- June 22, 2022
'You Need Carbs for Muscle Growth and Performance' | Falsehoods of Fitness
Are carbohydrates essential for gaining and using muscle? The systematic review by Menno Henselmans indicates otherwise. Menno joins Dr. John Jaquish in this video to talk about the overconsumption of carbohydrates and how it affects the effectiveness of strength training.
Dr. John Jaquish: So Menno, so happy to have you here.
Menno Henselmans: My pleasure.
Dr. John Jaquish: We’re gonna talk a little bit today about the overuse of carbohydrates, which you are an expert in. And I think you wrote the best paper I’ve ever read on that subject. Also, in case I forget, “The Science of Self Control” is your book and I just started it and it looks totally rad. Also pretty much everybody I know who’s anywhere in the nutrition space that talks about having to control your appetite have recommended your book. So your book is coming all directions. So happy to have you.
Menno Henselmans: Nice, yeah, and thank you very much for the compliment.
Dr. John Jaquish: Well you wrote the paper. It’s awesome.
Menno Henselmans: Yeah, both took a long time but I’m really pleased with the results and the reception so far.
Dr. John Jaquish: So my first question, was a meta-analysis. Was this your first meta-analysis?
Menno Henselmans: First systematic review that we published, we didn’t run the stats on the meta officially, but we made it a full systematic review. I didn’t think it was worth actually going into what’s statistically significant because the findings were so overwhelming.
For example, for the control of calories versus not, a clear finding was, it’s really all of the studies, finding carbohydrates have benefits for performance are not calorie-controlled. So we cannot say whether it was the calories or the carbohydrates that really make them perform better, like, all of them. So there isn’t a single study, literally, there isn’t a single study, a high-quality study, that’s calorie-controlled between groups that find that a higher carbohydrate intake outperforms a lower carbohydrate intake for strength performance, or muscle growth, for that matter.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s shocking.
Menno Henselmans: Yeah, especially because there have been numerous papers and this is also why I wanted to write the review, numerous papers and I’m sure, you know so many experts, many of them very well-intentioned, well-read, well-educated, that recommend super high carbohydrate intakes. So like in literature you’ll find ranges up to 10 gram per kilogram, which I’m about 95 kilogram when bulking, so 950 grams of carbohydrates would be the recommendation for me. It’s insane, exactly.
Dr. John Jaquish: Insane. Absolutely insane. And you’re gonna get so fat eating that.
Menno Henselmans: Yeah, even half of that would be wildly excessive. So I mean, I’d have trouble even fitting that into my calories. Like, that’s 4,000 calories just from the carbs.
Dr. John Jaquish: How do you even fit that in your stomach through the course of a day?
Menno Henselmans: Yeah, that too. Well, with sushi I would manage, but.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure, and that’s what got me so excited about your paper. Like I had read so many things that advocated for higher carbohydrate and then I come across athletes all the time that they’re really interested in eating high carbohydrate, and also let’s be honest, they’re not excited about eating more salads, they want dense carbohydrates.
Menno Henselmans: Yeah always starches.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, so it’s like, you know, they might call that flexible or whatever, but it’s like, you’re just eating garbage and you’re gonna look like garbage, and feel like garbage, because that’s not what your body needs. And so when you came out with your paper, just the small amount of carbohydrates and the high impact that that can have, like you just really don’t need that much. And in fact, I mean, if somebody wants to sustain ketosis, they probably can and still eat that small amount of carbohydrate.
Now, some people don’t care about that. Some people think that’s the most powerful thing in the world and mm, maybe, well, no, it’s not the most powerful thing in the world. It’s a good thing from time to time. So I really was excited about that.
Now my book, “Weightlifting is a Waste of Time” that published a little over a year ago and I did not have your reference. When I reedit this book, I’m putting your reference in there as opposed to one that’s there. And it said something like, and I mean, I had to just sort of pick something. And the reason I was looking to- ‘Cause a little bit before, I didn’t recommend really any carbohydrates, I was just kind of pure carnivore, but I realized that that’s unrealistic for most people. They just don’t want to do it. And so, if a diet is so good nobody will do it it’s not good at all.
