Fitness Matters: March 16

Answers to your health and wellness questions

by David Pohorence

Question: Is it true you can only digest 30 grams of protein at a time?
Answer:  No – this is definitely a myth. Some claim that Lou Ferrigno came up with this one back in the 1970s, but no one knows for sure. I am amazed at how many people think this is true, and I’m also curious to know where these folks think the rest of the protein (above and beyond 30 grams) goes if it isn’t digested. The simple truth is that you can digest any amount of protein that you ingest, but the caveat here is that the digestive process will just take that much longer. This is true of any macronutrient. The more you eat, the longer it takes to process – simple as that. If you happen to hear this myth being bantered about in the gym at some point, be sure to put forth the real facts.

Question: Is it OK to do casual physical activities on my days off from working out?
Answer: Absolutely! Scheduled physical activities aren’t necessarily warranted, but it doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun. This includes playing with your kids, going for a walk with your spouse or partner or playing a sport with some friends. You’ll obviously improve your fitness and health by doing this and, for most folks, it really isn’t going to be detrimental to your training regimen. Only elite athletes typically abstain from all forms of physical activity on their days off, and that’s generally because their bodies are under so much stress during their daily training. Days off were never meant to be spent lounging on the couch watching movies, though occasionally that’s just fine.

Question: I have a friend that’s using some questionable supplements. How should I approach him given the fact that he seems to believe they’re working well?
Answer: This is a tough question to answer, but you might want to start by telling him that diet is a huge part of the equation, and that supplementation, though useful at times, can’t make up for a deficient diet. Then, I would have him meet with a qualified expert that can take a look at the supplements he’s using and provide some real, science-based feedback on the safety and efficacy of the products. Sports dietitians have specialized training in this area, and you can find one in your area by checking out the SCAN website (www.scandpg.org). Keep in mind, if he truly feels that the supplements are helping him achieve his goals, there might not be anything you can say that will change his mind. Just know that you did all you could.

About the author: David J Pohorence is the club owner/club manager/Certified Personal Trainer at Anytime Fitness in Wesley Chapel. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at wesleychapelnc@anytimefitness.com.

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