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Myth: Most fitness/energy bars are just “glorified candy bars”
Myth: Skipping breakfast before my morning workout will help me lose more weight
Myth: All sugar is the enemy
Myth: As long as you are not thirsty, you are properly hydrated
Myth: All fats are bad and should be avoided
Myth: Low-carb diets help you to lose weight faster
Myth: Eating foods with sugar alcohols is a good way to reduce carb and calorie content in the diet
Myth: If I drink before my workout, it will just cause stomach upset
 
Myth: Most fitness/energy bars are just “glorified candy bars”  1
Truth: It is true that many bars marketing themselves as fitness/energy bars have a less than desirable nutritional profile and blend of ingredients. All too often, they combine low-quality protein with high levels of inexpensive simple sugars and syrups (i.e. glucose syrup, high fructose corn syrup) and market the bar as a “fitness” bar. The unfortunate aspect is that this type of bar may even have a reasonable nutritional profile. To avoid falling into this “nutrition bar trap” and become knowledgeable with reputable bars on the market, it is about important to consider a few key elements when choosing a fitness bar and some of these have been listed below:
  • Natural ingredients
  • 200 - 250 calories for good portion control
  • Nutritional balance (Good rule of thumb: 45-65% carbs, 10-35% protein, 20-35% fat as of % calories – for more information see Nutrition Resources section)
  • Good carbs – including fruits or fruit purees, natural grain syrups, whole grains – to provide long-term energy for your workouts
  • Good fats with low saturated fat and no trans fats
  • Antioxidants and/or vitamins & minerals - to promote cell recovery, healthy cellular respiration, reduced incidence of infection, and better workouts
A great choice for long-lasting energy during your workouts is the SoLo bar. Each bar contains a proprietary blend of food ingredients from different food groups providing slow-release carbohydrates, protein, dietary fat and fiber that impart sustained energy and a feeling of satiety. Each bar provides an excellent source of protein (11-13 grams), a good source of fiber (3-4 grams), and an excellent source of calcium (20% of the daily recommended value) and as such, can be used for lasting energy during physical pursuits, as a meal replacement, or as a healthy snack throughout the day. SoLo has also been praised for the all-natural ingredient profile, while not containing sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and colors. Top
 
Myth: Skipping breakfast before my morning workout will help me lose more weight  2
Truth: Skipping breakfast to save calories is an unsuccessful approach to weight loss, especially if you do it before a workout. The first problem to occur will likely be a lack of energy, where you may even have to cut your workout short and will burn less calories as a result. Secondly, being that you likely haven’t taken in any calories for 8-10 hours, your body will have to rely on your precious glycogen stores in the muscles and liver for energy, which is in relatively short supply and not the most efficient means of delivering energy for your workout.
You need breakfast, or at least a snack, with some readily-absorbed carbs to help fuel your exercise. If you exercise first thing in the morning, consuming just 100 to 300 calories can put a little carbohydrate into your system, boosting your blood sugar to fuel and enhance your performance. You'll likely discover this small pre-exercise meal adds endurance and enthusiasm to your workout, and won’t leave you feeling so hungry that you respond by over consuming calories later. Try consuming a nutritionally-balanced SoLo bar 30 minutes before your workout and feel the difference in your energy levels during your workout, as well as afterward where you will stay satiated due to the low glycemic index profile of the bar. Top
 
Myth: All sugar is the enemy  3
Truth: It is the type of sugar that you consume that counts, where the key is to have it delivered slowly into your blood stream, thereby giving you a constant stream of energy over a longer period of time. Slow-release, low GI carbohydrates will help to facilitate this process and keep you going for longer.
When looking at food labels, it is important to look at the grams of total carbohydrate — which includes sugar, complex carbohydrate and fiber — rather than only the grams of sugar. If you zero in on sugar content, you could miss out on nutritious foods naturally high in sugar, such as fruit and milk. And you might overdo foods with no natural or added sugar but plenty of carbohydrate, such as over-processed flours and grains.
To help take the guesswork out of it, choose products such as clinically-validated low GI SoLo bars which contain natural carbohydrate sweeteners including fruit purees, brown rice syrup, honey and fructose – for their ability to provide a gradual and sustained release of energy to the body and working muscles. It is this unique combination of different types of carbohydrates which provide longer-lasting fuel and sustained energy to get you through your workouts and excel during competition. SoLo’s very low GI values (23-29) also provides you as the consumer with the peace of mind you want, and deserve. Top
 