So ultimately like, and I mean, hey, how many physicians have you talked to it’s just like compliance? Like if the drug gives you heartburn, if the pill gives you heartburn, patient’s not gonna take it. So, we gotta find another way. That was one of my initial experiences in medical device industry. People didn’t want to take bisphosphate drugs for their bone density losses because they had some pretty bad side effects. And then they came up with an injectable version and people still didn’t feel very well.
And so there was an opportunity there to have a physical medicine intervention, which is what I developed as many, that’s Osteostrong, that’s my first thing. So I just really going back and looking at what do we actually need? And oh, and I wanted to recommend some carbohydrates just for practicality so people would follow it. But also if we’re to induce hyperplasia, so I have people doing something that’s vasodilation type property, so they can take Epimedium if they don’t want to have a prescription for like Viagra, or Cialis, or something like that. ‘Cause most people don’t wanna bother get a prescription, but there are vasodilators out there, nitrous oxide is another one of them.
So they would do that, then they would ingest, you know, I had like half their body weight in grams of carbohydrate, and then do a workout. So they really over hydrate the muscle and then they stretch. And so there’s a few studies that suggested this is gonna cause muscle cells to split and people have had some, well, let’s see, it was Jose Antonio, Professor Jose Antonio, that that was his dissertation. And so I followed along with that and recommended sort of all these things together, but I would always feel like garbage when I had that much carbohydrate. Like you’d think based on what we- You know, people tell us, oh, carbohydrates are energy. Yeah, maybe.
But I mean, I know when I’m accustomed to not having a lot of carbohydrates, then I do it pre-workout, I feel awful. I have the worst workout ever. But if I had maybe of glucose tablets, I feel great, but that’s not much. And so yeah, your paper was like, man, this is what I needed to see, ‘cause this just hadn’t really been shown yet. And some of those papers.
Menno Henselmans: That’s basically what we recommend in our paper.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I recommend your paper to everybody. And yeah, I think that is probably gonna be, at least my like position stand on that subject because it just doesn’t make you feel like crap. Also, it’s not gonna affect triglycerides very much. So some of these people who are dieting, they’ve got higher low density lipoprotein.
In fact, the highest your LDL goes is when you’re fasting or just burning body fat, even through a caloric deficit. Because you’re using fat as fuel. So the LDL goes up. But then when you also have high triglycerides, that’s like a recipe for a stroke. Because what happens is these people, they’re trying to lose a bunch of body fat and then let’s say they decide to have like a cheat meal or whatever and it’s just massive carbohydrates, like wow, I don’t think that’s a great idea. I think you could actually be like on the edge of triggering a stroke. Maybe I’m overreactive about that, but I know that following your recommendation, no one’s gonna have an issue with that. Does that make sense?
Menno Henselmans: I think our recommendations are pretty similar in the sense that we do recommend some carbs because it’s more like to be safe than sorry, and also practical. So in the paper, we recommend 15 gram net carbs pre workouts which is not much, it’s very easy too. And it doesn’t even have to be like glucose tablets. A lot of people always like go to these things, and it can definitely work, but it can even be fruit, vegetables.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure.
Menno Henselmans: Like anything that
Dr. John Jaquish: In my book can do the job. I recommend rice ‘cause everybody can find rice, I don’t care where the hell you are.
Menno Henselmans: It all pretty much ends up as glucose anyway in the body.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right. Yeah and that’s kind of what I was going for. And then, you know, for the people who are really concerned about oxalates, like rice really doesn’t have that. There’s not a lot of anti-nutrients in rice. So yeah, I feel like that’s-
Menno Henselmans: Yeah, there’s interesting research that white rice actually results in higher protein balance than whole grain rice. And that’s likely because of the antinutrients that reduce the protein absorption.
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah, I didn’t know what to make of that study. And I didn’t know whether to like post it to the fans because it’s like, am I just gonna confuse everybody here? Sometimes it’s like something really important, but if I say rice, people are like, okay, it’s rice. But then if I go into the weeds and explain it’s like am I just gonna have people look at all this stuff and say I’ll just go buy weight gainer?
Menno Henselmans: Hmm, yeah, I mean, you don’t need rice, you don’t need weight gainer, it can be-
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, weight gainer is horrible. I don’t even know why they still make that.
