|Q&As: Ask the Nutritionist (Last updated: 26 Nov 2005)
If you have a question on supplement, nutrition or training to ask, email to
|Q) I tend to develop pimples on my back when taking
protein drinks, any advice that can help?
A) Protein powders are very acid forming in the body,
this somehow increase the likelihood of skin
eruptions. My solution is to take fruits or even raisins
when taking protein drinks. These are alkaline
forming and they do help in controlling the skin
eruptions. Another advice I will offer is try to avoid the
chocolate flavoured ones and they tend to be more
Q) Is it possible to stay lean and gain size?
A) It is hard for drug (I mean steroids)-free
bodybuilders to not change their body fat percentage
and gain significant mass. I better strategy is to gain
5kg as a mass cycle and try losing 2-3kg in the cut
cycle. In the end you gain 2-3kg of more or less lean
Q) What is the best strategy to look ripped??
A) Avoid salt-laden food stuff. Increase natural fruits
and veggies intake, the potassium will flush out
excess water and without the unnecessary sodium
that cause excessive water retention. Train as heavy
as possible and add interval high intensity sessions
like skipping rope or running to your routine. Reduce
cereal and grain products so that your carbo intake
will dropped to 200-300g daily and maintain a high
protein intake. Fat wise restrict to not more than 50g
per day and add Omega 3 and green tea supplement
to your diet. Some caffeine can increase the expel of
water from the body further. In about 2 weeks to 4
weeks time you will be ready. Remember to make
your skin look darker as that will increase the ripped
Q) What do you think of the sudden death cases from
jogging in Singapore?
A) I believe they are causing excessive alarm and
unnecessary fears about exercising regularly. Most of
the cases I noticed maybe due to inadequate
warming up, I mean running slowly for 2-3 minutes
ready. Also the victims may be pushing too hard. All in
all, some exercise is better than no exercise. Aerobics
like running has their place in a fitness programme.
Q) What are the good fruits and bad fruits? Give me
some tips in fruits shopping.
A) All are good and taking a varieties is the key.
Depending on personal liking, choose 3-4 of your
favourite depending on taste, price and texture.
Personally, I love water melon, honey dew, bananas,
strawberries, fragrant pears, golden gala apples,
raisin and dried apricots. They can be quite cheap
too. $5 of fruits can last me 2 days. Good investment!
Q) I heard about a miracle supplement called Lectin
that it can improve the absorption of certain nutrients,
do you sell it?
A) Lectins are naturally found in legumes and grains
like wheat, kidney beans, soy beans and peanut.
Lectins are not digested, instead they attached
themselves to the intestine wall to cause the space
between intestinal cells to expand. This process
increase the risk of partially digested food proteins
and even micro organism to enter the blood stream
intact (increase health risk and chances of allergic
reaction). Since legumes and grains are very much
part of our diet, we are not going to be too concern
about it at least for now. But taking Lectin
deliberately? The risks far outweigh the benefits.
Q) What is this protein cycling theory that you
sometimes talk about ? Will bodybuilders benefit from
A) The theory is if we take lots of protein continually for
more than 3 days or so, our body get used to the high
protein intake and start using protein very ineffectively.
The inefficiency results in the need for a very high
intake of protein to maintain positive nitrogen balance.
I believe there is no harm trying out 2 days high, 2
days moderate and 2 days low. On high day one can
go for 2-2.5g of protein per kg body weight, on
moderate one can go for 1.8-2g of protein per kg body
weight and on low day one can go for 1.5-1.8g of
protein per kg body weight. One can leave the last day
of the week as a "detox" day if they like it to give their
digestive system a rest. Oh yeah, I like this definition,
a detox day is a day to give digestive system a rest,
not nonsense like induce diarrhea, or attribute
headaches, pimples or other symptoms to the
removal of "toxin" from the body etc. The concept of
protein cycling can help bodybuilders utilised protein
Q) What is the most ideal bodybuilding diet in your
A) I believe a healthy bodybuilding diet comprises of
the following. 1) balance intake of Omega 3 to 6 (or at
least adequate DHA intake daily, the most sought
after Omega 3 in our body). 2) Adequate protein intake
like 2g per kg body weight per day on average with
lower and higher intake cycling every 2 days . 3) High
intake of fruits and vegetables to ensure high
anti-oxidants intake and alkaline-forming minerals to
neutralise the acidity of a high protein intake. 4) At
least 300g of carbohydrates intake or more daily.
Q) Who can benefit from Creatine supplementation?
A) Virtually every athletes or weekend warrior as long
as their activities involved repeated bouts of
explosiveness. Especially valuable for weight trainers,
even when half saturated (taken 1 scoop daily for 1-2
weeks), they should be able to feel a significant
boost. I have come to the conclusion after talking to
some many people who use Creatine Monohydrate
that just by taking 1 scoop most of the day will give a
significant boost to just about anyone. I have heard
about many good feedback that Creatine Monohydrate
help them in giving extra energy in 2.4km run and I
also believe that Creatine buffer the lactic acid
production in their bodies during intense muscle
contraction which they may not know. Creatine
Monohydrate also comes with many health benefits to
the heart and brain (areas I am still researching on).
And with an intake like 5g daily there is probably no
health risk whatsoever as Creatine is a part of the
human diet for very long when we feast on a high
meat intake during evolution.