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Our evidence-based analysis on faq features 1139 unique references to scientific papers.

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Frequently Asked Questions and Articles on FAQ

How are carbohydrates converted into fat deposits?
Carbohydrates increase insulin and reduce fat burning to a degree, but creating fat directly from carbohydrates is an inefficient process in the body.
Will lifting weights convert my fat into muscle?
Lifting weights can increase muscle mass and induce fat loss, but these are two separate processes.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is medically referred to as adrenal insufficiency — a dysregulation of the HPA axis that results in the reduction of hormones that regulate mood and energy.
How much fat do I need to absorb vitamin D?
A moderate amount of fat (roughly 11 grams) appears to lead to better vitamin D absorption.
Are vitamin C supplements bad for your teeth?
Powdered, chewable, and gummy vitamin C supplements are acidic, so depending on the amount of exposure, they could lead to enamel erosion.
What supplement or food changes are recommended for pregnant or expecting women?
Foods such as fish and eggs and supplements such as folate should be considered during pregnancy, whereas certain kinds of fish and a variety of supplements known to affect fetal growth and development should be avoided.
Does daily weighing help you lose weight?
Weighing yourself daily may lead to greater weight loss than doing so infrequently or not at all, but everyone reponds differently.
Can you lose weight by turning down the heater?
When you lower your core body temperature, you can increase the number of calories you burn, but it may also lead you to eat more.
What are the benefits of resistance training?
Resistance training can increase muscle mass, protect bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Does “low-carb” have an official definition?
There is no standard definition of a low-carb diet.
Is my “slow metabolism” stalling my weight loss?
The number of calories you burn is based on your resting metabolic rate, the thermic effect of food, and physical activity.
Do artificial sweeteners spike insulin?
There is no evidence that artificial sweeteners cause an insulin spike in humans.
Why do my muscles get sore?
Muscle soreness after exercise usually goes away quickly, but prolonged muscle soreness, otherwise known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), can last for days. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), light exercise, massage, and good nutrition can play a role in alleviating or preventing DOMS.
Does aspartame cause headaches?
It's uncertain whether aspartame causes headaches due to the scarcity of blinded studies and the role of the placebo effect.
Does ashwagandha increase testosterone?
There is a bit of evidence that shows Ashwagandha increases testosterone, but it is not convincing.
Can eating too much protein be bad for you?
Eating a high-protein diet doesn't appear to harm the kidneys or liver unless there is pre-existing damage and dysfunction. It's possible that dramatically increasing protein intake in a short timespan can lead to adverse effects on the liver and kidneys, but evidence for this is lacking. Bone health also appears to be either largely unaffected or benefited by eating more protein.
Can creatine increase your testosterone levels?
There is no convincing evidence that creatine can increase your testosterone levels.
Do herbal aphrodisiacs work?
It depends on the product touted to be an aphrodisiac, but some of them do apparently increase sexual desire; it is a relatively under-researched topic though, and we don't know why they increase sexuality.
Can drinking wine really replace exercise?
Does creatine benefit elite athletes?
Creatine benefits all exercise for all individuals when it is strength based. However, this benefit does appear to be less noticeable to elite athletes than it does to novice athletes.
Fact check: does glutamine build muscle?
Glutamine supplementation does not affect body composition, but it may accelerate strength recovery from resistance-training sessions and reduce the occurrence of infections in hard-training endurance athletes.
How do I increase insulin sensitivity?
Exercise frequently (resistance training and aerobic training are both beneficial), eat better (in this regard, less processed carbohydrates and more vegetables), and lose weight. Supplements can help, but are better when the diet and exercise are in order
How do I get a six-pack?
You eat less food to reduce body fat. There will be abdominal muscles under the fat, and adding some muscle to this area (resistance training) can make them appear more aesthetic; fat loss is the main predictor, however
How important is sleep?
Sleep is incredibly important, and can be considered crucial alongside diet and exercise. Proper sleep habits help sustain many biological processes, and bad sleep can cause these processes to be suboptimal or even malfunction.
How does caffeine work in your brain?
Over the course of a day, you get sleepy as adenosine binds to A1 receptors in your brain. Caffeine blocks adenosine from binding, thus making you feel alert and also helping you feel better.
How can you increase testosterone naturally?
When it comes to increasing your testosterone, quality sleep, physical activity, and weight management come first. A few supplements can help sustain healthy testosterone levels, but most supplements marketed as testosterone boosters don’t work, though some can make you believe they do by boosting your libido.
How valid is BMI as a measure of health and obesity?
BMI is not a highly accurate measure of obesity. That being said, it can be useful as a complementary datum. BMI has a high rate of false negatives, particularly among females, with nearly half of obese people being classified as normal or overweight in some studies. The amount of false positives, on the other hand, is surprisingly small: less than 5% in men and 1% in women, according to one study.
