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Body Building Nutrition / Sports Supplement Questions
Page 1


Hey Lee,

I been taking micronized creatine and I have been experiencing like pain/cramps in my sides. I assume it is the problem. I visited a clinic and they advised that my kidneys were fine through a urine test. However, they also advised my kidneys are moreso middleways my back and could not be the problem if its in my sides. They wrote it off a perhaps tissue tears due to over exertiojn since I had just started doing exercises like the broomstick twist and so forth. That was last year, however.

Do you have any idea what it could be? I will admit, I am not the biggest water drinker, however, I take at or slightly under 1 teaspoon a day of creatine and I weigh 205lbs. I drink maybe 24 oz of just water per day. Perhaps maybe another 24 oz of beverages composed with water like tea, koolaid, or lemondade.



Hi Derrick,

Your problem is most likely dehydration. Drinking 24 oz. of water per day is not nearly enough for an active person. The average couch potatoe should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. That is 64 oz. of water right there. A bodybuilder who is lifting weights on a regular basis should drink at least 100 oz. of pure water daily. Your muscles are 75% water and by limiting your water intake you are also limiting your muscle growth as well.

Gradually increase your water intake over the next couple weeks. Start off by drinking a full glass of water each morning when you get up and a full glass of water with each meal. Also get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you where ever you go so that you can constantly sip water during the day. You'll have to go to the bathroom more frequently initially, but this will subside as your body gets used to consuming more water. So just stick with it for a few weeks. If you do this you'll eliminate the cramps, increase your strength and energy levels, and make better muscle gains in the gym.


hey lee

what is the best thing to consume before a workout, ive been using something called Nano Vapor which really heats up the muscles in the body and loosens them up quickly, but i dont think it contributes to my results very much because after a short quit intense burst i am often very fatigues, and find that i get more out of the workout if i dont take it. Another question is when is the best time to take creatine? i used to think that it was a pre workout thing but now i find that alot of people take it after workouts. which is more effective. thanks in advance for your time lee i know your busy.



For pre-workout the best thing is to have a small meal that contains some protein and carbs about 60-90 minutes before your workouts. Then you can have a caffeine pill or strong cup of coffee about 20-30 minutes before your train for an extra energy boost.

Afterwards have a protein + carb drink. My personal favorite it vanilla protein powder mixed with orange Gatorade powder and a spoonful of creatine powder mixed in. Creatine taken after a workout tends to get absorbed better then creatine taken before a workout.



First I want to say you have INCREDIBLE determination. You have really put the hammer down over the past years. I'm not inspiring to be quite as big but I am pretty aggressive at the gym. For a while now, the only supplement I have taken are ofcourse multi-vitamins and also Optimum Aminos, an "old school" thing my dad shared with me. He too is a "go getter" at the gym. I must say I have adventured out somewhat to find something to go with my protiens.

So far, my results have found that phoshagain and creatine ethyl ester are the two best creatines. Now, I am not down with NONE of that illegal crap, but interested in educating myself in the legal forms of muscle gain.

I did notice while researching that the creatine monohydrates is not as good as the ethyl ester because of the difference between just storing short term and actual penetration into the cells. Im curious to know, though, what your professional opinion is on this and what your research has taught you.

I am a first timer at this website and will add it to my favorites. I do appreciate your time.



Hi Jamie,

I personally just use regular creatine monohydrate powder. This actually works very good, despite what the advertisements of the more expensive creatine products say.

A perfect example of how good it works is when creatine first hit the market everyone was using plain old creatine monohydrate powder and they were making great gains from it. But as it got more popular, more competition in the market place, and companies started making it cheaper, etc.

So now the supplement companies need to find a way to stay ahead of the game in terms of sales so they come out with all kinds of hyped up variations of creatine, claiming everything from better gains, better absorption, and better everything. But in reality it is still plain old creatine either way you slice it.

I have a list on my website of my top 5 recommended supplements.


Hey Lee,

Im a 16 year old boy and Im 5'9" 170 pounds. I was thinking about doing a pro-hormone cycle for about 5 weeks. I know there are some bad side effects form taking pro-hormones at a young age like closing of the growth plates which could result in stunted growth.

My question is if I only do a 5 week cycle one time, would that be enough to stunt my growth permanently?


At 16 years old your natural hormone levels are at their peak so taking pro-hormones would be a total waste of money for you.

Look at it this way, if a glass is full to the rim are you going to keep pouring more water into it to make it fuller. All the extra water would just be wasted and the same would apply with you taking pro-hormones.

As a teenager your natural hormone levels are as high as they are ever going to get, so you already have an abundance of anabolic hormones flooding through your system right now.

Focus your efforts on being consistent with your workouts and eating 6 high protein meals each and every day. This will produce a lot more muscle growth for you then taking pro-hormones will.


