Q&A: May 2022

by on May 20, 2022

I have a quick question for you. I know that training is very catabolic; do you think that part of the reason people lose muscle tissue when dieting is due to improper management of peri-workout nutrition? In other words, do you think it’s possible to more or less negate this phenomenon by getting peri-workout nutrition correct? Just something I’ve been wondering lately

For what it’s worth, I’ve noticed that my soreness is very much diminished since I started using your peri-workout nutrition protocols. I did volume deadlifts yesterday which normally break me in half, and I feel fine today. I wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me, but the evidence speaks for itself.

Andrew Berry
Yes and no. No, because I don’t think training as a net is catabolic because it creates an anabolic opportunity provided: protein is sufficient and caloric intake overall is adequate to at least maintain body weight. I don’t think
people really lose as much tissue as they might think in a contest prep or diet situation- I think they just don’t carry as much muscle mass as they thought they did before diet down. Now, can someone gain more muscle by prioritizing intra workout nutrition and training an adequate amount (not too much and not too little)- YES. It’s very rare that I see someone doing the above things losing muscle tissue.

Is there any difference between hydrolyzed casein and Peptopro? I am trying to put together my pre intra and post workout drink. So far, I plan on using either using the casein hydro or Peptopro with highly cyclic branch dextrin and an additional 5g leucine 3g citrulline and 2g taurine for the drink before during and after. Pre workout planned on taking a probiotic; 1g vitamin c; 25mg zinc aspartate; an adaptogen either Siberian ginseng or rhodiola. Immediately after training I will be using another gram of vitamin c plus; 400 mg magnesium citrate; and MD glucose disposal agent. What you think?

Andrew Berry
Pepto Pro is hydrolyzed casein. This just means that the full proteins are broken down into the quickly absorbed di and tri peptides. Now a lot of companies will claim “hydrolyzed casein or whey” but when you turn the bottle around and look at the label it is part of a blend of sources such as hydrolyzed casein, whey isolate and whey concentrate. This is a blend and not a 100% hydrolyzed casein product like Pepto Pro is.

I would probably pull the vitamin C. You don’t want to consume an excessive amount of antioxidants around the training window. You want the inflammatory process to happen as a part of growth. Take this further from when you train.

During a prep, one needs to watch out for an athlete (himself or a client) to see if that athlete is going flat. I understand that this can be bad but is it about “going flat” that is so devastating for a prep? Muscle retention is a big deal…is that all that is sacrificed or are there other things at play here?

Andrew Berry
So, for most to really get lean, you will need to get to a flat state at times. We have a saying in bodybuilding “afraid to go flat, show up fat.” I can’t tell you how many check ins I get where athletes claim that they are too flat. Bring flat just means that the body’s glycogen stores are low. Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrate and when full, gives the muscle a fuller, rounder look. We stay semi-flat in diet phases to get the body to use more stored fat for energy. Now, the danger of staying flat too long is that you could lose muscle if it’s not addressed with something like a refeed soon.

I would just like to know your thoughts on having a coach, how essential it is. Thank you in advance.

Andrew Berry
It depends. Some people need a coach to tell them what to do because they lack the experience and knowledge. They can benefit from a shorter learning curve as the coach already has years of experience and has seen a lot. Others benefit from a coach for the peace of mind. A lot of good coaches have coaches because they would rather separate their emotional feelings from the decision-making process on what to do next. Take myself. I worked with John from 2013 on and I would control my own preps and then once in shape, turn the reigns over to him to make the calls. My issue is that my mindset is to always do more when a lot of the time, pulling back is the key. I would run myself into the ground eating less than I should and doing a lot more cardio then needed at times trying to get just a tad leaner. Mentally, I just got the blinders on, telling me I had to get leaner. John was a great coach because I knew he had an eye for great conditioning. If he said I was in shape, I was happy.