Menno Henselmans: Because people buy it.
Dr. John Jaquish: They will buy it, exactly.
Menno Henselmans: You can sell people the biggest crap for the price of steak and you call it weight gainer.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, it’s a absolute tragedy what is sold in nutrition space. Now one thing- So I got a little bit different take on intermittent fasting than I think some. So I tell people there may not be any magic as far as the energy deficit, energy deficit may be the same. Now I think there’s a curve ball when it comes to dry fasting. Because like my calories, my basal metabolic rate plus activity is 3,300 or at least that’s as good as the calculator’s gonna gimme. I mean, who knows how right that is, but it’s probably right around there.
I think that when you- You can get aggressive with a deficit with a couple of fasted days, like let’s say I wanna go three and a half days fasted and then eat maintenance calories the rest of the week. Well, 50% energy restriction over the course of a week, if you try to do that every day, you’d have a metabolic adaptation, which means weight loss would stop working after a period of time. But you would feel horrible. But when you’re fasted, you’re not hungry. So I do 72 hours, I don’t do three and a half days, but I do 72 hours dry fasted when I want to drop body fat. And like, that’s awesome. But I also-
Menno Henselmans: I think a lot of people misunderstood my last post on fasting. To me, like fasting doesn’t work. And the study doesn’t say fasting doesn’t work. The study says fasting works because it induces an energy deficit.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure.
Menno Henselman: Exactly. I want to dispel the notion that it’s magical in that regard or that you have to fast.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right, right. It’s a, yeah, if you prefer calorie deficit, you prefer a more normal every day, which some people would. Especially like the dry fasting’s great, but if you work outside in the heat, no, you cannot do dry fasting.
Menno Henselman: Yeah that will not be prudent.
Dr. John Jaquish: No, I tell everybody, if you even get hot at your office, don’t dry fast, you know, dry fast over the weekends or something like that. There’s a study, I’m sure you’ve read this one, it was done in Germany by a couple of Germans and Greeks. And the name’s just not coming to me right now, but it’s a Greek name so I’d probably ruin it anyway. But they did five day dry fasts. And there was a follow up study where they replicated it.
Menno Henselman: That’s a long fast.
Dr. John Jaquish: Especially with no liquids.
Menno Henselman: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: And funny thing, like after a day, you just don’t even think about it. I’m actually dry fasted, let’s see, about 60 hours right now.
Menno Henselman: Really? Wow.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, I’m fine, I’m fine. And, you know, I noticed little things like, you know, the level of hydration, like my hands don’t look as vascular as they normally do or whatever. But I did this the first time I did it, measured the volume of my urine each day, same amount of urine every day.
Menno Henselman: Sorry?
Dr. John Jaquish: Same amount of urine every day.
Menno Henselman: That’s interesting, yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Well so then taking the water from our only nonvascular tissue that we drag around, body fat. So it works really well. But what I think the mistake people are making is they’re trying to get away with tiny fasts that don’t really do anything. And then they go and eat too much. So it’s like, yeah. I mean, if you’re you’re metabolic rate plus activities, like me, like 3,300 and you just eat 3,300 calories at the end of the day, and you skip the first two meals, like you did nothing.
Menno Henselman: Yeah that’s what most people have with Ramadan where they
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, oh and have all these treats they eat like, and feast at night and it’s like, man.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, most people end up maintaining, which is actually still surprising considering how much junk they eat and they still maintained their body composition.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Well, yeah, they only have a certain window to be able to eat. So the sun has to be down.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, exactly. They do a lot in short time.
Dr. John Jaquish: Northern living Muslims, if you’re a Muslim and you live in London your Ramadan day is quite a bit shorter than it is in the middle east. ‘Cause it’s different, hemisphere’s different sunlight. And so they sometimes only have like a couple hours to eat before they gotta go to bed and they’re doing better because they don’t have so much time to eat all the junk food they want to get in the middle of the night.
Yeah, I think that’s- Well, I mean let’s face it, they’re not doing it for health. They’re doing it for the religious experience and you know, hey, they’ve given us more fasting data than anybody else ‘cause it’s like 1 1/2 billion Muslims do it every year and people aren’t getting hurt by it. So I lean on that quite a bit. I got a lot of great references from some Middle Eastern journals. Now of course the Middle Eastern journals don’t have the same standards that the Western journals do, but they’re getting better. And then every once in a while you see something in a Western journal, you’re like, wow, who was on the peer review team for that? I ask myself quite often. that question a lot. I’m sure you do too.
