Podcast Transcript Episode 12 – Nutrition Q&A

The Ideal Nutrition Podcast

Aidan

00:00:00 – 00:00:27

Hello, And welcome back to Episode 12 of the ideal nutrition podcast. Today we’re gonna try a Q and A episode. I’ve got no idea if it’s gonna be good content or not. I’m, it’s a funny belief, but I’m a belief in almost like the Steve Jobs philosophy of people don’t know what they want until you get it. And sometimes I feel like Q and A like I feel like that. With Saturday Q and A like I get a lot of questions and, like people don’t really want to hear about this. But then I tried to answer it. And like I’ve tried to pick a few, that might be interesting here, and hopefully it works out. All right, Um, if you don’t like it, please let me know if you do like it. Also let me know. So the first question we’ve got is from @Tabliftsthings. So these are obviously all through instagram. So that’s a handle, shoutout tabatha. Um and that is on What is the impact of alcohol on body composition and strength? 

Leah

00:00:57 – 00:01:39

So I feel like we can definitely approach this question from a few different prongs. Um, so the first one would be. Obviously, there’s the calorie intake when it comes to alcohol. So if you’re consuming a lot of alcohol, it’s adding to your calorie intake and you may end up in a calorie surplus over time, then the effects on body composition are probably not going to be great. You probably are going to gain body fat from excessive alcohol consumption. Um, and then there’s also the food that is often consumed alongside alcohol. So kind of your salty, high fat snacks that are a good combo with like, that’s gonna have not usually a great impact on body composition, either. 

Leah

00:01:39 – 00:02:24

and then there’s also if it’s taking calories away from protein. So say you are having alcohol. Um, but you are remaining within your calorie limit and you’re not in a surplus, so that’s fine. Not gaining body fat. Well, you know those calories are going to alcohol now instead of protein. Therefore, you’re not meeting your total daily protein requirements. Um, then it can definitely have an impact on the ability to grow muscle mass or retain muscle mass. Um, the other side of that coin is that it might actually impair your ability to recover or even impair things like muscle protein synthesis. So I like to look at it as you know, we know at least that alcohol definitely does impact our sleep. 

Leah

00:02:25 – 00:02:54

We know how important sleep is to recovery. So if we’re drinking alcohol, we’re not sleeping that well, and then we’re not recovering, our training is worse. And then we end up in this cycle of not training the best we can. So from a body composition perspective and a strength perspective, we’re not doing, you know, everything we can to optimise that. And then I’ll actually let you talk about this study that we’ve both kind of gone over and found, um, but how alcohol affects muscle protein synthesis. 

Aidan

00:02:55 – 00:04:35

Yeah. So before the study in university, one of the best lies, it was an unintentional lie, but the best lie I ever got told from a lecturer; is that muscle protein synthesis is completely switched off while alcohol is in your system. And the logic that this lecture utilises is that alcohol is a toxin your body’s prioritising getting rid of it. Get it out of the system basically, and that down regulates other processes. That’s part of why it actually does down regulate it. And I viewed it as a bit of a switch, like I feel as if it switched it off. I always question a little bit because I was like, well, how do people who are alcoholics not end up with no muscle at all? Like if you got alcohol in your system 24 hours a day every day, how do you end up not having no muscles? I was like, maybe there’s sort of a scale to this thing. I then became aware of research like this, and the study we’re going to reference is a 2014 study, called Alcohol Ingestion impairs maximum post exercise rates of muscle protein synthesis following a single bout of training. And it is a crazy study like what they basically did was they got people to do a training session and one group had whey protein directly post workout. The other group had protein and alcohol, and then they also had a control group that didn’t have anything. But obviously, we don’t need to talk about that. We’re going to compare protein versus protein and alcohol. The protein and alcohol group, like i’m still not 100% sure we’re reading the study correctly. But over the course of four hours, it was either 12 standard drinks or 24 standard drinks. We think it’s 24. 

Leah

00:04:36 – 00:04:41

I think it is 24. I read it a few times. It just seems like so much alcohol to give people.

