Episode 48 – Q&A #3

Key Topics Covered

Q: Easy ways to increase calories in meals for endurance athletes? 

  • Eating frequently throughout the day  
  • Liquid calories  
  • Focusing on energy-dense foods – nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter, etc.
  • Make sure you’re not overdoing the fibre  
  • Most endurance athletes will need to incorporate some “processed foods” with some added sugar to meet high energy requirements (Nutrigrain, chocolate milk, sports gels, and other carb products, sports drinks, etc) 

Q: How can we increase our metabolism? 

  • Eating more calories – metabolic adaptation 
  • Building muscle – having a higher % of muscle mass to fat mass can increase your metabolism, although it isn’t as drastic of a difference as people might think.  
    • Although if you gained muscle and therefore weight in general – this would have a greater effect. Weight gain in general will increase baseline metabolism.  
  • Thermic effect of food – protein, whole foods versus processed foods (but this is technically separate to your BMR) 
  • Caffeine & Fat burners can increase metabolic rate and fat oxidation BUT when talking from a weight loss perspective – these changes are pretty insignificant 

Q: How accurate are apple watches for tracking calories burned? 

  • They’re surprisingly accurate.
  • Accuracy of Heart Rate Watches: Implications for Weight Management – 4 devices were measured (Apple Watch, Fitbit Charge HR, Samsung Gear S and Mio Alpha) on 23 subjects exercising for one hour. The percentage error in terms of underreporting energy expenditure on average was 9-43% 
  •  2020 systematic review, 60 studies – How well do activity monitors estimate energy expenditure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the validity of current technologies 
  • The most accurate device out of all the studies was the Sense-Wear Armband Mini but even its error reported in studies ranged from underestimating by as much as 21.27% to overestimating by as much as 14.76%. 

Q: Are there vegan collagen supplements and are these effective? 

  • As far as I am aware there are no vegan supplements on the market that aim to replicate collagen  
  • There are supplements that contain ingredients that might boost collagen production in the body and I would generally say these are unlikely to be that effective 
  • The one context where we see collagen supplementation generally being useful is in the recovery of soft tissue injuries (ligaments and tendons) – collagen can be useful in this context due to its very different amino acid profile from other proteins 
  • I’d argue that we could make a vegan supplement replicating that amino acid profile – We’re surprised that this hasn’t been done yet.

Q: Is there any actual evidence that diet can help with depression/anxiety? 

  • Short answer: Yes.
  • The SMILES trial was the first to publish clear cut evidence on the matter.
  • They put people on the mediterranean diet for 12 weeks. 32% were in remission based on depression scores and 20% with anxiety went into remission. Everybody in the study showed improvement though.
  • But there are questions as to weather seeing a dietitian weekly, feeling empowered and improving diet are what acutally helped.

Q: Does the increased water weight from creatine go away after loading? 

  • So first off – the little bit of water weight you gain when you start taking creatine is nothing to worry about  
  • People tend to really overthink this super minor side effect  
  • But a 2021 review titled “Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation” 
  • Summarised a lot of key topics including this and came to the conclusion that while water weight increases initially, it seems to go back to the baseline over time 
  • So whilst you may gain 0.5-1kg during the loading phase, this likely dissipate over the longer term  

Q: Do you need to do anything differently for weight loss if you have insulin resistance? 

  • Not really 
  • People hypothesise that lower-carb diets would be better, but that is not what the research shows 
  • Insulin resistance means that insulin actually has a harder time taking glucose out of the blood – this doesn’t really explain why you would need to change carb/fat breakdown 
  • Body fat is still made up of calories, which is why CICO is important 
  • In T2DM where insulin resistance is prevalent both and low carb diets have been shown to have great outcomes if implemented well 
  • Protein also raises insulin – not just carbs 

Q: I have just gone vegan. What are the most important supplements and vitamins I should be aware of? 

  • B12 – every vegan should supplement of get injections, it’s in some fortified foods but it is best to supplement anyway as the deficiency is dangerous  
  • Nil other supplement recommendations I have across the board  
  • But other typical ones would be omega 3 (EPA & DHA) & vitamin D 
  • Iron and zinc are common supplements but ideally, you want to do this under the advice of a dietitian or doctor – a food first approach is best (tofu, tempeh, TVP, fortified cereals, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes) 
  • Other nutrients generally to be aware of would be  
    • Calcium-fortified products, calcium set tofu  
    • Iodine – iodised salt, nori 
    • Selenium – brazil nuts  

Useful Links/Resources

Studies Mentioned

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