How long is it before we stop referencing scientific literature like the JSCR (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research) and start citing MEME’s? Let’s pretend my grandfather were to be reading this blog post (RIP & Vaya Con Dios Gramps), and begin by defining the word MEME. MEME = a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users- Dictionary.com.
Students, clients, and even worse, trainers, are discussing MEME’s as if they’re the truth. There are some great MEME’s, and there’s some really shitty ones, so it must be hard to tell if the information is valid. Let Show Up Fitness help you navigate through the ambiguous land of The Google and analyze the Best AND Worst fitness and nutrition MEME’s.
#1 for Worst MEME:
This is not an exact replica of 5 pounds of fat vs 5 pounds of muscle; IDIOTS! This MEME is the exact replica of 5 pounds of fat vs 1 pound of muscle. At the Show Up Academy in Santa Monica, I have the replica of 5 pounds fat and 5 pounds muscle and they’re pretty freaking similar. Let Mr. Contreras, aka the “Glute Hunk” better explicate in our Best Meme #1:
On his Instagram post he says, “I’m sure you’ve seen the images floating around the Internet showing what 5lbs of fat vs. 5lbs of muscle looks like. The replicas typically shown are a giant blob of fat next to a tiny mound of muscle, and you’re inevitably left believing that 5lbs of fat takes up 5x more space than 5lbs of muscle. This is a myth! In actuality, the density of mammalian skeletal muscle tissue is 1.06kg/L, while that of adipose tissue is 0.9196kg/L. In other words, fat only takes up 15% more space than muscle. So 5lbs of fat weighs the same as 5lbs of muscle – obviously! But muscle is only slighter more dense than fat. How did this misconception arise? I do not know, but I surmise that some sleazy marketer fabricated the idea to sell a product or service by dramatizing the visual effects of getting into shape. Whatever the case, this individual clearly never chased down the science like I did. Unfortunately, these images are so common nowadays that they aren’t questioned and are passed along as fact. Exaggeration is never a good idea; people deserve the truth.”
– Bret Contreras @bretcontreras1
Bret knows his shit and he’s what I call a “fitness bully.” Most would associate this nickname negatively, but don’t, it’s a compliment. Bret’s beyond intelligent. If you were to gather 5 of the smartest “trainers” that you know, they wouldn’t be able to compete with this man’s grasp of the scientific literature within bio-mechanics and kinesiology. Bullies usually use their strength to overcome weaker counterparts; Bret uses his intellect (he’s also strong AF!)
Worst MEME #2:
Similar to the recent documentary, aka worst fucking film ever, WHAT THE HEALTH, by using scare tactics (Steak has more fat), it qualifies the other food source as a superior choice. First off, don’t watch that documentary, it’s terrible. Second, how good are you with numbers? At face value, this MEME make sense, right? Hold on for one second and lets take a look at BEST MEME #2:
The Chow Babe, as she says on her Facebook page, “Organic Living, Nutrition, Fitness…screw all of that. We’re just satirizing Food Babe. She’s nuts” breaks down those numbers. 100-calories of steak is not even a freaking bite, whereas 100-calories of broccoli is over half a pound. I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking for a great protein source, I’ll stick with 8-10 ounces of steak and add a few ounces of broccoli to compliment it. Let it be noted, we’re not saying broccoli is bad, or not filled with phytochemicals (it is.) What were attacking is the idiocy of claiming broccoli is a better protein source compared to steak. If you’re a vegetarian it’s a great choice, otherwise, STEAK for the win.
Onto the Best MEME #3
Seriously, KERMIE MEME’s can’t be beat!
