Q&A: August 2022

by on August 16, 2022


I know the Mountaindog diet subscribes to the protein/fats for breakfast, carbs around training and carbs in the evening with intraworkout nutrition being emphasized. I’m on board with all of that. However, what do I do if I train in the a.m.? I’m up at 4:45 a.m. and usually have a quick snack of whey with blueberries and a little nut butter, then I have my intra drink (Granite Recovery) and then usually for breakfast is when I’ll carb up pretty heavily due to it being post workout.

But is this not optimal to achieve metabolic flexibility? If I’m such an early trainer, how should I go about my pre/intra/post workout nutrition?? Macros on lifting days are 80f, 350c, 250p.

Cris Edmonds
If you are an early morning trainer…….I would forgo the idea of protein and fat breakfast. Even though that may be ideal, it’s not for you. When I have client that train after meal 1, here is how I set them up:

60 mins prelift: lighter breakfast such as – 1 scoop Granite Whey, 1 scoop Rice and Grinds, 1 BioTest Fini Bar, 200g apple. This digest really well and can all be made the night before so its super easy to wake up and smash along with 1 liter of water

For Intra I would do – 2 scoops Recovery, 10g creatine monohydrate, 8oz coconut water and 1000mL water

Then Post lift – 1.5 cups egg whites, 4oz cooked chicken, 2 scoops Rice and Grinds, 100g banana

You must remember that the most IMPORTANT premise of the MountainDog way is loading the peri-workout window with high quality nutrients.


Are there any pointers you can give on being sensitive (learning bodily cues) to my digestivesystem?

For example, when I drink egg whites, I get slightly gassy but I don’t think I feel any different. Would the slightly more gassiness be enough to determine that I don’t digest that food well?

Cris Edmonds
Using your example of the egg whites, this is clearly a sign your body isn’t OPTIMALLY digesting that food source. So I would simply replace them with chicken or turkey breast, white fish, tuna, shrimp or whey isolate.

What you have to remember is when your body has a negative response:

  • Bloating
  • Excess gas
  • Heart burn
  • Indigestion
  • Makes you feel sleepy

It is signaling to you that something is off. Now this could be gut bacteria, your acid levels or simply you are developing an intolerance or allergy to a food source. I see this a ton with seasoning and condiments.

The extra spicy, garlic, or sugar free condiments are typically the culprit. In this case I simply do an elimination diet. Meaning removal of the suspect. If that does nothing and your issues continue, you must eliminate something else.

Do this one food or condiment at a time will allow you to pin point the issue. If this doesn’t work, you must turn to gut health. 9x out of 10 a pro-biotic, glutamine and Gut Defender + by Nuethix will do the trick there.


I want to start a low carb or carb cycle diet how would I set up the ratios to figure out what would be considers my carb limit for the day?

Cris Edmonds
Here to help Brian, but next time can you give us some more details. I have no idea:

  • Where your body fat is at
  • How lean are you trying to get
  • Where is your food and cardio now
  • Are you insulin sensitive or not
  • What would you consider low, moderate, high for you
  • How many days a week do you train
  • How hard do you train
  • Are you enhanced or natural

But let me create a scenario for you and you can extrapolate this to your case. 5’10, 250 pound bodybuilder at 12% bodyfat. He is an experienced lifter and follows Avalanche for training. He is also enhanced (if you are natural, simply but the protein by 50g per day).

OFF Days from Lifting (2 days per week): 400P/0C/60F

Base Training Days (3 days per week): 400P/200C/40F – a majority or carbs peri-workout

High Days (2 days per week): 350P/500C/20F – these are done on your hardest training days

I would start with this basic set up and adjust as your progress stalls. This is where the art of diet manipulation truly comes into play. Feel free to submit your exact situation and I will gladly rework these numbers for you.


What are your thoughts on how much water to drink in a day and where does coffee, tea, diet soda, ect come into play. Do they have a spot in a fat loss plan or should I avoid them completely?

Cris Edmonds
So with it being summer and super-hot, it’s very easy to get dehydrated. And this is a negative scenario on all fronts, especially training.

In order to really have a great pump and honestly even a mind/muscle connection we MUST have adequate hydration levels. For me and my clients, I prefer them to have at least 3 liters of water in before training. Now if you train early in the AM, I am cool with 1 liter before, but not a drop less.

For the day as a whole, I like 5-7 liters per day every day. If you are a small female, I’m good with 4 liters. But I’m talking about pure water here, not flavor enhanced or Mio.

