The following is a guest article discussing the evidence behind sugar by my friend Menno Henselmans. For some of you, the following information is going to seem hard to believe. I confess, when I first learned the truth about sugar, I was highly skeptical. However, starting a couple of years ago, I quit worrying about the complexity (pun intended) of my carbohydrate intake, and during this time, my physique has actually gotten better due to gaining strength. It’s such a relief to know that as long as I hit my caloric and macronutrient targets, I can enjoy a variety of carbohydrate sources depending on my preferences without negatively impacting body composition and health. Knowledge is power my friends. Check out Menno’s personal trainer certification course HERE

Sugar – The Sweet Truth
Written by: Menno Henselmans

There are only 2 things that every nutritionist in the world seems to agree on (and we know everyone is a nutritionist these days). Vegetables are good and sugar is bad.

But things aren’t so black and white if we let the light of science shine on sugar. Will sugar make you fat? It depends on your diet.

Specifically, sugar’s effect on your body composition depends on if your diet has a predefined set of macros that you stick to every day or if you just eat until you’re full.

All-you-can-eat sugar

If you eat until you’re full (ad libitum, as researchers call it), and you start adding sugar to your coffee, your oatmeal and your protein shakes, you are most likely going to gain weight (or lose less weight, if you’re in an energy deficit).

The reason is simple. Sugar scores very low on the satiety index. This means it doesn’t fill you up much relative to how much energy you consume. So if you add sugar to a meal, you won’t eat much less of it. In fact, you may eat more of it because it’s tastier (higher palatability, as labcoats say). Adding sugar to your meals will thus generally increase your energy intake.

And since your body follows the laws of physics, specifically the laws of thermodynamics, what happens to your weight depends on your body’s energy balance. You gain weight in an energy surplus, because energy will be stored. You lose weight in an energy deficit, because your body will have to oxidize AKA burn bodily tissue to get enough energy.

sugar

Sugar tracking

Ok, so far so obvious. But what we really want to know is this. Is table sugar AKA sucrose (50% glucose, 50% fructose) more fattening than starches like rice or oatmeal when you consume the same amount of calories?

Many studies have compared groups eating a diet with the same macronutrient composition (% protein, % fat, % carbs) that differed only in which carb sources were consumed. The groups eating lots of sugar lose just as much fat without losing more muscle mass than the groups consuming little or no sugar [2-3]. In studies where complex carbs like whole-wheat bread are replaced with sugar but the total caloric intake is kept constant, no body composition changes take place [4].

So as long as you track your macros, having sugar in your diet is in itself not bad for your physique. And it gets even better.

Not so simple

A 6 month study of 390 participants found that this is true for all simple carbs, like fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar): whether you consume simple or complex carbs does not affect your body composition [1]. Or, for that matter, your blood lipids, an important marker of your cardiovascular (heart) health.

While it is easy to classify simple carbs as bad and complex carbs as good, the distinction between simple and complex carbs is in fact completely arbitrary. It is merely a medical tradition that we call carbohydrates with 3 or more sugars ‘complex carbs’ and we call carbohydrates with 1 or 2 sugars ‘simple carbs’.

What about blood sugar?

It is a myth that sugar causes a massive blood sugar spike followed by a complete crash. The effect on a food’s blood sugar is measured by the glycaemic index (GI). Sugar, due to its 50% fructose content, has a GI of ~68, which is a ‘medium’ effect on blood sugar. Sugar even has a lower GI than whole-wheat bread, which has a GI of ~71 [7]. The same applies to the insulin index [6].

What about health?

There are many cultures in tropical climates thriving on diets of up to 90% carbohydrates [8-10]. And we’re not talking oatmeal and broccoli here. These cultures rely on sugary fruits. In fact, honey is the favorite food of the Hadza from Tanzania [9].

Evolution has made sure our bodies can deal with sugar, because it is found in many of the world’s most nutritious foods: fruits. Fruit is in fact one of the foods humans have consumed for the longest period of our genetic existence. It has been a staple in our diet ever since we were still monkeys living in the jungle [5, 11]. And glucose is literally in our blood.

Conclusion

Sugar isn’t bad. Nor is it good. Sugar has empty calories. It doesn’t satiate. But if your overall diet is very nutritious, you are healthy and physically active and you are tracking your macros, sugar won’t make your abs fade into a mountain of lard. You don’t have to live on rice and broccoli. And unless you have a food intolerance, you certainly shouldn’t avoid fruit or dairy because they contain sugar. That’s exactly the kind of broscience that drives bodybuilders into following obsessive and monotone diets that aren’t healthy in psychological or nutritional terms.