Menno Henselman: Yep.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, like some of the, have you noticed like how much, it’s ‘cause of coronavirus, but we have a lot more research about just airborne viruses. And it’s like, if you write a paper about an airborne virus and you pick the wrong statistical test, I don’t think anyone cares. It’s getting published because each journal wants the maximum amount of content about that. And so the paper quality has just gone down. Have you noticed that at all? Kinda?
Menno Henselman: I’m not an expert on viruses, but I do notice- A main thing I noticed is that there was a big slump in research. I mean my own paper that was almost finished, we are actually doing a study on faster training and fasting as well with Andie Galpin and the last cohort was like in the last weeks of being done and then the Corona pandemic hit, and the lockdowns, and everything and it completely messed it up, completely confounded everything because everyone couldn’t train anymore, their whole schedules changed. So now we’re still trying to rerun that cohort.
So that completely messed up our study. And I know from a lot of people that’s happened. So there’s also been actually the downside that is often not discussed of the pandemic and the lockdowns is the damage it did to research ‘cause it messed up so much research.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure. Oh, anything that was at a university now all of a sudden people can’t go to the university.
Menno Henselman: Yep.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, I had that challenge also. There’s a couple things that I’m trying to have done. When they close the university it’s never like the sports performance department, the nutrition department, the endocrinology department, they don’t call and say, yeah, I don’t do that. They just have to do it. So yeah, that was annoying. Well now have you been in Portugal the entire time during coronavirus?
Menno Henselman: No, no. Mostly in Brazil and Mexico, but I have had four lockdowns in various countries.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. We won’t talk about the research on lockdowns. When you finish that meta-analysis, or the systematic review, was there anything that you wished you had got in there, I mean like you said, there are no metrics on what the calorie controls were. And so like that’s like gigantic question mark, but I mean you couldn’t do anything about it.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, I mean, I think the fact that it’s still overwhelmingly in favor against carbs. So no matter how you look at the research, no matter which category we looked at, which timeframe, the majority of studies found no beneficial effects on higher carbo intakes. And then you’re looking at few categories where I think there could be an actual influence of carbs, not just a psychological one, but an actual one.
And that’s basically people that train twice a day, athletes that do endurance and strength training, people that do more than 10 sets per muscle group per session, which is interesting, if you do like the more broken up kind of workouts, old schools, then actually you might need the carbs a little bit. It’s not a big difference, but it might have an effect. Again, though in the only calorie control study by they found no effect even up to 15 sets for one muscle group. But it’s not a category I’m particularly interested in because I’m generally a proponent of higher frequency training.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, me neither. and you let it recover.
Menno Henselman: Yeah I don’t have my clients do like 15 plus sets per muscle group per session anyway.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, that’s even higher volume than I go. More than that we talk about. So like someone wants to be low carbohydrate, they do 20 minute weight workout, six days a week. You talk about replenishing glycogen in pretty much the first, I think you mentioned like 15 grams of let’s say glucose or a carbohydrate’s gonna convert into glucose, you’re really kind of there. Is that correct?
Menno Henselman: Yeah, I think so because we have three direct studies on sort of the dose response and overall in the literature, it’s very clear there’s no dose response effects. Which is a big red flag, right? The idea is that you need the carbs for energy and therefore you would expect that the more carbs you need, the more energy you have, thus the better you perform. But it doesn’t pan out that way at all. Like there is no dose response effects in literature and it’s because you typically just don’t deplete enough glycogen during your workouts. The highest reported value in the entire literature, and there’s a lot of papers, is 41%.
And so in one session you’re almost never gonna burn for all of your glycogen. Now maybe if you’re going into the 15 plus set range, then you might deplete glycogen levels enough in some of your type two muscle fibers, but again, I think that’s not a category people should train in anyway. It’s not super practical.
