Should Ectomorphs Avoid Sugar?

(Updated July 2016.) Sugar’s a pretty sensationalized nutrient these days among the health conscious. Many people claim that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is responsible for everyone being so overweight, that fruits are worse than vegetables because they contain sugar, that sugary indulgences cannot be part of a balanced diet, that artificial sweeteners are toxic, or that “functional” sugars like agave nectar are the more healthful choice.

It’s a bias-ridden topic, and I feel like we’re up to the sugar party naked because us skinny guys don’t really crave sweets like the other 97% of society. Our happiness won’t really be impacted by whether we get to have a sugary Starbucks drink on the way to work or a brownie for dessert. There’s no reason for us to stigmatize or fetishize this sugar stuff, we can just approach it rationally.

We also have very different goals and issues. Hell, when you heard that high-fructose corn syrup causes weight gain, you probably rushed off to buy all the Aunt Jemima corn syrup you could find.

When you get back, we’ll discuss what science has to say about the health and body composition effects of sugar.

The Basics of Sugar

Sugar is a simplified term for “sweet tasting carbohydrates,” and there are a few different types: glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose and lactose. Dairy contains lactose, for example, which is a complex sugar that digests extremely slowly. It also takes a specific enzyme to digest, so people who don’t regularly drink milk will sometimes run into some digestive struggles.

Here’s a little breakdown:

Glucose. Most organisms use glucose as their primary fuel, and they get this fuel from plants. Plants create glucose using the energy from the sun (photosynthesis). Muscles use glucose as fuel too. You’ll see it in most workout drinks listed either as simple glucose (called dextrose) or as a starch (maltodextrin, waximaize).

Starches. If you bind glucose units together you get starches like potatoes, rice and flour.

Fructose. This is the sweetest of sugars, so if you notice that something is sweet then it may have a lot of fructose in it. Despite its sweet disposition though, it’s got quite a bad rep. This is because it’s digested a little differently.* However, you would need to consume 150 grams for this to become an issue.

*It’s transported into our cells by glucose transporter type 5 (GLUT5) instead of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) transporters. This may not sound like a big difference, but Gropper et al. has found that up to 60% of us struggle to digest large quantities of it. This is highly individualized, but consuming lots of fructose can certainly be a bad thing (study, study).

Sucrose (aka table sugar). Regular table sugar comes from sugarcane or sugar beets, which are processed to enhance their sweetness. This processing removes the fibre and phytonutrients, leaving pure sucrose. Sucrose is a glucose unit and a fructose unit bound together into a disaccharide. It’s quite sweet, but not as sweet as pure fructose.

High fructose corn syrup? Nowadays the cheapest way to get sugar is by processing corn, not sugarcane. When you process corn into a starch (corn starch) it isn’t very sweet. With further processing though, corn can be processed into corn syrup… which still isn’t very sweet because it’s primarily glucose (starch breaks down into glucose). By adding digestive enzymes into that corn syrup though they can increase the amount of fructose in it, turning it into high-fructose corn syrup.

High-fructose corn syrup is an alarming 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Just kidding—it’s basically the same thing as table sugar, which is a 50/50 split of glucose and fructose. The main difference is that the corn stuff is cheaper, causing it to be used in most mass-manufactured junk foods.

There’s one more slight difference too. Sucrose is a disaccharide (the glucose and fructose are chemically linked together) whereas high-fructose corn syrup is in monosaccharide form (they aren’t chemically linked together). Not a significant difference though, as the digestion process, impact on body composition and impact on health is still exactly the same (study).

Let’s bring it back to the real world using one of the most classic companies out there: Coca Cola. Back in the good ol’ days Coke used cane sugar (sucrose) to sweeten their colas. Nowadays it’s much cheaper to use high fructose corn syrup, so they do. If you pay a premium and buy “traditional” or “natural” colas though, you’ll still see cane sugar listed as the sweetener instead of a corn-based one.

If you were to drink a can of traditional Coca Cola you’d get 40g of sucrose, which your body would quickly break down into 20g glucose and 20g fructose, whereas with modern Coca Cola you’d get 22g of fructose and 18g of glucose. A little bit of a difference, sure, but should you care? No, not unless you drink massive amounts of Coke… in which case you’d be unhealthy regardless of which type of sweetener was used.

Recap: fructose is very sweet, it’s very cheap to mass produce, it shouldn’t be binged on, and people really like to binge on it. You can probably sense the impending nutritional drama already.

Will sugar make you fat?