Interested in more articles like this and advancing your fitness education? Have a look at the Bayesian PT certification program, an evidence based course about the science of physique training.

About the Author

Menno

Online physique coach, fitness model and scientific author, Menno Henselmans helps serious trainees attain their ideal physique using his Bayesian Bodybuilding methods. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter and check out his website for more free articles.

References

  1. Randomized controlled trial of changes in dietary carbohydrate/fat ratio and simple vs complex carbohydrates on body weight and blood lipids: the CARMEN study. The Carbohydrate Ratio Management in European National diets. Saris WH, Astrup A, Prentice AM, Zunft HJ, Formiguera X, Verboeket-van de Venne WP, Raben A, Poppitt SD, Seppelt B, Johnston S, Vasilaras TH, Keogh GF. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Oct;24(10):1310-8.
  2. Weight loss in overweight subjects following low-sucrose or sucrose-containing diets. West JA, de Looy AE. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Aug;25(8):1122-8.
  3. Metabolic and behavioral effects of a high-sucrose diet during weight loss. Surwit RS, Feinglos MN, McCaskill CC, Clay SL, Babyak MA, Brownlow BS, Plaisted CS, Lin PH. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Apr;65(4):908-15.
  4. Extended use of foods modified in fat and sugar content: nutritional implications in a free-living female population. Gatenby SJ, Aaron JI, Jack VA, Mela DJ. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jun;65(6):1867-73.
  5. The biology of the colonizing ape. Wells JC, Stock JT. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007;Suppl 45:191-222.
  6. Effect of glucose, sucrose and fructose on plasma glucose and insulin responses in normal humans: comparison with white bread. Lee, B. M. ; Wolever, T. M. S. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec, 1998, Vol.52(12), p.924(5)
  7. Atkinson, F. S., Foster-Powell, K., & Brand-Miller, J. C. (2008). International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care, 31(12), 2281-2283.
  8. Lindeberg, S. (2009). Food and western disease: health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. John Wiley & Sons.
  9. Tubers as fallback foods and their impact on Hadza hunter-gatherers. Marlowe FW, Berbesque JC. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009 Dec;140(4):751-8.
  10. Hypertension, the Kuna, and the epidemiology of flavanols. McCullough ML, Chevaux K, Jackson L, Preston M, Martinez G, Schmitz HH, Coletti C, Campos H, Hollenberg NK. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S103-9; discussion 119-21.
  11. The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease. Lieberman, D. 2014.

48 Comments

  • JC says:

    Great read Menno!

  • Romano says:

    Nice article with evidence based background, but sugar on a longer term seems like no one is curious About the healthiness of the kidness And the liver or am i crazy ? after 25 year to Find out what went wrong in our way of consuming And get the right energy, physical unstressed thermogenic body i got a goal to tell we need to be enough mineralised before we are Able to absorb all kind of foods. For example 1 molecul of sugar you need 86 moleculair based magnesium to stabilize your intake.. So demineralisation is About kind of foods. Lots of people are around 20-40 And doing Nice things with their body , after that period seems lots of people struggling with healthiness without knowing what they did wrong. For me i know for sure refined sugar is one of Those fast aging products we need to keep out our way of life.

  • Leonardo says:

    Amaizing! bro

  • Iain Johnson says:

    I think this is a far too simplified conclusion… It’s one thing to go over the top with drinking coffee with butter in, but we don’t need to go to the other extreme.

    As an example, a study showing the correlation between sugar intake and diabetes, independent of obesity – http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0057873

    • Bret says:

      Iain,
      The overall tone of the article advised people to simply not worry about having some of their carbs in the form of sugars, not to start going crazy on sugar consumption. Without reading the article you linked, I would guess that it’s just looking at average people who aren’t following any sort of dietary approach; they just wing their food intake. If these people formulated goals and aligned their caloric intake and macronutrient splits to those goals, they would see results even if consuming sugars, and their health wouldn’t be negatively impacted. I agree that consuming too much sugar is bad for health and physique.

      • Iain Johnson says:

        Which is a fair point. But there is no distinction in the source of sugar, be it fruit or sugar filled drinks… I just think its a completely overly simple article on sugar that focuses on the individual component removed from the food source, and the conclusion starting with – ‘Sugar isn’t bad. Nor is it good. Sugar has empty calories.’ In what context? Drinking two bottles of pineapple juice is sure as hell a lot different than eating the same amount of total sugar from fresh fruit for health and satiety. Luckily we are seeing a departure from the isolation of components and looking at foods as a whole (at least from my research) which is great, because nobody fully understands the complexity that goes on.