And then afterwards, if you look at the values of glycogen resynthesis, which can occur from the glycerol backbone of triglycerides or via a Cori cycle where the lactates, the pump that you get in workouts, there’s a lot of lactate production. It can effectively be recycled back to glucose.
So the body has very effective mechanisms in place to resynthesize glycogen without actually needing dietary carbohydrates. And then if you look at the levels that glycogen resynthesis occurs in people that are even fasted, like completely fasted, it’s still within the range where you say, oh, look after a normal workout, this would take about 24 hours to recover.
So even if you’re training them also every day, which I do in some high frequency programs, they show complete resynthesis. And that’s why if you look at the studies, the longer term studies, actually the evidence became more and more convincing. Like the longer the timeframe you look at in research studies, the more convincing the evidence that there’s no effect whatsoever. I think in our long term category of studies up to three months, which is about as long as most of these studies go ‘cause you typically have college athletes and whatever, it’s I think it was 17 studies, 15 found no benefit. And then it was actually one to one, one found the benefits of higher carbs and one actually favored lower carbs, so cancel that out, it’s basically a complete wash, like no evidence for in favor of higher carbohydrates.
Dr. John Jaquish: Man, I know, Sorry, I have a little allergy problem here. I live in California, we get a lot of plants and they make a lot of pollen. So God, that’s such a breath of fresh air because so many people who, I mean, really, they just want to eat candy, like whatever. Like all the time somebody will, just this morning, somebody posted on our forum, the X3 Users Group forum, they posted some about like donuts.
Like last thing I would eat. What? And the problem with a donut isn’t just, if you want to have a one donut, can you have one donut? I suppose, but then you’re gonna want to eat the rest of them too. You’re not gonna want to eat one. And it just switches your insulin on in a way that’s so up regulated so quickly that you lose control and that’s when people really fall, right?
Menno Henselman: Yeah, that’s exactly what I talk about in my book actually, where people think they have a very naive notional food cravings, where they feel like if you eat a little bit, the craving’s gone. But actually it’s the opposite. The best way to kill a craving is to starve it. Like you don’t eat something and then the craving disappears and research is super, super clear on this. That people that need low carb, for example, they lose their carb cravings, ‘cause they never eat them.
Whereas if you eat a carb, it doesn’t matter how much you eat, that’s another interesting finding. If you eat one donut or you eat 10 donuts, the increasing cravings for donuts is actually the same because it’s not about the physical process of consuming it. It’s about the fact that you trigger the mental representation, you’re now thinking of donuts again, you re-triggered the taste of donuts.
So next time you think of what to eat, donuts come up. Whereas if you never have donuts for you, for example, if you think about what to eat, it’s not like you’re gonna think, oh, shall I eat a donut? No, it doesn’t even cross your mind ‘cause you never eat it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, I tell people don’t look at that as food. Like that’s not food. That’s designed to be addictive. Here’s another question, this may actually be, I just thought of this, but this may be one of the more important ones. How addictive are carbohydrates by comparison to let’s say some recreational drugs?
So there’s some literature out there. I posted one, just a study on Instagram, that showed that sugar has many of the similar addictive properties and the compliance with avoiding is about as bad between cocaine and carbohydrates. And, man, I got a lot of angry people coming at me about that. How dare you? Like eating an apple is not the same. It’s like, all right, well an apple and a donut are not the same either.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, there’s a big difference there.
Dr. John Jaquish: I mean, there’s that. But what do you think about those addictive properties? Is that accurate or is there-
Menno Henselman: Well, I studied psychology, so I generally stick to the very narrow definition of an addiction in terms of, as that’s what occurs with cocaine, with do with dopamine desensitization, decreased serotonin levels, and that doesn’t occur with food. So I’d say that there’s actually no food that’s addictive in the strict medical sense. But we can reinforcing value.
And there was a recent study that actually found that carbohydrates have greater reinforcing value and influenced the brain pathways more than fat. But overall, I think it’s more about palatability. I think starches, because when we’re talking about carbs, or you say like big difference between apple and donuts, I think nobody gets addicted to cauliflower or even apples for that matter.
So more about the palatability where starches are just so palatable that people want to eat them and they generally have low self control and they’re not capable of managing their self-control, which is much more important than having it, I think. And as a result, they’re constantly eating starches.