This one is pretty easy to answer. Calories can make you fat, and sugar does contain calories, but is sugar more fattening than other sources of calories? No. If your calorie intake, fibre intake and protein intake remain the same, then whether you have a lower or higher sugar intake won’t affect your body composition at all (study).

Are Some Sugars Better Than Others?

Of course. There are certainly pros and cons to the sources of sugars that you consume, just not necessarily for the reasons you might assume. Cane sugar and HFCS both have their micronutrients processed out, so there’s no real benefit there beyond their calorie content. (They’re considered “empty calories.”)

This is true for most sweeteners, however cool they sound. Almost all of them are heavily processed and stripped of micronutrients.

Again, this doesn’t make them bad, it just means they aren’t valuable to your body from a micronutrient standpoint. Your body can still break them down and use them for energy, and as ectomorphs struggling to eat enough to build muscle, energy is exactly what we need more of!

There are also many sources of sugar that are rich in vitamins and minerals, like fruits, dairy and honey. In fact, fruit is proving to be even healthier than the scientific community used to think, with the fibre being linked to digestive health and microbiome improvements—very new areas of research.

It’s worth pointing out that frozen fruit  counts as fresh fruit too, since it’s frozen when fresh. Dried fruit is also very nutritious while also being very easy on the appetite—great for those of us trying to eating enough to gain weight. (more on appetite manipulation here.)

Why Does Sugar Have a Bad Reputation?

People confuse “makes it easy to gain weight” with “is unhealthy.” That infamous Lustig study that everyone says proves that sugar is toxic found that an added 150 calories of sugar per day increased risk of diabetes by 1%. Keep in mind that this is adding in 150 calories, bringing the participants into a slight calorie surplus and causing a little fat gain.

To put this into perspective, obesity increases the risk of obesity by 9900%. The meta-analysis of all these studies concludes that it’s calories that contribute to fat gain, and fat gain that contributes to diabetes. Whether you get these extra calories from sugar or fat won’t matter much. (Getting more calories from protein, up to a point, would lead to more muscle gain, so that would have a different effect.)

On a more positive note, another study looking diabetes found that 150 minutes of exercise per week combined with a slight calorie deficit resulted in a 58% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes.

Anyway, for us ectomorphs sometimes these things are backwards. We’re trying to gain weight, so sugar tends to help us more than it hurts us. So long as we’re lifting weights and eating enough protein, that weight gain can be very lean too.

You do, however, need to watch out for the quantity of sugar that you consume. If you consume too much of any source of sugar, whether it comes from fresh fruit or high fructose corn syrup, your body may take the excess calories and begin and storing it in your love handles. And love handles, even if they are made of sugar, are a not-so-sweet addition to your physique.

How Much is Too Much?

Up above we mentioned that large quantities of fructose can be a bad for your liver, love handles and love life, so we also recommend keeping your processed sugar intake to under 50g per day. That’s about two and a half cans of Coke. There’s no need to dodge fruit or other natural sources though.

For sugar in general, how much you eat should depend on your activity levels, body type and goals. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, you might want to experiment with lower calorie plants—broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans, apples, etc. That way you’d get the same amount of phytonutrients and fibre with fewer calories. Fibre is quite filling, so this might help you eat fewer calories and lose weight.

On the other hand, if you’re a thin guy trying to gain weight, you’ll probably have more success by focusing on higher calorie plants, like bananas, prunes, raisins, legumes, grains, fruit juices and mangoes.

What About the Glycemic index / Blood Sugar?

The glycemic index is another one of those things that really doesn’t matter in the context of a healthy lifestyle, especially since it’s so dependant on the glycemic load. Sugar won’t cause problems with insulin or blood sugar unless you consume an extremely large amount of it, especially when fasted, especially when overweight, and especially when you do it for many years in a row.

People do this from time to time. Eating waffles/pancakes with maple syrup along with a glass of orange juice every day for breakfast is a good example of someone consistently eating too much sugar in isolation while fasted. This is dumb, duh, but is this sugar’s fault? No, this is the fault of the weirdo eating an extremely unbalanced breakfast that contains only sugar.

As far as sugar spiking insulin goes, that’s sensationalized. Protein spikes insulin more than fat or carbs, so the low carb chicken and broccoli meal will spike your insulin more than having a coke. That’s okay though because insulin spikes aren’t something we need to stress about. It’s chronically raised insulin that’s problematic, and that isn’t something we need to worry about as lean guys who eat a fairly balanced diet and lift weights.

