Myths of Exercise

I believe there’s so many myths circulating in the fitness and running community and this misinformation can make it difficult for people to know “what” to do and even perpetuate / contribute to illness.


I don’t think there’s ever an answer that’s a simple black & white answer you are looking for when you google or find a Pinterest pin that says this (even though I have a Doctorate in Physical Therapy).


I practice personalized medicine, so I’m always personalizing ALL exercise to each and every one of my clients.

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Myth 1: More whey protein = more muscle

I see this a lot in the fitness community. It’s easy to think that more protein = more muscle growth.


However, too much protein can cause free radical damage which actually gives you the opposite effect than what you were looking for!


Protein does not equal muscle!


More protein isn’t always better for you either!


So how much protein should you be having?


It’s not an exact black & white answer (because I practice personalized medicine) but here’s a good rule of thumb to go by:

There is a physiological limit!

and it is between 25 and 50 grams within a 4 hour window of time


The things that impact just how much protein you can ingest and utilize are:

1️⃣Having adequate stomach acid.

2️⃣Producing and adequately releasing pancreatic enzymes such as trypsinogen (inactive protease), and protease to breakdown the protein into amino acids

3️⃣Adequate active vitamin B6, to carry amino acids into the bloodstream and to the cells for use.


How much protein most people they can utilize and need for normal bodily processes to consume 1 gram per kg of body weight, but even then, sometimes we need to make it easier on their body by consuming it as bone broth, hydrolyzed collagen protein, fish, or meats cooked in liquids in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.


Nuts, seeds, and legumes may need to be soaked or fermented to maximize the amino acids one can pull from them.


Myth 2: Stomach and GI problems

(runner’s diarrhea, bloating, etc)

are normal even if they are common

That mid-run urgent bowel movement you get is NOT normal...even if we’re lead to believe it is



Four top causes:

  1. Ischemia (aka inadequate blood supply)

  2. Dehydration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Mechanical function


Ischemia and Dehydration

Decreased organ blood flow (when running at 70% VO2 max) may lead to ischemia, hypoxia and ATP depletion in the GI tract for susceptible individuals


The susceptible person is he/she who repeatedly runs long distance


This person may have some degree of dehydration. Each time one runs for a long distance over 70% VO2 max and is dehydrated there is a potential ischemia to occur to the intestine, when there is reperfusion, it can cause mucosal injury


This leads to gut barrier dysfunction and increased permeability and bacterial translocation, aka dysbiosis or even SIBO. Dehydrated athletes will be more prone because they already have low blood volume



⭕️Tight junctions in the intestinal can be injured due to NSAID use and may contribute to runner’s diarrhea

⭕️High FODMAP foods, may produce some luminal shifts in osmolality of the intestine, but namely in individuals with increased intestinal permeability and dysbiosis they cause gas bloating leading to diarrhea

⭕️Caffeine can have a laxative effect

⭕️High carb foods have a high osmolality. In the susceptible individual this may cause shift of fluids inside the intestine and cause diarrhea. Glucose plus fructose “goo” packs are balanced to decrease this effect


Mechanical Causes:

It’s a speculation that jostling may increase the motility, but there are no replicated studies supporting this


MYTH 3: it’s normal to wake up with your heart racing, If you’re in the midst of training for event

(or if you have chronic fatigue/illness)


That racing heart is NOT an indicator that you’re workout was “hard enough” for you.



It actually means that you’ve overdone it and it’s causing stress on your adrenals and cortisol levels.


When you have heart racing that wakes you, a little bit of excess cortisol was released.

This may be due to impaired glucose handling (aka low blood sugar) causing the cortisol to be released. Or the amount of exercise you’ve done, is being perceived as yet another “stressors,” and robbing your adrenal glands of their reserves, causing dysregulation in the amount and timing of the cortisol release.


MYTH 3: Sticking to your fitness routine and waking up early to get that workout in is more important than getting enough restorative sleep

There seems to be a badge of honor in the fitness community that getting the workout in is more important than the hours of sleep you get. (been there, done that)


However, this is NOT in your best interest.


Sleep is critical for cellular repair and recovery.


You may be better off taking the morning or day off and getting those extra hours of sleep to help your body recover and repair itself.


MYTH 5:  2 a-days are a must to advancing your athletic career (especially if you’re a bodybuilder)

Why no 2 a-days?


It can be highly effective when all you are doing in between your two workouts is refueling with optimal nutrition, doing restorative practices and sleeping and resting your body.


However, for the vast majority of us doing 2 a-days, this is not the case.


In between my two a-days for a decade of my life I worked, I went to school, I studied, I trained others, I walked miles and miles, you get the idea.


I didn’t rest and I did very little to fuel my body with proper nutrition. Honestly it’s kinda amazing I was able to do this for as long as I did.


If you are not giving your body all the things it needs to recover from exercise eventually you will not recover from any of your exercise and you will not continue to make gains in your fitness.


MYTH 6: Working out excessively will help you drop those unwanted pounds.

Why is this a myth?


When you work out too much for your body (it’s different for everyone) free radical damage occurs and it can damage the GI tract which leads to a dysregulated immune system. (And not to mention those unwanted gut problems such as diarrhea and bloating!)


You can also tap out your adrenals making your body “hold on”  to that extra weight.


And if you actually back off and either take a break or incorporate restorative exercise such as a gentle yoga class, tai chi, or walking, that extra weight you don’t like, it will literally fall off w/o effort when your hormones and digestion are back in balance.


Which one of these myths was a surprise to you?

Lacey ChittleComment