I am of the opinion myself that bulking is BS especially for the natural bodybuilder but in general by a lot of guys regardless.  Basically, I see it as an excuse to overeat and have lack of discipline and get what I would consider FAT for a bodybuilder. This means 15% and higher BF levels.    In your opinion is there any reason in exceeding the 8-10% mark even when trying to gain muscle and this includes the natural bodybuilder as well?

Andrew Berry
I wouldn’t say that bulking is BS per se but that getting fatter than one needs to be is completely unnecessary. It just means more time on the stair stepper during prep. The biggest thing I look at is insulin sensitivity. The more we let that go, the more inefficient the athlete’s body is becoming and accumulating muscle mass.

I think an appropriate body fat percentage in the offseason is 12-13% tops for men and 20% for women. Now, if natural, I would stay on the leaner side here because you won’t have the benefits of chemicals to help you drop the fat when trying to get lean.

I used to follow Carb Backloading for my nutrition, I have also used Carb Nite to cut weight.  Now I am eating similar to CBL but I try to get most of my carbs before and after workouts.  I have been gaining weight since my last powerlifting meet (where I cut a lot of weight).  Now I am looking to pretty much maintain weight but continue to gain strength. It sounds like Keifer is not too big on consuming fruits unless it is an over ripe banana after a workout.  I am starting to transition into a more balanced approach (with fruits and veggies) but keeping some of the CBL principles. What are your thoughts on fruit in the diet and when would be a good time to consume fruit?

Andrew Berry
I think fruit is great in the diet for taste and nutrients and I’m not all that concerned with where it is in relation to the workout. Even in prep, I have fruits with meal 1, post workout and my last meal of the day until I need to pull them out- due to needing to pull calories overall, not fruit in general.

I noticed by eliminating my “junk” carbs (ice cream, cookies…) I do not crave them as much, which is good as I tend to binge eat to satisfy the crave.  I have switched over to white rice, waxy maize powder, potatoes and fruits to get the majority of my carbs. Is there a benefit to consuming more of the “junk” carbs post workout or would the “cleaner” high glycemic carbs be just as good in regard to creating the insulin spike?  I think taking a moderation approach with the “junk” carbs will suit me better.

Andrew Berry
There is no benefit to the junk carbs other than to satisfy a craving which is fine once in a while. I think if we think about food more in micronutrients as much as macros, we can easily see the benefit in using cleaner carb sources, especially some fruit in the mix. Now, if what you are doing is working for you positively, then keep doing it.

One could argue that the high glycemic index of junk carbs can get a better insulin response and shuttle carbs into the muscle faster but I think we have seen now that eating post training carbs regardless of the source will cause glycogen retention.

What are your thoughts on gluten and how everybody is allergic all of a sudden? Is it obvious if you are allergic? I don’t remember having any issues with whole wheat bread or brown rice. Would you generally recommend sticking with white over brown/wheat?

Cris Edmonds
To me, if you have glutten and your digestion is drastically different than say white rice, cream of rice, fruit, white potatoes or you have been medically proven to have a glutten allergy or intolerance, I’m good with it.

But I for sure would experiment with different food sources and see how it affects, your digestion rate, pump and performance.

For me: oats and bread digest really well, but brown rice, sweet potatoes and regular pasta just sit heavy on my stomach and make me sluggish.

Would you recommend to consume carbs with every meal or keep them around workouts only?

Cris Edmonds
This is so dependent on your goals and current body composition. If you are a super lean guy looking to pack on muscle, keep carbs at EVERY meal. If your body fat is 15% or above, I would NOT have carbs at every meal.

I would start you off with carbs at 3 meals + intra and 3 meals of protein/fat/fibrous veg to see how your body does. Then make adjustments from there.

Could you explain what the terms ‘Insulin sensitive’ ‘Insulin resistant’ ‘carb sensitive’ are?