Does dairy cause acne?
Growth factors can cause acne, either androgens or anything acting on the insulin receptor (including IGF-1) that enhance androgen signaling. Dairy is currently weakly suspected to contribute via the above, but not enough evidence exists to support a strong relationship.
Does resistance training work for the elderly?
Do I need to cycle ephedrine?
Surprisingly, ephedrine does not appear to need cycling for the fat burning aspect of it (it may for neurological stimulation and appetite suppression). If using an ECA stack, however, the caffeine may need to be cycled
Does ZMA cause weird dreams?
It is possible that ZMA can cause weird dreams, and the anecdotes support this; however, since this has not been directly investigated the best 'proof' that can be given is weak.
Does eating at night make it more likely to gain weight?
While the evidence is mixed, depending on who was studied and what the diets were, there does not seem to be a major inherent weight-gain effect when eating late at night. Individual results may vary, and other factors such as circadian rhythms should be considered as well.
Does vinegar increase metabolism?
One study noted weight loss with vinegar, and apparently it worked; well conducted study as well for the most part. No clue why vinegar induced weight loss in this study (which was regained after the study ended), but there is some evidence for it
How does protein affect weight loss?
To lose more fat and retain more muscle on a weight-loss diet, protein quantity matters more than protein quality.
How can you assess protein quality?
Several scales have been developed to rate proteins according to their respective bioavailabilities and, more recently, amino acid profiles. Those scales can help guide your choice of protein, as long as you understand their premises and limitations.
How do I stay out of "starvation mode?"
Marasmus is a disease of caloric restriction, but you most likely don't have it. Your metabolic rate can definitely slow down during weight loss, but it will never slow to the point where it causes you to gain weight; in this sense, starvation mode is a myth.
How do I calculate my metabolism?
Is processed meat bad for me?
Processed meat products are associated with cancer and mortality in survey research, but to a small degree. They are likely unhealthy, technically speaking, but the increase in mortality/cancer is overblown.
Is creatine safe for your kidneys?
In people with healthy kidneys, long-term creatine supplementation is safe, but there are no long-term creatine studies in people with kidney issues. For these people, using a low dose of creatine (if any) would be prudent.
Is diet soda bad for you?
Research suggests that diet soda is unlikely to be detrimental to metabolic health or body composition. Further controlled trial evidence is needed to explore other possible detriments.
Is it better to do aerobic exercise fasted?
Fasted cardio uses more fatty acids while exercising, but over the long term has negligible fat loss benefits. Fasted vs fed has little effect on performance except when nearing maximal effort.
Is saturated fat bad for your health?
Compared to carbs and unsaturated fat, saturated fat has been linked to an increase in some risk factors for heart disease. However, by focusing on a nutrient in isolation, we risk missing the bigger picture: what matters most is your overall diet and lifestyle.
Does red meat cause cancer?
You may have read the headlines that red meat causes cancer. We investigated the actual science.
Do B vitamins increase the risk of getting cancer?
Recent evidence has linked B vitamins (specifically B6 and B12) to an increased risk of lung cancer in men, especially in smokers. Here, we analyze the study and interview the lead author, Dr. Theodore Brasky.
Do I need to load creatine?
You do not need to load creatine. it can be used as diagnosis to see if you 'respond' to creatine or to get slightly quicker benefits but in the long run loading is not a requirement of creatine supplementation. No harm in it either, except perhaps digestive discomfort
Does caffeine counteract creatine?
There is very little evidence that caffeine counteracts the benefits of creatine.
Does diet soda inhibit fat loss?
It does not inhibit fat loss at all, and may actually suppress appetite that could help fat loss (although it does not induce fat loss per se either). Diet soda, in regards to body fat, is a carbonated inert beverage
Do I need to cycle caffeine?
There are benefits associated with chronic caffeine consumption, and there are benefits associated with acute caffeine consumption that fade with tolerance; if you like the latter, cycling is mandatory. If you like the former, cycling is not needed
Does eating fat make you fat?
If you ingest more calories than you burn, it may be worse for your waist if those calories come from fat. If you ingest fewer calories than you burn, however, it doesn’t seem to matter much whether those calories come mostly from fat or mostly from carbs.
Does chewing gum offer any health benefits?
Chewing gum can provide health benefits ranging from improved oral health to reduced hunger and stress levels, but for some people these are balanced out by possible downsides such as increased headaches.
Does vitamin C improve blood sugar control?
We recently added several studies to the vitamin C page regarding blood sugar effects. From existing research, it seems theoretically possible that vitamin C could help improve blood sugar control, but the evidence is quite mixed at this point.
