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Avoiding Pasta Body
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Chris Shugart
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Avoiding "Pasta Body"

Randy is a runner. At age 50, he can outrun, in matters of distance and speed, just about any young buck in his city's running club. Dude is a running stud. Runs 10 miles on his "rest" day. No kidding.

So why the heck is Randy sporting a pot belly?


I call it pasta body. That's when endurance athletes or recreational runners assume they need hundreds and hundreds of wheaty carbs to "fuel" their runs, so they end up as flabby as the limp noodles they adore so much.

Those types of athletes may indeed need different fuel sources than the typical cardio-hatin' strength athlete or bodybuilder, but guess what? If you're storing those carbs as fat, then you just don't need them.

Think about it: what do we store? We store excess. If you were using it, you wouldn't be storing it.

Weight-trainers make the same mistake. They assume they need thousands of extra calories to gain muscle. Well, if your body is having to store the spillover calories, then those calories aren't exactly being used for muscle, are they? In simplified terms, the body is using what it needs then saving the rest... on your belly. (For info on how to adopt a mass diet without excess fat gain, click HERE.)

Also, I've never understood this "dirty" approach to sport fueling. Randy could use something like Surge Workout Fuel or FINiBAR: precise, tactical, clean fuel sources that get the job done without the mess caused by excess carbs or the wrong kind of carbs.

I think the problem here is twofold:

Problem 1: Randy and other endurance athletes just don't know. They're stuck in the world of 1978 sports nutrition. Most recreational athletes don't spend a lot of time doing research in this area. They'd rather read about the latest magical running shoe technology. Their nutrition info comes from other runners, who often get it from their mentors... who, apparently, read an article in 1978 about eating lots of pasta.

Problem 2: Randy likes eating Italian food. "I'm preparing for a race" is just a rationalization to eat plates of spaghetti and piles of breadsticks. That's like an overweight woman eating ice cream because she "read that calcium is good for women." Yeah, keep telling yourself that, sweetheart. We'll try not to snicker behind your back.

The sad thing is, Randy's pattern of fat distribution is mostly sub-abdominal or "high-central". In other words, he's "fueling" himself all the way to a nice case of Metabolic Syndrome. Insulin resistance, diabetes, and even cardiovascular disease is looming for Randy... in spite of all the running.

Health issues aside, I wonder how much better Randy would be at his sport if he dropped the excess weight? Heck, instead of being one of the best runners in his club, he could be one of the best runners in the state.

Sadly, Randy just can't outrun his bad diet. He's disciplined enough to get up and run at 5AM every morning, but he isn't able to get a handle on his poor eating habits.

Randy's story is a lesson for all of us. Does your diet sometimes overpower your hard work in the gym? Are you hardcore in one area, like training, but weak in another area, like making food choices that support those training efforts? Do you sometimes use your intense training to justify bad dietary choices?

Those are easy behaviors to slip into. You can use the V-Diet to smash those destructive habits, or you can just work to become "body aware" and recognize when the bad foods are wrecking your hard work in the gym.

Last week I gave Randy a few FINiBARS to try out. Tactical. Precise. Smart fuel, not dumb fuel. Maybe that'll help cure his pasta body. -- Chris



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Kungfushish
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Love your recipes, you gotta compile an archive because its hard to skim through the hammer,
i feel a little guilty reverse engineering some of your recipes, i wanna be a chef and need to make recipes of my own,

i am considering making a lemon tart except replacing the eggs with 8 egg whites, replacing the cream with buttermilk , and using splenda,maybe a scoop of protein, also a pre baked nut crust, i tell yah how it goes. But tell me from your experience about the potential chemical imbalance.

I use almond flour or ground nuts like graham cracker in a pie, mix with butter then pat.

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Stronghold
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I've never seen a high level endurance athlete with a pot belly. I dated one for 3 years and went to my fair share of races. The guys who were out pounding 10+ miles of pavement day in and day out were always shredded at their fattest. The pasta bodies were usually the weekend warriors who weren't putting in nearly the same mileage. Running a 5k in under 18 minutes and being a slob don't really go together in the real world.

