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Nutrition Questions

  • I am on a low-carb diet to lose fat. Should I consume a protein shake and creatine in order to build muscle mass?

    There's a bit of an issue with a low carbohydrate diet and those supplements you mentioned.  Low carb diets are designed for users to lose body fat, which I am sure that you've experienced.  It isn't a diet that has been designed to build muscle.  This is because it is a low calorie diet and it is also low in carbohydrates.

    If you are seeking to build any substantial amount of muscle mass, I would definitely recommend a post-workout protein shake as I believe that this is a vital element to muscle growth.  However, this will have little to no effect on your progress if the remainder of the diet is not in tact to support your goals.  Since a low carbohydrate diet is not a muscle-building diet, you would be receiving very minimal results (with regards to building muscle), even if you added in a protein shake after your workout.

    The same goes for creatine monohydrate.  Basically this supplement allows you to produce more force by increasing the availability of energy within muscle cells.  The theory is that more force contributes to more overload which will result in bigger muscle gains.  Creatine is a very well researched supplement with some solid evidence to back it's effectiveness.  However, as with your protein shake, your muscles will not significantly increase in size if your training and supplementation is not backed by an eating plan to support muscle growth.

    When it comes to building muscle, there are four key elements that must all work together in order to produce the desired result:

    • Your training regime
    • Your diet plan
    • Your supplementation plan
    • Your recovery

    If just one of these factors is not up to scratch, you will not reach your full potential.

  • I am currently taking Dymatize Energized Xpand, Dymatize Glutamine and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey supplements. What is the best time to take them?

    Dymatize Energized Xpand, Dymatize Glutamine and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey are three of our most popular products within our supplement store. They are popular for a reason, because they are highly effective supplements.

    The Xpand is a great product to help boost the intensity of your workouts. Consequently, this is best consumed approximately 30 minutes prior to your workout.

    Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid within skeletal muscle tissue. Supplementation with glutamine has also been shown to have positive benefits on the immune system. Ideally, consume glutamine with both your pre- and post-workout protein shakes as this is when this amino acid will be in greatest demand from your body.

    The Optimum Whey is an excellent blend of WPI/WPC protein which tastes great (hence why it's our number one seller at present!). The most important times to consume a protein powder would be both pre- and post-workout, as this is when your body is in greatest need of readily available amino acids. It may also be an idea to have a shake first thing in the morning, considering that you would have gone all night without consuming any protein.

  • Should I consume casein protein before bed? How do I know what foods are high in casein protein?

    Click here for our top selling casein protein in our supplement store!

    Selecting the correct source of protein is very important when following a nutritional regime. Whilst all Australian nutritional labels list "protein", the different types of protein available in foods vary quite significantly and can produce very different results.

    Casein based protein takes roughly 7 hours to digest (of course this will vary between individuals). For this reason, it has been suggested as an "anti-catabolic" protein source that is appropriate to consume before bed. It is also for this reason that it is not a good source of protein to consume right after a workout (when your body requires fast acting nutrients).

    Dairy products are abundant in casein. Milk, for example is approximately 80% casein protein and 20% whey protein. Whey is a faster absorbing protein source. Cottage cheese contains a similar ratio.

    Try checking out different types of protein powders. On the ingredients list, you will see what types of protein are contained within the product. The ingredients are listed in order of abundance, so the ingredient with the highest % will be listed first.

    A note with ingredients, if, for example the list is as follows:

    Protein mix (whey isolate, calcium cassienate, egg albumen, whey concentrate), soy isolate...

    Then there could be more soy isolate than calcium cassienate. This is often used a marketing trick that is employed to make it appear that there is more of an expensive ingredient, when in fact there isn't. In the above example, there may be 10g of "protein mix" and 8g of soy isolate. However the protein mix is comprised of whey isolate, casein, egg and whey concentrate - which could be of magnitude 3g, 3g, 2g, 2g respectively.

    Josh wrote a good article on the subject,

  • What is the difference between taking protein and bcaa's? If I am taking one, do I need the other??

    BCAA's are just 3 of the over 20 amino acid's. Protein is made up of amino acids, so yes, they are in a way, the sam thing. BCAA's are considered particularly useful in muscle building, which is why you can get them in a whole separate product, offered as a pure form. The difference is that amino acids are predigested, meaning that the body doesn't have to break down and separate the parts in the digestion process. Instead, they are ready to go. 

    It is hard to say if you do or do not need one over the other. I would say, if there is a possible gap in your diet, choose accordingly. For a post workout shake or a morning shake, go for doses of protein. You'll get all the essential and non essential amino acids covered in a really good pure protein mix (Whey protein isolate). BCAA's are great if you follow a good overall diet with a variety of protein sources. Take the BCAA's immediately post workout to keep your body satisfied until the next meal. 

  • I can't eat breakfast in the morning. What can I do?

    Eating first thing in the morning has some profound benefits for weight loss, toning and muscle gain. These benefits include:

    • Ensuring that your metabolism is switched "on"
    • Boosting energy levels
    • Providing a readily available source of nutrients for your body
    • Promoting positive brain function

    So it is very important that you do consume food when you wake up in the morning.

    Many of my clients have experienced the same problem - they just cannot eat first thing in the morning. This is often due to poor lifestyle habits by not eating in the morning on a regular basis. The way to overcome this is to gradually introduce food into your body in the morning. It takes a little while to accomplish, but eventually you will be able to consume a full breakfast.

    To begin with, try just drinking fluids - a protein shake, or some juice and of course plenty of water to re-hydrate you. Then gradually introduce small portions of solid foods into your diet. Eventually you'll be able to consume an entire meal and may actually become hungry first thing!

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