Knowledge and Nonsense

When Jamie was in the beginning stages of writing Knowledge & Nonsense, I encouraged him to cover as many misunderstood & uninvestigated topics as possible. What resulted was an amazing brainstorm of ideas that could barely be contained within a manuscript more lengthy than many college texts.

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Welcome to Max Condition
Everyone has fitness or nutrition advice to offer these days-websites, television, newspapers, your best friend, college professors, barbers, mechanics, personal trainers, dietitians, and so on. The debate rages on between low carbohydrate and high carbohydrate fanatics. Advocates of high reps or low reps swear by their methods. All of this conflicting information makes it difficult for people to figure out what's right or wrong.

This website takes the guess work out of figuring out what's right and what's wrong. Some people will be surprised to learn that what they believe about nutrition and exercise is wrong. A statement isn't necessarily correct just because your fitness coach, college professor, or favorite magazine says so. How many times have you heard "well they say" or "everybody says"? What matters is what the evidence says. Scientific evidence has no concern for wishful thinking, or opinions. Science is the ultimate truth seeker. Scientific processes are the best processes we have for discovering reality. Science, although not perfect, is unquestionably the most successful process we have in a quest to understand the universe.

Do not believe a claim based solely on its popularity. Many popular claims are incorrect. Even claims made by people with highly respected degrees or certificates, need to be questioned. Learn to question authority- Be Skeptical. This doesn't mean being excessively skeptical, as this practice can be self defeating. It is a good practice to base beliefs on the preponderance of evidence; you must a establish a red-flag (place where you stop questioning). Do not worry about offending people by asking for evidence. Attempt to maximize your degree of epistemic rationality (holding evidence based beliefs), and you will avoid being bamboozled, or at least lower the chances.

Like everyone else, I once based my beliefs on authority and appeal to popularity. When writing Knowledge and Nonsense: the science of nutrition and exercise, my views changed on many topics. Once you read the material on this site and in the book - Knowledge and Nonsense- your views will also change.

A question on a popular fitness forum recently caught my eye. The question was, "What makes an expert?" There were numerous replies to the topic. Some of the fitness gurus (as they and others like to call them) were highly offended and vowed to no longer post on the forum because their guru status was questioned. Have you ever wondered why the fitness industry seems to have more gurus and experts than any other industry? I don't think you need me to answer for you, but in case you need some help- the answer is because there is a potential to make big money if you're an expert in a world full of people who are looking for an easy way to get fit. Ask yourself, what makes an expert? A person may be an expert on exercise relative to someone who has minimal interest or little knowledge. One may be a protein expert according to the fitness magazine they write for. Expert status changes as the people you are discussing a topic with changes. Do I consider myself an expert? I don't consider myself an expert, but rather a person with a lot of experience and an exceptional level of knowledge (relative to most people I have came in contact with in the industry- read more about me). I can back up my statements with analytical reasoning and scientific references. I'm not one of those people who like to use the "so and so said," "I have a degree in," or "I have always done it that way" arguments. Those statements are often used to disguise the fact that the one making the claim has no clue what they are talking about. Learning is a life long process; we can always learn more.

This site covers many misunderstood topics. This site is a great educational tool for anyone interested in nutrition, exercise and critical thinking. The site also features information on outdoor skills, and the science of wilderness survival. But don't take everything said on this site (or any other site or source for that matter) with blind faith; learn to think critically. Investigate all claims.


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-Thank you
Jamie P Hale

Kids, Hyperactivity & Sugar
by: Coach Hale - Sat Feb 04 2012, 06:30AM
Although sugar is widely believed by the public to cause hyperactive behavior, this claim has not been scientifically substantiated. Twelve double‐blind, placebo‐controlled studies of sugar challenges failed to provide any evidence that sugar ingestion leads to hyperactive behavior in children with Attention‐Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or in normal children. Also, none of the studies testing candy or chocolate found any negative effect of these foods on behavior (Krummel, 1996).

A study using a range of behavioral and cognitive measures evaluated the effects of diets high in sucrose, aspartame, and saccharin on the performance of school-aged children believed to be sensitive to sugar, and preschool children. Even though intakes exceeded average dietary levels, neither sucrose nor aspartame negatively affected behavior (Kanarek, 1994).

Psychophysiological effects of caffeine
by: Coach Hale - Thu Jan 12 2012, 10:48AM
Very brief overview

CNS effects: Primary: Adenosine antagonist, blocking effects A1 & A2A receptors. Secondary: Increases in dopamine, nor epinephrine and glutamate

In addition to cognitive performance caffeine increases perception of alertness and wakefulness and sometimes anxiety (at high doses)

Generally, 200-400 mgs optimal dose. Higher doses sometimes offer no further benefits and sometimes decrease cognitive performance

Some higher order control processes are affected including those involved in active monitoring, guidance, and coordination of behavior. Tieges et al. (2004) found caffeine can reduce task time during task switching

FMRI evidence indicates ACC (anterior cingulate cortex- important for attention) is up regulated when ingesting caffeine

Caffeine blood peak levels occur 30-60 minutes after ingestion (this time frame is a generalization sometimes peak levels occur faster and sometimes the peak takes longer)

Moderate dose consumers who are healthy generally do not experience negative effects

Attention tasks improve following caffeine ingestion

Go to page       >>  
News Archive
Effects of sugar substitutes Coach Hale @ (Tue Dec 27 2011, 10:39AM) (Max Condition News)
Caffeine improves cognitive and Physical Performance Coach Hale @ (Thu Dec 22 2011, 08:16AM) (Max Condition News)
Ketogenic diet as treatment Coach Hale @ (Wed Dec 21 2011, 06:49AM) (Max Condition News)



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