Aidan

00:04:41 – 00:05:15

How good is it getting that through ethics approval, like putting people in a room to have 24 standard drinks. Um, and also they put in a carb based meal two hours after the exercise training as well, just like keeping it a little bit more standardised as well to what people normally kind of do. Um, but what’s really fascinating about that is if it doesn’t really matter if it’s 12-24 for the sake of this. But the muscle protein synthesis levels that were observed were 24% lower in the alcohol and protein group compared to the protein group, so it was only a 24% reduction in muscle protein synthesis. 

Aidan

00:05:16 – 00:05:48

That’s really relevant because it’s kind of like, Well, how much better for me, who had heard that it was completely switched off to go from that to only 24% reduction? I was like, Oh, that’s not so bad, like that’s all right, Um, but it still obviously does impact your training results like if you had 24 standard drinks and say that it takes 24 hours to clear out of your system like that’s a very rough estimate but say it does that. That’s an entire 24 hours kind of time frame where it’s (muscle protein synthesis) reduced by 24% at minimum. Really, because it’s going to affect sleep. It’s going to affect all these other things as well. 

Leah

00:05:48 – 00:06:29

Yes, binge drinking in general is probably going to be not super great for body composition or health, and I put 12 to 24 drinks in that drinking category, but I’d actually be super interested to see, you know, for those people that occasionally have a beer after a training session, like how much that actually impacts things because some people are on the side of fence that is like, Oh, it’s the worst thing you could possibly do after training. But if you can have 12 standard drinks and it reduces your muscle protein synthesis by 24% or so, if you have one standard drink, it probably doesn’t matter. 

Aidan

00:06:30 – 00:06:50

exactly, and that really updated my thinking like I was in that camp of like, Well, if it’s 0% muscle protein synthesis, then it’s like that’s an hour where you’re not building muscle or recovering or whatever when it should be peaked. Yeah, so, like, I’ve definitely changed my opinion on that recently or not recently, like years ago now, But like, I have changed my opinion. 

Leah

00:06:50 – 00:07:03

Question two. I’m sorry if I mispronounce any of these names. I’m terrible with that. But Ms Rivera15, so that person’s asking “thoughts on mixing creatine with protein shakes”

Aidan

00:07:03 – 00:07:37

This is a pretty quick one for me. I see no downside of it. directly, Um, it doesn’t prevent creatine absorption or anything like that. Heck, if you actually put some carbohydrate into a shake like if you had milk or something like that, it might even increase how much of the creatine you absorb like I don’t really think that matters that much, but it is something to be aware of. But the big thing that I think is relevant is I just see people if they only put it in their protein shakes. That therefore means they need to have their protein shake every single day to make sure they are having creatine. It’s a consistency issue. Most people probably don’t wanna have a protein shake every single day.

Aidan

00:07:38 – 00:08:04

week after week after week after week after week. But you probably do want to be having creatine every single day as well. And if you link those two together, it might affect things. Also, some people only have their protein shakes on the days that they work out, and that would also contribute to this problem because you want to have creatine every day. Whatever way you can get to that outcome is what you want to do, so there’s no real downside in this. But that is something that I do question about whether that would happen in practise. 

Leah

00:08:04 – 00:08:32

Yeah, I agree with that completely. In terms of creatine supplementation, I always tell my clients, look, whatever you can do daily consistently is going to be the most important. Sure, we can get some slight benefit from combining with carbohydrates, although you have to actually do have a lot of carbohydrates to have that effect. And there’s probably some argument to having it post training, but obviously most people aren’t training every day. The biggest thing is consistency. So whatever you can do everyday is the way to go for sure. 

Aidan

00:08:32 – 00:08:52

Cool. So the next question comes in from Jordan Barker zero, um, shout out to the sports dietitian. So Jordan Barker’s asked this multiple times in Q and A. And I saw the sports dietitian answer it like he asked me and Taylor Ryan as well, so it’s already been answered for him. I’m gonna do it again here. Um, do we recommend multivitamins to fill the gaps? 

