When it comes to giving general cooking advice, I agree that this is not the right place. But take this one for instance.

He's asking advice on how to proceed with his food intake in direct relation to his physical exercise. I.e. this is clearly a physical fitness question.

If we only give advice on the exercise aspect of fitness, and disregard any question on nutrition and rest, we're propagating the idea that fitness is all about the workouts.

I say we should not only help out with the questions on the catabolic, but also the anabolic parts of fitness.

We have a close vote aspect where we vote to close because questions about nutrition are "off-topic" unless they relate directly to exercise. In the example I gave, it is so clearly related to exercise! It is explicitly stated that the advice he wants is for post-workout meals.

If we close this, we'll have to close any and all questions about nutrition. It's not about whether or not it relates to exercise anymore. It seems the only way this wouldn't get closed, is if he asked about what to eat during the workout.

  • Here is another example, though I am biased one this: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/25505/…
    – Jason
    Aug 9, 2015 at 20:30
  • @Jason - Yeah, I guess I'm biased on that one too, but oppositely so. Just to try and justify my close vote; in fitness we have three pillars. The workout, the diet, and the restitution. In my opinion, questions on all three of these should be considered on-topic. But I found it hard to give advice on thunderstorms. Even with the nuance of jogging, the question was the equivalent of "is it safe to be outside in a thunderstorm?". Jogging or not, it's the same thing. The Physics SE might have people better suited to answer it.
    – Alec
    Aug 9, 2015 at 20:38
  • If your question was "do thunderstorms provide extra resistance to my training?", I would gladly answer it, though my answer would be as ludicrous as the question :)
    – Alec
    Aug 9, 2015 at 20:40
  • Its about how to deal with a daily impact to a training plan. In all of July I literally only ran depending on the weather and it was a huge impact on my training and fitness. I dont think its that ludicrous but its definitely a better question for other active runners living around here than for this site. I think every question can be posted somewhere else since there is no set of topics that can be created which are atomic or completely independent.
    – Jason
    Aug 9, 2015 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


I agree to some extent. I don't like shutting down this type of discussion, considering it deters people from the site.

As we know, the rules state:


nutrition as it relates to exercise

Not allowed:

nutrition unrelated to exercise, such as food safety, nutritional needs for children, etc.

The example you referenced is entitled "Homemade Mass/Protein Blend", which does not imply any relation to physical fitness.

There are two perspectives to this question, I think:

  1. The OP is asking for a recipe for homemade mass gainer.
  2. The OP is asking what he should eat to achieve his fitness goals.

At first blush, this seems like exactly the type of question we're trying to avoid. However, after reading the post, it is clear his fitness goals are to gain muscle mass and weight, and he is working out with a trainer to accomplish that. He's concerned about bodybuilding, gaining general mass, and so on.

So I wouldn't say this is an egregious offender, but ultimately he is looking for a homemade mass gainer recipe. Yes, I think we are getting trigger happy with the close button and I also don't want to turn new contributors away (especially ones with his apparent potential). I think it might be best to try to work with the poster and let him or her know what the boundaries are (assuming the post can be salvaged), instead of blindly closing the question.

In this case, I'm willing to give the OP another chance, (edit) so long as he is willing to try to revise his question a bit -- which, by the way, it appears he is not (judging by his comments).

  • 1
    I basically agree, but the answers are going to look like a bro'd out betty crocker getting deep into whey, soy (watch that estrogen brah!), goat balls, and whatever else.
    – Eric
    Aug 8, 2015 at 16:51
  • @EricKaufman I think that's what the upvote/downvote system should work to minimize. I'd be the first to downvote a goat balls answer, lol.
    – Daniel
    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:19
  • @EricKaufman - Just out of curiosity; why did you choose to close the one I linked in the above question, but to answer the one on cheap protein sources? fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/25429/… Seems like the former is more related to fitness.
    – Alec
    Aug 11, 2015 at 14:29
  • @Alec , his bolded question is "can I substitute peanut butter for almond butter?" He discussed a pile of other things, but his main/primary/focus is clearly (to me) a nutrition question. I guess in my mind a slightly off-topic question that's at least clear and concise I'll go along with, but when you add in that it's fairly broad and hard to follow, I tossed in the close vote. To back up my point a bit, none of the answers even addressed his bolded question.
    – Eric
    Aug 13, 2015 at 5:03

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