Back to fitness & nutrition…. Worst MEME #3
“Milk is bad, we’re not designed to drink it, and we’re the only other animals who drink other animals milk.” When it comes to diary products, there’s a ton of weird shit people come up with. Let us ponder what else humans can do e.g. go to the moon, shit on a toilet, and have ALEXA on Amazon. EVERYTHING is bad and will probably cause cancer sooner or later e.g. Drink too much water and you can die (hyponatremia), workout too long and hard and you’ll die (rhabdomyolysis.) Humans have evolved to drink milk as an advantage. When we began to domesticate cattle (e.g. Northern Europe) we could survive the harsh winters by drinking cows milk. We eat everything else on a cow, but why do we demonize the milk? PUS CELLS, Antibiotics, and Bovine Growth Hormone; oh my! Pus cells are confused by the non-farmer as somatic cells. These cells (which mainly consist of white blood cells aka leukocytes) when elevated, indicate an infection in an organism. The FDA regulates the maximal allowable somatic cell count to be 600,000-750,000 cells per milliliter*. Sometimes cows can develop an infection which is called mastitis (humans can too.) This infection leads people to believe that ALL milk is filled with “pus.” NOT TRUE. For all you conspiracy theorists, I’m sorry to inform you that our government ISN’T TRYING TO KILL US or are they hiding the cure for AIDS /Cancer. When a cow has mastitis, you need to, A- Massage it out by milking the cow (if you were to get this on film, it would look like a farmer is milking “pus” and then deliberately giving to consumers- NOT THE CASE. They have to throw it away,) B- the animal goes on antibiotics. The milk is then delivered to a processing plant to make sure no harmful residues are detected. CONTAMINATED MILK RESULTS IN A LARGE FINE! Do you even know a farmer? Seriously? Or are you reading a blog from David Wolff? The next time you come across a farmer, ask them to break down their job in detail. Milk is highly regulated. As with anything, there may be trace amounts of particles. If this bugs you, don’t eat or drink it, and PLEASE don’t bother anyone who chooses to do so. I guarantee your bathroom floor, bed sheets, and fingers are filthier than what we consume at the store.
The evidence behind recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is inconclusive. People freak out because cows are able to produce more milk with the use of this synthetic hormone (rBGH) which produces more IGF (insulin-like growth factor). Increases in IGF MAY BE linked to cancer. Therefore, drinking milk gives us cancer. hmmmm, not so fast, that’s not Logic 101…
A = B
B = C
A = C
If that’s the case, then:
A = B: You can die from an increase in blood pressure (true)
B = C: Blood pressure increases during sex (true)
A = C: If you have sex, you will die (I HOPE NOT!)
Our bodies are badass and the proteins of hormones are denatured during the digestion process. This is the reason why many anabolic hormones are not ingested, they’re injected (Insulin cannot be taken orally, nor can many forms of testosterone. The active chemicals are present in the oral form, but once digested, are denatured into inactive chemicals and removed via the liver.) If you are concerned about hormones, you can pay more for the “hormone free.”
I don’t care if you drink milk, nor am I telling you to start; if you do, SWEET, if you don’t, SWEET! As the American Cancer Society states, the evidence behind milk consumption is INCONCLUSIVE and more studies are needed. Personally, I haven’t had milk in ages due to my intolerance to lactose. Recently, I began drinking lactose free milk (1-2 cartons a week) without any gastrointestinal distress. I will continue to drink milk until otherwise noted. It’s frustrating hearing about the misconceptions about milk, and I care about the information being delivered to the public. Research isn’t typing in “is milk good for humans?” Research done well is performed via a meta-analysis as seen below, and to date, milk (if you want to drink it), is FINE…
Speaking of detoxing, BEST MEME #4
Detoxing 101 summarized perfectly by the reliable and educated Jordan Syatt. Succinctly put, be thankful for your kidneys, liver, and lungs, they take care of everything for you. If you’d like some liver support because you drink more whiskey than an Irishman, drink more water, exercise, and supplement with some Milk Thistle.
Onto the last Best MEME #5
It doesn’t matter the diet aka lifestyle, that you subscribe too. What matters is if you can adhere to the diet for your life. At the end of the day, WHATEVER works for you to be mentally and physically happy without harassing other people with your confirmation bias.
SHOW UP or SHUT UP!