Leah

00:08:52 – 00:09:40

Overall, I’m not a huge advocate for supplementation that is unnecessary, and for the most part, if you can optimise your nutrient intake through the diet as in a food first approach. That’s always going to be my first approach. Um, so I don’t tend to use or recommend multivitamins. Um, I feel like it could be useful in circumstances where you are struggling to optimise your diet. So allergies, intolerances, so many reasons why someone might not be able to get certain nutrients. And if there’s generally just a general lack in their diet, they might fit in well there, but my thoughts on nutrient supplementation as it should probably be specific to what you actually need. So if you’re struggling to get iron in your diet rather than taking a multivitamin, you should probably be taking an iron supplement. 

Leah

00:09:40 – 00:09:55

Um, so less of the approach of let’s throw everything at the wall and see what sticks and actually look at your diet, see what’s missing. Try to fill it with food, and then, if you can’t do that, supplement with individual nutrients rather than a whole bunch of stuff. 

Aidan

00:09:55 – 00:10:33

Yeah, I completely agree with that. So, like if I was going to be playing Devil’s advocate and trying to reach for a reason why, we could recommend that to fill the gaps, two scenarios come to mind. One is like, what if your diet is so terrible that you have so many gaps? Well, then maybe yes, it makes sense to do the multivitamin approach. That does make sense. There’s, like phytochemicals and stuff like that, like these little nutrients and one that comes to mind is beta glucan that you are not gonna find in a multivitamin. But the other one that comes to my mind as well as like a big calorie deficit.

Aidan

00:10:34 – 00:11:06

This is something I’m just taking people’s word for because, like, we obviously can’t go through and do a nutrient analysis and figure this out for everybody. But, like it seems to take about 80% of your maintenance calories to reach roughly what would be the recommended daily intake for each individual. Assuming you’re not a massive outlier or something like that, what if you’re in a large deficit? If you have a 40% calorie deficit like you take 40% of the calories away. By definition, you’re only consuming 60% of the calories that would be maintenance you would have this discrepancy that unless you’re consuming 

Aidan

00:11:07 – 00:11:34

really nutrient rich foods that are low in calories, you’re going to fall short regardless. Once again, I’d prefer to take the approach of supplementing individual gaps. But what if you don’t know what your individual gaps are and stuff like that? Maybe a multivitamin makes sense in those circumstances. I’m not opposed to it. The last thing I think is an interesting fact. On average, people who take multivitamins have shorter life spans than those who don’t. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that research. 

Leah

00:11:34 – 00:11:36

No, I have never seen that research. 

Aidan

00:11:36 – 00:11:59

It blew my mind when I heard that, because it’s kind of like, well, when I saw that research and, like, I wouldn’t overthink that. That’s not me being like don’t take a multivitamin because of that, that’s not what I am saying because it’s the whole, like correlation doesn’t equal causation. Like, who’s to say that people who take multivitamins do very different things than those who don’t ? Well, clearly they do, and that’s probably the bigger explanation. 

Aidan

00:11:59 – 00:12:14

But also it’s enough for me to be like, I’m not going to take a multivitamin every single day for the rest of my life. If my nutrition is already good, I’m not going to add that on top, just in case like that’s another thought process that I have as well related to that, that I factor in personally for myself when it comes to this topic.

Leah

00:12:14 – 00:12:29

Totally. And it makes me think, like, what does that tell us about people that take multivitamins as a whole? Like are they typically the people that take a multivitamin and then completely don’t worry about what they’re doing from a dietary perspective? Maybe. 

Aidan

00:12:29 – 00:12:44

Yeah, I think about that, especially if it fits your macros style approach like, theoretically, you could get most of your protein coming from protein shakes. You could have fibre supplements for your fibre, and you could have a multivitamin for your micronutrient and then just whatever you want. Like it’s a very slippery slope when you take that approach.

