Many myths related to bodybuilding, fitness, and health seem to linger despite a wealth of evidence against them. One example of this is the notion that you should consume only egg whites if you seek maximum fat-loss and muscularity. Overlooked in this suggestion is that nearly all the nutrients found in eggs exist in the yolk of the egg. It's true that all the fat found in eggs also exists in the yolks, but the fat in eggs is mostly monounsaturated, which is rapidly oxidized by anyone who engages in regular physical activity, and has a low risk of conversion into body fat. Also related to the eggs is the idea that it's better to consume raw eggs. Although this idea of eating raw eggs to boost performance was popularized in the original "Rocky" film, the truth is that cooked eggs are not only more digestible than raw eggs, but are also far safer. Eating raw eggs raises the risk of consuming eggs that may contain pathological bacterial content, such as Salmonella. Acquiring this bacterial infection from eggs is a rare event (1 in 20,000 eggs may contain Salmonella), but it's possible. When I first began bodybuilding, I trained at a gym in Manhattan, and immediately following my workout I would head over to a fast-food restaurant that specialized in a type of orange juice-based drink that featured the addition of raw eggs (for an additional charge). The place was called "Orange Julius," and the cost of the drink depended on how many added eggs you requested. Since I was interested in building larger muscles, and eggs at the time were considered the best natural protein source, I usually requested the addition of about 12 to 15 eggs. I did this for at least a year, yet luckily for me I never experienced a single episode of egg-based food poisoning.
Another popular myth, which was discussed in depth in a recent article in Applied Metabolics, is the idea that milk is loaded with hormones, especially estrogen. As I pointed out in the article, estrogen has a particularly bad reputation among bodybuilders because of its association with gynecomastia or the development of excess glandular breast tissue in men, as well as an increase in subcutaneous body fat or the fat found just under the skin. Estrogen is also linked to excess water retention that can obscure hard-earned muscular definition. Worst of all, drinking milk is said to produce a rapid increase in overall body fat, despite not having any particularly unusual nutrient content that would account for this fat-synthesizing effect. But as I documented in the article, none of these commonly accepted myths about milk are true, despite being widely believed. Indeed, most articles that appear on various blogs . . .