T Nation

three nutrition questions

Hi. I’ve got three nutrition questions I’m hoping people might be able to help me with. In advance, I thank everyone for their feedback.

  1. I find that in addition to loving peanut butter, it’s the right food to “fill me up” when lean meats or carbs won’t work. However, I’m wondering if i’m eating too much of it. I usually only eat it before I go to bed…my last meal will be a couple cups of cottage cheese, but increasingly I’ve come to find cottage cheese TOO BLAND to eat alone. So…I dunk a couple tablespoons of PB into the Cottage cheese, and enjoy. Problem is this, I don’t work out till late, don’t finish up at the gym till about 9:00 pm, at which point I take my post workout Surge. By 10:00, I’m ready for my cottage cheese and peanut butter. But then, I find I’m still really hungry, so I might eat 3 maybe 4 more TB of peanut butter straight. One, is this too much PB…is it too much ALSO to be taking in this amount of fat right before beddy bye?

2)I have heard how "bad" fruits are to a body builder's diet. So, for the longest time, I eliminated fruit from my diet altogether. Then, I started thinking about my "health" meaning, fruit may not be good for bodybuilders, but it sure offers a lot of vitamins and minerals the body needs....so I'm in a dilemma... I want to bring more fruits into my diet, because...they ARE good for you... I just don't know what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. At present, all I'm doing is eating fruit as part of my breakfast meal and that's it. any suggestions?

3) My supplements right now are just Surge and creatine....I mix the creatine with the Surge in water - half before I work out, half right after I work out...I also know that creatine works best with a high glycemic liquid like grape juice....am I compromising the benefit of the creatine, but just mixing it (and the Surge) with water? Would it be better that I take the Surge/creatine combo with grape juice (or a grape/apple juice, which is cheaper?)

Again, thanks for all your replies. I appreciate the help.

1)I dont think you should be going near pb when you workout late at night, never mind having 4 scoops. You should try to have your cottage cheese with maybe oatmeal before bed considering your workout time.

2)I’m no expert on fruit but i have been having large amounts of it throughout this year, however now that im leaning out I’m limiting it to post grappling.

3)I don’t think you should worry about juice, Surge has a malto, dextrose mix, this should get your creatine into your body as fast as it possibly can.

Hi, Lorne. Howzit going? (grin)

Okay, questions . . .

  1. Yes, start incorporating fruit into your diet. Just do it. Don’t explain or rationalize. There’s room in your diet for just about anything you want. Just track the carbs and calories. And do take in your carbs at times we’re typically insulin sensitive (i.e., breakfast and post-workout). One caveat, don’t ever eat fruit alone. Eat it as part of a P+C meal. That way you get the benefits and minimize the negatives.

  2. Surge and creatine are fine. Forget the grape juice. You’ll get enough of a spike with your Surge.

  3. Peanut butter. Are you keeping a food log, Lorne? If I remember correctly, you’re doing T-Dawg 2.0? Is that correct? Do you also do your P+F and P+C food combining?

    My quick thoughts are that you might not be taking in enough calories. You should not have to be dealing with hunger. Fill me in just quickly, how long you’ve been on T-Dawg, how much weight you’ve lost each week, etc. After I get some more information, I’ll make some recommendations.

I can’t answer the first question cuz I don’t eat peanut butter.

Question 2: Fruits are not the evil one. I can't remember, but there was a mention of fructose in the CARB ROUNDTABLE and another article written exclusively on fruits and fructose. Use the search engine for the magazine (not the forum) and you should find them. I like apples, pears, oranges, tangerines, grapes, grapefruits, etc., etc. I don't tend to avoid fruits unless I don't like the way they taste. Eat fruits for your P+C meals.

Surge and Creatine mix should be fine or so I heard from another person. I don't drink grape/apple juice. Just mix creatine and Surge. :)

You’re eating too much PB. You have easily 1000 calories packed within one hour and a half right before bed. When im bulking I never have more than 650 calories in that period of time -and never right before bed. Discipline is key to the game. Limit your caloric intake to 300-350 calories on that last meal. Low fat cottage cheese with 2 tbsp of PB should be just about right. Eat your last meal 2 horus after surge.

Fruit is fine. There are a few rules to take into caution however. Never eat fruit 90 minutes before a workout. Avoid using fruit for post-workout carbs as well, as fructose restores primarily liver glycogen, leaving your muscles empty handed. Fruit in general also does not increase insulin to any great extent. As such, the point of eating carbs (which is to spike insulin so it can shuttle protein into your muscles FAST) is missed.

