has a little of everything. It has some corrective exercises for those nasty little imbalances that sneak up on everyone who has been sitting behind a desk for years. You do pre-workout mobility exercises for half an hour to get the kinks out so you don’t strain anything. You sprint a couple of times a week. You train for strength three times a week followed by thirty minutes of cardio. And you’re trying to lose a little weight so those abs you work on five days a week will show this summer.

Trying to get results in everything will get you results in nothing.


Let’s look at a couple of examples;

Big Frank

Big frank weighs in at around 260-275 pounds. He holds multiple wins at various bench press competitions. Every day he’s in the “advanced” section of the gym. He starts warming up with more than my lifetime maximum and works his way up to 500 pounds plus for multiple reps. Then works his way back down.

Now, Frank does some other movements; tricep, anterior deltoids, dumbbell flyes. Mostly movements that support his bench press. He also does a few heavy curls. If you can bench 500+ for reps you’re smart enough not to allow imbalances to cause you problems.  

Beach worthy abs-Nope. He’s not fat but he’s not ripped either.
POWER LIFTER
Jay

Jay is 67 years old. He’s had a heart attack and a mild stroke. He works with a trainer 3 days a week on endurance and cardio. He also works out with a friend several days a week on strength. He’s dropped over 35 pounds through diet and exercise. But Jay gets upset because he can’t bench press more than 185 pounds.
WEIGHT LOSS
Terrill

Terrill is 21 years old and plays wide receiver for a local college. He works mostly on endurance and plyometrics. He’s fast and has a 5+ foot vertical jump from a standing start. He lifts but only high rep, high velocity movements. And yes, he has abs you could bounce a medicine ball off of but he’s not particularly strong. he has to stay lean to maintain his speed.
WIDE RECEIVER

Proper training requires trade offs. If you are trying to add muscle mass you can be sure your mobility will decrease. If you are training for strength your cardio /respiratory fitness will go down. If you’re trying to become more mobile you’ll drop some size and strength.


Professional body builders are bigger than professional power lifters but power lifters are stronger. Wide receivers are faster and can jump higher but they are smaller and weaker. All three have better genetics than you or I. If the professionals could excel in all areas of fitness you can bet they would.
PROFESSIONAL BODY BUILDER

Choose one goal and attack it.




Monday, August 15, 2016

5 Mistakes you make in Your Arm Workouts

5 BIGGEST MISTAKES WITH YOUR ARM WORKOUTS

I get a lot of questions about arm workouts. I get it. All guys want bigger arms and all ladies want more shapely arms.  For men, arms are a sign of strength. For women the arms are one of the first places excess weight shows up.



But simply putting more weight on the bar or adding additional sets usually doesn’t work. The arms, along with a few other muscles, simply don’t respond to the “more is better” approach. If fact, in some cases it’s actually counterproductive.

Don’t make these common mistakes:

1.     Putting too much weight on the bar.

It’s tempting to try to impress everyone with 90 pounds on the curl bar or 60 pound dumbbells in each hand. But trying to curl or do skull crushers with that much is counterproductive for most people. Moving that much weight with the relative small bicep or tricep muscle is going to require you to engage your shoulders, back, hips and knees. The result is your biceps or triceps actually get less stimulation. Working heavy on single joint exercises is going to put tremendous stress on the elbow. Trust me you don't want an elbow injury.

2.     You bail out too soon.

To get maximum stimulation on the biceps or triceps you don’t need to go to momentary muscle on every set. But you do need to go to failure at least once or twice in a workout. Going to failure can be very uncomfortable but it’s worth it. Be careful to avoid “false failure”-when the discomfort gets high enough you can easily convince yourself that you’ve hit failure when you really haven’t. If you have that problem, try some intensity tricks; rest pause, drops sets, slow negative or partial reps. And always, always use strict form.

3.     Sticking with your favorite exercises.
Change the exercises every few weeks. Go to the http://www.alphaedgefitness.com/p/resources.html for examples of exercises for biceps and triceps. 

4.     Ignoring some of the parts of the muscle

You train biceps by bending your arm. But remember, it’s called a bicep for a reason. It has two parts or heads. You stimulate the tricep by straightening the arm. The tricep has 3 parts (or heads). Each head is stimulated by slightly different movements-mostly controlled by how you grip the weight. Use a neutral grip (palms facing each other like gripping a hammer), a pronated grip ( palms facing down or forward) and  a supinated grip (palms facing up or toward your face).Don’t ignore any of the parts of either muscle. Work them all in every workout.

5.     Ignoring the seldom discussed “hidden” muscle in your arm.

The Brachialis muscle hardly shows on the exterior of your arm but it can add greatly to the appearance of thickness of the arm and the height if the bicep peak. It mostly lies underneath the head of the bicep. But stimulating the Brachialis you are pushing the bicep higher. Work the brachialis by using lifts with a neutral or” hammer grip”









Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ANOTHER LESSION FROM A 10 WEEK LAYOFF…

ANOTHER LESSON FROM A 10 WEEK LAYOFF…

Before my 10 week layoff, I occasionally had a little back pain or soreness. I usually chalked it up to heavy dead lifts or squats. It was never bad enough to be concerned about.