        At the very least its got a discussion started here!

  • Tanner says:

    Isn’t this article a little biased? Sounds like you’ve found what works for you, but to say that sugar consumption isn’t a poor health decision, all you need to do is count your macros, and the misunderstood premis of thermodynamics of physics is causative to physiology is just plain wrong. Not to mention using indexes that are purely averages of thousands of people’s response to any given food as a basis for what’s relative for an individual… Then you’ve got a “certification” for this stuff… Maybe a good article for the easily misled fool who has cognitive dissonance with the thought of sugar being bad, evil, or unhealthy, but even for someone slightly educated in this arena of emerging research… I say thanks for sharing your opinion and what’s brought you to it… In Gratitude

    • Bret says:

      Tanner, I don’t think you read the article carefully. Thermodynamics does apply to physiology, it’s just that there are thousands of chemical reactions going on so it’s hard to track perfectly. Obviously individuals need to tinker and experiment to find what works best for them. But sugar is neither good nor bad; it depends on the context.

  • aac says:

    ok so sugar is all fine and dandy as long as you are hitting your macros…but what does macros mean in the context of health.. Just as long as you are eating only enough that you still lose weight or are in a deficit?

    there has to be some type of limitation? sugar (glucose) is inflammatory to your cells isn’t?

    also what about the thermic effects of food and the laws of thermodynamics in the way your body “burns” certain cals by the temperature? surely the “types” of carbs you eat has to make a difference.

    • It is not just about hitting your macros at all. It’s about the overall diet. This includes micronutrients, inflammation index, etc.

      The thermic effect of food of sugar and modern grains is surprisingly similar.

  • Bret says:

    aac – caloric intake and macros are determined depending on the individuals’ goals and current status. If you don’t consume glucose, it will create it from protein and fats, so you need it to survive. I do agree that the types of carbs you eat make a difference, just not nearly as much as people think. For example, let’s say a 200-lb individual that lifts weights with 10% bodyfat can consume 3000 calories/day and 350 grams of carbs/day. Say he consumed all 350 from “complex” sources, versus 200 from “complex” sources, versus 100 from “complex” sources, I don’t think that it would lead to meaningful differences in health or physique. But if all 350 grams came from Fruity Pebbles, it would obviously negatively impact health. The point of the article is to get people to stop worrying so much about sugar and stop being so militant as long as they adhere to a good caloric/macro approach.

    • Jack says:

      A really interesting article, from a very well educated/researched professional, and a subject very topical at the moment.

      Bret – you said: “I don’t think that it would lead to meaningful differences in health or physique” referring to whether carbs should/could come all from complex sources, or two thirds, or one third etc. I’m really interested to know where this ‘cut-off’ would be, and I wonder your thoughts.

      For instance, if someone remains relatively lean, can they ‘afford’ to consume slightly more calories from refined sources, or sugar perhaps, as opposed to complex sources? But even lean individuals can develop type 2 diabetes, in which it would seem wiser to opt for fibre containing carbohydrates, as opposed to empty calories. And what about active individuals – how would that ‘offset’ an increase in calories from refined sources, those that lack the micronutrient/fibre content?

      Very interesting. I support the message, however, that should one be consuming a range of foods, mostly whole/fresh, with an optimum amount of protein, and taking exercise, and infrequent sugar consumption should not lead to guilt or worry in most individuals.

      • Bret says:

        Jack, I too wonder where this cut-off would be. Guys like Menno, Alan Aragon, Brad Schoenfeld, and Stu Phillips know the sports nutrition, nutrition, body composition related research better than I do, so I rely on them for their expertise in this area. However, I think lean/active people can definitely “afford” more sugars, and I agree about variety and mostly whole minimally processed foods.

        • Jack says:

          Thank you for the response, greatly appreciated.

          As chance would have it, I told one of my clients today – who was interested in sumo dead-lifting – to watch your blog post. Very informative, and a wicked resource you’ve generated.

  • Duff says:

    Interesting, but makes me think one can justify anything with a selection of studies. In Fat Chance, Dr. Robertt Lustig gives hundreds of references that support the exact opposite claims, that sugar (fructose specifically) preferentially affects obesity via a variety of mechanisms, that fructose contributes to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and is a key factor in metabolic syndrome, and that to a lesser extent so does other carbohydrates, importantly in the absence of fiber.

