Why are high-calorie diets not suitable for optimal mass growth?
The good old bodybuilder saying is that to increase mass, strength and muscle you need to consume a lot of calories. In the recent past this was still the core principle of bodybuilders. That idea was so popular that many athletes considered it natural that the only solution, along with high-intensity exercises from which they expect an increase in muscle mass, is adherence to a high-calorie diet.
In the past year or two, this concept has completely collapsed in the USA. In our country, however, many are still not aware of it. This is not accidental because such information was not available for the public.
Many believed that taking nutritional supplements that are rich in calories, have their scientific basis, but unfortunately this is not true. This whole plan stems from changes in the nutritional supplement market 8-10 years ago. Around the beginning of the 90s, when the popularity of taking amino acid pills started to decline, it became more popular to take dietary supplements with a high concentration of carbohydrates, which of course was not the right thing to be done.
The first such product appeared in the late 80s and early 90s, when a company appeared on the market with a product labeled 900. This indicated 900 calories per meal. Before the appearance of this product, there was no product on the market that contained more than 400-500 calories. However, as soon as that product appeared in the USA, it immediately took the leading place on the market. The idea, related to that product, that one should take almost 1000 calories in a 200g meal, which is practically indigestible, spread among the bodybuilder world like a wildfire. The solution seemed simple..
If someone really followed the quantities indicated on the box, such product would be used up in just 3-4 days, but at that time no one was interested in that fact. When competitors saw how successful that product was using a completely false concept, products began to appear one after the other on the market with supposedly higher and higher calorie content per unit value. After those with 1000 calories, products with even more calories appeared.
It would be difficult even to imagine that a person would be able to take in 4000kcl in one meal… And let’s not say that the inscription on the side page indicated such a meal was made of 800-1000gr, so 1kg of powder dissolved in milk or in some calorie-rich drink, which at least on paper means extra calories. To put it simply, if we look at the inscriptions on the boxes, companies for the production of nutritional supplements, waged a real war with numbers, and the winner was the one who managed to write a bigger number behind the name of their product. We can safely say that science had nothing to do with bodybuilding here. That, with the exception of last year, was characteristic of the 90s. The science that proved the impact of essential amino acids on recovery and muscle mass growth has fallen into the background.
Research conducted in recent years, with the reactions of bodybuilders who followed a high-calorie diet, proved that there is no need for this type of nutritional supplements. In our case, the situation was so different that the majority of bodybuilders who bought these products did not consume the unrealistically large amounts written on the box, but, in order to make one package last as long as possible, consumed these products in the amount they considered normal . Then the question arises, what is the meaning of unrealistic figures (unless it is business interests) indicated on the label? Because of course, then the product is no longer what the manufacturer indicated and does not serve its original purpose.
What happens when a Bodybuilder actually takes those unrealistic amounts or even half of those amounts? Very quickly, already after a few weeks or months, he gains weight by five, six, seven or eight kilograms. In this case, the emphasis is precisely on gaining weight. Bodybuilders notice with delight at first that their mass is increasing, but after a few months they see something completely different. Their breasts and arms are growing less and less, while the unfavorable change on the thighs and buttocks is more and more noticeable. Therefore, the increase in body mass in the initial period was considered development, and now it has simply become fattening. If that bodybuilder is also a consumer of AAS, then his consumption of calories is somewhat faster, therefore better than of someone who trains with a natural method. However, even such athletes after some time face the fact of an increase in body fat deposits after taking these kinds of products.
At the same time, we do not even mention the stressful situations for the stomach and other organs of the digestive system caused by such large amounts of calories, which sometimes reach up to 6-8000. Bodybuilders who were actually ingesting such large amounts of these substances had to use a veritable arsenal of different hormones and ASS in order for their bodies to actually use this awful amount of calories. We can safely say that 99% of bodybuilders do not fall into that category. They have a normal metabolism, do not take ASS and want to increase muscle mass without excess fat tissue. The perfect solution for the vast majority is to take nutritional supplements in an amount that provides a normal, average amount of calories per meal. What is really important is the information about the quantity, that is, the quality of proteins that can be found in nutritional supplements based on scientific studies. Only those low-calorie products with effective supplements for increasing exclusively muscle mass are considered scientifically proven.
With the use of these nutritional supplements, one can really imagine a fast and clean increase in muscle mass, in which the actual increase in muscle is represented by 90%, while only 10% is water and fat tissue. By using certain products, an increase of 1-2 kg is ensured, but if we apply one therapy, then in 6-8 weeks an increase of 5-10 kg can be achieved. Better results cannot be achieved even with the use of ASS. Of course, we do not claim that nutritional supplements are more effective than illegal substances, but that with reasonable use of supplements, an effect similar to that of ASS can be achieved. The use of anabolic substances achieves good results in a shorter time, but the decline after one stops using it is also more pronounced.
If we look at the results of taking both ASS and nutritional supplements in the long term, for example in a period of 1-2 years, they can be quite close. Of course, those who choose the more thorny path of natural bodybuilding must be clear: no matter how high-quality nutritional supplements are, the real work was done by their body, that is, their hormones, and not some other external aid, the interruption of which immediately turns development into decomposition. By summarizing these lessons, bodybuilders of the future have the task of consuming a reasonable amount of calories, the diet should contain easily digestible meals, but by using supplements to increase mass and nutritional they should provide their body with a reasonable amount of additional calories for the optimal building of lean muscle mass.
Written by Peđa Petrović Ogistra Sports supplements