Does creatine cause hair loss?
It’s plausible, but unlikely. One RCT linked creatine supplementation to an increase in DHT — an androgen involved in hair loss — but this RCT has never been replicated.
Do you need to detox?
While your body does accumulate toxicants, cleanses (detox diets) aren’t supported by toxicological mechanisms or trial evidence, and they can occasionally be dangerous. Your liver, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work nonstop to “detoxify” you; a diet rich in protein, vegetables, and fruits will provide them with the nutrients they need to function optimally.
Does sunscreen decrease vitamin D?
While sunscreens can decrease vitamin D production, they don’t appear to do so to a large extent. You need not completely forgo sunscreen in order to maintain a healthy vitamin D level. Sun exposure can be bolstered with vitamin D rich foods and supplements to attain sufficient levels.
Should you supplement with vitamin K?
Research is still scarce, but current evidence suggests that, through their effect on calcium regulation, some forms of vitamin K can help prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases.
Will carbs make me fat?
They can if you eat more calories than you should be eating, which is definitely a concern as carbohydrates are disconnected from the sensation of fullness in some people (preceding overeating). Inherently though, carbs do not cause more fat gain than the caloric load suggests
Why you shouldn't be always taking antioxidants, especially if you want to build muscle
A recent study suggests that antioxidant supplements could hamper your muscle building efforts, because increased oxidation is needed to repair damage to muscle cells (aka build muscle).
What should you eat for weight loss?
When it comes to figuring out what to eat for weight loss, the most important factor is eating less. When you consume less calories than you spend you will lose weight and the diet that helps you lose weight best will be the one that allows you to consume less calories without causing much distress or lethargy. The key is to pick a diet that you can adhere to.
Which grocery items are affordable and healthy?
Smart grocery shopping is increasingly important during the coronavirus pandemic. Here, we'll review the evidence on eight grocery items that are:
Which supplements can help against colds and the flu?
Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and other supplements may provide an edge against colds and the flu, but they should only serve to complement your main defensive arsenal: good hygiene, proper hydration, healthy diet, restful sleep, stress control, and exercise.
Will eating eggs increase my cholesterol?
Eggs increasing cholesterol depends on your genetics. They don't seem to increase the risk of heart disease unless you have a poor diet.
What does the evidence say about vitamin D and COVID-19?
Mechanistic and observational evidence suggests that COVID-19 is less severe in people with adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D supplementation seems to help prevent COVID-19 complications, but only two randomized trials have been conducted thus far. Additional research is ongoing.
Can you be Healthy and Obese?
Not optimally healthy when morbidly obese, but health parameters could be improved (to a degree) independent of weight loss with further benefits inducing weight loss
Can creatine cause cancer?
There is no evidence that creatine can cause cancer or has any link to cancer.
Can autism be helped by gluten-free, casein-free diets?
Gluten and casein are two food components thought to exacerbate autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms. But when diets free of gluten and casein are analyzed in rigorously controlled trials, no improvements are seen in ASD behavior outcomes.
Can vitamin D cure depression?
Many people get depressed during the winter months, when we produce less vitamin D. So, can supplemental vitamin D cure seasonal depression, and maybe other types of depression? No, alas — but it may help.
Can food have negative calories?
‘Negative calorie’ foods (foods that have fewer calories than your body expends to digest them) likely don't exist. However, food typically thought of as ‘negative calorie’ are often low in total calories and high in fiber and water content — so their regular consumption may aid in weight loss.
Can one binge make you fat?
While regular overeating leads to fat gain, a lot of the weight you gain from just one binge will simply be water, especially if your starting glycogen stores are low and your food rich in carbs.
Are energy drinks bad for you?
Case studies have linked energy drinks to adverse effects, especially on the cardiovascular system, but the overall risk of something bad happening is low and context-dependent.
Are nitrates from beetroot and processed meats the same thing?
Although the food products they are gained via differ widely, the nitrates contained in processed meats and vegetables are the same molecules
Are cast iron pans unsafe?
Cast iron pans are popular, especially for searing, and are generally safe to use. But they can leach iron, which is a strong pro-oxidant. Those genetically at risk for iron overload should learn more about cast iron safety.
Are bodybuilding diets healthy?
Bodybuilding diets typically include lots of protein, strict limits on ultraprocessed food, and bulking and cutting cycles. Many of the characteristics of bodybuilding diets are healthful, but not all of them.
Are natural sunscreens effective?
On their own, natural sunscreens (including oral supplements and plant oils) have not been shown to be sufficiently effective on their own for protecting your skin from the sun's damaging effects. Some can be combined with proven sun-protection methods (sunscreen, clothing, shade) to offer additional sun protection. None should be used as a replacement for sunscreen.
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