Body building supplements

musclebuilderWhen we arrive at the protein chapter in my college nutrition class, my male students routinely tell me about their protein supplement use; then, I routinely lecture on the unknown world of supplements.

This year’s discussion will be different. I will talk about the recently published article in the British Journal of Cancer. A Yale study of nearly 900 men suggests a link between muscle-building supplements and testicular cancer.

The ingredients that come in to question are creatine and androstenedione. However, long time readers know that the most basic of complaints about supplements is that we don’t truly know what is lurking in these bottles because they are so casually regulated.

Even after adjusting for known risk factors, the lead author suggests the increase may be 65% and is most damaging in men who: 1) take the supplements before the age of 25, 2) take them for long periods or 3) use multiple types of muscle builders.

The good news is that the solution is quite easy. Drop the supplements and eat food! The Dairy Council of California has some wonderful references (here) but some quick advice pulled from their Protein: Powerhouse Performance downloadable:

Including protein evenly throughout the day is best for muscle building and repair. Start your day with high quality protein such as an egg, a carton of yogurt or milk in cereal. Protein at breakfast helps you focus more clearly and be alert at school.

16 – 22 grams protein = 3 ounces beef, chicken, pork, turkey; 6 ounce Greek yogurt

11-15 grams protein =  1/4 cup beans/lentils; 2 eggs

6-10 grams protein = 1 cup milk; 6 ounces regular yogurt; 1 1/2 ounces cheese; 1/4 c nuts; 1 TBSP peanut butter

A balanced diet does NOT require supplements. In Hippocrates words: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. And I’m sure he’d add…to be well.


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IMG_1668Indiananewscenter, our local ABC affiliate station, invited me to be a guest on INSight this week; you can watch the interview here.

The religious symbolism and tradition of eggs at Easter time makes it a timely topic.

A few facts we covered and a few we didn’t:


  •  the color of the hen’s eggshell does not reflect the nutrition within; shell color is determined by the breed of hen
  • eggs are a super source of inexpensive protein; one egg equals one ounce of meat
  • the white of the egg contains 1/2 of its protein; the yolk contains the other half of its protein!
  • fried rice is a great way to use up an assortment of vegetables
  • the ever increasing number of descriptors on egg cartons are just like every other package label – a marketing tool with rarely any substance
  • “farm fresh” and “natural” have no meaning
  • chickens are normally omnivores not vegetarians, so I’m not certain how you talk a chicken into a vegetarian diet:))
  • add some vegetables to your day with a breakfast frittata
  • current US Dietary Guidelines suggest an egg a day is healthy for most
  • adding an egg to your colorful salad enhances the absorption of the plant’s healthy antioxidants a recent Purdue study suggests
  • an egg salad sandwich on toast makes a super breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Eggs – a symbol of birth and rebirth. Wishing you a blessed season and good health.





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