Hi Lee,

I have been receiving your training tips e-mails and I have a question. I always hear people talking in the gym about which supplements they take and how they have noticed gains.

Recently a lot of people who go to my gym have been talking about the benefits of sea kelp supplements. Apparently it lets your body absorb more protein than it normally would. I was wondering if you knew anything about this and if you could shed some light on the situation for me.

Thanks for all of your advice.



Hi Dan,

Here is some info I found on Sea Kelp...

Kelp is a seaweed containing more vitamins and minerals within its roots, stem and leaves than any other food, (23 in all). Some of these are Iodine, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron.

Kelp is usually taken for its Iodine content which is needed for healthy thyroid action, which governs healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth.

The thyroid gland regulates the production of energy, stimulates the metabolic rate and so helps the body burn excess fat. For this reason it is often used by people on a calorie controlled diet wishing to lose weight. Many nutritionists recommend Kelp to assist with a sluggish metabolism. It is recommended 500mg taken 3 times per day.

(Note: I haven't used sea kelp myself so I can't comment on how effective it works.)


Hi lee,

thank you very much for your support and guidance. your e-mail tips are very informative and it helps in my workout every time. i would like to ask you so many questions but i do understand that you must be very busy answering lots of people in the net. my question is do bannanas carry enough protein to replace protein shakes? i usually take bannanas when ever i go for work because it is easy and readily available.


Bananas are a good source of “potassium”, NOT “protein”. I think you must be getting the two mixed up.

A medium size banana only contains about 1 gram of protein where as 1 scoop of protein powder contains over 20 grams of protein. Ideally you need 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. So for example, if you weigh 175 lbs. then you need at least 175 grams of protein per day.

Fruits and vegetables in general are not a good source of protein, but they are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, etc.

High protein foods include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and protein supplements.


Hi Lee,

I'm taking a whey protein powder and i was just wondering about the amount of dialy value of cholesterol in this product. Is this amount of cholesterol bad for you and would it be better to switch to a soy protein that has less saturated fat and no cholesterol?



Hi Jarred,

Dietary cholesterol is not the same thing as the cholesterol that builds up in the arteries. Cholesterol is important for hormone production such as testosterone. And if you do not consume enough cholesterol in your diet your body will make it naturally.

There are numerous health benefits from whey protein. In fact I’ve gone through training phases where I’ve consumed 10 scoops of whey protein powder per day, and every time I’ve had my cholesterol checked it is always below normal levels.

Hard weight training workouts will help keep your arteries clear. And if you live an active lifestyle and keep your bodyfat levels in check, it is unlikely that you’ll ever have any cholesterol problems. But at the same time it would be a good idea to have your blood levels checked every year just to make sure everything is ok.

As for soy protein powder I’d suggest that all guys stay away from it. There are numerous studies that show a high soy intake can increase estrogen levels and this is something that you definitely want to avoid at all costs if your goal is to become lean and muscular. You are much better off sticking to your whey protein rather then switching to a soy protein.


Hi Lee,

Thanks for the newsletter, a great source of information. I was wondering if you have ever looked into a diet for the man in the street. Some of the good sources of calories are found in foods that are just too much for the average Joe to afford in a month. Meal replacements and almonds and cottage cheese makes a huge dent in the family budget and puts pay to those of us who would like to gain weight but simply cannot afford it. Got any great ideas?




Hi Lance,

Here are a few money saving tips...

5 lb. tubs of protein powder are much cheaper then individual packed meal replacement powders.

In place of almonds eat peanuts and / or peanut butter, while it is not quite as nutritious, they are a lot cheaper and an easy source of calories.

High protein foods like tuna, eggs, milk, milk powder, etc. are usually quite affordable.

Boxes of frozen chicken breasts are a lot cheaper then fresh chicken breasts.

Foods like rice, oatmeal, and pasta are cheap sources of carbohydrates.

I regularly check the grocery store flyers for sales on lean meats. When they go on sale I stock up the freezer up with steaks, lean ground beef, pork chops, chicken breasts, etc.


Hi Lee,

Thanks for the great website.

I am takind those liquid protein (3oz) which contains 42g of protein and no other supplements, do you recommend those? I like them because they are very easy to drink.

I am not trying to get super muscular, is 42g per day of protein supplement enough for my purpose?

Is it best to take these 42g after workouts?

Thanks Lee


Hi Amine,

Having a protein drink after your workouts is a good thing as it will provide a quick supply of nutrients to help with muscle recovery and growth. But you need to factor in how much total protein you are getting in your diet from both food and supplements. Ideally you want to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily. So if you are not getting this much protein from high protein foods (i.e. meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy products, etc.) then you can make up for it by having more protein drinks.