Artificial Sweeteners

When we think of artificial sweeteners we normally think of weight conscious drinking Diet Coke, but fitness dudes who eat protein bars, flavoured protein powders and flavoured pre-workout drinks consume just as many.

The question becomes “so what?” Are artificial sweeteners worth worrying about? Haven’t you ever heard that if it’s too good to be true it probably is?

Artificial sweeteners do contain zero calories, which is good news for overweight people but bad news for us. Research isn’t really uncovering any downsides either, even after decades of research into them (studystudy). This is what I was telling Jared today at the local coffee shop and a stranger chimed in with, “the downside is the taste!” Hah.

But really, holy crap do these things ever seem safe! The FDA says that you could drink 18 cans of Coke Zero a day and still be under the daily allowance of aspartame?! Do we recommend this? Hell no. I’m not saying you should test the limits of the current body of research to see if you can acquire a previously undiscovered disease, we’re just saying that you probably shouldn’t be freaked out about a Diet Coke or chocolate whey protein shake now and then.

At this point I ran into an interesting mystery. Here it is: why did Coca Cola come out with a second zero calorie drink?

(Anti-hint: they both have very similar tastes and ingredients.)

Answer: Realizing that a large part of their market wasn’t interested in drinking sugary calories, Coca Cola came out with a diet drink that didn’t have any calories in it: Diet Coke. Only overweight women switched over though. All the overweight men looking for a refreshing sugar fix refused to be convinced.

… Enter Coca Cola’s zero calorie drink for men: Coke Zero. It comes in black, with nice bold masculine lettering. I’m not going to lie—it’s a pretty badass looking drink. Definitely manly.


People like to make dramatic black and white claims about sugar, but, as my dad likes to say: “everything in moderation, including moderation.” This could not be more true for sugar. If you consume a modest amount of sugar—say, 10% of your total calories—then there really isn’t a single bit of evidence that it could negatively impact your health or body composition.

  • Processed sugar can still be digested and used as an energy source, which is great news for those of us trying to gain weight. They should only make up a small portion of your diet though.
  • Things like fresh/frozen fruit, veggies, milk and honey are all great sources of carbs. For us lean ectomorphs looking to build muscle as much as 50% of our diet can be carbs, so we’ve got plenty of room for nutritious sources of sugar. Just make sure to get some vegetables and starchy vegetables in there too.
  • Table sugar, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup—all pretty much the same.
  • Non-caloric sweeteners are probably okay in moderation.
  • Drinking calories will trick your appetite. It won’t properly recognize that you’ve consumed calories. This is great when trying to gain weight, not so great when trying to lose it. Fruit juice, fruit+protein smoothies, and milk are great for this.
  • Don’t feel bad about indulging on occasion, just make sure it’s occasional. It won’t affect your results at all, so enjoy it! (And what’s the point of occasionally indulging if you feel crappy about it?)

Opinions? Challenges? Questions? Post ’em below!

About Shane Duquette, BDes

W. Shane Duquette, BDes, is a science communicator with a degree in design from York University and Sheridan College. He co-founded Bony to Beastly and Bony to Bombshell, where he specializes in helping ectomorphs, hardgainers, and skinny-fat people gain muscle leanly and healthfully.

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  1. Rob on September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Bravo to you guys. I read a lot about nutrition and lifting and you are always right on the mark.

    I plan on taking a look at the depths of your paid program soon.

    • Shane Duquette on September 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks Rob, glad you enjoyed it. Hope to see you on the other side!

  2. Christian on September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Amazing. I was always worried my Diet Iced tea would somehow be screwing me. Looks like I get to continue having my mid afternoon can :). Thanks for another great article!

  3. Mathias on September 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Awesome article. Just the information I was looking for(:

  4. Renze on September 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Good job in making a subject that could be mind numbingly boring into something both enjoyable and educational!

    • Shane Duquette on September 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      Glad to hear it wasn’t too dry. I tried to keep it short, haha but then there was just so much to say.

  5. Brian on September 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    So is it best to workout in the morning (before breakfast) while consuming your training drink? If I understand this article correctly and your previous article about the training drink protocol, we want to have an insulin spike during our workouts.. and it seems like this happens more dramatically after fasting. Is this correct?

    • Shane Duquette on September 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      The most important thing about the training drinks is simply the amount of appropriate nutrition that they provide (carbs and protein). This doesn’t mean there aren’t other beneficial factors in play, but that’s where the emphasis should go.

      I would train when it best suits your schedule and your personal preference.