Leah

00:12:44 – 00:13:00

It doesn’t really work that way. So question Number four comes from Curtis, the good dietitian. Another dietitian is giving us a question here. So if you train multiple times per day. What’s the fastest way to replenish glycogen stores? 

Aidan

00:13:00 – 00:13:44

So this could be a really easy question to answer, but I think there’s also a complicated answer. Like the easy one is just emphasis on high GI carbohydrates directly post workout. That’s easy. There’s a concept called glycogen super compensation, which is basically like this, has been played around with two extremes, like if you have sugar directly post workout, it’s almost impossible for it to get stored as fat. It’s crazy, obviously, if that was a true phenomenon that carried over to longer term outcomes. If it fits, your macros we just talked about would not have any remote chance of working because people could abuse this system. I’ve mentioned him before, but Charles Pollock. When we talked about that early on, the whole concept of him having people who are above 10% body fat have no carbs ever..

Aidan

00:13:44 – 00:14:16

and then like people who he would give 200g of carbs, all coming from sugar directly post workout. He was somebody who was trying to abuse this theoretical loophole that we can find in terms of like you track that sugar. It does not get stored as fat. If you are directly post workout, it mostly gets stored as glycogen, so that does exist. Obviously, I think that causes a cascade of effects that leads to fat storage later on, most likely, which is how it balances out, obviously. But from the glycogen replacing standpoint, that’s a really interesting loophole. If we want to maximise glycogen replenishment, 

Aidan

00:14:16 – 00:14:26

it makes sense to have a tonne of high GI carbs directly post workout. So if you’re training or competing or whatever, multiple times per day, like the example that comes to my mind is like school gala days, where they do multiple events in the day.

Aidan

00:14:27 – 00:15:00

High GI carbs makes sense. That’s the easy answer. The complex answer is like. What if you really want to maximise this? And the highest glycogen synthesis rates have been reported, about 1 to 1.85 gram per kilogram per hour. To simplify that for somebody who is 80 kg, that’s like 80 to 150 gram of carbs per hour. So a can of Coke, for example, is like 40g of carbohydrate, so you’d be looking at two, three, maybe even four cans of Coke is what we’re using Coke as an example. 

Aidan

00:15:00 – 00:15:38

Um, so it’s a lot like it’s not just a small amount. You can actually get a lot done, but that’s for somebody trying to maximise things. An 80 kg athlete who’s 10% body fat would have 72 kg of lean body mass, and we can store about 10g per kilogram of lean body mass. So that athlete, if they were fully glycogen depleted, could store 720g of carbohydrate as glycogen. So when we look at it from that perspective, it’s like, well, you could really have a lot of carbohydrates if you are doing it multiple times in a day. And that’s why you’d be looking at a tonne of sugar to maximise performance on that day. That’s obviously not great for body composition overall, but for that day it makes sense. What I would consider is a simpler rule, 

Aidan

00:15:38 – 00:16:04

If you are somebody who wants to take advantage of this principle, but you’re not looking to absolutely maximise things with a tonne of carbohydrates, I probably would just have 50g or more of carbohydrate directly post workout. Maybe do that for the first two hours. That way you’ve got at least 100 plus grams of carbohydrate stored as glycogen. Most likely, obviously, it’s a little bit more complex than that. It doesn’t all get stored as glycogen 

Aidan

00:16:04 – 00:16:28

and protein could also be converted to glycogen as well. But, like 50 grams per hour for at least the first two hours should maximise things. Going higher than 150g of carbs in the first hour. Won’t increase absorption any further. That’s the maximum that you could probably take. So more is not necessarily better. You would be better to spread it out over multiple hours. 

Leah

00:16:28 – 00:16:47

Yes, so if you’re someone that regularly does AM & PM sessions, we definitely wouldn’t be recommending, you know, you have four cans of coke after the AM session in preparation for your PM session. Um, that’s obviously more when you’re doing multiple events in a single day and your performance really matters.

Aidan

00:16:47 – 00:17:00

For sure. So then the next one I would be looking at is I think it’s from Nick Adeline is how I’d say it. Apologies, if that’s incorrect. And the question is, is inositol beneficial for PCOS? 