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Chris Shugart
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Stronghold wrote:
I've never seen a high level endurance athlete with a pot belly. I dated one for 3 years and went to my fair share of races. The guys who were out pounding 10+ miles of pavement day in and day out were always shredded at their fattest. The pasta bodies were usually the weekend warriors who weren't putting in nearly the same mileage. Running a 5k in under 18 minutes and being a slob don't really go together in the real world.


I've attended plenty of these events too with my endurance athlete wife. And I've seen plenty of pasta bodies.

Now, are you and your dietician buddies going to once again pollute a discussion with 5 pages of strawman fallacies and rants about things that have nothing to do with the topic? If so, let me know now so I can alert the mods. There's discussion, then there's being a pest. You're on the border, bud.

Isn't there some little ol' lady in your nursing home that needs euthanized with Ensure? ;-)

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SkyNett
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Chris Shugart wrote:
Now, are you and your dietician buddies going to once again pollute a discussion with 5 pages of strawman fallacies and rants about things that have nothing to do with the topic? If so, let me know now so I can alert the mods. There's discussion, then there's being a pest. You're on the border, bud.

Isn't there some little ol' lady in your nursing home that needs euthanized with Ensure? ;-)



Ah c'mon dude, that's not very nice. I though we had a pretty nice and civil discussion about that whole topic - I don't think I'm such a jerk that I "pollute" topics...ouch.

But I'm not here to mess up your boards or discussion. As a bodybuilder, I'm pretty far removed from what you're preaching these days, and you've definitely shifted to being more of an endurance athlete, so I won't "pollute" your discussions with a bunch of shit we obviously won't agree on. : )

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Chris Shugart
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Kungfushish wrote:
Love your recipes, you gotta compile an archive because its hard to skim through the hammer,
i feel a little guilty reverse engineering some of your recipes, i wanna be a chef and need to make recipes of my own,

i am considering making a lemon tart except replacing the eggs with 8 egg whites, replacing the cream with buttermilk , and using splenda,maybe a scoop of protein, also a pre baked nut crust, i tell yah how it goes. But tell me from your experience about the potential chemical imbalance.

I use almond flour or ground nuts like graham cracker in a pie, mix with butter then pat.


I hope to get a compilation done soon, or at least a dedicated forum. If we get the latter, I'll get them all organized.

As for your recipe, I have nothing against whole eggs, though I do use the omega-3 enriched variety. (They feed the chickens flax seeds and get better eggs, basically.) Now, you can go all egg whites to volumize: same protein, less overall calories. That's cool if that's your main goal.

Not a fan of buttermilk. Would unsweetened almond milk work? Maybe Calorie Countdown? In recipes calling for cream, I've used half n' half to reduce calories too. Seems to work just fine.

The nut crust should work well. Finely ground is best. A food processor will do it, but so will a hammer and a sandwich bag if you've got the time and the pent-up aggression!

Let me know how that works out.


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Chris Shugart
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SkyNett wrote:
Chris Shugart wrote:
Now, are you and your dietician buddies going to once again pollute a discussion with 5 pages of strawman fallacies and rants about things that have nothing to do with the topic? If so, let me know now so I can alert the mods. There's discussion, then there's being a pest. You're on the border, bud.

Isn't there some little ol' lady in your nursing home that needs euthanized with Ensure? ;-)



Ah c'mon dude, that's not very nice. I though we had a pretty nice and civil discussion about that whole topic - I don't think I'm such a jerk that I "pollute" topics...ouch.

But I'm not here to mess up your boards or discussion. As a bodybuilder, I'm pretty far removed from what you're preaching these days, and you've definitely shifted to being more of an endurance athlete, so I won't "pollute" your discussions with a bunch of shit we obviously won't agree on. : )


That's funny, I'm here in the Biotest gym today training with a guy who'll be competing in the Olympia this year, and I run maybe two short 5Ks a year. Not sure how that makes me an endurance athlete. *shudder*

But look, there are discussions, then there's getting belligerent and staying up half the night posting unrelated rants on every article someone writes. You don't fall into that category, but others do. And when it begins to interfere with us helping others, it's gone over the line, and those folks have to behave or go bye-bye. Or at the very least, they need to realize that they don't like what I have to say, so there's no need to pop in.

It's like a Thai restaurant. If you go in and decide you don't like Thai food, don't go back every day at lunch and complain that they're still cooking food you don't like. Just find another place to chow down. Or, in our case, another forum in which to hang out. Then again, it's pretty obvious when someone has issues or obtrusively large chips on their shoulders and can't get along with anyone in any forum category.