If you are getting all your water in, I’m good with 20-40oz of diet soda per day, 1-2 small coffees and a PowerAid Zero. This won’t impact your fat loss one bit. The biggest thing here, is just being sure to get all your water in.

You will find how you feel and gym performance go through the roof if you follow the above guidelines.


My question is with regards to nutrient timing and periworkout nutrition. I generally train first thing in the morning (around 7am). Would you recommend the periworkout style meal before going to the gym, or go for the high fat, low carb breakfast instead?

Andrew Berry
So, with anything, you need to do some trial and error, but my first move would be to do a pre-workout meal that is easy to digest around 6:15. Something like 25 grams of whey isolate, 45 grams cream of rice and a tbsp. of peanut butter. Be sure to add a good dose of Himalayan sea salt and hydrate a good deal with 1-2 liters of water. You could then add in an intra-workout shake utilizing high molecular weight carbs, some essential aminos and another dose of electrolytes.

In some cases, I have people that train really early in the morning and don’t like to eat that early. With these people, we forgo the pre-training meal and do a larger intra-workout drink.

I don’t think you can go wrong experimenting between these two methods and sticking with what makes you feel and perform the best.


I was wondering how you would schedule diet and workouts with a corporate schedule.  As an attorney, sometimes I work late and miss my evening workout.  Morning workouts are a lot easier to consistently make it to.  
On the other hand, during morning workouts but it seems like I have a blood sugar crash a lot.  Especially if I am squatting or something else intense, I will get pretty nauseous.  During my evening workouts that never happens to me.

Andrew Berry
Ok, so I look at it this way: we all have the same 24 hours in the day, and we all have our own separate sets of constraints and difficulties. I guess unless you are a true professional bodybuilder that has a fat contract and is able to sit at home and eat, sleep, train and play X Box all day. 99.99% of people don’t have that luxury and it might be better that they didn’t because a tough schedule means you have to manage it to fit everything in. Rather than putting this or that off until later, you have to do it at this or that time. So, with that said, first, I would explain to your boss that you are both a dedicated employee and bodybuilder. While you might look like you are eating every 5 minutes, be sure to assure them that you will do what it takes to get the job done, whether that means working through your actual lunch break (because you are taking 3-4, 10-minute breaks during the day to get meals in or coming in a few minutes early to get ahead for the day. In my experience, if someone is getting the job done, bosses stay out of their way and give them leeway to handle their time. So, set your meal schedule and stick to it. It might mean more liquid meals during the day if you are not able to take 10 minutes to eat a solid one.

Next, to the blood sugar issue when training in the morning… For this, we would need to look at what your last and first meals looks like and address accordingly. Maybe you need a few more calories before bed. Or maybe your carb source is digesting too quickly in the morning leaving your blood sugar low. A good remedy here would be to increase the fat content slightly. If you had more info, I’m sure we could figure this out.


About 4-5 months ago I was prepping for a Men’s Physique show and got down to about 6-7% at 220g protein 45g fat 250g carbs a day with a refeed of 400 for carbs doing 3 days of LISS for 350 calories with one day of HIIT for 300. I got down to about 163

Fast forward to today. I am doing HIIT just once a week for 300 calories my current macros are about 210g protein 75g fat and 450g of carbohydrates. I am up to about 170g now and have put on a little bf but still am relatively lean probably 11-12%. My question is what your thoughts on increasing fats vs carbohydrates are. I train 6x a week now and do a good amount of intra/post carbohydrate supplementation using HBCD and do extremely well with it. My weight has been a constant 170-171 for about 3 weeks now and I obviously want to keep increasing if I can but wasn’t sure what your thoughts were to increase fats or carbs? I know I need to be patient, but I feel like I have hit a plateau and need to put on a little more muscle before I step back on stage. Any advice would be helpful 

Andrew Berry
The first thing I would do is get a blood glucometer and see where you are waking up. We are doing this to assess insulin sensitivity. Often times I see competitors load up calories too fast and crush their insulin sensitivity which will need to be corrected with another diet phase. The best thing an athlete can do is keep both hunger and insulin sensitivity high for as long as possible. If this isn’t that case, then let’s look at what macronutrient to add in. Typically, I will continue pushing carbs until we got to a place where the athlete is eating their pre-diet levels and maybe a little bit more. At that point, I start to push fats a little more- there is only so much rice or potatoes one can eat before appetite starts to wane. I like to use healthy sources like avocado, olive oil, butter and increase the natural saturated fats found in animal meats first.