Nutrition, Physique, and Strength Athletes with Dr. Eric Helms

Dr. Eric Helms is a coach, athlete, author, and educator. He competes in bodybuilding, coaches physique and strength athletes, conducts research in sport science, and is a well-known science communicator. He is a partner with 3D muscle journey, which provides evidence-based education for the drug-free lifter. In this episode, we break down science communication for sport and fitness professionals. Does what you are reading online or on social media have some merit? Curious if a fitness influencer you are following is truly an expert? In this episode, Eric gives us some insight into what you should look for to answer these questions and more. Physique and strength athletes have unique nutrition needs. Sports nutrition is important for bodybuilding and strength athletes. We discuss the latest evidence on common practices such as water loading and weight cutting which have implications for psychological and physiological changes to athletes.


  • Science communication is important for sports and fitness professionals and athletes, but the ivory tower of research is a barrier to obtaining and understanding the available literature. Athletes should look for science communicators who can bridge the gap between science and application. This means they can actually help you apply the knowledge in a meaningful and individualized way for you.
  • RED-S is a commonly occurring condition in physique sports that has a negative physical or psychological impact that athletes should be aware of (especially if competing clean). Strength athletes, in general, are at high risk for binge eating and disordered eating habits. Coaches should be aware of the signs and symptoms of RED-S, body dysmorphia, disordered eating, and other psychological disorders and be prepared with a multidisciplinary approach to caring for athletes. 
  • High-performance environments and athletes are best supported by coaching that promotes intrinsic motivation and maximizes individual autonomy and processes. Athlete programs that focus on improvement compared to self, as opposed to success based on external competition (e.g. self-determination theory), are important to reducing the likelihood of athlete burnout in strength sports which demand a high level of physical and mental fortitude.





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