So I wouldn’t say they’re addictive, but they are very easy to overeat on. Everybody likes them, they’re very easy to eat. And I noticed it as well after a long period of having basically no starches at all, I started having some starches again and I found out that I was sort of craving them, even though I didn’t like them. Like as a kid already, I thought I don’t really get why people eat pasta because like pasta itself has barely any taste, right? Rice too.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right, it’s almost like eating nothing.
Menno Henselman: Just plain rice, plain pasta, exactly. It’s like cardboard. I mean, if you cook it well and everything it has a little bit of taste, but not much, not like meat.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah but it’s usually the meat sauce you put on it that’s what you want.
Menno Henselman: Exactly. So it doesn’t even taste good on its own. It’s mostly sort of the texture, and I don’t know, just so very easy to eat, just hyper palatable. So I think that’s the issue mostly.
Dr. John Jaquish: Mm, I like that. Probably like certain things. I know when people switch over to a more kind of carnivore type nutrition, they really miss crunchy stuff.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, crunchy stuff is a tough one.
Dr. John Jaquish: It is. ‘Cause there’s really nothing you can say to ’em.
Menno Henselman: Exactly. Crunchy by definition means super calorically dense because crunchy means it’s devoid of all fluids. So basically you’re left with pure energy. So if people say I want something crunchy, then the it’s basically the definition of crunchy includes crucifers vegetables or something, which are also crunchy, but they’re more like watery crunchy, then you’re pretty much out of luck.
And the only way to get over that is not to have crunchy stuff anymore because it’s unnatural. Like crunchy stuff doesn’t really exist in nature. Like maybe nuts are as close as it gets. Or, like I said, certain vegetables. So like the process crap that we now have in supermarkets and everything, it’s completely unnatural. So there’s no way to tell people like, oh yeah, you know, you can have crunchy stuff and eat as much as you want it’s gonna be healthy, or whatever.
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s not. Well, what I notice is like people go for health bars that are made out of like nuts that are compressed together with they say it’s honey, but it’s not sticky. So it’s really like 1% honey and 99% caramel, you know? So it’s just like a sugar shitstorm.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, pure energy.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, it’s like that’s not good for you. Don’t don’t be fooled just ‘cause it says nature on the package, no.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, even the protein bars. And the also the issue is it kind of defeats the point unless you’re consuming it for the energy, like if you’re a high level athlete or something and you just need the calories.
But for most people, the issue is when you’re bringing a bar somewhere to eat, the issue is you want to satiate yourself so that you’re not hungry, but those bars don’t do it at all. And protein bars actually have the same issue where you eat a protein bar, if they’re nice protein bars you can eat 10 and then you still overeat.
And if you’re not nice protein bars, then you ate something that you did like, which wasn’t healthy, because most protein bars are also crap. And, yeah, you got your protein in. Okay, great. But you’re still hungry. So good chance you’re still gonna overeat.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. I mean a lot of protein powders they put like what they call a minimal amount of carbohydrates, but then you look at the package and it’s like, how is that minimal? It was like
Menno Henselman: That ain’t chicken.
Dr. John Jaquish: 40 Grams of sugar in one serving, like that’s not minimal. Like you went outta your way to put as much in there. Here’s another problem I run into is a lot of people think supplements should taste like candy. high-quality
Yeah, I mean, if you have a high-quality protein, one of the products that I manufacture and sell is it’s called Fortagen, it’s an essential amino acid, sort of map ratio, it’s a little bit sweetened with stevia, it doesn’t taste like a delicious dessert you’d have at a fancy restaurant, it doesn’t taste bad either, but I notice that people really want everything to taste like candy. And boy, that’s just the wrong mentality, I think.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, it’s funny with caffeine, I recommend anhydrous caffeine to a lot of people because it’s super cheap, it’s like pure caffeine basically, anhydrous caffeine, And it’s, in research, the most effective way to ingest caffeine, like to enhance performance, it’s more effective than coffee or other forms. But people really don’t like it. You can have it in pills, but if you even get the pill half-open, or I use powder because then it’s literally like free and you do need to dose it accurately, but you use a small spoon or whatever measuring scale. And the thing is it’s disgusting. It’s not just bad, it’s absolutely disgusting. And it makes you wonder, say caffeine is so much better than caffeinated caffeine because if you taste pure caffeine, it is really bad, like worse than paracetamal bad. It’s like a level of bitter that does not exist in nature.