Again, you don't fall into that category, Sky.

Now, can we talk about tactical performance nutrition? ;)



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SkyNett
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Chris Shugart wrote:
Now, can we talk about tactical performance nutrition? ;)





Yes.

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Chris Shugart
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SkyNett wrote:
Chris Shugart wrote:
Now, can we talk about tactical performance nutrition? ;)





Yes.


Okay, just got out of the Training Lab with Daryl Gee. (He just completed one of his THREE workouts for today.) We talked about his carb intake and he's around 150g or so from solid food, plus all of his para-workout nutrition. This concept of "tactical" nutrition came up and we talked about how carb intake can possibly be higher than normal if it's precise, wit nothing unneeded and nothing wasted. "No empty calories" in his words.

Thibaudeau is tweaking his workout drink formula now to do just that. I'll ask him what it's looking like this week with Daryl just two weeks out from his show. Daryl, so far, is a huge fan of MAG-10. I am too. Seems to be the perfect "cure" for someone who wants performance and mass gains without excess carbs. it's amazingly "clean." And probably the perfect supp for the carb-skeptical FFB.

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Chris Shugart
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Another interesting note about Daryl. He's Chinese-American, and Christian noted that he's able to eat rice without a problem, whereas Alex, another Canadian bodybuilder we're working with this week (shown in pic above), would bloat up. He needs other carb sources, like sweet potatoes, that better fit his genotype (or whatever you want to call it.) But they all do extraordinarily well with something like the Anaconda Protocol and these "tactical" supplements.

Fascinating stuff.

FYI: Gee has done no cardio at all. Anaerobic work, yes (short burst Prowler work) but no cardio in the traditional sense. He just told me how weird that was for him. He realized he hasn't had his iPod on in weeks, and that was always just a habit: put on the iPod and crank out the cardio when leaning up for a show. Not this time. And he's leaner than ever.

Two lessons: First, there are better options than cardio for body comp work. And two, with precise workout carbs, you don't have to Stairmill off the excess junk calories.

Now, if only daddy had married an Asian chick, then maybe I could enjoy rice again.

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SkyNett
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Daryl's bricked - competes at like 175 and off season about 200 - he's only 5'5" though.

Great physique. Really nice shape and great lines.....

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Chris Shugart
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SkyNett wrote:
Daryl's bricked - competes at like 175 and off season about 200 - he's only 5'5" though.

Great physique. Really nice shape and great lines.....



Wow, I don't even recognize that guy in the pic compared to the guy sitting beside me right now. 196 pounds, two weeks out of his qualifier show.

I think something new is going up in the Training Lab 'Spill today that's going to compare his "before" and "after" -- with before meaning when he got here in Colorado to train in the Lab. Should be cool.

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SkyNett
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Chris Shugart wrote:


I think something new is going up in the Training Lab 'Spill today that's going to compare his "before" and "after" -- with before meaning when he got here in Colorado to train in the Lab. Should be cool.


You are one lucky bastard. What a great fucking job that is. : )

You better not tell him all that bad shit you said about pro bodybuilding...Lol.... ; )

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Chris Shugart
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SkyNett wrote:
Chris Shugart wrote:


I think something new is going up in the Training Lab 'Spill today that's going to compare his "before" and "after" -- with before meaning when he got here in Colorado to train in the Lab. Should be cool.


You are one lucky bastard. What a great fucking job that is. : )

You better not tell him all that bad shit you said about pro bodybuilding...Lol.... ; )


Funny thing is, most pro-bodybuilders would agree with me, and the ones I've spoken with over the years have. (I remember a 3 hour plane ride with Nasser El Sonbaty when he ranted way more than I ever have.)

They generally hate the kind of crap that goes on in modern pro bodybuilding, from the politics to the gay-for-pay weirdness to the drug stuff. They don't want to have to play those games, but those at the top of the competition and magazine worlds won't allow them to go back to Golden Age of bodybuilding standards. So, it's like the crooked ADA compared to a knowledgeable dietician just doing his job. These guys just want to train and compete, and most of them are great guys. The higher you go the more unsavory it gets though.

