Written by Milos the Mind Sarcev
08 August 2022





 Carbing-up on Junk Food Makes No Sense


By Milos “The Mind” Sarcev


Q: Do you typically have clients carb-up on junk foods, or stick to the same clean carbs they have been dieting on throughout the prep?


A: I would never have a client eat junk food. I know it’s a popular practice, but answer this. What will junk food do to an athlete who has been dieting on clean sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats for months? Now you want to load them up on cheeseburgers and french fries, loads of saturated fats and God knows what else? It’s inflammation and indigestion just waiting to happen. I’ve heard this practice called “shit loading,” and it’s supposed to be the best way to fill up. What’s going to be filled up? The goal is have full muscle glycogen stores in your muscles on stage. Glycogen is glucose and water. There are hardly any usable carbohydrates in that burger and fries. You will have loads of fat and preservatives that will bloat your stomach and create all sorts of trouble. It doesn’t make sense to me.


I know some coaches have their guys eating muffins and doughnuts to carb-up on right before the show. They justify this by saying there’s not enough time for anything to backfire. But what is the nutritional value of those junk foods? Let’s say a doughnut gives you 28 grams of carbs from high-fructose corn syrup. The rest is lard, saturated fat and sugar. What part of that “fills you up”? The trans fat? The lard? The corn syrup?



People tend to lie to themselves to justify doing things they know they shouldn’t do. I have my athletes carb-up on the same clean sources they have been eating all along and that your body is accustomed to, just in higher quantities. Maybe we will add in some healthy fats to slow the digestion if needed. We keep sodium and water in, as these are two very essential nutrients for a bodybuilder.


When I did my first contest in 1987, I stopped my salt intake a few days out and I also stopped drinking water for the last two days. My father, a doctor, told me this was foolish; but of course I didn’t listen to him. Later when I began coaching bodybuilders I realized most people don’t need to drop either. And to sum up, there is absolutely no benefit or advantage to carbing-up on junk, only risk.


Protein Blend Is Best


Q: I’ve heard conflicting advice on what type of protein is best for bodybuilding. Some say whey is the most anabolic but others say a combination of whey and casein is better. What’s the deal?


A: It’s true that because whey protein is rapidly absorbed it is the most anabolic type of protein supplement. However, this anabolic stimulation of muscle protein synthesis is short lived – like two to three hours. On the other hand, research on the muscle-building benefits of whey versus whey and casein back in 1997 (Boirie et al., Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion) showed that the speed of protein digestion and amino acid absorption from the gut has a major effect on whole-body protein anabolism after one single meal. The researchers concluded that a combination of whey and casein delivered a net positive protein balance for a full seven hours from just one meal. This extended positive protein balance is similar to eating whole protein meals using beef and or chicken because we must digest them first before the body delivers amino acids to the bloodstream. This slow trickle has an anti-catabolic (muscle sparing) effect, which is critical to building and maintaining muscle mass. In my opinion, while both whey or whey and casein are excellent protein supplements, using a blend of whey isolate, and micellar casein like Pro JYM by JYM Supplement Science is a sure bet to cover both the anabolic and anti-catabolic aspect of muscle building.


‘Peak Week’ to Look Bigger


Q: Do you ever have clients who you don’t do any type of “peak week” for, meaning they just keep training and eating the same?


A: I always make at least some kind of adjustments for my clients, though they will vary. But there are examples, such as Lee Priest. He used to keep eating and drinking as normal even on contest day. Dennis James saw him drinking a protein shake backstage once. He said he drinks them every day, why would they suddenly hurt his look all of a sudden? I remember an amateur from San Diego who had crazy muscularity and detail on stage who never changed a thing in the final week. I remember in 1992 on the European tour watching Thierry Pastel and the late Momo Benaziza eating heaping plates from the buffet the night before we competed, all kinds of food. I thought for sure they would look terrible the next day, but they were sliced. Some people do simply eat the same things they always do, not worrying about “peaking” because their body fat is as low as it needs to be anyway. The reason I like to alter the diet is because eating the same things you always do results in the same look. If we can load you up on more carbs, we can temporarily boost your glycogen stores and achieve a fuller look and create the illusion of more muscle mass. If you don’t have enough glycogen and look flat, this takes away from your condition because the muscles won’t push against the skin, meaning your muscle separations and striations won’t be as deep.


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