Dr. John Jaquish: Whoa, okay. How many, I mean, I don’t know if it’s equivalent to what we would drink. I went caffeine free for about six months and then reintroduced and I’ll have maybe like 100 milligrams of caffeine in the morning.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, I recommend the same.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, ‘cause once you desensitize and reintroduce it just a tiny bit does exactly what a lot used to do.
Menno Henselman: The vast majority of people are massively, like alcohol actually, by medical terms, most people or many people are alcoholics and a lot of people are addicted to caffeine, or again, like a caffeine addiction is, again, a little bit fake, but you have to withdraw symptoms afterwards if they don’t take it and there’s big tolerance.
So tolerance and withdrawal are typically characterized as two big symptoms of actual addiction. But then nobody wants to hear that, you know? And in caffeine it’s probably as benign as it gets for an addiction, so it’s not as big of a problem as other types of addictions. But still, I think a lot of people would be better off moderating their consumption, a lot more and using it strategically rather than just living all off it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, yeah. It’s something that if you use it when you need it, it’s wonderful. If you just use it all the time, then it’s really not doing much.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, that’s another thing with supplement mentality where people have- So I’m a proponent of phenibut, for example, I think it’s useful to reduce anxiety. One of the few supplements that’s still a supplement, it’s basically a drug, but it’s still characterized as a supplement in many places, although increasingly harder to get. But it actually works. Like it decreases anxiety. And then people ask me like, okay, like how much can I take? Do I just take it every day? And it’s like, no, it’s a drug. Like when do you take it? When do you take an anxiety lowering drug? When you want
Dr. John Jaquish: When you have anxiety. less anxiety. Exactly.
Menno Henselman: Like if you’re going public speaking, maybe you want a little bit more, but if you’re just gonna sit home on the couch, watch Netflix, you should not need an anxiety lowering drug.
Dr. John Jaquish: Also if Netflix gives you anxiety, you might need to talk to a therapist.
Menno Henselman: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s supposed to be entertainment. We got an anxiety problem in society now too.
Menno Henselman: Well after COVID we have a lot of mental health issues. I think the statistics show that over 50% of the population had what are psychologically significant mental health issues. but a lot of people had loneliness, and a lot of issues.
Dr. John Jaquish: Wow. How do people come out of that?
Menno Henselman: Well, no more lockdowns, that definitely helps. But yeah, just getting back into your normal life, mainly.
Dr. John Jaquish: People need to be around other people. I mean, psychology’s not in my field, but I have read that very many times. Like you can’t-
Menno Henselman: Yeah, it’s literal. It’s one of the most shocking findings was in World War II, I think it was, they did experiments. I’m not sure if it was the Nazis or other researchers, probably the Nazis. They had experiments on babies where they didn’t give ’em any human attention. They made sure there were well fed, they basically have ’em raised by robots, and the majority of those babies died. Like they flat out died and that’s-
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, that sounds like a Nazi thing. I don’t think the Allies did that.
Menno Henselman: Yeah. But that’s an insane finding, right? It’s like human beings, or at least babies, die despite being amply physically taken care of just because they lack any social stimulus. That’s crazy.
Dr. John Jaquish: That is crazy. Damn. I mean, you think about when they put like prisoners in solitary confinement. I read one of those papers. It just seemed like it would be interesting to me and those people were just tortured. Like apparently that’s the worst thing you could do to somebody as far as-
Menno Henselman: Yeah, I can imagine.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Yeah, hmm, very interesting. During coronavirus, people were using their X3s at home and you know, they still didn’t have that social interaction ‘cause it’s like, you know, they didn’t have to go to the gym ‘cause they had an X3 at home, which is great, but they still needed- So I think some of ’em started getting together and doing X3 together like two or three guys at one guy’s house, so I think that helps. That was a thing that was discussed on the discussion board.
But of course I didn’t want it to become too popular of a subject because then it’s like, well is Facebook gonna shut me down for that? That was just sort of an interesting, you gotta be careful. Sometimes you don’t know you’re breaking the rules ‘cause they just decided to make a new rule based on what they saw you were doing.
