10 Health and Fitness Myths Debunked

We are in an era where we are consistently fed fitness advice. But how much of what we hear and read is true? That’s why we have broken down some of the most popular training and diet myths which you may not have been aware are false:

  • You need to eat fruit to be healthy

This misconception has us filling up on fruits which are generally high in fructose; this form of sugar is stored in the liver, not the muscles. If you want to lose fat and keep lean, reach for vegetables instead which have higher amounts of vitamins, minerals and anti-cancer properties. Generally when we fill up on fruit, we don’t manage to fit in as many vegetables as we should.


When it comes to fruit juice, stay well away from these if your aim is to build lean muscle and lower your fat percentage. They are just as unhealthy as a sugary drink, with a whopping 21g of sugar in a glass of orange juice (248g).

This is pure orange juice, not taking into consideration that the juice you find at the supermarket may not be what you think it is, even with a “100% pure” and “not from concentrate” label.

After being squeezed, the juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted storage tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. The main problem is that it tends to remove most of the flavour, so the manufacturers needs to add “flavour packs”to bring back the taste that was lost during processing.

  • Carbs are the enemy

We read everywhere that carbs are what’s wrong with this world. Yes, excessive carb intake will lead to putting on the pounds but a minimal amount is necessary for your body to use as fuel for intense workouts and to help brain function. After all, Your body can be ketonic but your brain can’t. Short durations of very low carb intake can help burn fat stores but it is not sustainable in the long run. There is a time and a place though; the only times to eat simple carbs is as soon as you wake up and straight after a workout.

  • You need to stay away from eating fat to lose fat

Fats have been given a bad name, but wrongly so; Your muscle growth will be very limited if you refrain from keeping fats in your diet. They help to balance hormone levels, use vitamins effectively, and fats such as medium chain triglycerides (the fat source in coconut oil) is shown to increase metabolism, effectively burning up more fat reserves

medium chain triglycerides

  • Weightlifting causes high blood pressure

People with hypertrophy have been warned to stay away from weightlifting as it can cause higher blood pressure. Findings show that it can actually lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by two and four percent respectively. According to American Heart Association , it only takes three to four sessions a week to see the benefits.

  • Lifting weights decreases flexibility

A study in ‘the journal of strength and conditioning research’ has shown otherwise, with findings that it increases flexibility as well as static stretching. The trick is to use a full range of motion when you are lifting weights.


  • Machines help you grow bigger than free weights

Due to the isolation movements and targeting specific muscles as opposed to hitting all the surrounding muscles, free weights are king when it comes to muscle growth and strength gains. Another element is balance; it takes more effort and muscle stimulation to keep the weights balanced when lifting your set. One study shows that squats with free weights produced 43 percent more muscle activity in the quads than squats using the smith machine.

  • The more protein you eat, the more muscle you gain

Consuming the right amount of protein is probably the most important aspect of weightlifting because the more you train, the more protein you will need to help your muscles recover from tearing in the gym. You can calculate how much protein you need here but to consume much more than the recommended amount can be taxing on your kidneys with no additional benefits. Stay safe and eat right!

  • All protein is created equal

scoops of whey protein

Is this statement correct? In short, no whey! Proteins are made up of amino acids (there are 20 different amino acids, with 9 essential ones), which are the building blocks of proteins.

Different protein sources have a different composition of the amino acids, with some sources such as beans being low in certain amino acids like methionine.

Arguably, the best sources of protein are whey, whole food sources like fish, meat, hemp seeds, cottage cheese, eggs and many more.

Protein like casein is slower digesting so it is better to take before bed, whereas it is best to take whey isolate straight after a workout or when you wake up because it is quick to digest.

  • Lifting weights makes you slower

This common misconception is believed by many. On the contrary, lifting weights actually increases your endurance so if you’re a runner, go and do some deadlifts and feel the burn! Stronger muscles help to generate more power and contract much faster. It’s why professional athletes like Tiger Woods and Shaquille O’Neil pump iron in the gym, as well as footballers who squat as it is known to increase performance.

  • Weightlifting makes women bulky


This myth is stopping many women from achieving profound benefits when it comes to getting the body that they want. The woman in the picture is probably the bulkiest a woman can get for her shape naturally. If yoga and pilates is the cornerstone of your workouts, do some resistance training, hit the squat rack or dumbbells because lifting can actually:

    • Help you with fat loss

    • Help you get an hourglass figure, curves in the right places

    • Provide you with a better quality of sleep

    • Develop stronger bone mass (especially for post menepausal women, who no longer produce estrogen, a key component in the prevention of osteoporosis)

Due to testosterone, estrogen and biological differences, men and women will produce drastically different results, even while doing the same exercises.