We Need To Talk About "Refined Sugar Free" Via Huffington Post by Mark Runza

Team Clean hates refined sugar. HATES IT. While simultaneously showing a complete lack of understanding of what it is and how it works in the body. Because where white sugar is The Worst, unrefined sugar gets a free pass.


Let's get it straight though: 'refined sugar free' is not a thing. Stop trying to make it a thing.

Free sugars are any sugars added to food or drinks, or found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices. The NHS and the WHO want us to keep free sugars to under 5% of calories. That's ~30g or 7 teaspoons a day (a can of coke has ~40g of sugar). They give zero fucks about how 'refined' it is.



So why are Team Clean so confused about refined sugar? Well, none of them have nutrition degrees, so there's that. Plus, white sugar is for poor people and that's not very on brand.

But seriously, let's take a look at some of the weird shit around 'refined sugar free' and put some myths on blast.

Quick Science Lesson

ALL sugars, whether 'natural' or otherwise, are made up of the same two simple sugars - glucose and fructose.

Glucose raises your blood sugar levels (not cool) and scientists think that fructose (from added sugars and fruit juice) can mess up the liver and cause metabolic disorders (but not fructose from F&V).



In white sugar the two simple sugars (glucose and fructose) are bound together to form another sugar called sucrose. Sucrose is what you put on your Rice Krispies or in your tea - table sugar.

In high fructose corn syrup, the glucose and the fructose are free in solution - but, you guessed it, there's more fructose than there is glucose. Same for agave syrup except there's even more fructose - agave syrup is more high fructose than high fructose corn syrup (doy!). Honey also gets its sweetness from free glucose and fructose.

What about other 'good for you' sweeteners - well maple syrup is mostly sucrose (66%). Coconut sugar? Estimates are around 70-80% sucrose, plus some free glucose and fructose for good measure. So maple and coconut sugars - basically table sugar.

Are you getting the picture? Chemically speaking; sugar is sugar.


Dude, no. All sugar is 'natural' in that it all started life in a plant - even white sugar. 

Coconuts, maple tree, or sugar cane - your liver can't tell where the hell it came from.


Alright, cool it, we're getting there.

Let's start with minerals- there's a train of thought that natural sweeteners or unrefined sugars are better for you because they have more minerals and antioxidants in them. And technically that's true.

But, it's still a dumb argument.

Let's use calcium as an example. Per 100g, white sugar has 1mg of calcium, honey has 6mg, and maple syrup has 102mg.


The amount of extra sweetener you'd need to have any benefit would be entirely negated by ALL THE SUGAR. And if you still wanna play that game - molasses has 205g of calcium per 100g - wonder why Team Clean haven't started drizzling that all over their protein pancakes?

(Side note, broccoli has 118mg calcium per 100g - you can eat as much of that as you want)

Glycaemic Index

Glycaemic Index (GI) is basically a measure of how quickly glucose is absorbed into the blood stream - foods with a lower GI score helps keep blood sugar levels stable and stops them spiking too high.

Team Clean notes that sugar alternatives have a lower GI than white sugar - which technically is true, although fairly marginal. But again it shows complete lack of awareness of how nutrition works IRL.

Let's say you add a teaspoon's worth of sweetener to your porridge - the volume is so small, the marginal differences in glycaemic index are moot (lol moot is a great word).

A way better measure is Glycaemic Load (GL). It takes into account how quickly glucose is absorbed into the blood (GI) together with how much of that food you're eating. It gives the whole story of how a food will affect blood sugar.

Maple syrup has a GL of around 7 - table sugar has a GL of 6. So by using GL, white sugar may even be better than maple syrup (<10 is considered low). But now you know that's a stupid argument because it's ALL THE SAME SHIT.

What I want you to get here is not that white sugar is good - you still gotta keep that shit in check - but it's no worse than any other type of sugar.

For more evidence based nutrition and wellness w/o the BS check out my podcast and newsletter.

3 Tips For Deadlift Setup - Via Gordon Greenhorn by Mark Runza

Many of you who follow me probably have a good understanding of how to deadlift.

However, you may not consider the initial setup of the deadlift as important. Here are a few quick tips to set you up properly for the conventional deadlift.



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Why Aren't Recipes Free Anymore? by Mark Runza

You may have noticed that the recipes aren't free anymore. Why is this you might also be asking.

Well...Gymster has been going for 3 years now, over that time the recipes have mainly been free. Some might know that I alone run this app and that it's not my full time job. 

I am about to be a father for the second time and pretty much work two full time jobs at this point. Over those years of working on the app I've spent over £4000 on food and recipe creating without making anything back. It's come to a point where I need to start making money from Gymster.

I know this might annoy some of you but I will promise one thing, if you do pay for the recipes I will promise to keep on adding new features and recipes to it the recipes section.

Hopefully you'll understand and also appreciate that there are currently over 210 recipes for a total of £1 which is very good value considering you'll also get a continuous update of new ones too!

As always I appreciate all the people who use the app and have left reviews.

Looking forward to hopefully making some money and most importantly using that money to improve the app!


Mark Runza


Reese's Mini Cup Loaf Recipe Now Live! by Mark Runza

🥜 Another Reese's recipe!

If you're like me then you have a thing for peanut butter and chocolate. It's quite evident if you take a look through the dessert section of the app.