Leah

00:17:01 – 00:17:36

The research that we have currently says yes. Um, and that’s it’s really pretty positive, specifically in regards to using myo inositol, in around the dosage of 2 to 4 grams daily. Um, so there have been research papers showing that that kind of supplementation can improve insulin sensitivity in people with PCOS, reduce testosterone and even aid in general fertility. Uh, so there could be other benefits at play there, but those are the ones that are quite well documented currently, and it is something I recommend to all of my clients that do have PCOS. 

Aidan

00:17:36 – 00:18:12

Sure. Huge. Completely agreed. And yeah, I’ll look into that as well for pretty much all my clients with PCOS as well. Um, the next question is carbs hold water? Oh, it’s from Anna. Is it only grains, or does it include fruit and sugar? It covers all carbohydrates, so basically the number that often goes in, and I do make a little bit misleading to make the math easier. But I often say, for every gram of glycogen you store, keeping in mind that carbs break down to glucose in the blood, which can then get stored as glycogen. Every gram of glycogen you store, you can store about 3 to 4 mil of water, is the number that I often go with. 

Aidan

00:18:12 – 00:18:37

And I like the number four because it makes the math simple. If you store 100 grams of glycogen, that’s half a kilo body weight that you’ve stored. That’s easy because you’re storing 400 mil of water. There is one study that gets quoted heaps, that is, like 2.7 mil of water is stored every gram of glycogen in your body. So it’s like that’s overly specific. Obviously, it’s not that specific every single time, but that’s like a good average to go so rounded up to three. 

Aidan

00:18:38 – 00:18:56

But it’s clear that makes a difference. You could have any form of carbohydrate, like a lot of people think of grains in terms of like I’m assuming and it might be coming from the perspective of being like maybe grains make you bloated but say sugar doesn’t or whatever. But the reason why it stores water is related to the glycogen. Any form of carbohydrate is going to lead to that. 

Aidan 

00:18:56 – 00:19:24

So that’s why I look at it. It’s always going to do that. And this is also very worth being aware of when it comes to low carb diets and stuff like that. And just short term thinking, if you weigh yourself very regularly, but your carb intake fluctuates, say, one day, you have a low food intake and you have low carbs. Of course, your weight is gonna be lower over the next few days. If you have a massive, high carb day, of course, it’s going to spike the next few days. Um, doesn’t mean it’s all body fat doesn’t mean like it’s an actual change in body composition. There can be big changes in water weight due to carbohydrate intake. 

Leah

00:19:26 – 00:20:05

So question number seven is thoughts on carb cycling. Um, and that comes from Jess with a G. That makes so much sense because I was trying to figure out how to say that, but it explains itself. Um so thoughts on carb cycling. So there’s two trains of thought that I tend to have on this. For the majority of my clients, I do not carb cycle. When we’re talking about, you know, my athletic clients or, you know, someone that performs in some kind of sport. Um, I don’t do it for most people because I don’t think it’s overly necessary. It can be harder, like, logistically, just to do this carb cycling. So if those days where you know you’re having, 

Leah

00:20:05 – 00:20:36

a certain amount of carbs, then the next day you’re having 100 grams less, logistically, how do you do that? How do you work that out? So it can be easier just to have the same calorie and carb intake day in and day out? Um, a lot of my powerlifting or strength athletes won’t be carb cycling, but on the other side of that is going to be my endurance athletes, so they tend to have greater discrepancies in their energy expenditure day today so that training can really differ. 

Leah

00:20:36 – 00:21:02

So some days they might be expending 4000 calories and then because they’ve got a huge ride and then a brick in the afternoon or something like that, and then on a rest day, maybe they’re expending about 2200 calories. So there can be these huge discrepancies in energy expenditure where it might make sense that you do a bit of carb cycling and you’re fueling for the work that you’re doing day to day and having less on rest days and more on heavier training days. 

