As is the case with most readerly/writerly types, when I face a problem, I arm myself with research, checking out books from the library, scouring websites from governmental or otherwise official sources, and even reading recent studies on whatever my issue du jour happens to be.
So it’s little surprise that when I found myself unable to defend my position on protein powders (unnecessary except for the very frail, and inferior to real food) during a discussion about sports nutrition, leading me to question most of my beliefs about sports nutrition, I turned to a nerdy, research-heavy book, Dan Bernadot’s Advanced Sports Nutrition. It’s a book recommended by a runner-friend who happens to be a registered dietitian, and it helped me establish something extremely motivational: confidence in my methods.
Because nothing saps motivation quite like the insidious worry: “Do I *really* need to be doing this?” Or, as Daniel Duane put it in his 2010 story Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie, “the unfocused mind is the vulnerable mind, deeply susceptible to BS.”
Bernadot confirmed my belief about protein powders. Also, citing a large body of scientific research, he laid out the reasons why athletes (including bodybuilders) mostly need to be concerned not with their protein intake, but with consuming enough overall calories to support their training, and with consuming sufficient carbohydrates, our muscles’ preferred fuel. My R.D. friend particularly likes this quote of his: “Burning protein for energy as a fuel is a bit like sprinkling your family diamonds on your breakfast cereal because you think it improves the texture.”