I decided to try to make a Reese's loaf with mini cups baked on the inside. It worked brilliantly and tasted sensational. Serves around 10 people and is good to keep in the fridge to snack on through the week. 🥜

Vegetarian Low Carb Blue Cheese Lasagne! by Mark Runza

I know what you're thinking.

That sounds terrible without meat or pasta. However, this is one my favourite meals I've ever created. Maybe that's because I love blue cheese but it was absolutely amazing.


I used courgette/zucchini in place of the pasta sheets and a mix of kale and mushrooms as the filling.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Hunger Hack #2 - Revive Stronger by Mark Runza

Hunger Hack No.2 - Unrewarding foods.


😋The better something tastes, the more we want to eat of it, makes a lot of sense right? The opposite can also be said for foods that are less delicious, we tend to want to eat less of them.


😑When you’re dieting you already limit tasty foods to a degree, because most of the time they’re high calorie. Such as pop-tarts, they’re not the smartest choice for someone trying to eat less. Many of us then turn to try and make our diet foods taste better, which could actually lead us to shooting ourselves in the foot.


🤔You might find that the fact you can make your diet foods tasty helps keep you adherent to your diet. However, you may also find that you can make food so tasty that you just want to keep eating more! Thus making your diet harder to stick to.


👉An example could be oatmeal, a plain bowl with blueberries tastes OK. If you added some sweetener on top it would taste MUCH better for every few calories & if you added say some sugar free chocolate sauce it would start tasting REALLY GOOD. The tastier the food is, the more you’re likely to overeat it, that’s the problem.


🤙So it might be worth trying to keep your foods somewhat more plain, less rewarding. Personally I like to use this throughout my day and leave my tastier treats to the evening, this prevents me overeating but also I don’t hate my diet.


❓What’s your experience with this? Do you find yourself making diet food taste almost like not diet food?


◾️Remember you can save this tip by clicking the icon in the bottom right hand corner.


Hunger Hack #1 - Revive Stronger by Mark Runza

Hunger Hack No.1 - Out of sight, out of mind. You know the saying “you eat with your eyes” well that’s a load of shit, you eat with your damn mouth and if you eat too much, you can get pretty fat. However, there is some truth to this saying.

Every time you see a food you have to make a conscious decision; to eat or not to eat? When we’re trying to stick to our diet this gets tiring, till eventually we find ourselves breaking and eating what we see. 

This can quite easily lead to us failing to see the results we want because we stray from our diet. An easy solution is to actually just remove said food from our view, because then we avoid even having to consider it.

Maybe you need to remove the food from your house, or possibly you can just put it at the back of the cupboard. Whatever it is, the less available it becomes, the less likely you’re to consume it.

For things such as cookies, biscuits and chocolate this can really help, because they’re damn delicious but high in calories. Extra tip: leave food out in plain sight that you DO want to eat, such as tomatoes, berries, bananas, apples etc.

You can use this little trick to your advantage by doing so. Do you find yourself having to remove items from the house in order to stick better to your diet? Or do you have immense will power? # Remember you can save this tip by clicking the icon in the bottom right hand corner.

Weight loss tip - Olive oil spray! by Mark Runza

Ever wondered how to cut calories without reducing the taste and enjoyment you have for foods? Take a look at the video below!                                                                                                                                        


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No more recipe loading times. by Mark Runza

I know that the loading times of recipes has been a frustrating part of using Gymster and I can gladly announce that with the latest version of Gymster that it is finally gone. Super quick to use, you can now browse the 200+ recipes without lag.


Don't forget you can also sort recipes by macros by using the button at the top of the recipes section.


How accurate are fitness trackers? Joseph Agu by Mark Runza

Below is a post from Joseph Agu's Facebook page.

His page can be found here: Joseph Agu ENC.

How Accurate are Activity Trackers?

In a study published a few months ago, Chowdhury and colleagues compared the daily energy expenditure estimates from consumer multi-sensor activity monitors.

To do this, the researchers had a group of 30 men and women wear the different trackers in free living conditions and compared the data to that produced by a criterion method (the Actiheart).

As you can see from the chart, there was a negative bias for mean daily energy expenditure estimates from these four commercially available devices. In other words, they underestimated actual daily energy expenditure, with the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Charge HR being the better options, compared to the Microsoft Band and the Jawbone UP24.

The authors reasonably conclude that “Some consumer multi-sensor devices such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge HR provided reasonably good estimates of energy expenditure both in the laboratory and during free-living conditions. However, this was not the case across all devices and certainly these consumer monitors do not all produce similar results (i.e., they are not equivalent). It is also clear that devices with more sensors do not necessarily produce better energy expenditure estimates than simple previous-generation accelerometry-only devices. We propose that independent quality standards should be developed to verify claims regarding energy expenditure estimation from consumer wearables or manufacturers should be required to provide accuracy ‘ratings’ at the time of going to market.”

FREE full-text link to the paper - https://goo.gl/yY79XH

How to make protein sticky coffee pudding by Mark Runza

A how to video on how to make this truly warm and gooey protein sticky coffee pudding.                                                                                          


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Drop sets vs Normal sets by Mark Runza

Below is a video and summary by "PictureFit". Find them on Youtube for more videos like this!

(This video and summary was not made for Gymster)

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