6 myths debunked by nutritionists about healthy eating and sport

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The total elimination of fats in the diet or that eating a lot of protein generates muscle, are some of the myths that have no scientific basis.

In the social media we can find everything, but there are many channels dedicated to diet and physical activity issues. What to eat before or after playing sports, what foods are best for athletes, what should never be done before training…

The problem is that, on many occasions, the information offered has no scientific basis, since those who offer them do not have any health training. With what this means for the health of those who trust them blindly.

For this reason, specialists from the General Council of Official Colleges of Dietitians-Nutritionists and the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics help us to dismantle some of the most widespread hoaxes and myths related to food and physical exercise.

Nutritionists dismantle myths

1. Carbohydrates should not be eaten at night. It is a widespread belief that could not be further from the truth. As nutritionists explain, “this nutrient is stored in the form of glycogen, an essential energy substrate.”

Therefore, the consumption of carbohydrates is essential both to be able to practice sports and to recover from it.

And not only that, eating this type of food before bedtime can help you rest better. Of course, “it is preferable to choose integral options of cereals and derivatives, as well as prioritizing fruits and vegetables.”

2. Fats must be eliminated from the diet because they are fattening. The first thing that nutritionists and dieticians want to make clear is that “there are no foods or nutrients that have the property of making you fat. The key is to find a balance between daily energy expenditure and food consumption.

In the specific case of fats, the key is to know which ones are healthy, including extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, etc.

The ones that should be avoided are chips, pastries and all kinds of ultra-processed foods that contain unhealthy fats.

3. You have to train fasting to lose weight. Probably, some people prefer to train without having eaten before because they feel more comfortable, less heavy. But nothing more. “It is a mistake to think that because of this we are going to lose more fat,” say the experts.

The best way to lose fat is to eliminate calories from our diet progressively and distributed throughout the day. There is no use in skipping any meal.

4. Eating a lot of protein helps to gain muscle. This practice is widespread, but really, there is no scientific evidence to show that the more protein, the more muscle. So how can we build muscle? Dietitians and nutritionists indicate that the most effective way is “adjusting correct training, especially strength, and a good dietary plan, which will increase your energy and nutrient intake, including protein.”

5. Playing sports allows you to eat anything. It is obvious that anyone who does sports consumes more calories compared to sedentary people. “But this is not an excuse to overeat or choose superfluous foods such as ultra-processed foods,” say dietitians.

It is best to always follow a healthy diet, with quality fresh products. Thus, we will obtain better sports performance.

6. Energy drinks are the best way to hydrate when doing sports. If there is something in which there is a general consensus among scientists and health professionals, it is that the best way to hydrate is with water.

This does not mean that, at certain times when the exercise is more intense (training or competitions), and/or in a warmer climate, as now during the World Cup in Qatar, it is possible to “incorporate a sports drink that allows maintaining levels of glucose at the same time that it replenishes the electrolytes lost through sweat or whose needs are increased by the practice of exercise”, the specialists conclude.

With information from The New Spain.


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