Cut the Sugar

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Nutrition


My first hand experiences, coupled with all the reading and research I’ve done on sugar the last couple of years has me really down on it’s consumption by anyone at any time.

I honestly believe that it’s not really fit for human consumption.  That is, of course, if optimal health and maximal performance are something that interests you.

It’s been said that one teaspoon of sugar lowers your immune system response for four hours.

Hell, just about anything physical ailment you can think of is made worse by sugar.

Do you have any of the following?

•    A cold
•    Joint pain
•    Adrenal fatigue
•    ADD,
•    Cancer
•    Kidney or liver problems
•    Osteoporosis
•    Chronic fatigue
•    Fungus or parasites (as over 90% of all people do)

Sugar will only increase your suffering and make it harder to get better, no matter what it is you are dealing with. Literally every single organ in the body is negatively affected by sugar.

Like just about every other manmade food, sugar is unhealthy. Now, I know some people think sugar is natural, but it isn’t. Four hundred years ago sugar wasn’t even available. There was no such thing. We ate nothing but wholesome, nutritious foods that came from the earth naturally. The only food that came close was real, raw honey (which looks nothing like the stuff you get in most grocery stores).

One hundred years ago, the average person used to eat four pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average person consumes over 150 pounds of sugar per year, on average, with some people going as high as 295 pounds per year!

No wonder people are fat and sick.

For all of these reasons and countless others, I can no longer, in good conscience, recommend the consumption of sugar anymore. It’s too dangerous and causes far too many health problems.

That means no more pre, during or post workout shakes containing any sort of sugar like dextrose, waxy maize, maltodextrin, etc. People may think and even argue that these aren’t the same as table sugar. But once they get inside the body the adverse health reactions they cause will be the same.

You could still have a high quality, organic protein shake from grass fed whey or brown rice. But skip the sugar. If a guy looking to gain weight needs to add carbs to a protein shake throw a mashed sweet potato or some oats in there.

About a year ago I took the majority of my coaching clients off sugar. I also recommend that most members of the Renegade Inner Circle do the same.

What we have been doing is what everyone from Arthur Saxon to Vince Gironda to Arnold did post workout; simply eating some carbs like rice or potatoes. That’s a far healthier and better option than slugging a big glass of man made sugar.

You could go with something like sushi or some chicken and a sweet potato. Sure, the white rice in the sushi is technically a “faster” carb but I don’t think it will really make any difference in the end. As long as you refill your glycogen stores between the end of your last workout and the start of your next one you’ll be fine. All the crazy hype about the fastest acting carbs and all that is wildly exaggerated.

Truth be told, from what we have learned about the body, pre workout carbs really won’t hit the blood stream for a few hours anyway, so that whole practice is counterproductive and useless. It’s all just marketing hype to sell workout drinks.

I actually have all my coaching clients go into a workout on little to no carbs and then consume the majority of their carbs later in the day after training. There’s literally zero difference in performance. The added benefit is increased GH secretion and improved fat loss over the course of time.

The one situation where I still recommend a simple sugar is in the rare case of the painfully skinny ripped guy who just needs more easily consumed calories. For a few months, just to get the first 15-20 pounds on him, I’d let him do a post workout shake with some Swedish oat starch, then eat a meal with rice or potatoes an hour later. The skinny fat guy (aka a TRUE hardgainer) doesn’t get the same treatment simply because sugar will only make him fatter. Yes, even if it is post workout. Sugar is sugar.

How to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth
I love me some sweets. I can’t lie. So of course I need to find some way to get my fix. That’s why my favorite carbs are organic Garnett yams. When picking them make sure you get the reddest ones you can find. The redder the better. If they’re too yellow they will taste like carrots.

Wrap them tightly in tinfoil and bake in the oven on 450 for 90-120 minutes. When they’re done they should be like baby food and taste like sweet potato pie. I just scoop them out and mash them up with cinnamon. It’s like a dessert.

If you really wanted to get crazy you could mash them up and put them in a bowl in the freezer for a while. Then whip up some raw cream and top them with that for even more of a dessert.

Organic, raw honey is really the only healthy sugar alternative. It has prebiotic, immune and health supporting qualities to it. It can’t be cooked with since it’s unstable in heat. But you can make some delicious raw desserts with it. Something simple like mixing raw honey, raw cream and cocoa powder makes an incredible chocolate mousse.

Organic maple syrup is okay for occasional use in a dessert (like some of the delicious ones we have in the Renegade Recipe Guide) or on pancakes. Agave is not.

The Reality
Listen, I know that not everyone reading this is going to banish sugar from their diets instantly and never touch it again. We’re all going to slip up once in a while at a holiday gathering or a party. Knowing that, I think it’s doubly important to eliminate the regular consumption of workout drinks and other forms of fake sugar. Save it for the special occasions when you want to have a slice of organic pumpkin pie or chocolate cake. That makes a lot more sense. Ideally you’d never even want to do that but that’s probably asking a bit too much. I know I won’t be able to never have another slice of pie from now ‘til eternity.

Just remember, that it’s not remotely healthy and some forward thinking doctors have even classified sugar as a poison.

Let that sink in for a minute and go dump out your bottle of dextrose in the meantime.



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