Cris Edmonds
For sure…….this may be a small tangent to start but 9x out of 10 if a person/client is very lean they are very insulin sensitive, meaning their body consumes carbs at a very efficient rate. Let’s say our body fat is single digit and I give you 225g of jasmine rice and 200g apple prelift, 2 scoops of Recovery Intra workout and then 120g carbs from cereal post lift. That client will eat those carbs, get a massive pump, stomach still be very flat and be hungry for more. This is why I always tend to want my clients lean going into a mass gaining phase.

On the flip side, if your body fat is on the higher end (15% and above) if I took those same meals and gave them to client B, they would feel tired, sluggish, and not hungry for their next grouping of meals. There it is for you in meathead terms.

Now lets explain it from a different approach: The pancreas produces inslin when you eat carbs for the most part. Insulin then assists in driving glucose out of the blood. When your body begins to need more insulin for the exact same amount of carbs you are becoming insulin resistant. This is the exact of what we want to happen. It becomes very hard to gain muscle and the body starts accumulating fat at a very fast rate.

Being carb sensitive is another topic all together. Most people think if they eat a sweet potato, get bloated, feel sleepy and they assume they are carb sensitive. It may be that, but it also could be a food sensitivity not carbs. So I would recommend they switch to white rice, cream of rice, or fruit and see if they same thing happens.

They could also have a digestive enzyme issue causing all of this. These are 2 very different things. So I would look to get lean, reintroduce carbs around your workout and assess how it goes with performance as well as pumps and how you look in the mirror.

You could always get a glucose monitor and know exactly what you are:

  • Fasted
  • After a Meal
  • 60 mins after a Meal
  • End of the Day

If you have this data, you will know 100% how your body is trending and can adjust your meals around these numbers.

So I just joined your site! I am currently doing Carb Back loading and I am a big fan of it as its giving me results. But Keifer reccomends not using anything during the no carb section of the day that will cause an insulin response (eg leucine, hydrosed or isolate proteins) But do you think it will cause that much of a difference on fat loss and muscle gain adding leucine, hydro and isolate proteins to my zero carb section of the day?

Cris Edmonds
So to me, if you are following a program, you need to be all in. Keifer has it that way for a reason, so I would follow his direction. Have you reached out to him to ask why he recommends that?

To me, that’s step 1 and 2, reach out, get the answer, then follow the plan.

I was curious what your take is on EAA’s compared to hydrolyzed casein intra workout, I was told using 20g of EAA’s was similar to Peptopro, What’s your take? And also what do you think of hydrolyzed whey intra?

Cris Edmonds
So I was lucky enough, thanks to John, to product test Plazma before BioTest released it. I was such a huge believer in their product that I used it for years (Plasma has Hydrolyzed casein in it). Once John eventually came out with Intra-Md, Peri-MD and now Recovery he switched to EAA over Hydrolyzed Casein to keep the price point down. What we were finding personally along with clients is that EAA worked just as well. So to us, we stand behind EAA and Granite Recovery all day long to produce the same results as CH!

Note: I said EAA NOT BCAA, these are not the same.

What do you fee is the number 1 “game changer” for people putting on as much lean muscle as possible?

Cris Edmonds
Can I do 2?? Oh wait, I can do whatever I want here hahahaha!

To me if you have a high quality peri-workout food window, then pair that with an MD training plan that you put your heart and soul into…..growth will happen at a fast rate.

I listed last month what I thought was a great Peri-workout window, here it is again:

90mins pre lift: 6-8oz cooked lean meal, 200-300g cooked jasmine rice, 6-10g coconut oil, 100-200g fruit of choice

Intra workout: 1-2 scoop Granite Recovery, 5-10g creatine monohydrate, 6-8oz coconut water

60 mins post lift: 50-60g whey isolate, 50-100g Rice and Grinds, 100-200g fruit of choice

Now I’m not saying the rest of the days meals aren’t important, but these are by far the most important. Then you have to create a reason for growth, Hard Training!!!

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