A good time to eat a piece of fruit would be in the morning with your oatmeal and whole grain bread, or maybe right before bed PROVIDED these are low glycemic fruits. Apples and oranges are low glycemic. Bananas, grapes, watermelon, are high glycemic (in fact watermelon has an even higher G.I. than maltodextrin and dextrose- both of which are used in most postworkout shakes because of their high G.I. - bottom line, watch out for those watermelons).

As for creatine, it all depends on your goals. If you’re bulking, by all means add grape juice (considering you’re using low carb grow). Otherwise stick with your plan. Just know you won’t be getting the full benefits of creatine this way. Good Luck!

Read the “Missing Ingredient” article at T-mag and start a food log now. Second, use natural peanut butter at least. See the “Foods that make you look good naked” article.

  1. Add a scoop of Grow powder and 2 Tlb spoons of 100% Naut PB (Not skippy)to CC.


2)Heres a fruit link


3) IMO: mix the creatine with the Surge in water

Lorne…the only comments that I would add is that I don’t think a protein and fat meal is optimal an hour after a post-training drink like Surge. Your insulin levels are going to be jacked, and we know that high levels of plasma insulin in tandem with high levels of plasma fats is a no-no for body composition. Another thing, this first meal post-workout, unless on a low-carb diet, should preferentially be protein and carbs. Eat the cottage cheese and peanut butter (try just two tablespoons and mix in some chocolate grow) during the day.

As far as the fruits go, I would say that two pieces per day should be fine. You may consider adding a piece of fruit to your post-workout meal with your cottage cheese and some oats.

Fruit is good for you! Just try to stick to ones that are lower on the glycimic Index. (Same with Vegitables and starches)

Timbo- good call in regard to the P+C meal pre-bed. Makes a lot more sense. Might even be better Lorne if you’re just physically not able (can’t see how :-)) to get enough calories in during the day, to have one middle-of the night P+C meal to give satiety.

The type of PB is indeed also important. Anything but natural PB has FAR too much sugar in it. Look for the ingredients- it should say: Peanuts (+/- salt, depending if this is your fancy), nothing else!

Surge will actually be superior to grape juice for Creatine absorption. The latest research shows that Creatine is best absorbed/utilised-

  1. Post workout;
  2. With some protein
  3. With some carbs

    So you’re taking it at the right time; Surge gives you the best quality P and C; just add the Creatine!

    Fuit has been given a bad press. The glycemic index is only 1/2 the story. The actual insulin spike for MOST fruits is actually lower than would be expected by glycemic index rating alone. I think this is due to the other di- and polysaccharides that are less insulin stimulating, and also the nice chunk of fibre that comes with a piece.

    (*Just as a side note- I’m not a big “caveman style eating” proponent; however the comments made by these fanatics on fruit is very valid. Way back when, the fruit that was on the trees bared no resemblance to that today. Imagine a sour cooking apple- that was probably about as sweet as it got. But because there was nothing sweeter, and Joe Caveman had not developed such a sweet tooth as today, he found it very satisfying in the sweetness department! Once again we are ruining our own resources by satisfying consumer demand for sweeter and sweeter fruit. This of course raises the glycemic index, as we have a higher concentration of simple sugars.)

    Basic rules I would stick with: 1)By all means eat fruit, just take some protein at the same time.

  4. Eat those fruits with a lower GI.-e.g. plums, apples, grapefruit, strawberries, pears, (oranges, but NOT the sweet variety or mandarins or satsumas etc), UNripe bananas.

*A final point Lorne (sorry everyone!!)- There are 2 reasons why you are getting hungry shortly after your Surge and Creatine post-workout (and STAYING hungry):

  1. You are NOT balancing your calorie intake during the day- So, your body’s asking for the daily calorie requirements it wants late at night. Work on spreading those meals evenly, it’ll be worth it.
  2. The Surge is causing an Insulin spike- this is what we WANT for quick recuperation post-workout. However the downside is that you WILL become hungry 1-2 hours afterwards as the insulin does an effective job in lowering Blood sugar levels. Remember the insulin is still HIGH, so the last thing you want to do, as Timbo mentions, is to take in a lot of fat- where does it go?.. Take another protein/Carb meal instead (e.g. the cottage cheese without the pb).