      If your schedule is wide open and you’re game for anything I’d recommend the evening. Maybe 6pm. You’ll get a good mix of a daily testosterone/energy peak and your body will be nice and warmed up from the day, which will make you really resistant to injury 🙂

      Does that help?

  6. Filip on December 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for the good information!

    “Juice and soda are bad news, so opt for a diet drink if you have a hankering for some sugar-soda at the movie theatre. If a diet drink sound like a sissy drink to you, that’s cool man, you can get a zero drink instead.”

    But what should I drink instead? I’m looking for some great alternatives 😛

    • Shane Duquette on December 15, 2012 at 2:22 am

      Well, a diet drink wouldn’t be a bad idea, so long as they’re occasional. The artificial sweetener is cool, but too much of it and you might damage your teeth I’m thinking?

      I drink a whole ton of tea, since I find water can get a little dull. I buy it in interesting flavours and it does the trick.

      Lately I’ve been really into Yerba Mate, and find it really helps me get in the mood to read and write. It’s certainly an acquired taste though.

  7. Ajitesh on February 23, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I’ve a query regarding sugars. When do you suggest consuming simple carbs on non-workout days to avoid the belly-fat gain? I mean, cutting off on sugars on non-workout days would mean hunting for another source of calories and that’s really difficult for me.

    • Shane Duquette on February 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Ah yeah I know what you mean. The answer: along with your meals. Sort of a “dessert” kind of thing. That way there’s plenty of healthy and nutritious food steadily digesting away as you’re tossing quickly digested sugars on top. With enough healthy food eaten in the same time period, overall the food will digest fairly slowly.

  8. brian on August 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve heard that sugar actually slows the immune system down quite a bit… any truth to this?

    • Shane Duquette on August 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Taken to excess, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too great for you, certainly!

  9. Jay on August 22, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Milk is pastured.. why is milk still really good for you but pastured jam is not?

    • Shane Duquette on August 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      That’s a really good question, and I have to admit I don’t have an entirely perfect answer for you … but I can point out a few things.

      a) If you believe the claims, many milk brands are pasteurized slowly at low temperatures to kill bacteria and yet still preserve the nutrients. Is that true? I don’t know.

      b) Milk is often fortified, notably with vitamin D. Things being enriched or fortified is admittedly questionable and the effectiveness of it depends on what you’re eating and what it’s being fortified with, but liquid vitamin D performs really well in the studies, even as a standalone supplement. It’s fat soluble too, so when combined with something like a fuller fat milk it works great!

      c) All the studies we looked into concerning milk were done using pasteurized milk … and still produced really positive results. So at this point we aren’t talking about theory, we’re talking about actually seeing what happens when you drink it. Might be interesting to look at where the funding for the studies comes from though, as, honest intentions or not, a bias will usually influence things at least a little.

      d) Apparently raw milk IS a lot better, and there’s a big movement of people who go to great trouble to obtain safe raw milk that’s fit for consumption. I know a few guys who do it and swear by it. I’ve never tried it.

      Does that help at all?

  10. Nic on January 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Hey guys ive been bulking for awhile i’m 14 years old put on about 20lbs in 4-5 mouths or so my body fat has risen about 2-3% is this normal for a bulk currently im at about 14-15%bf and 136 lbs planning to bulk up a bit more 5-10lbs response would be greatly appreciated thanks!

    • Shane Duquette on January 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

      You’re 14 and you’ve already packed on 20 pounds?! You’ve got a pretty rad head start into this stuff 🙂

      So you’ve gained maybe sixteen pounds of muscle and four pounds of fat? That sounds pretty good. It’s not normal or abnormal – you can bulk at different paces and accept different levels of fat gain.

      Knowing how easily I can lose fat, I’d be waaaay more thrilled about the muscle than perturbed by a little bit of fat. I think it sounds like you did a kickass job, Nic. If you wanted, you could now spend a month doing a bit of a cut and you could drop down a few body fat percentage points and be way more muscular AND leaner than when you started 🙂

      Continuing to bulk is cool too, of course. Just sayin’, you’re very close to having a much radder physique than when you started in every way!

      • Nic on May 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

        So 4 mouths later I’m 150lbs+ I have absolutely no visible abs AT ALL but probably about 16%+, I’m thinking I’ll want to cut in about 3 mouths at about 170lbs that would make it a year long bulk, Just curious how much weight do most people have to lose to get abs at that look I’m 5’8″btw, Will losing 12-15lbs be enough or are we looking at more like 15+, Also when you start cutting at like 1800-2500calories or whatever depending on the cardiovascular I do, How much water weight am I expecting to loose initially?I probably shouldn’t lose too much If I keep eating them carbohydrates right?