    In terms of pure aesthetic goals, you may be right – IIFYM you can stay lean. But If it fits your macros is different than how does it hit your liver?

    Personally I’ve found a non-neurotic way to avoid all sugary beverages and treats while eating lots of fruit and overall still consuming many hundreds of grams of carbs a day, but importantly, with their fiber intact. It works for me for now at least.

    • Tommy says:

      I was going to post a comment regarding fructose and the liver as well. Thanks for saving me the effort 🙂

    • Lustig is a pseudoscientific fear mongerer that says sugar is just as addictive as cocaine. See my post below for a list of scientific review papers concluding that fructose’s obesinogenic effect is a myth based on old theories of the liver’s metabolism. Such an effect would require fructose intakes of well over 50-100 g that are not consumed as part of mixed meals, i.e. completely unrealistic scenarios.

  • dan says:

    what about gut flora and sugar. does sugar feed the pathogenic bacteria in our gut (what is now considered our second brain). does this increase in bad bacteria cause weaker imune system, more sugar cravings? does the gut bacteria ratio between good and bad bacteria determine our sweet spot weight on the long run?

    • Sugar may induce sugar cravings, but all foods can have this effect. We like what we eat (familiarity effect) and we crave what we know.

      As for gut health, just like overall health this will be a function of the total diet, not just sugar. The paleo cultures I referred to in the article are renowned for having excellent gut health in spite of their extremely high sugar intake.

  • aac says:

    @ bret I was referring to what is the context of sugar “being ok as long as you hit your macros”, meaning does that mean that you have macros set up to be in a caloric deficit or losing weight?

    also what if one is say “bulking” would the rules change?

  • Anthony Zahm says:

    There is no mention of salt, which I think is a vital component to balancing a person’s sugar intake. What do you think?

  • Claudia says:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/they-eat-what-food-secrets-of-olympic-athletes/blogEntry?id=16885290&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.cl%2F

    It is not a secret that all these olympic athletes consume tons of calories and also sugar. As Bret mentions it all primarily depends on your personal calories intake/expense balance.

    • Chris says:

      No, it isnt. Sugar intake is an INDEPENDENT factor with proper explained variance when its about diabetes. Get me right: As probably all readers of Bret´s blog, Im all about “do the basics right and then enjoy”, I do it myself, I recommend it.

      But scientifically speaking, Menno is wrong. Another poster, Iain Johnson, already posted a study, and there are more of them. What is interesting about that study http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0057873 is, that it controlled weight, activity, diet (meat, fibers, oils, you name it), age, gender, socio-economic status, alcohol consumption and more.

      Sugar came out as a factor for diabetes EVEN WHEN CONTROLLING FOR THOSE VARIABLES. Thats important, because that means that even if youre lean, healthy, train, eat great food – sugar intake will co-determine your diabetes II risk. There seems no “compensation” by other behaviour so to speak as Menno (and Bret with his 350/200/100g carbs example) stated.

      Typed while eating candy. Just to make sure we keep honest to the science. What we do with those evidence is our own decision. 🙂

      • A cross-country study is of trivial importance compared to the overwhelming majority of RCTS finding that health individuals consuming sugar in an overall healthy diet has no detrimental effects until you reach absurd dosages of 50-100+ grams. See e.g.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047139
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24666553
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18996880
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23627502
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22723585
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21050460

        • Chris says:

          ah, now i see the misunderstanding: we have totally different perceptions of what “absurd” means, menno: if i track my nutrition with calculators like cronometer.com , an “absurd” 50 grams of sugar aretwo small glasses of orange juice, and a banana. so we agree on the science – thx for the studies! – we just live in different diet worlds.

          • Chris says:

            This is just the daily fructose-based stuff most of healthy, active persons are no stranger of. And what even Alan Aragon (although refuting some of Lustig´s dogmatic rubbish claims) remarks as meaningful threshold of fructose consumption. Add to that some milk (galactose), one soda drink and maybe even a bite of chocolate now and then and you see the average diet.
            Maybe yours if very different from that – mine not. And that was the reason for the misunderstanding, i guess.

