Episode 12 – Q&A

Key Topics Covered

Alcohol and Gains

Alcoholic Beverages
  • Alcohol has 7kcal/g – before factoring in any calories from carbs, or also the calories from food consumed alongside it. Obviously this alone contributes to body fat gain. Plus it could take away from calories allocated to protein.
  • Impairs sleep quality and often quantity.
  • Negatively impacts ability to train hard.
  • Alcohol decreases muscle protein synthesis. One study showed that even with high amounts of alcohol (either 12 or 24 standard drinks) post-workout alongside food showed a 24% reduction in muscle protein synthesis. So nothing crazy considering the high amount of alcohol consumed, but still relevant for those trying to maximise gains.

Thoughts on Mixing Creatine With Protein Shakes

  • Theoretically helps absorption more than just mixed with water alone. But that does not really matter if you take it long term since you will reach the saturation level regardless.
  • If you do this, you still need to consume creatine daily e.g. you should not just have it on training days for example.


  • We rarely recommend them. They can have their place. But we prefer to reach micronutrient targets through a food first approach whenever that is an option that is realistic. And if not and there is only a few nutrients that are inadequate, we would rather supplement them individually.
  • If it is likely that there will be an inadequate intake of a lot of thing, it makes sense to have a multivitamin.
  • Big calorie deficits likely mean you are guarenteed to be low in a lot of micronutrients (unless you choose incredibly nutrient rich food sources for almost all of your intake) – so a multivitamin can make sense for that too.

Replenishing Glycogen Post-Workout

  • Only really relevant if training/competing again in <24 hours. Otherwise just consume normal carbohydrate intake.
  • Have high GI carbs post-workout.
  • Technically resource has shown that due to glycogen supercompensation, it is very difficult to store sugar as body fat directly post-workout. But this clearly gets balanced out across the course of the day, otherwise concepts such as flexible dieting would not work as well.
  • Highest glycogen synthesis rates have been recorded at 1-1.85g/kg/hr.
  • We can typically store about 10g/kg of fat free mass for glycogen. So an athlete who is 80kg, 10% body fat can store ~720g of glycogen.
  • A simple, but not optimal rule is 50g of high GI carbs post-workout. And then repeat an hour later. After that just focus on high carb foods in general.

Inositol and PCOS

  • 2-4g of myo-inositol can help improve insulin sensitivity, reduce testosterone and aid fertility in those with PCOS.

Carbs and Water

  • Every gram of glycogen stored typically leads to ~2.7ml of water being stored in the body alongside it.
  • Higher carb intake leads to more water weight. Lower carb intake leads to less water intake.
  • This is particularly relevant since it means starting a low carb diet leads to a misleadingly quick drop in scale weight. Vice versa, eating a high carb meal leads to a misleadingly quick increase in scale weight. Both of these things are seperate from body fat and muscle.

Carb Cycling

  • No major benefits for body composition unless there are massive training volumes. It can make sense to eat slightly more carbs on training days and less on rest days if you want.
  • It can also be an option if you prefer slightly higher calories on weekends.

Relevant Links/Resource

Studies Mentioned

  • Parr et al 2014 – Alcohol Ingestion Impairs Maximal Post-Exercise Rates of Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis following a Single Bout of Concurrent Training

Relevant Blog Post