It doesn’t matter where you look, there’s always someone telling you a bunch of things you should or shouldn’t be doing when you workout.
So, today, I want to bust some of those myths and tell you what you really need to be doing to hit your fitness goals.
Let’s jump right in
Myth #1 You have to drink 3 liters of water daily
This is easily one of the most repeated myths I’ve seen lately. Sure, drinking water is crucial for optimal health, but three liters, really?
The truth is, you may not really need as much as that. How much water you guzzle daily can actually depend on your body size, gender and how active you are. If you’re sweating out at the gym, of course, you’re going to need to drink more.
So, the truth is, there is no magic number when it comes to how much water you should be drinking daily. If you feel dehydrated, drink more, and pay attention to what keeps dehydration at bay. You’ll soon figure out what works best for you.
Myth #2 One day of overeating is going to make you gain weight
We all take our eye off the ball sometimes. Plus, it can be good for your motivation to have the occasional cheat day or cheat meal. This doesn’t mean your whole fitness regime is going to be ruined, nor are you going to pack on the pounds overnight.
Overeating often occurs when we’re fed up with a calorie deficit, or find ourselves impatient waiting to see results – and that’s normal. We’re only human! So if you find yourself chowing down on a huge cheeseburger on a weekend, thinking you’ll “start fresh” next week, don’t worry. All is not lost!
The good news is, it’s not actually as easy as you may think to gain weight from one cheat day or cheat meal. Sure, you’re going over your recommended calorie intake, but those pounds won’t be stacking up on your body immediately.
Think about it… One meal, or one day over your caloric requirements isn’t going to sabotage the whole week. If you were to divide the number you’ve gone over by across the week, the chances are, you’re still going to be in a deficit. Start looking at your calorie goals from a weekly or monthly perspective!
Myth #3 You HAVE to do fasted cardio
It’s easy to believe that fasted cardio is the only way to smash your fitness goals. But this isn’t quite the case!
Also Read: Health Boosting Meals for men
Instead of focusing on avoiding food before a tough cardio session, pay closer attention to the quality of your workout. Did you push yourself? Are you applying progressive overload to get bigger and stronger?
If you want to eat before a workout, go for it. A pre workout or snack can benefit your performance in the gym, so I wouldn’t sweat it.
Myth #4 It’s easy to burn off a cheat meal
While I wouldn’t worry about overeating on one occasion, I’m sorry to tell you that a workout the next day isn’t going to burn off that cheat meal.
Your metabolism and energy expenditure is a little more complex than that – it’s not quite as simple as ‘calories in, calories out’. This means that an extra workout the following day isn’t going to burn off that cheat meal entirely.
So, what should you do if you fall off the wagon? I wouldn’t worry about it. Just jump back into your regular workout regime and get back on track with your calorie intake. One cheat meal isn’t going to totally derail your progress, don’t worry!
Myth #5 You have to reduce carbs to lose weight
This is a common misconception.
Carbs are a macronutrient, which means that they’re a nutrient required daily in moderately large amounts. Sure, that doesn’t mean you should go stuffing your face with everything in sight, but avoiding carbs entirely, oh no.
Carbs work to supply the brain, muscles and organs with energy. Plus, carbs are an important source of fiber and micronutrients, like B vitamins and magnesium.
The key, however… Is complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs take longer to digest, helping to stabilize your appetite and blood sugar levels. So while you don’t have to reduce carbs entirely, focusing on complex carbs is where you should be at. These include:
- Fruits and veggies
- Wholewheat pasta
- Wholewheat bread
- Brown rice
Myth #6 Cardio is a no-go if you want to build muscle
It’s not uncommon for dudes to believe that if they want to build muscle, they have to avoid doing cardio. Huh?
Even if your goal is to get BIG, you shouldn’t be avoiding cardio completely. While a lot of cardio can have the potential to hinder muscle building, by pushing you further into a calorie deficit – a moderate amount has some serious health benefits.
Whether it’s walking, light jogging, cycling or the occasional HIIT class, cardio is great for keeping you in shape and feeling fit. While building muscle is great, it doesn’t necessarily support your overall fitness.
Myth #7 Eating late is going to result in weight gain
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this! We’re constantly told to be eating at certain times, not eating too much, not eating too late…
Well, this idea comes from the hypothesis that eating disrupts your circadian rhythm – the 24hour cycle that tells your body when to sleep, eat and wake up. However, there’s no real evidence to support this claim. So, if you want to eat late, go for it. Just don’t start exceeding your overall calorie intake.
Also Read: Science-backed benefits of strength training
However… There is some truth in ‘don’t eat late’ as it can affect your sleep. Eating a few hours before bed allows your body the time to start digesting the food properly, leading to a peaceful night’s rest.
Myth #8 Micronutrients aren’t very important
We’ve all been lectured on macro and micronutrients at some point, right? Well, while macros are important for hitting your physique goals, micronutrients on the other hand are super important for overall health and vitality.
Both fruits and vegetables are a major source of micronutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, B vitamins and vitamin A – plus much more. If you’re not feeling your best, it could be due to a lack of micronutrients, so get eating those fruits and veggies!
Myth #9 Drinking lemon water helps to detox
Lemon water is pretty refreshing, especially on those hot summer days, but I’m sorry to break it to you, it doesn’t work as a detox. This is a common misconception, often written about in women’s magazines and blogs! While lemons do contain vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), they don’t directly affect liver function and/or stimulate detoxification.
Myth #10 Coconut oil is a superfood
Ahhh, coconut oil. There’s article after article claiming that coconut oil has a whole world of health benefits, which is why it has soared in popularity in recent years.
Also Read: Maximize your workout with these tips
However, coconut oil isn’t actually a superfood, nor is it bad for you when eaten in moderate amounts (like anything!). Although made up of predominantly saturated fat, it does contain traces of vitamins, minerals and plant sterols – however, you’re not going to be eating a whole jar in order to reap the health benefits. And if you did… Well, you could be elevating those harmful LDL levels.
Ready to smash your next workout?
And there you have it! Myths, BUSTED.
By sidelining these common myths, you’ll be well on your way to hitting your health and fitness goals in no time. Need a helping hand? Give your testosterone (and your performance) a boost with Testogen.
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