        • afch says:

          A poorly written article with a bad message. almost bias. “absurd”??, 50 grams is 2 apples (not even large), 2 bananas is even more and you can go ahead and forget about dates…ironic you are claiming fruit is so ‘healthy’. It almost seems like a snickers bar would be a better option. just one, thats right if you decide to eat another you are reaching ABSURD levels. guess this throws the whole flexible dieting out the window too. sugar makes you crave more and more, that I consider detrimental. in addition Menno, fruits aren’t that nutritional. I love fruit but they are a pleasure, a treat, not a nutritional powerhouse like you are implying. If I am incorrect which ones do you consider so nutritional and healthy?? most fruits available are completely cultivated domesticated and modified and don’t even resemble what they are in like in the wild and would not survive in the wild. i see a banana or seedless watermelon? the ones you buy at the market can’t even reproduce. see that sweet pretty juicy apple the size of your head? not exactly what it resembles in nature buddy especially not when we were “monkeys in the jungle”. sure fruits may have some vitamins along with their sugar, but there is no vitamins or nutrients you can get from them you can’t get from vegetables, which YES HAVE SUGAR and unfortunately the ones available to us are domesticated as well but contain more nutrients per calorie than fruit.

          • ^to clarify, 50-100 g refers to fructose. I should have specified that. So you’re usually looking at a total sugar intake of 200+ grams before health potentially suffers in a lean, healthy individual. For glucose the upper bound appears to be much higher still. And this doesn’t even take into account the improved digestion profile when fructose and glucose are consumed together as in fruit, when fat is added to the meal and when glycogen stores have a high rate of turn-over as during training.

            So yes, you’re looking at absurd intakes of sugar that defy all common sense of what a healthy diet can entail.

      • Chris this statement is quietly brilliant: “Typed while eating candy. Just to make sure we keep honest to the science. What we do with those (that) evidence is our own decision.”
        Well said. I ran into a brick wall a few weeks back, with a commenter who just would not come off with his “God given right to eat fast food.” and “No one should regulate whether I can eat it or not” in reference to possible regulation over McDonald’s poor quality ‘food.’ (now, this is a guy on facebook, with a photo of him with wife and two cute little kids…. presumably being indoctrinated into “happy meals.” 🙁
        I finally told him that he could ingest cyanide if he wanted to…..I surely wasn’t going to stop him, after wasting an hour trying to talk sense into him…..but it probably wasn’t a good idea 😉
        Our choice in personal health is always this: Do things that enhance it, or do things that will denigrate it. Then, live with the consequences; eh? Is a slow poison better than a fast one? Thats one question. But the better is: “Why ingest harmful things at all?” Sadly, its often the case that we have to watch others degrade their health. Well, the consequence to that is that if we aren’t hit by a truck we will live longer and happier lives. Its a bittersweet thing, eh? “Winning” at the game of life, while having to simultaneously watch others fall down around us. But, the alternative is to “join” them, right? 😉

  • Fred Barbe says:

    Short article and to the point. Thanks for the information!

  • I have to admit, I was a little nervous going into reading this article. “Here we go, another sugar is all that is evil” article. Not so fast. This is one of the most level headed honest looks at sugar that I have read in a long time. Thanks Menno, and thanks Bret for posting this. I really like a lot of what both of you have to say. I’m little late to the party here but I will be sharing this around my network today. Next up, can we take a look at things that pretend not to be sugar… ahem. Agave syrup anyone?

  • Claudio says:

    Aside from body composition goals, sugar forces our bodies to have to leach out minerals in order to process it. In a culture thar is already often nutrient deficient, sugar just adds to tbe probkem for many people. At least fruits offer vitamins and phyto nutrients that offset this but table sugar does not. There are healthier ways to sweeten coffee (Truvia being one).

  • That was a good article. I like Mennlo. I’ve read his stuff before.

    But…

    What I read is that sugar is good on paper or in a controlled laboratory environment. Very few people eat sugar that way. The lack of satiation that he talks about is no joke. It will make you eat more. No question. I’ve found, even with monitoring and controlling my calorie intake, I often eat too much because my perceptions often trick me.

    But he doesn’t differentiate between people who are insulin resistant and folks who are not.

    Sugar can be used as a dietary strategy even with people who are insulin resistant. Particularly to provoke an insulin and growth hormone response that builds muscle and burns fat after a carb depletion. But I don’t think he is taking the hormonal response into account. He is cherry picking his data and not accounting for the hormonal effect fructose has on the body, not only the physiological response: you do gain more fat per calorie with sugar. But also the psychological response: you are likely to eat more calories if sugar is a part of your diet.

  • Karl Ponty says:

    Thanks all for comments and original article… I have read with interest and seen both sides of the arguments I have with myself regarding fructose intakes. My unqualified simplified summary is that when certain quantities of fructose are absorbed above a certain speed into the body there does appear to be a problem. And unfortunately processed foods that so many people now have as their daily diet provide the problem circumstances. The article helps to reinforce the old adage of my grandmother “everything in moderation” but finding that balance in today’s junk food world is the key problem for the vast majority of the western world’s population.

