For those of you who don’t know Brian St. Pierre, he is a sports nutritionist and strength coach. He just returned to Grad School to pursue his Master’s degree in nutrition. He actually left his job at Cressey Performance, with Eric Cressey, where he worked for the past couple of years. Throughout his career, Brian has been a nutrition consultant and strength coach for a wide variety of athletes of all levels. Brian is a very smart guy with a lot of knowledge from whom I learned a lot of things by reading his blog on a regular basis and most recently from working with him to improve my diet. That being said, here are 3 things I learned from him.
1. Organic dairy products are far superior to their conventional counterparts. The quality of conventional dairy products is actually pretty bad. You need to consider these facts about dairy:
- Cows are milked almost year round (compared to only 6 weeks after birth about 100 years ago) which compromise their immune system and the quality of milk is greatly diminished. It also increases the pregnancy-triggered estrogens in milk which is associated with the growth of many tumors as well as prostate and breast cancer.
- Cows, who are herbivorous animals, are fed with corn and other cheap grains which leads to stomach acidity, which in turn leads to infectious bacteria and E. coli in cows. That situation then forces the dairy producers to stuff cows with antibiotics.
- Casein, a protein found in milk, is suspected to be linked to different forms of cancer namely thyroid cancer and prostate cancer.
That being said, it is easy to conclude that the way dairies are produced nowadays is less than optimal to a good diet. That is why, if you still want to consume dairies, you should definitely make the switch to organic products as the cows are raised more naturally, milked a lot less, fed with food actually suited for herbivorous and not stuffed with hormones and antibiotics.
While we’re at it, why don’t you make the switch to whole milk as studies have shown that low-fat milk was associated with larger waist circumference, while whole milk was associated with smaller waist circumference. For more info on that subject, make sure to check out Brian’s post on conventional dairy on his website.
2. Make the switch to sprouted grains. This would apply to flour-containing products like bread, wraps and the like. Sprouted grain products are generally less processed than traditional whole-grain products and contain less preservatives. The benefits of sprouted grains over whole-grain don’t stop there; they’re also more nutrient-dense with more vitamins and minerals, their content in fibers is higher and they contain more protein. Ezekiel products are totally awesome if you want to make the witch as they have a lot of variety in their products and they’re absolutely delicious!
3. A drink combining protein and simple carbs (read: sugar) post-workout might not be the best option. This might come as a shocker to most of you, and I have to say that I was very surprised to learn that myself. I learned that from Brian while he was working with me to help me improve my diet. I was actually taking a protein + simple carbs drink after every single training session, and apparently that was not optimal.
You may not agree with that, but at least take this information into consideration. It is true that protein and carbs are necessary to improve recovery, but there is actually no evidence out there that proves that a protein and simple carbs drink is more efficient at replenishing your glycogen stores and improving your recovery than a whole food meal containing both of these nutrients would. It really surprised me, as I’ve always been led to believe that a faster digesting protein and carbs drink would be more efficient at helping recovery. But if you take a closer look a recent research, you’ll find nothing supporting that.
Having that kind of drink post-workout is actually not bad; just be aware that it is not better. Knowing that, what would be optimal post-workout: taking a protein and simple carbs drink that is virtually nutrient-empty or having a whole food meal that will provide you with fibers and tons of vitamins and minerals?
I still think that simple carbs have their place in sport nutrition; taking simple carbs before and/or during workout (depending on the intensity of the workout) could be very beneficial as it will provide you with rapidly available energy.
To learn more about Brian, make sure you check out his blog as he has a ton of valuable information that he shares with his audience. And if you feel like your diet needs improvement, please note that Brian is available through on-line consultation. Just visit Brian’s website for more details.