But TNation is about muscle and performance, not bodybuilding shows. That's the way it's always been -- we're probably the only site/magazine in existence that's all about muscle building but not about bodybuilding (as a sport.) Still, it's great to work with the cool people on that side of things.

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SkyNett
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Chris Shugart wrote:
The higher you go the more unsavory it gets though.



See, I would think it's worse at the bottom, but that's obviously not the case.

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Chris Shugart
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SkyNett wrote:
Chris Shugart wrote:
The higher you go the more unsavory it gets though.



See, I would think it's worse at the bottom, but that's obviously not the case.



With some aspects, you're right, it's tougher as a top amateur. Once they get some supplement company contracts or regular legit income from their sport, there's less unsavory stuff to deal with, but more politics and health concerns. It's a mixed bag.

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Chris Shugart
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Chris Shugart wrote:
I think something new is going up in the Training Lab 'Spill today that's going to compare his "before" and "after" -- with before meaning when he got here in Colorado to train in the Lab. Should be cool.


And it's up: http://tnation.t-nation.com/...ryl-gee-project

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Kungfushish
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I am half asian, brown rice just goes through my system without bad feelings, sigh i wish i didnt get the slow metabolism though. Lol just kidding, brown rice isn't my goal for now though.

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AlexC1
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Man, I'm discovering that any carbs other than peri-workout just put me to sleep anymore. Limiting carbs has actually improved my marriage and made me a better dad: "Hey honey, instead of helping with the dishes and watching the baby, I'm going to eat some junk food for dessert, then be sluggish and grouchy for the rest of the evening. K thanks!"

Spending too much time in line at walmart makes me wonder if the majority of people are so pissed off because they're just constantly experiencing a carb crash and don't even know it. I used to work beside a guy (big ol 500 pounder) that would spend lunch time pounding crap food, then spend all afternoon PISSED off. Like screaming at co-workers, customers, etc... Sorta like a kid that needed a nap. I often wondered if he'd be in a better mood had he not just downed a giant dish of lasagna and a couple snackpacks of pudding.

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Chris Shugart
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AlexC1 wrote:
Man, I'm discovering that any carbs other than peri-workout just put me to sleep anymore. Limiting carbs has actually improved my marriage and made me a better dad: "Hey honey, instead of helping with the dishes and watching the baby, I'm going to eat some junk food for dessert, then be sluggish and grouchy for the rest of the evening. K thanks!"

Spending too much time in line at walmart makes me wonder if the majority of people are so pissed off because they're just constantly experiencing a carb crash and don't even know it. I used to work beside a guy (big ol 500 pounder) that would spend lunch time pounding crap food, then spend all afternoon PISSED off. Like screaming at co-workers, customers, etc... Sorta like a kid that needed a nap. I often wondered if he'd be in a better mood had he not just downed a giant dish of lasagna and a couple snackpacks of pudding.


That's a great point, Alex. And yes, I truly believe that a whole lot of the "bad moods" we see around us are cause by the results of food choices. I often joke that road rage is an example, but if you think about it, that time of time (say, 5 o'clock traffic) is prime low-blood-sugar time for most people. So, it's a joke... but not really. A handful of almonds at 4:30 may lead to a nicer drive home.

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popupwindow
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Chris Shugart wrote:That's funny, I'm here in the Biotest gym today training with a guy who'll be competing in the Olympia this year, and I run maybe two short 5Ks a year. Not sure how that makes me an endurance athlete. *shudder*


Hmm, judging from your nutrition, physique and articles, I'd peg you more as a crossfitter than an endurance guy. Do you crossfit chris?

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'nuffsaid
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AlexC1 wrote:
Man, I'm discovering that any carbs other than peri-workout just put me to sleep anymore. Limiting carbs has actually improved my marriage and made me a better dad: "Hey honey, instead of helping with the dishes and watching the baby, I'm going to eat some junk food for dessert, then be sluggish and grouchy for the rest of the evening. K thanks!"

Spending too much time in line at walmart makes me wonder if the majority of people are so pissed off because they're just constantly experiencing a carb crash and don't even know it. I used to work beside a guy (big ol 500 pounder) that would spend lunch time pounding crap food, then spend all afternoon PISSED off. Like screaming at co-workers, customers, etc... Sorta like a kid that needed a nap. I often wondered if he'd be in a better mood had he not just downed a giant dish of lasagna and a couple snackpacks of pudding.



