It Didn’t Take Long…

…for an online “Fitness & Diet” guru (a RICH AND FAMOUS fitness & diet guru) to find a way to monetize the relatively new research backing up the “older people need more protein to maintain muscle mass” thing I was talking about earlier.

You have to admire these guys and gals, at least for their unquenchable self-confidence and their enduring faith that the rest of us are the sheep they’re entitled to fleece.  Last night I watched one of those ads *almost* to the end, because I knew the moment it started the famous guru in question was headed for “older people need more protein”.  His take on it was different from mine, of course, because he had to find a way to transition from what he’s always said (I used to catch him occasionally back when M- was little and I watched more TV–he was on a lot of daytime programming promoting his training videos and and telling everyone they could look like him if only they did these workouts every day…)  to the new gimmick.   He had a sob story intro (always good) about having had an illness that wasted his muscles for awhile and how the reason he looks so good for 61 is that yes, he worked hard, but also…there’s this new discovery.  So even people who can’t exercise, or won’t, can maintain muscle mass.

But of course it’s not as simple as just eating more complete proteins, including plenty of those that contain leucine….no, no, no.  That doesn’t bring HIM any profit.  And anyway, he wants to capture the vegan market, and the protein sources particularly strong in leucine are…um…not vegan.   So part of the video shows him in a lab with several young, attractive people, male and female, and not all white, with the pouring of liquids or powders from this into that, and a magnetic stirrer whizzing things in an Erlenmayer flask, and little digital screens shining bright with mysterious numbers, and twice–TWICE–a chemical formula shown as a stick figure like the models we used in organic chemistry…very nice and scientific, Bubba.   And HE funded the development of the PERFECT mixture of the two chemicals, and HE insisted–INSISTED–on using only the purest and best of those ingredients, never mind the cost to him, and now, NOW, YOU TOO, can consume HIS wonderful, miraculous mixture and in no time at all you’ll have biceps and triceps and glutes of steel and an incredible body just like him.   And, of course, all the ingredients are sourced from plants, so it’s fine for vegans.  If you need hip surgery, you’ll recover quickly, be back up walking in no time, even if you’re old and infirm.  If you can’t pick up a sack of groceries now, soon you’ll be trotting around with three sacks and not even breathing hard.  That sort of thing.   Once again a picture of the pure, powerful, wonder-ingredients being poured from A into B, and a cap being screwed on a large bottle of the final product.

The ingredients?   A metabolite of leucine and Vitamin D.  Nothing wrong with that, basically, because yes, both ingredients do enter into the body’s process of producing muscle.   And the evidence is solid and growing that increasing protein intake as we age is necessary for maintaining or building (or both) muscle mass, and muscle mass is needed to maintain strength and prevent incapacity from weakness.   Exercise alone isn’t quite enough to maintain muscle mass unless you can spend hours at it daily…and most people who are spending hours working on their muscles are also taking protein supplements or eating more protein from foods anyway.   So there’s nothing wrong with the formula as stated in the ad (or “infomercial”), presuming that it contains what was stated,  except failure to mention that you don’t need a bottle of Famous Fitness Guru’s snake oil to accomplish the same thing .   Eat more complete protein (either animal based or combining various plants…that takes a steady application of math), take a Vitamin D supplement or add 15 minutes a day of sun exposure, and you’re done.   And Famous Fitness Guru won’t get a little bit richer at your expense.

Why do I waste my time on things like that?  Because for the last few days of the week I had a sore throat and some other upheavals and staring at the computer screen (because the TV hasn’t worked for years) was, if not therapeutic, at least distracting.   And because I did, at one point understand (OK…recognize, and could slowly dissect) chemical formulae.

This afternoon, after an early nap, I woke up feeling much better, which better feeling was improved even more when something I’d ordered online arrived and…it FIT.    (A splurge for reaching the halfway point:  Kerrits had a sale, at their website, on a mid-weight riding tight for chilly weather.   We’re supposedly going into the upper 30sF tonight, too.   My incipient migraine also fled with the higher pressure and dry air,  and after feeding horses I actually tried jogging (very slowly) across the north horse lot.  Would’ve made it twice except that Tigger panicked twice at the awful sight.  (Rags?   You know the answer.   Kept on munching his hay and eyed Tig’s with interest when Tigger shied away from it.)   But in Tigger’s  mind I am not supposed to run past him at any distance, or toward him (albeit on the other side of a fence!) at all.   I will check them later tonight and if they’re bothered (they weren’t last year) at this first real chilly night, they’ll get an extra flake of hay each.   Grass is still green in their enclosure (thanks to the rain) and very, very short (thanks to them).   Tomorrow the weather changes, the N/NW wind (breeze, very light this afternoon) switching back to E and then SE  and bringing back the Gulf airmass…by Tuesday we’ll be at 79F for a high with the nights back up in the 60s, and then here come the 80s again.


4 thoughts on “It Didn’t Take Long…

  1. Gotta love these people who promote drinking something made with some random powder as better than eating real food. Poor Tigger! Momma out there scaring him.

    1. Leslie…exactly. Some powder or “smoothie” or handful of pills that you’re paying for at a higher rate than real food. But then I’ve been crosswise with dieticians since they started attacking real foods (esp. the ones I like!) as unhealthy, often ignoring the contributions of that food even if (LARGE if) the thing they were attacking it for really did what they said. Take eggs for instance. “Nobody should have more than three whole eggs a week…egg yolks make you fat and stuff your arteries with cholesterol.” No, they don’t. Egg yolks contain minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, zinc. Egg yolks contain vitamins: Vitamin A, B6, B12, E, D, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin. Both yolks and whites of eggs contain the essential amino acids, but eggs contain more Leucine than the whites, even though the whites contain more protein overall.

      I’m still annoyed at myself for having foolishly acquiesced in the “eat fewer eggs, esp. whole eggs” thing some years back…now that I’m back to eating 2 eggs for breakfast, it’s not just the overall protein boost–it’s the rest of egg nutrition–that’s given more energy, less hunger, fewer cravings, and contributed to the ability to walk farther, even jog some, and begin to see biceps and deltoids on my arms (the chicken wing flap, however, hasn’t budged yet. And yet, I’m doing triceps stuff too.) I should never have switched to the “high fiber cereal breakfast”.

      I carefully did my short (to stay out of Tig’s sight) jogging today where he couldn’t see me. I would strongly prefer to jog in the empty-of-horses horse lot because the grass is very short and the ground more level…about all there is to dodge–fire ant beds. I can jog in there and not worrying about stepping on a snake in the grass or stepping in a hoof-hole (or other hole out on the big field) or tripping on something. With the cooler weather, Tigger and Rags were both VERY energetic about protesting my failure to stuff them with food and horse cookies to the extent they want.

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