Myth: As long as you are not thirsty, you are properly hydrated  4
Truth: For a sedentary individual, this is a reasonably good mechanism for maintaining hydration. Unfortunately, it works too slowly for athletes and active individuals, and you are already dehydrated by the time you feel thirsty. Dehydration can have a wide range of effects, from minor deficits in performance to life-threatening heat illnesses. Performance can be dramatically affected by relatively minor dehydration.
Rule of thumb: If you start to feel thirsty, experience an increase in your heart rate, experience heat illness symptoms, or muscle cramps - chances are good that you are already dehydrated. Being that the main reason for dehydration is forgetfulness, one of the best ways to avoid dehydration is to schedule the consumption of fluids throughout the day, with a little more before you start exercising, and then during your workout – with the amount depending on the duration and intensity of your workout.
To keep it simple, you can also check the color and quantity of your urine. If your urine is very dark and scanty, it is concentrated and you need to drink more fluids. When your urine is pale yellow, your body should be within normal water balance. If you are taking vitamin supplements, volume is a better indicator than color in this case. Top
 
Myth: All fats are bad and should be avoided  5
Truth: Even though the “Low Fat Era” has come and gone, there is still the perception that fat is to be feared and should be avoided at all costs. It is true that some fats should be avoided, but some are actually beneficial and required for good health. Fats and oils should be part of a healthful diet, but the type of fat makes a difference to heart health, and the total amount of fat consumed is also important.
The best types of fats are the unsaturated fats, namely, the monounsaturated fats (found in olives, peanuts, almonds, and olive and canola oils) and polyunsaturated fats. The polyunsaturated fats provide us with essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are the omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish such salmon, mackerel, herring, cod, sardines, and tuna) and omega-6 fatty acids (found in vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, hemp and canola oils). The bad fats, saturated fats and trans fats, should be limited or completely avoided in the diet as they increase the risk of unhealthy blood lipid levels, which, in turn, may increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Below are recommendations for fat intake, as based on the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
  • Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, make choices that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
  • Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils. Top
 
Myth: Low-carb diets help you to lose weight faster 6
Truth: There is no doubt that people who stick to a low-carbohydrate diet can lose weight, but their weight loss has less to do with carbohydrate and more to do with the type of food being consumed and how it affects the body. With low-carb diets, the weight loss is more dramatic initially because when you stop eating carbohydrates, you burn through all of your stored glycogen reasonably quickly (1 to 2 days, depending on activity levels). Glycogen stores three times its weight of water with it, meaning one gram of glycogen is worth a total of four grams of body weight – and this can equate to 4 to 6 pounds body weight. Top
The problem with this is that when the glycogen stores are used up, your body will make as much glucose (energy) as possible from skeletal muscle proteins. Your muscles are broken down to supply amino acids, which the liver then uses to produce glucose. Over the course of a few days, muscle-protein loss contributes to initial weight loss, but it also robs you of power and muscle mass that you worked so hard to gain. While this diet may have merits for a select population, a nutrition program higher in carbohydrate is much more appropriate for you as an athlete.
 
Myth: Eating foods with sugar alcohols is a good way to reduce carb and calorie content in the diet 7
Truth: As athletes and active individuals you need digestible, absorbable, and usable carbohydrates to power your muscles with energy. Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for your working muscles during activity. In contrast, sugar alcohols provide little to no carbohydrates for energy and are known to cause gastrointestinal upset as the body does not have the ability to digest them properly. Since it is not digested and not much of it is absorbed, most of it reaches the large intestine and colon untouched, where it is then fermented by bacteria - causing gas, bloating and even diarrhea in some cases.
A healthier approach for reducing calorie content is to reduce the overall amount of food consumed, and to choose low glycemic carbohydrate sources to provide satiety and sustained energy during your workouts. Try consuming a SoLo bar, where the low glycemic index profile allows for a slow and steady release of glucose into the cells and working muscles, thereby providing longer-lasting fuel and sustained energy as a result. Top
 
Myth: If I drink before my workout, it will just cause stomach upset 8
Truth: To avoid stomach upset during your workout, drink regular amounts of fluids throughout the day, continuing prior to your activity. This way, you will be hydrated and ready for your workout, while not feeling compelled to drink an entire bottle before you begin. Having too much fluid in your stomach can dampen your performance and cause stomach upset - proper hydration at all times can reduce the incidence of this from occurring. Top
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