    Work on it and get back to us. SRS

 Timbo's right on the money - avoid eating a p+f too close to your surge (check on berardi's massive eating plan if you havent done so).
 As for fruit, I see a lot of people going both extremes. They either deal with it as if it were deadly. Or they treat it as if it were the best thing in the world. The thing to remember is that it's neither - you should simply treat it as middle of the line. It's OK to have SOME fruit, and by some i mean 2 pieces of fruit a day. However, fruit does nothing spectacular to get thoe pounds of lean mass. As I said before, fructose will be stored mostly in the liver as glycogen, leaving the muscles empty handed. This means no benefit of 'protein-shuttling' to the muscles. Eat it because of the phytochemicals,  not because it's a bodybuilder's food in other words.
  1. Combining a Protein and Fat meal before bed is fine, if you are keeping your Carb intake below 10 grams during this meal. So unless you use a small serving of cottage cheese and all-natural peanut butter, you may be able to do this before bed. If you’re not using all-natural peanut butter, this is a bad meal choice.

    2) Fruit is good for you, and you shouldn’t be limiting yourself to a healthy food and one of nature’s natural sweets. But I do have recommendations concerning fruit. Try to avoid fruit that will send your insulin levels sky high (grapes, watermelon and bananas). Instead, opt for apples, oranges and other fruits. Also, if you’re going to have grapes, bananas, etc, be sure to have them earlier in the day, and combine them with some protein to slow down the insulin response. Check out www.jayrobb.com for information on why fruit is good for you, and specific recommendations on when to eat it and when to avoid it. Two to three servings each day is fine.

    3) There is no need to mix creatine with grape juice, apple juice or anything else. Do it the way you have been. Use it with your Surge.

hey, thanks to all who have responded so far…I’m at risk for asking a really dumb question…so forgive me in advance…but it sounds like from some opinions on the forum, PB so close to bet time is a no no…would that be ANY amount of PB (mixed in with my cottage cheese)
Some are also suggesting mixing a bit of oatmeal with my pre bed cottage cheese, but I thought that carbs that late at night are not good. Perhaps then, I have to assume that oats are low glyemic and therefore OK? Again, sorry if this sounds really elementary. Thanks.

The protein should form the major part of the meal. Some carbs with is ok.SRS

Nate Diggity…while a P+F meal is definitely a good choice before bed, it’s NOT in this particular case. For one, Lorne is not on a low-carb/ketogenic diet, methinks. But more importantly, this is the meal ONE HOUR after Surge. Insulin’s gonna be jacked, baby, so he’s best going with some whole-food P+C. All the carbs are going to recovery anyway. But if this was 2+ hours after the Surge or another P+C meal, then the P+F meal would be okay and in some cases, advised.

SRS…The reason that fructose has a low insulin index–and thus most fruits–is due to the fact that it is metabolized only by the liver to: 1. restore liver glycogen, and/or 2. produce triglycerides. Therefore, no insulin is necessary to metabolize fructose, as no glucose really enters the plasma.

Lorne…The PB + Cottage Cheese is a tasty, high-quality meal. It’s just not the optimal way to go at this particular time. You can eat it during the day or some other time. But after your training, your body wants that carbos, baby! So unless you’re going low-carb, then I see no reason to break out some oats (or other carbs) to complement your Cottage Cheese.

I’d just like to reemphasize something that TT said above: that being, if you’re pigging out right before bedtime, it’s indicative too few calories during the day.

Forgive me sir, for I have made a mistake! Did you say steak?

Yes, Timbo is correct, a P + F meal prior to bed is not a good idea. I wasn’t reading your goals and purpose with the meal, I just looked at what you were combining in the meal and was more concerned with the amount and type of peanut butter. Thanks for the heads up T-dogg! Keep rockin’ it live on the Forum!

Steak! LOL, baby!

Natey, got my hands on an HTML book. Now I'll be playing some games just like the Mastermind!


I’ve read the replies and I think everybody’s convered just about everything. But I just wanted to add to the ‘fruit’ question. Yes, fruit is very good for you, but like most foods must be consumed in an appropriate manner, like first thing in the morning or as part of your first post workout P+C meal.

Also, we should note that we ARE working out here, and so are generating a ton of free-radicals and metabolic wastes. A fruit is very helpful in this manner since fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries have some of highest antioxidant levels known, not to mention the abundance of other phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals which are so important if you’re very active, especially post workout.

Just one more note, and is something most people don’t think about, is the Na to K ratio. If you’re working out hard, you’re probably drinking a lot of water and this water is flushing out a lot of postassium with the wastes. Simply put, K+ is vital to homeostasis, and integral to muscle contraction and developement, and fruits are an excellent way to rejuvenate K+ levels.

Yep, Timbo and SRS are correct, I wasn’t reading your 9:00 workout -vs- 10:00 last meal.