        • Nic on May 22, 2014 at 11:24 am

          Alot of people say I could get away with cutting now or in efew mouths, but alot serious lifters think that I should try to hold out to even next summer If I want to see some serious results, But I doubt I’ll even beable to holdout that long…Response would be greatly appreciated thanks.

          • Nic on May 22, 2014 at 11:38 am

            I take it that its my choice and it doesn’t really matter?

        • Shane Duquette on May 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm

          Yep! It’s your choice when you decide to cut. For some people cutting once you get above 15% works well. For others maybe 20%. I wouldn’t go much higher than that, as it might (maybe) not be as good for your health.

          Most people see abs at 10-12%, but that depends on the person. Lots of factors – how big your ab muscles are, what your posture is looking like, where you store fat, etc. So yeah, you’d probably want to lose something like 10-20 pounds.

          I don’t know how much water weight you’d lose initially. I don’t even know if you’d lose any. Sometimes people hold onto MORE water weight when cutting. (More of the hormone cortisol can have that effect, and cutting can raise cortisol levels.)

          I hope that helps. Good luck, Nic!

  11. Nic on January 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Hey man I’m also curious if you ever do any de-loads whatsoever or does that affect on your training frequency and intensity?

    • Shane Duquette on January 29, 2014 at 12:39 am

      How did this end up on a post about sugar ahaha?

      For sure! We use de-load weeks regularly, and that’s definitely a factor when planning out volume and intensity.

      • Nic on January 29, 2014 at 11:57 am

        Ahaha Thanks for the reply though.

  12. harry on February 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

    hey there – loving the stuff on the site and enjoyed the article a lot! – One thing I want to check up on what you is about the artificial sweeteners – more specifically aspartame……….and, yes, I agree that there are many studies that have appeared that show aspartame as being, as the FDA put it “safe”…….however, there are many studies put out by similar corporations that show sugar as beneficial and cigarettes as harmless. There are the studies conducted by the FDA when aspartame was first released and patented showing it’s action as a neurotoxin and also it’s potentially cancer inducing properties…..these of course were pushed under the table and covered up both by the FDA and the original makers and marketers of aspartame……as have been many since…….and the experience of many people I know and have read from and about also tell a very different story to there being nothing wrong with it.

    I appreciate and really enjoy that you name everything as being your personal opinions and thoughts and I enjoy also that you talk of your own skepticism and also encourage people ideally to have none of it at all…………..and at the same time I guess I urge you to look more closely into the studies that preempted it’s first release among others which tell a very different story.

    • Shane Duquette on February 6, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Hey Harry, glad you enjoyed the article, man! Thank you for the kind words.

      Regarding cigarettes, the larger body of evidence is definitely showing that being a regular smoker is unhealthy. With sugar, on the other hand, it again comes down to dosage and circumstance. If you get 10% of your calories from table sugar I doubt you’ll have a problem so long as you also consume nutritious foods and your calorie intake is on point. Many studies show this to be true. If 90% of your diet is coming from sugar though, or if you’re consuming extra sugar calories in addition to a diet that already meets your caloric needs … then it can be problematic. This is very situational stuff. It’s not like a study could find sugar to either be “bad” or “good” – it always depends on a variety of things.

      There are studies showing Coca Cola, for example, to be a potent performance enhancer. It’s a good source of easily digested carbohydrates + caffeine, so it works well during things like bike races. Those studies aren’t incorrect, it’s just very situational.

      I’m not so much saying that it’s my personal opinion that artificial sweeteners are good or bad, more so that the larger body of evidence indicates that below a certain level of intake they’re seemingly safe for most people. Right now it seems like a diet soda or scoop of artificially sweetened protein powder each day is pretty safe.

      You’re saying that there’s evidence to the contrary? I’d love to see those studies to see what we can learn 🙂

      • harry on February 8, 2014 at 5:56 am

        Hey there Shane – thanks for the reply. Completely agree about cigarettes – I was a smoker for a loooong time and there is no doubt at all in my mind of what they do to the body……guess I was just using them as an example for the fact that so often the information put out is purposely tampered with and purposely covered up – especially information linked to any state funding as far as I’m concerned because we live in a world where money and it’s acquisition is unfortunately more important to companies, corporations and even governments than offering completely unbiased information.