For much of those 10 weeks I couldn’t stand for long periods or sit for very long (that’s why there were no articles during that period. I couldn’t sit at the keyboard) and my back discomfort went away completely. That just seemed to confirm that the discomfort was from my workouts. Hey, I’m 66 years old. I have a few aches and pains.

But a funny thing happened. I started working out again but for the first 2 ½ weeks I’ve done no lower body work and no dead lifts and no core work. What I did begin doing again was sitting at the key board!  And, guess what, my back started bothering me again! And it’s been getting worse.



The lesson: Get off your ass!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

FOCUS ON THE PROCESS…..

FOCUS ON THE PROCESS…..


Let’s get one thing straight right away. I’m an Auburn fan. But also understand this; When Coach Nick Saban speaks, you should listen.

Read the quote above. Then read it again. Whether you’re coaching or playing college football or just trying to get fit for yourself and your family, it’s a process.

You’re not involved in a short term process. Anyone who tells you it is is a liar, a huckster, or a scam artist out to take your money.

It simply will not happen overnight or in a month or in 6 months. I know people who quit after 3 months of training because it was taking too long. Then they blame it on their coach or their trainer or anyone else they can find to blame it on. Maybe someone misled them. I hope not.

But if they were not misled, the fact is, they just quit.


Here are the facts:

·        If you are trying to lose weight about 1-2 pounds a week should be your goal on average. Any more than that and your odds of keeping it off drop substantially.

·        If you’re trying to gain muscle mass a lot depends on your training age (how long you’ve been training).
1 year or less- probably no more than 2 pounds per month
2 years- about 1 pound per month
3 years +-about 0.5 pounds per month

You have to learn to enjoy, if not love the process. Don’t be the little kids asking “are we there yet?” as soon as you pull out the driveway. You get there “1 mile-marker at a time”






Monday, August 8, 2016

FRUCTOSE; IS IT THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL?

 FRUCTOSE;
IS IT THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL?

Fructose is simply sugar made from fruit.

I have people say “I don’t buy that brand. They use High Fructose Corn Syrup!” HFCS is, at most, 55% fructose. The rest is glucose.(The same as the sugar in your blood stream converted by your body from carbohydrates)

Check the label. It probably contains an equal amount of sucrose (made from sugar cane or sugar beets), Dextrose (made from corn and identical to glucose) or some other form of sugar.

I’ve even been told “I don’t drink fruit juice or eat fruit because it contains fructose.”

Is fructose the reason the US has a 60+% obesity rate? Does it cause cancer? Is it the main cause of diabetes? Does it cause earthquakes? Will it steal your firstborn in the middle of the night as you sleep?
NO!
Not in moderation

How about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)?

NO!


How did fructose get its bad reputation? It must have done something wrong…

Media Hyperbole

The problem arose when initial studies from years ago were sensationalized by the news media with no detail and no background. The headlines go something like this; “Studies show that fructose (or HFCS) may cause obesity, cancer, and earthquakes.” End of story. “Stay tuned for local weather”.

There are a number of problems with those initial studies:

Epideminological Evidence

The initial studies were Epideminological in nature. This type of study simply indicates there is a relationship. It doesn’t even attempt to find a cause/effect relationship.

Dr Brad Dieter, PHD describes it this way:
“A recent study indicates that ice cream consumption was highly associated with shark attacks.” Does this suggest that consuming ice cream may cause shark attacks? The real story is probably that people consume more ice cream during the summer, during which they are also spending more time swimming in shark infested waters.

The Behavioral Component

Many of the original studies made no attempt to account for human behavior.
Namely, test subjects who consume large amounts of fructose or HFCS may exhibit other unhealthy habits such as overeating in general, smoking, being sedentary and so forth.

The Dosing Problem

Many of the studies tested with extremely high doses of fructose. On the order of 340 grams of straight fructose (daily) in one study, 30% of total caloric intake in another.
(340 grams of fructose is about 15 cans of coke per day).
According NHANES survey data, the average “real life” consumption is estimated to be 54.7 grams per day. Adolescents consume about 12% of total calories from fructose (compared to 30% used in the studies)

Yes, if you drink 15 cans of coke a day you’ll get fat…..

More recent and more controlled studies indicate no harmful effects from moderate amounts of fructose or HFCS in healthy individuals.

To Sum It All Up

Eat fruit. Fresh fruit has numerous health benefits. (That’s a subject for another article).

 The moderate amount of fructose in 3-5 servings a day of fresh fruit won’t cause earthquakes or make you fat. Bear in mind that you get more fructose per unit of volume from fruit juice and less fiber. Be careful with the fruit juice. But pay attention to the amount of fructose you consume from all sources and keep it moderate. Too much sugar or any kind, including fructose, is not in your best interest and will make you gain weight.

If you’re really into the science of the subject, click on the link above to Dr. Dieter’s site “Science Driven Nutrition”