Leah

00:21:02 – 00:21:50

Um, so I think carb cycling definitely has its place and can be beneficial. It’s just, you know, if you don’t need that carb cycling, it’s perhaps just adding in a complexity that you just don’t need, and it makes things a little bit harder. Um, I’d also see it from the perspective of just generally calorie cycling or budgeting calories. So when you’re dieting or in a calorie deficit, some people will find it easier if they have some higher calorie days versus lower calorie days. Um, some people like to have more calories and carbs on the weekend. Some people like to have more calories and carbs on their training days for performance, so it definitely has its place there. So it’s not that I’m anti or pro carb cycling. It really depends on the circumstances of the situation. 

Aidan 

00:21:51 – 00:22:15

Yeah, I don’t see any real benefit for body composition. Like I’ve had a theory like in the back of my mind for a while being like maybe it makes sense like, let’s use that the huge discrepancy that you kind of talked about. Like if they had the same intake every single day, then suddenly they have a massive calorie deficit on the big training days and a massive surplus on their rest days. Like we’ve got no research suggesting that actually makes any difference in body composition. But always at the back of my mind being like, are they gaining more body fat on their rest days? Are not optimising their recovery and stuff like that in their training days like I’ve had in the back of my mind but doesn’t seem overly relevant for many people.

Aidan

00:22:16 – 00:23:03

We can sort that out pretty easily by giving more food on those days to offset that a little bit for my powerlifters. They definitely don’t have that issue like that has been studied to a certain degree and that no body composition differences have been found there, which is part of what sets in the back of my mind. It’s not. It’s not something I’m really concerned with, but I often will give a pre-workout snack or something like that, that is not on their rest days, 

Aidan

00:23:03 – 00:23:43

and that’s an easy way to sort it out. So that way, at least, they feel good during the training session because they just had a good snack that they know makes them feel good for when they train and it partly balances out like maybe they burn like 500 calories in their training session and maybe the snacks 200 to 300 calories. It’s not intended to cover the gap entirely. It’s not trying to. I’m not trying to mathematically figure it out to make it match up, but it is a little bit extra food on their training days. Um, and then the budgeting one can be useful. There is very much personal preference. Um, me personally, I like simplicity and think it’s easier to do consistent things day after day. Some people like more calories on the weekend.

Aidan

00:23:43 – 00:24:14

For some people, it makes sense to budget for that, like I’ve done the maths on it. If you take away 50 calories per day six days of the week, that gives you 300 calories extra on the weekend, that doesn’t sound like a lot. But when you think about it because protein needs don’t change or anything like that, you should keep your protein the same throughout the entire time. That therefore means you might get like an extra 30 or 40 grammes of carbs in the weekend, and that and some extra fat as well. And that could be a dessert or something like that. They don’t normally have. You could take away 100 calories per day. Once again, that’s still not a lot. Now you have 600 calories which is like you’re looking at an extra meal or something like that. 

Aidan

00:24:15 – 00:24:41

Or a large meal out replacing another meal or something like that. That sounds very, very appealing. I think the concept falls apart when you go larger than that. And sometimes it also creates the issue of setting yourself up for failure and where it’s like you then want to go wild on the weekend because you’ve been so strict in a week. Um, so there’s a few thoughts of that, like calorie cycling is fine, in my opinion. I think it’s just very much a personal preference. 

Leah

00:24:41 – 00:25:14

Yeah, I just want to mention one thing with the calorie budgeting that I do see happen a lot and people fall into the pitfall of, um, not super to do with carb cycling. But I think worth mentioning just as part of this discussion is spending their carbs or calories beforehand. So, like not budgeting and saying, I’m going to put 100 calories off Monday to Friday and use that on the weekend, but blowing out and going, I’ll just make it up later because that never works. I promise you. That never works, so I just wanted to mention that.

Aidan

00:25:14 – 00:25:26

For sure. Okay, well, those are all the questions for today, so we’ll wrap up there. Hopefully, you guys all enjoy this format, and we might try it again at some stage in the future. Apart from that, Thank you for listening.