    • Do you have a website Karl? I would like to reference it. While you wrote this comment quickly, its really “on the mark” with: “..seen both sides of the arguments I have with myself regarding fructose intakes. My unqualified simplified summary is that when certain quantities of fructose are absorbed above a certain speed into the body there does appear to be a problem. And unfortunately processed foods that so many people now have as their daily diet provide the problem circumstances.”

  • Darius says:

    GI possibly not the best to rely on, what about GL?

  • Alex says:

    Hi Menno,

    Don’t all carbs no matter what source break down to glucose for energy? Should have mentioned this in your article.

    What about sugar intake being damaging to gut bacteria? Doctor Rhonda Patrick talks extensively on how “bad” bacteria in the gut which preferentially utilises sugar/glucose for energy overtakes the “good” bacteria in the gut which has a number of other knock-on effects on the body especially in the brain. Is this all bro-science? She references studies and is quite respected in her field. Her solution was to minimise sugar intake and take pro-biotic supplements. Thanks

  • Wow! Guys, I am impressed! An actual intelligent ….and somewhat balanced….discussion on an important topic….by “meatheads!” 😉 Ha! Had to throw that in! Too easy 🙂 Here is my simple perspective: Nutrition is complex, we humans really don’t understand it….yet, like everything else we tinker with it; then rationalize our behaviors.
    Bottom line? Its context that counts, when making advice to folks…..our context, their context, their activity level, their age, their genetic predispositions, etc.. So, its a tricky thing to make generalizations that work for everyone…..even in a target population (i.e. meatheads. Opps, I did it again 😉 Hence, the perpetual discord…and failure to ever get a unqualified “Thats the silver bullet solution!”

    With all of that said, I think this article is spot on for its target audience……guys who work out diligently, and are worried about fear mongering that bans sugar (i.e. probably 20’s – 30’s; with some concerned 40’s & 50’s thrown in; as the ‘range’ of guys working out diligently is ever-so-slowly expanding up that scale). So, you guys won’t die yet…. But Billy makes an important point: “I’ve found, even with monitoring and controlling my calorie intake, I often eat too much because my perceptions often trick me.” Especially when activity levels drop, but consumption doesn’t 🙁 And when you throw steroids into the mix, that amps everything into excess mode.
    Then, Karl nails it with: “My unqualified simplified summary is that when certain quantities of fructose are absorbed above a certain speed into the body there does appear to be a problem. And unfortunately processed foods that so many people now have as their daily diet provide the problem circumstances.”

    The wonderful thing about this article, and almost ALL of the comments? You guys are taking the discussion away from the judgemental, and sadly undereducated yet very vocal, “nutritionists”. “Bro-Science” has surpassed the establishment. Granted, its not too terribly hard, given its the least supported medical discipline and given short shrift purposely because it doesn’t support an industry of drugs and medical products (in short, its more profitable to have a captive sick population than a healthy one for many companies, so research funds for avoidance of health problems and a healthy food supply is very thin as a result 😉 BUT, still, the professional athlete and bodybuilding crowd have pushed the envelope and continue to be more in touch with their own bodies/metabolism than most doctors. Yeah, its kind of driven by “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” objectives…..but fair is fair, I think you guys are leading the pack. This article is proof to me, whilst I despair about the “pooling of ignorance” evident in most online forums, which is usually manipulated by someone in the group to get more followers to their cult. My only suggestion? Set the context up front….for all topics (i.e. “This topic is for high performance athletes,” “This topic is for bulking bodybuilders amped with steroids,” “This topic is for weekend warriors,” ) Honest is, as honest does. Be proud to be meatheads who actually use their brains! Hide not in the shadows anymore…. The world is yours! You have the brains and the brawn! (was that motivational? 😉

    One last point? What Chris says is quietly brilliant: “Typed while eating candy. Just to make sure we keep honest to the science. What we do with those evidence is our own decision.” Life is about Choices & Consequences. As long as we don’t try to gloss over the possible adverse consequences of obsessive behaviors, of any type, then we will be golden 🙂

    Thanks for the wonderful read of comments, and the provoking article (with rational moderation 😉 that sets the tone for constructive discussion. 😀

  • Harry says:

    Are there any studies comparing inflammation of glucose vs more complex carbohydrates in a calorie surplus and deficit?

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