Fitness for the Outside Athlete, December 1996
You can laugh at the gym-bound troglodytes whose primary life mission is to become bulgy. But being a 98-pound weakling--aerobically fit or not--won't boost your performance. "Whether you're nordic skiing, running, or snowshoeing," says Paul Ward, a sports scientist and publisher of The Encyclopedia of Weight Training, "more muscle improves your performance."
When aerobic athletes train long distances, they first use up their glycogen stores, then fat, and then they literally burn off muscle. "It's hard--especially for athletes with low-fat diets--to consume enough calories to rebuild those muscles," Ward says. One solution lies in using the same mega-mass shake powders so beloved by the muscle-T set.
These protein and carbohydrate mixes work for everyone from vegetarians who don't get enough protein (most powders are free of meat products) to serious endurance athletes who "simply have trouble downing enough food," Ward says. Still, he cautions that such powders can't replace regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Herewith a nutritional and gustatory guide to some of the biggest names in weight-gain shakes.
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