        Yes I agree with you also that many studies are situation based and that the “situation” based study can then be illegitimately used to advertise in other situations – for instance the marketing of sports drinks, coke etc to children. Also I only recently realized that definitely in the drug and medical world and, I’m pretty sure, in the food industry world, any new substance looking for approval from bodies such as the FDA must show something like 10 studies (maybe it was less – I’ll check) in which it performed safely and better than a placebo…… does NOT have to show the 10,30,85,100 studies where it performed unsafely and worse than a placebo…….which is my understanding of what happened with aspartame when it was first discovered……though it’s patents were at first declined……and then money started changing hands….

        Yes I do agree with you as well that ultimately, in our drugs infested, sugar guzzling, processed food marketed world that maybe if you can somehow manage to only eat these things in small amounts then it’s probably generally ok………though aspartame is one thing I won’t touch any more myself – I guess I have too many obese and steadily dull minding friends who drink diet coke!

  13. Micke on July 4, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Hi Dude,
    I am a little bit sceptical about your ”Bony to Beastly” Site, maybe you can answer me, so I am not longer disappointed :S
    I am 19 years old, 178 cm high – 55Kg/121lbs weight.

    First thing:
    You say something like ”Don’t buy this expensive Supplements, we don’t need that kind of Supplements… Guys who are selling that, are just doing a lot of Marketing to sell as many Products as they can to get a lot of Money from Guys like you”

    Then you say something like ”Here are the Supplements we recommend, and you get a nice discount for them, if you buy them on Page xy and Page xy tho… you need that to get much more mucles and energetics”

    In other words… it seems like you just do exactly the same thing like the persons you were telling about, who are just selling things to get money from us… (the guys who have hard times to get muscles and weight)…just with a different, pretty clever marketing…

    just sounds totally paradox… I don’t know how I shoudl think about that…

    Maybe you can answer me via Email
    /nice page btw.

    • Shane Duquette on July 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Hey Micke,

      Did you read the article on supplements? I tried to explain that you really don’t need supplements at the beginning of the article. We have a lot go guys going through our program who don’t use any supplements and they do great. There are advantages to supplements, but they’re small compared to nutrition and weightlifting. The main benefit of the supplements that we recommend is that that they’re cheaper than food, easy on the appetite, quick and convenient. They can make things easier and simpler.

      The muscle-building and fat-loss supplement industries are full of a lot of junk, yeah. There’s a lot of overhyping and many totally bogus supplements. This doesn’t mean that ALL supplements are bad, just that a lot of the popular ones aren’t really all that effective (and sometimes may not be that safe). Nitric oxide / arginine supplements, for example, don’t really produce much of an effect in our bodies, even though in theory they sound amazing. That’s why we try to use supplements that are actually supported by the research. A supplement like creatine monohydrate has several hundred studies all unanimously showing its effectiveness in human test subjects, and after decades of research a health downside has yet to be uncovered. Moreover, they’re starting to find all kind of health benefits to it.

      So you don’t need supplements – they’re relatively small potatoes – but some can indeed be helpful.

      Does that make sense?

  14. Nic on February 23, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Hey bro me again I thought I would say hi basically I bulked to a solid 180lbs about 5 10 so I gained 2″ in height but I’m now cutting I’m now below 170 I’m thinking of cutting to 150 and hit 8-12%bf(legit) than I’m gonna do a slooooow bulk(2-3lbs/mouth for 1-2 years) i pretty much have everything nailed down now but I was wondering if having a low bf% in your opinion increases positive nutrient particioning to muscle, Would usually macros like 1g/lb of BW of protein for a lean individual 20-30%fats and fill the rest in with carbs would this usually be pretty optimal, Any advice/reply would be greatly appreciated bro!!!

    • Shane Duquette on February 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Congrats on the gains, Nic! That’s awesome 🙂

      Yeah, being lean improves nutrient partitioning. Your hormones will all be nice and optimal—higher testosterone, lower cortisol and estrogen and whatnot—so your body will be more inclined to build muscle and less inclined to store fat.

      Getting a gram of protein per pound bodyweight is a good idea, yeah. Especially when lean. 20-30% fats and filling the rest in with carbs is also perfect.

      Good luck with your plan!!

  15. Seth on June 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I use stevia in the morning in my coffee, since it doesn’t spike insulin.
    It takes a while to get used to….cause it really isn’t all that sweet….compared to sugar.

    But once you get used to it, it does help…..I also use Chobani plain yogurt, mix in some of my whey protein and add a packet of stevia…..comes out tasting pretty good.

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