Q&A – BCAAs, Post Workout Shakes, creatine, & what about Intermittent Fasting?

Galya and I get a lot of questions during consultations and client meetings, not to mention via Facebook and email. Many questions are common or interesting enough to share, so here you go!


Should I have a shake post workout? Should I take BCAAs? What about protein powder?

Meat, fish, fowl, eggs, and other solid foods are my number one choice for all your pre and post-workout nutrition needs, as they contain more than just protein and carbohydrates (the primary macros of the ‘post workout shake’). Most of you are trying to lose fat, so it pays to use calories wisely, and not waste them on a liquid meal that’s meant for athletes.

Protein powders – these are liquid food, and are good for filling in the gaps when solid protein is hard to come by. It’s cheap, too. Do you need it? No. Is it handy, tasty, and a good way to get that extra protein? Yep.

Leaner Living Protein Powders

Leaner Living’s tasty protein powders…

BCAAs – a few ounces of chicken or a scoop of whey contains more BCAAs that BCAA products, at a fraction of the cost. True, BCAAs contain very few calories, but unless you’re really, really, really trying to minimize calories, just eat protein or take a protein powder.

So, who should take a post-workout shake or BCAAs? People who can’t eat before (1-2 hours) training, people who just can’t get to food again within 1-2 hours after training, people trying to gain weight, people who aren’t worried about their body fat, and are  trying to get stronger, get bigger, or increase sports performance, particularly if they are going to train hard again the same day or within less than 12 hours. Is that you?


Should I take creatine?

Yes. It’s the most studied supplement in history, it’s safe, it’s cheap, and it’s effective for almost everybody. In addition to having an effect on your muscle, it’s got brain health benefits, too.

Historically and naturally, creative came from the meat that we ate (and likely ate in larger amounts).  Many people believe that modern day man has a creatine deficiency.

Don’t be deficient.


Should I do Intermittent Fasting (IF)? How can I start IF?

My personal feeling is that most everyone should have the skill to fast if they need to (i.e., not break down into a pile of blubbering idiot because you are too hungry or too panicky to function).

That being said, if you don’t like it, you’re not really missing out on any huge benefits. I find it convenient, mostly, as I only have to worry about eating twice a day. …maybe three. The bottom line is that I don’t have to eat when I don’t want to, because I’ve developed the skill to Intermittent Fast.a

What are the benefits?

  • convenience (don’t have to cook and/or pack as many meals)
  • teaches true hunger vs just wanting to eat
  • you get to eat bigger meals when you do eat, which is pretty cool for a fat loss diet
  • you can pass on all the crap served at lunch meetings and continental breakfasts, and just eat later

How can you start? Slowly extend your time between two meals until you’re basically missing a meal. If desired, repeat with the next meal.


Later, people!




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5 thoughts on “Q&A – BCAAs, Post Workout Shakes, creatine, & what about Intermittent Fasting?

  1. anjuli

    About BCAA, I am a bit confused here “…people trying to gain weight, people who aren’t worried about their body fat, and are trying to get stronger, get bigger…” – Does it cause weight gain? I thought BCAA is really good for people who prefer to do fasted training. I haven’t read anywhere regarding weight gain with BCAA. Now I am worried cuz I am in a fat loss process. Should I not take BCAA then?
    Creatine, would it be ok to take it 1 to 2 hour in my PWO shake? Is it necessary to take it every day or just training day is ok? I have taken 5g per day before I stopped.
    Thanks, anjuli 🙂

  2. Roland Denzel

    Anjuli, thanks for writing.

    No, BCAAs don’t cause weight gain, but they are overrated for weight LOSS. BCAAs are used in eating disorder recovery because they can stimulate appetite, however.

    If you train fasted, I don’t see how BCAAs would be an issue, but I question to true value of fasted training. Might as well eat and train.

    There’s also the cost. If money is no object, then they are fine.

    As per creatine, I would take 5g every day. If you train and have a pwo meal or drink, that’s the ideal time.

    1. anjuli

      Thank you!Fasted training is only cuz I switched my WO to 6 am in the morning. I just cannot eat that early. I never have been.


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