Menno Henselman: I guess they could do like, yeah, you’re promoting social gatherings.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, right. Like I didn’t want anyone to like accuse that. And it did not end up being that big of a problem because there was always somebody who was like having a concert, or something really egregious. So it was like that was the things that people were complaining about, they weren’t complaining about-
Menno Henselman: Including government officials in every possible country.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, it’s great when you see the officials not wearing masks at a social gathering right in the middle of the pandemic. It was very embarrassing for them, or at least it should have been. And it was pretty much the same, like worldwide, like governments everywhere.
Menno Henselman: In the Sao Paulo, where I was at the time for, I think it was Christmas and New Year, the governor locked up the state and people joked like most people lock up their home before they leave and he locks up the state, and then he went to Miami without a lockdown and he just went there to have a holiday.
Dr. John Jaquish: Wow.
Menno Henselman: Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: So he’s probably not gonna get reelected?
Menno Henselman: Well, unfortunately, I’m not sure about that. There’s actually even a chance he could become president.
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh.
Menno Henselman: It’s just people forget quickly and many people, yeah, it depends what the popular news channels show ‘cause CNN and everything, there are lots of things that happen they would just never even cover.
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, okay. Yeah, it’s just like CNN here. Yeah. Very selective coverage. Depends on who they like. If they don’t like them, you know like if Trump did that, it would be like front page of every paper. But if somebody else did that that they like, it’s just like, didn’t happen.
Well this is great man. I mean, I got all my questions answered. I gotta send you a copy of “Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time”. I’m reading your book. So I feel like I’m gonna have a lot of questions.
Maybe we can do this again. I can like write down a bunch of questions about what I get from your book and I’ll send you mine. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of stuff. Well, you’re familiar with Variable resistance, so this is not gonna be like a big curve ball. And also I try and point out, like the title was meant to really get people’s attention. “Weightlifting’s a Waste of Time”, hundreds of thousands of people bought the book.
If I had called it like “The X3 Method” or something nobody would’ve bought it. It’s just like, what’s that? I don’t care. So the graphic on the cover of your book is that kind of good marketing. Like it’s an elephant- I wish I had the copy of the book, it’s at my place. But you know, there’s like the teeter totter where there’s an elephant and then a brain on the other end. And so, it’s like we gotta get it to balance.
Menno Henselman: The brain’s heavier than the elephant is the metaphor. Which sort of is to say that like being smarter is more important than being strong, which is a big part of the book. Which a shown in research even that it’s not about having self-control and having all of discipline, it’s much more about being smart with it and not having to rely on it.
Dr. John Jaquish: Mm.
Menno Henselman: Yeah, if you look, for example, more successful students, or in general people that are more successful in life, they rely less on self-control even if they have more self-control. So it just avoids temptations rather than, like with what we talked about with carbs, if you you’re prone to find certain carbs hyper palatable and they don’t fit your diet, then it’s easier actually not to eat them often and consciously decide like these foods are not worth it for me than to occasionally have them, because then you always have the temptation. And if they’re in your cupboard, and if you’re hungry, you’re going to the supermarket, those kind of things, you end up buying it, if you end up buying it, you’re gonna end up eating.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Like when you go to my house, all that’s in the refrigerator, like I don’t keep meat very long ‘cause I eat it quick. It’s just steak. I don’t really have anything else. I have beef stock if I’m gonna do like rice, ‘cause I’ll cook the rice and the beef stock, that’s an amazing flavor. And I get a little bit of rice. I do that right after a workout if I don’t do the pre-workout carbohydrates. But that’s like it, like I don’t have snack foods because I eat them.
Menno Henselman: Yes, they might have a total bodybuilder fridge, like only a few food items, or variety than just meat, but just a few food items, and then lots of oil, and then Tupperware containers with prepped food.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yep. Yeah, that’s perfect, I love it. All right, man. Well, thanks. I’m gonna be in touch about the book and let’s do this again, this was fun.
Menno Henselman: Sure, my pleasure. Let’s talk again.
Dr. John Jaquish: All right, All right, my pleasure. Dr. Henselmans, thank you. Awesome, all right. Have a good day.
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