Someone on one of the forums (sorry forgot which one) mentioned that carbs are not easily handled by most humans bar abotu 25% and that 25% are mostly Asian. This explains a lot to me!

As for the cranky-mooded ones, if carbs turn to sugar/alcohol in the system, then some people do not react well at all to this, like kids who get hyperactive after drinking soft drinks. I know you mentioned the "carb crash" above" but other effects like rage and screaming and violence even, can be the effects of the person being allergic to the substance she/he's just eaten/inhaled. Lots of people violent from drinking alcohol for instance are violent simply because they are allergic to the sugar etc that alcohol contains.

A great book on this i read ages ago was "Not All in the Mind" by Richard Mackarness.
Not being in the biz i haven't read any major tomes in a systematic way, but that book was seminal and one of the early ones about food allergies and what they can do to people. For instance, one woman who was violent and almost locked up for being schizophrenic was discovered to have particular food allergoes and when she stopped them she was normal.
(occasionally she ate them again when she wanted attention though, but stopped short of homicidal mayhem :)

I've noticed some effects on my own temperament from rice, noodles etc, but often if eaten with vegetables or not too much I'll be OK, whereas othertimes they'll affect me badly.

Question:
Chris, you say 'clean" carbs compared to the pasta-type carbs. Apart from the obvious nutritional value of carrots vs ice cream-type carbs, I thought a carb was a carb, could you just clarify this for me? Are carbs in supplements able to work on special parts of muscles or something? How do you target a carb?
I realise you may have tackled this elsewhere, so if you have a link I'll follow that up, but a brief explanation would be appreciated, thanks.

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Kungfushish
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A tip i use for volumising is skimming fat off the top of soups or stews, like the time i made coq au vin, not the 12 hour real way but a quick recipe, maybe buying a slow cooker is a way to avoid fats(dietry fat is not wrong but it helps if your browning meat and sauteing a mirepoix in different pans with 4 tbs butter in one and 4 in another, honestly non stick affects the flavor in my opinion) chilling it half way and scooping it off then putting back in the pan to cook the other 50% is something i am considering but my love of french food makes me question the effect of chilling and the lack of butter.

But anyway, i have eaten white rice and it digests like a calorie is a calorie, or is that my teenage ability? i wonder why asians? was it a mutation like most scandinavians are lactose tolerant? like blue eyes?

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Chris Shugart
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popupwindow wrote:
Chris Shugart wrote:That's funny, I'm here in the Biotest gym today training with a guy who'll be competing in the Olympia this year, and I run maybe two short 5Ks a year. Not sure how that makes me an endurance athlete. *shudder*


Hmm, judging from your nutrition, physique and articles, I'd peg you more as a crossfitter than an endurance guy. Do you crossfit chris?



Nope, I'm a TNationer. But I did write an article on Crossfit that lists the pros and cons: http://www.t-nation.com/...ut_crossfit&cr=

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Chris Shugart
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'nuffsaid wrote:
[
Chris, you say 'clean" carbs compared to the pasta-type carbs. Apart from the obvious nutritional value of carrots vs ice cream-type carbs, I thought a carb was a carb, could you just clarify this for me? Are carbs in supplements able to work on special parts of muscles or something? How do you target a carb?
I realise you may have tackled this elsewhere, so if you have a link I'll follow that up, but a brief explanation would be appreciated, thanks.



My definition of a dirty carb would a carb that the human body (generally speaking) hasn't adapted well to, and that leads to several health issues and of course, a fat body. Refined sugars (soft drinks being the world's #1 source), flour, cereals made made with the previous two, etc. Things like rice and oatmeal, while better, can still be tricky for some.

Carbs from different sources have very different effects in the body. Dr. John Berardi has some articles at TNation that delve deep into this if you want to look them up. I take a simple approach, 20g carbs of Frosted Flakes have a very different effect on your body than 20 of carbs from a rutabaga, although it all may break down into the same stuff. Properly-timed carbs in a good peri-workout drink can make you more muscular and even leaner.

So, in short, think "Paleo-ish" for most whole food choices, but don't neglect powerful supplements that help you build a stronger, healthier body just because Grok didn't have access to them. Best of both worlds, no need to identify with any specific nutritional camp. Do what works best for your physiology.

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