Should You Have Slow Digesting/Absorbing Protein Before Bed?

Should You Have Slow Digesting/Absorbing Protein Before Bed?

Whey protein is well known for being a “fast-digesting protein source” while casein is a “slow-digesting protein source.” Having whey protein post-workout when you want protein rapidly and having casein before bed when you want to be minimising muscle protein breakdown overnight makes sense based on this logic. In nutrition though, it is not uncommon for things to make sense when you look at a single mechanism, but fall apart when you look at the big picture. In this case, the big picture thing we really care about is – does this approach lead to more muscle gain/retention in the…
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Can You Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

Can You Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time?

Losing fat whilst gaining muscle or “toning up” is a common goal. However, there are a few questions worth considering. Is it possible to do BOTH at the same time? And if so, is it a worthwhile pursuit? Could it be significantly quicker to focus on one or the other at a time? The reason why this is a topic worth addressing is because muscle building and fat loss are actually two contradictory physical mechanisms. You may have heard of the two metabolism states: anabolism and catabolism. These basically refer to either your body using energy to grow (anabolism) or…
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What To Do When You Blow Your Calorie Budget

What To Do When You Blow Your Calorie Budget

Have you ever wondered "what should I do if I eat more than my planned calories while in a deficit?"  As dietitians, this is a question we get asked all of the time and is a common concern for those undertaking a fat loss phase.  Everyone, even the most consistent people, are bound to go off track a day here and there. Whether it is a meal out with friends or a few drinks with work colleagues on a Friday afternoon.  So what do you do after this happens? Energy Balance - A Quick Recap Let’s quickly revisit energy balance…
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How To Measure Changes In Body Composition: A Guide

How To Measure Changes In Body Composition: A Guide

There are so many ways that you can track changes in body composition and measure progress over time.  All of which have their pros and cons. So this blog post will go over each of the main options you have for tracking changes.  What Is Body Composition? Body composition refers to the composition of your body mass. With predominant components being lean mass and fat mass. So body composition is the ratio of the two. Now lean body mass refers to not only muscle but also includes BoneOrgansSkin Body water And literally, anything that isn’t fat mass  When people say they would…
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Does Having A Higher Body Fat % Make You Less Anabolic?

Does Having A Higher Body Fat % Make You Less Anabolic?

Should I bulk or cut first? Has been a common conundrum since the dawn of the online fitness world. It was often a heated debate on BodyBuilding.com back in the late 2000s. Many people believe that getting leaner prior to a bulking phase can improve your ability to build muscle due to an increase in insulin sensitivity. The theory is that as your body fat gets higher, your muscles become less responsive to insulin which means nutrients are diverted away from the muscle. This having the flow on effect of less hypertrophic (muscle building) potential. Therefore, cutting before a bulking…
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Betaine Supplementation for Athletes

Betaine Supplementation for Athletes

Betaine is a supplement that has been around the bodybuilding and strength sports community for a while. It is not one of the most frequently used supplements, but there still is a bit of buzz about it. It is also known as trimethylglycine, or TMG. One aspect as to why there is hype behind it is that farmers have been using it with livestock for decades now to increase muscle and reduce fat. And obviously, farmers are concerned with making money, so would not be doing this if they did not think that the money invested in betaine was going…
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What to Do if You Feel Like You Are On Low Calories and Not Losing Weight

What to Do if You Feel Like You Are On Low Calories and Not Losing Weight

One of the most common things I see in practice is that a lot of people feel like they are eating relatively low calories, but not seeing the weight-loss results they expect. This can obviously be a frustrating experience. Some people can lose weight easily while barely trying. Others can put a lot of time, energy and focus on it, while still not getting the results they want. Unpacking this issue though, I want to provide some potential reasons why this might be occurring, as well as some solutions. Obviously, none of this is individualised advice. Instead, it is just…
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Protein: What’s Important When Trying to Build Muscle?

Protein: What’s Important When Trying to Build Muscle?

Protein is obviously the most important macronutrient to focus on for building muscle.  In the nutrition world, things are either oversimplified or overly complicated with emphasis placed on things that do not really matter.  One of the things that can be confusing for people is that for protein and muscle growth, multiple things are required. But each of these things matters to varying degrees.  The four main aspects of protein for muscle growth are: 1)  Total protein intake 2) Protein distribution 3) Protein quality 4)  Specific timing If you are trying to maximise muscle growth, you need to nail all of these…
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5 Tips for if You Struggle to Eat Enough Calories

5 Tips for if You Struggle to Eat Enough Calories

There can be a lot of reasons why somebody could struggle to eat enough calories for their goals. Maybe you have high calorie requirements due to a variety of factors including high activity levels or having a lot of muscle mass while trying to gain more size. Alternatively, maybe you just have a busy schedule or limited appetite and struggle to eat enough food. Either way, this post will cover a variety of ways to get more calories in. 1) Add Liquid Calories It is easier to drink than it is to eat. Getting a similar amount of calories from…
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Is HMB Useful for Building Muscle?

Is HMB Useful for Building Muscle?

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) is a chemical that is produced when the amino acid leucine is broken down by the body. It has a few different names depending on the specific version of the molecule. Other names include beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyric acid, beta-hydroxy and beta-methylbutyrate. The human body naturally produces it, but typically only produces around 0.3g per day on average. When people supplement it, standard dosages are usually 3-6g per day. Interest in HMB supplementation started in the early 2000s when a few studies showed significant gains in muscle and strength in comparison to placebo. There have even been two later studies…
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