Episode 133 – Q&A #6

Key Topics Covered

Q&A Blocks.

Can you explain the myth with evidence that tea with a protein-based meal, especially eggs, doesn’t limit absorption?

  • A Dietitian from Pakistan asked this and to be honest, it wasn’t something I was familiar with.
  • The specific study this was in reference to is “Co-ingestion of Black Tea Reduces the Indispensable Amino Acid Digestibility of Hens’ Egg in Indian Adults”.
  • The conclusion was “The true IAA digestibility of whole boiled egg protein significantly decreased by 17% when co-ingested with black tea. However, there was no significant reduction in the true IAA digestibility of spirulina protein when co-ingested with black tea.”
  • They also stated that tea polyphenol protein interactions reduced egg digestibility in healthy Indian adults but had minimal effect on spirulina protein digestibility. In populations who are at risk of dietary quality protein inadequacy, the consumption of tea during or after a meal can further increase the risk of inadequacy.
  • My thoughts: This doesn’t matter if your total protein intake is high enough.

How to start anorexia recovery by myself?

  • The odds of success get substantially higher with a team of professionals around you. 
  • At minimum – if using social media, I would focus on trying to follow accounts that put out good information about eating disorders. I’d also focus on NOT following accounts that talk about weight loss.
  • But when you are deep in this world, I think it can sometimes be hard to identify what is helpful VS what isn’t which is why having an objective voice outside of yourself is so useful.
  • It is also so important to have accountability and a support network 

“Should powerlifters be focusing on carbs pre-training or fats, since we aren’t using carbs as our primary fuel source?

Powerlifter squatting with carbohydrate foods around them.

  • Powerlifting does use a decent amount of carbs. 
  • An example is that study showing that 6 hard sets of leg extensions led to around 40% glycogen depletion in the quads.
  • You can see how glycogen suddenly becomes relevant if you were a bit depleted at the baseline AND doing a long/hard session.
  • We also have practically unlimited fat stores.
    • Using logic: even somebody who is shredded and has ~8kg of body fat – that is 8×7,700 calories of fat that is stored. That is >60,000 calories, although obviously, they couldn’t utilize all of that.

“Best cooking/preparation tips for bloating after certain higher fiber foods e.g. lentils/beans/oats?

  • Soaking and sprouting can help. This also makes the nutrients more bioavailable.
  • Wash and cook your legumes very well.
  • Chewing well is also highly underrated. Chew to an apple sauce consistency before swallowing.
  • If you are still struggling, you can play around with reducing fibre if your intake is quite high.
  • In practice, there is a lot of different routes I would take depending on the person and the situation.

Will better quality food help performance more than processed foods? Example: nut butter filled dates instead of cookies OR homemade smoothie instead of Up and Go. Because less inflammation = better recovery?

  • This is a nuanced answer. This is likely less about processed vs unprocessed and more about a lot of other aspects.
  • Example: Eating dates and nut butter means you would have a significantly higher micronutrient intake than if you had cookies. That has carryover effects. An example within that example could be that increased magnesium intake could help improve sleep quality, which could improve recovery.
  • The Up & Go vs homemade smoothie example is hard. Up & Go is fortified with a bunch of micronutrients. So the micronutrient argument is a bit less relevant. And the other part of the question is the implication that processed food like Up & Go would increase inflammation. But would it? 
  • I think it would be a bit much to go through the ingredients list and break each one down . But for now my short answer is that there probably isn’t much difference.
  • The other side of the processed vs unprocessed debate could come down to things like convenience and digestibility pre/intra workout at times.
    • For example, gels vs whole foods during marathons.
  • This is worth mentioning because sometimes people get hyper-focused on unprocessed foods being better to the point that it could actually be detrimental to their goals. 
  • Context is key!

What are your thoughts on dietitians not being good cooks or not caring for it? I feel like it shows up in their work with nutrition recommendations or recipe.”

  • Different dietitians for different people.
  • Some people are good at areas that other people aren’t. And some dietitians will be better fits for certain people.
  • I think it depends on what you are after from a dietitian – if it is to get creative in the kitchen, some dietitians will be better than others.
  • For me (Leah), I am not the best cook in the world but I do like to put out a lot of content on easy, low-prep meals and saving time in the kitchen, and therefore a client who chooses to work with me is usually seeing me for this reason.
  • On the other hand, I follow other dietitians who have amazing meal and recipe content and I reckon they would attract clients who love cooking and getting creative but maybe less of my type of client.

Aidan’s Answer

  • I personally don’t care about cooking. But I also typically don’t give recommendations around recipes.
  • I actually spent the first 2 years of my career trying to improve in this area. If you scroll really far back on my content on IG you will see some cooking posts.
  • But then I decided to just lean into my strengths. And I also saw that I was getting results with clients without this aspect. I didn’t get into nutrition because of cooking. I got into nutrition because of nutrition.
  • I do value cooking though. Even if it’s not my strength, the value is part of why I have hired dietitians who care about it. 

What degree of volume eating is excessive?

  • No specific answer.
  • I’d say it is excessive if you get a lot of GI symptoms from it or feel significantly full or bloated consistently. 
  • I think it’s excessive if you try to use it as a hack to avoid ever feeling hungry.
  • I think it is excessive if you still feel a need to do it to a large degree year-round e.g. when not aiming for a deficit.
  • If you are eating >1kg of veg, this is definitely excessive.

“For exceptionally lean individuals, how much protein? Also, what counts as exceptionally lean?

Protein containing foods
  • A solid target is to use lean body mass.
  • So in a deficit, the gold standard target is 2.3-3.1g/kg of fat free mass. 
  • At maintenance or in a surplus it would be slightly lower than that, ~0.2g/kg lower.
  • Rather than defining what is exceptionally lean, we can just scale this across everybody.
  • I am going to use myself as an example, 
    • 80kgs bodyweight, 25% BF on a DEXA = ~60kgs lean mass, my protein target at maintenance would be 125-175g.
    • If I was 80kgs at 20% BF, my protein intake would scale up based on body composition.

How much dietary fat is necessary? Feel like 0.5g/kg, which is what a calorie calculator has recommended, is very little for me because I am short at 140cm, so it ends up being small, like 20g per day.

  • We often say >0.5g/kg, but it is hard to find a specific cutoff. 
  • In general, when people go below that number we often start seeing issues with hormones.
  • For example, a reduction in testosterone for males, menstrual cycle disruption, hormone changes and other complex issues in females.
  • There may also be issues absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
  • This 0.5g/kg number doesn’t scale perfectly for height/weight. I would always go higher than 20g of fat for somebody in this position. 
  • But for somebody of a low height/weight – often the numbers do end up looking quite low in comparison since total calorie intake is a bit lower.
  • Ultmiately, this recommendation is a MINIMUM, so you can absolutely have more than this. 

Relevant Resources

Studies Mentioned