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Nutrition Questions

  • Should I consume a protein shake in the morning before my workout? Why not after my workout instead?

    Having woken up and not eaten for well over 8 hours, the amino acid pool in your body (the available constituents of proteins) will be greatly diminished. There are two primary ways to replenish your amino acid pool:

    1. Break down muscle tissue (as muscle has an abundance of proteins that can be utilised by the body)
    2. Consume protein in your diet

    Because you ideally wish to avoid breaking down muscle tissue (this will affect your tone, your ability to breakdown fat tissue, strength, fitness etc.), the optimal approach is to consume some fast absorbing protein as soon as you awake in order to replenish this amino acid pool.

    When you exercise, you are breaking down plenty of calories and putting a lot of physical stress on your body. Consequently, your body has a heightened requirement for amino acids (derived from proteins) in order to repair itself from this stress. If you were not to consume a protein shake prior to your workout, this would mean that a significantly greater degree of muscle tissue would be broken down.

    Now in regards to the consumption of a protein shake prior to your workout versus after your workout, it takes approximately 60-90 minutes for the proteins to be consumed, broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the blood stream. By consuming a protein shake prior to your workout, by the time your workout has completed, the amino acids will be there and ready to repair muscle tissue. If you were to consume it after your workout, not only would you have broken down a more significant degree of muscle before and during your workout, but you would then have to wait an additional 60-90 minutes for muscle repair to occur effectively. Considering that most of the amino acid uptake for recovery occurs within 2 hours of your workout completion, you would not be taking full advantage of your nutrition.

  • How much Dymatize ISO-100 should I consume after a workout for muscle gain? I am also consuming <a href=http://www.aminoz.com.au/dextrose-monohydrate-p-340.html alt=dextrose title=dextrose>dextrose</a>, creatine and glutamine.

    I love your supplement repertoire - simple, basic and highly effective.  Plus, you will be saving a considerable amount of money by purchasing each of these supplements individually, rather than buying a product that contains a mixture of these ingredients.

    With the Dymatize ISO-100, I would suggest consuming 1/2 - 1 scoop 10 minutes prior to your workout and 1/2-1 scoop immediately following your workout.  Your serving sizes will vary depending upon your body mass.  You also don't need multiple scoops per meal as you can only digest a certain amount of protein at any one time due to the availability of enzymes within your gut.

    Assuming that the intensity of each workout is high, ensure that you are ingesting adequate dextrose pre and post workout to induce an insulin spike (which encourages protein uptake and synthesis).  For this same reason, consume the creatine and glutamine together with your pre and/or post workout shake (as it too requires an insulin spike for uptake).

  • I am thinking of buying GABA Powder (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid). I am wondering what ingredients are contained within the product?

    GABA powder is exactly that - pure GABA powder.  You will be happy to know that there are no additives at all.

    Please follow this link for some more information on GABA Powder.

  • Whats in a good protein powder?

    When looking for a a good protein powder, you need to know exactly what you want that protein powder to do for you.  There is no such thing as the "best" protein powder available, because protein powders will vary in their effectiveness depending upon what you are using it for.

    As a general rule of thumb (and I'm going to speak broadly here), it is best to go with a whey based protein powder for consumption prior to and immediately following a workout.  A whey based protein powder high has the highest biological value (or BV), which effectively means that it is utilised by the body to a higher degree than any other protein available.

    With whey protein powders, there are two main types.  There is whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.  Isolates are processed to a greater degree and consequently are absorbed into the body quicker than concentrates.  Due to the additional processing, whey protein isolate (or WPI) is generally more expensive than whey protein concentrate (or WPC).

    We have a few protein powders available which vary mainly on their WPI and WPC availability and thus price:

    Dymatize Elite Whey - 2.27kg (more WPC)

    Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard - 2.34Kg (a mix of WPI/WPC)

    Dymatize ISO-100 - 2.27kg (pure WPI protein)

    Of course there are many other proteins available on the market.  Here's a couple of examples.  Casein protein is absorbed over a seven hour period and thus could be useful for ingestion prior to sleeping.  Soy based proteins, whilst posessing a low biological value, are ideal for many vegetarians.

  • Is eating tuna bad because high of Mercury levels? I eat a lot of tuna each day and feel fatigued. I have read that this is a symptom of Mercury poisoning.

    I am a firm believer in eating everything in moderation.  For every dietary plan that I supply to my clients, there will always be a mix of:

    Various meats/fish
    Nuts (whether whole or in LSA)

    Restricting yourself to a particular food may have side effects because you may be restricting yourself from a particular nutrient.  Many bodybuilders and fitness fanatics do this in a very unhealthy manner which can lead to long-term health complications.  For example, eating only banana's as fruit.  Whilst they are a great source of potassium, they are quite low in other nutrients and could easily contribute to a nutrient deficit.

    Conversely, eating too much of a particular food could have side effects too.  A common example is consuming too many carrots.  A high intake of beta-carotene could actually make your skin turn orange.

    In your case, a high intake of tuna could potentially have side effects.  Tuna has a reputation for being relatively high in mercury relative to other foods.  It's not dangerously high (otherwise it wouldn't sold in supermarkets), but a significant and regular intake could have a cumulative effect on mercury levels.

    Whilst your body can metabolise mercury, it is a slow process.  So, ingesting substantial amounts of mercury could lead to a mercury build-up over time.
    As a first resort, I would suggest to see your doctor and to test for mercury levels if this is a concern of yours.

    One course of action may be to avoid the seafood for the time being.  Instead, consume meats.  Mix up the meats - chicken breast, lean beef, turkey, low-fat ham etc.  Don't eat chicken breast exclusively either, other meats contain minerals that are required for normal functioning.  For example, turkey is rich in selenium, a good antioxidant and responsible for healthy skin, nails and hair.  Beef is rich in iron, responsible for energy and normal functioning.  A little seafood here and there may be healthy, but do not eat it exclusively.

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