What Diets and Nutrition Have In Common: Very Little

By Raphael | In Nutrition | on September 15, 2011

Go ahead. Google the next latest and greatest diet of the century. Soup diet, Cookie diet, maybe a grapefruit every hour on the hour diet, take your pick. Have you ever considered that this stuff isn’t effective? That it’s nothing more than a marketing scheme? What you need is a completely different approach. An approach you’ve never considered – learning from a sports nutritionist.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t consider yourself an athlete or a bodybuilder. It doesn’t matter that you’re just starting to work out and lose fat. You have more in common with a bodybuilder than you think.

I had the opportunity to interview one of the leading sports nutritionists in the country, Dr. Jose Antonio. Dr. Antonio shares a little about his background, his mission, and how sports nutrition is applicable to everyone, not just the elite athlete.


Would you provide our readers a bit of background about your experience and areas of expertise?
In brief, I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship there as well.  My areas of research have been in skeletal muscle plasticity, androgen metabolism and sports nutrition/supplements.  I’ve written or edited 12 books and written well over 1000 consumer articles and about 50 scientific publications.  Currently, I’m the CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (and one of its founders), a sports science advisor to VPX, and the Editor in Chief of Sports Nutrition Insider and Inside Fitness magazine.  And my favorite exercise is outrigger paddling!  Sun, ocean, waves…you can’t beat it!


Tell me more about the International Society Of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). What is ISSN? Why did you start it? And, what benefits do you see it providing?
We started ISSN (Douglas Kalman, M.S., RD, Richard Kreider, Ph.D., and several other top scientists) because we believed that there was a need for an academic non-profit society dedicated to sports nutrition.  The ISSN provides a forum for the best sports nutrition scientists in the world to convey the newest research and it additionally gives invaluable networking opportunities for students and job-seekers.  In a nutshell, when you think of the best sports nutrition information, think ISSN!


The ISSN site is interesting and at first glance one might think this is only for competitive athletes with an interest in research and application. You mentioned that a lot of the research and education you provide can be tailored not only to athletes but to overweight men and women. And, that we can learn lessons from those who participate in the physique sports. I completely agree – would you explain this in more detail?
The physique sports (e.g. figure, fitness, and bodybuilding) provide real-world examples as to what diets really work!  Let’s face it, the nutrition advice promulgated by the mainstream academic societies are NOT conducive to achieving a lean physique.  Recent research has shown that the mere replacement of carbohydrate with protein (or perhaps even unsaturated fat) will improve body composition.  Furthermore, the additional consumption of protein after losing weight is a great and effective strategy for maintaining weight loss.  However, those in the physique sports have known this for the past 50 years!!  Why is it that mainstream scientists denigrate what athletes do when in fact, we have more to learn from them than vice versa?


Your board of directors boasts some of the most recognized names in the industry. My jaw dropped when I saw the list. With all these individuals believing in ISSN, It appears you will be a force to be reckoned with and a great source of information and knowledge. That being said, what is the goal of the ISSN?
The goal of the ISSN is to be the leading provider of sports nutrition information, period!  In fact, I’d surmise that in a few years, we will be synonymous with sports nutrition education.


Many of my clients come to me for the first time with little structured nutrition and fitness information. How would ISSN be able to assist these individuals?
The ISSN could provide legitimate information on nutrition and supplements as it applies to exercise performance or body composition enhancement.  Let’s face it.  Most consumers want 3 basic things.  The either want to lose fat, gain muscle, or both.  Certainly, the ISSN has the intellectual capital to provide the latest information in those categories.


There is a tremendous amount of information related to nutrition and fitness in the industry. Some of it is good and some pretty bad. Our society seems to be getting fatter every year. Besides some solid fitness/nutrition information and good old fashioned discipline, what do you think it will take to reverse this trend?
Great questions!  I’m not sure we can ‘reverse’ this trend to be honest.  Our society is so driven by convenience and technology that it seems that the natural state of affairs for most Americans is laziness.  This is more of a sociological question.  However, if I were to speculate, I think one solution involves providing tax incentives (i.e. tax breaks) for those who choose to stay fit and healthy.  There is no reason why the fit and healthy should pay the health care costs of those who have inkling to take care of themselves.  Liberty is great; but not when it infringes on your fellow man.


Many thanks to Dr. Jose Antonio for taking the time for this interview. You can read a detailed biography and a complete list of his achievements below. Please also check out the International Society of Sports Nutrition and the Sports Nutrition Insider magazine websites, there’s a ton of valuable information available.


Jose Antonio, Ph.D. FISSN FNSCA FACSM  is the CEO and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; furthermore, he is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association. He was the 2005 recipient of the NSCA Research Achievement Award and the 2009 NSCA Educator of the Year; moreover, has published 12 books and over 50 plus peer-reviewed scientific publications. He is the host of several radio shows that include the Performance Nutrition Show (co-host, Carla Sanchez), the Weekend Workout (co-hosts, Anna Lepeley and Juan Carlos Santana; specials guests: Gina Lombardi and Abbie Smith), the Power Hit Show (with John Romano) and the Redline Wrap Up (with John Romano). Dr. Antonio is on the Advisory Board of Informed Choice and has given lectures on sports nutrition throughout the world. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Nutrition Insider, the first and only trade publication dedicated to the sports nutrition industry, and Inside Fitness magazine, and has contributed to Ironman, Muscular Development, Muscle and Fitness, and Fitness Rx Men/Women. Furthermore, he is the sports science advisor  to VPX/Redline. Also, Dr. Antonio is a co-founder of Javalution, makers of JavaFit coffee. Dr. Antonio completed a Ph.D. and post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas Texas.  He is an Assistant Professor at Nova Southeastern University in Ft Lauderdale FL. When he’s not goofing off, he’s out on the ocean paddling:)

One Comment to "What Diets and Nutrition Have In Common: Very Little"

  • Cathy W says:

    October 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm -

    I’d be interested to know what he or his association think about processed foods and the overabundance of such foods instead of “real” food. Especially as compared to “just laziness.” There’s a whole generation now that doesn’t even KNOW you can cook or bake from “scratch.” I’m not sure they even understand the term. Meals comes from a box or the car window. Nooooooo!

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