In the introductory video of his 2017 elitefts Sports Performance Summit, Dr. Eric Serrano discussed the best ways to eat for gaining muscle mass while avoiding negative effects to your health. In particular, he noted the problems with protein shakes and the necessity of altering your macronutrient ratios to keep driving progress.

In the second part of his presentation, Dr. Serrano moves to the topic of fat loss and begins by discussing supplements and products often associated with fat loss. Of non-stimulant products, he looks at:

  • BCAAs
  • Lactoferrin
  • Creatine
  • Glutamine
  • Oats/Maltodextrin
  • Cyclodextrin

First, he discusses maltodextrin and explains how it is produced: Corn that does not meet quality standards for sale to consumers through grocery stores is siphoned off into a different production process which grinds, liquefies, and turns the corn into a fine power. This is maltodextrin, which you consume in almost all supplements — and Dr. Serrano says you shouldn't.

WATCH: Dr. Eric Serrano SPS Presentation — Eating for Size and the Problem with Protein Shakes

To explain this, Dr. Serrano talks about a test he ran: he gave 11 people maltodextrin and observed their negative bodily changes over four weeks. In addition to observing his own results, he also shares another academic paper that discovered, at the end of 12 weeks of a maltodextrin diet, all subjects were found to have serious issues in their stomachs, including cancer, ulcers, or other health problems.

Dr. Serrano then talks about the concept of activity-dependence for your carbohydrates needs and explains that if you aren't doing anything active, you shouldn't eat carbohydrates. This leads into Dr. Serrano's discussion about hydration and the mistakes many athletes make. He shares one particular study he conducted, in which he researched the impacts of sodium and potassium on hydration. The findings suggest that consuming more sodium than potassium, which happens frequently for athletes, is not what you want or what is necessary for the best hydration.

Returning to the topic of fat loss, Dr. Serrano says that the fastest way to lose fat is to greatly restrict carbohydrate consumption, but he also warns that if you do this continuously for longer than two weeks at a time, you will stop losing weight. He breaks it down into the following macronutrients ratios for fat loss:

  • Protein: 20-40%
  • Fat: 20-30%
  • Carbohydrates: 15-20%

The final point Dr. Serrano discusses in this part of his presentation is strength. He shares a list of products that are commonly reported to increase strength and discusses which products are helpful, which products are questionable, and which products are complete bullshit. He covers:

  • Creatine
  • ATP
  • Lactoferrin
  • HMB
  • Beta-alanine
  • FFA

By the minute:

  • (1:13) Maltodextrin
  • (3:30) Effects of carbohydrates on performance
  • (5:12) Dr. Serrano's sugar and hydration studies
  • (8:15) How important is salt for hydration?
  • (11:27) Real macronutrients for fat loss
  • (13:06) GCX
  • (13:33) Endurance athletes and common mistakes
  • (14:34) Strength compounds