I have a good 2 part article on my website about nutrition that you should read at:

These articles covers a basic bodybuilding nutrition plan and has some cooking and meal preparation tips that you can follow to make eating a healthy muscle building diet easier and more convenient.



Let me just say, I love this site and it is extremely helpful. I'm 18 185 5'7, and I haven't dieted lately. One of my friends looked exactly like me and lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of muscle by using creatine and protein shakes. I just wanted your opinion on whether I should go the same route since I'm a little short...if so what meal plan can I go by while on using the protein shake and the creatine? Also, do you reccomend pills or powder for the creatine? I appreciate the help.



Hi Franky,

Thanks for your e-mail and I'm glad to hear that you like the website.

You can use protein shakes and creatine to help get extra muscle building nutrients in your diet, but they alone will not make you big and muscular. The key is diet and training. I have a good Beginners Bodybuilding Article that you should read that covers some good eating and nutrition tips.

I also have a listing of my Top 5 Recommended Supplements that you can refer to.


Does coffee affect your body if you are trying to gain mass?

Jamen Painter


Hi Jamen,

Coffee and / or caffeine will not hinder your mass gains. I personally have a cup of strong coffee before each of my workouts for the caffeine kick. Not only does it help make you more alert and focused, but the caffeine will also help the body release stored bodyfat to be used for energy.


hi lee,

i train every 2nd day should i take my protein shake even on the rest day 3 times a day?



Hi James,

You need to consume a high protein diet everyday to build and repair muscle tissue, even on the days that you do not workout. So yes you should still have your protein drinks on your off days.


Mr. Hayward,

I really like your website and find the information very practical and useful. I practice Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and I am focused on getting stronger without gaining weight though I still would like to enhance my physique. If I were to use your 12 week strength and power program, what would I need to do in terms of dieting to ensure that I only get stronger and not gain weight?



Hi Francis,

It is actually quite simple, if you consume maintenance calories then you will not gain bodyweight.

There is a good article at: http://www.leehayward.com/calorie_calculator.htm that explains how to determine your caloric needs.


hey lee,

hows it goin? i have been reading about carbs, simple and complex carbs. alot of people saying u should consume simple carbs after u workout along with your protein shake. is this something you do too? what types of foods are simple carbs? just trying to get on the right path here. also since it is summer and all ive been doing more cardio and and cutting back on calories to shed some fat. ive been trying to keep my protein intake just as high but eating less carbs during the day, am i doing the right thing? thanks for your help lee.

mike cline


Hi Mike,

Good simple carbs to have after a workout are sports drinks like Gatorade. The sugar in these drinks can help increase insulin and help shuttle nutrients into your muscles after a hard workout. But only have sports drinks right after a workout, at other times when your muscles are not depleted they will just be stored as excess bodyfat. One of my favorites is to mix up vanilla protein powder with orange Gatorade and drink this post workout.

The way you are cutting back on carbs during the day is fine. Just don't avoid carbs all together. You can still eat foods like oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, etc. in moderation. But make sure to avoid all junk foods, sweets, deep fried foods, etc.


Hello Lee,

I was always under the impression that it was more important than anything to eat, or preferably drink lots of protein after your workout. However, I decided to give a post workout creatine product a try. I decided to use vitargo cgl. I did see some gains, but I felt like I would have improved more if I had been drinking protein shakes after my workouts. Anyways, my question is: could I add some glutamine and tasteless protein powder to the vitargo cgl-- since vitargo itself is a carbohydrate powder, and there is creatine in it-- to further improve its effectiveness?

Thanks for your time.


Hi Cody,

There is nothing wrong with mixing protein, creatine, glutamine, etc. together in the same drink. I do this personally all the time and have it after my workouts.

For the most part vanilla flavoured protein powder works the best with fruit flavoured creatine mixes such as the Nutrex Vitargo CGL.


Hi Lee,

I have a question for you regarding the suppliments that I will be taking. Firstly, I would like to let you know that your site is A grade material. Most of my questions had been answered! So keep up the good work, there are millions of people out there that would like to thank you.

My question is this:

I have bought myself a weight gainer (protein/ carb powder) aswell as creatine and amino acid powder. I was wanting to have the weight gainer shakes 3-4 times per day. I am unsure of how and when to consume the creatine and amino acids.

Here is a rough plan of my supplimentation:

Breakfast - 1 weight gainer shake
1 hour before gym - 1 weight gainer shake
1/2 hour before gym - creatine
Right before gym workout - amino acid powder (recommendation is 1 -1/2 teaspoon)
Right after gym workout - amino acid powder
15 minutes after gym workout - Creatine
1/2 hour after gym workout - 1 weight gainer shake
1/2 hour before bed time - 1 weight gainer shake

This is what I am thinking of doing. Was seeking some advise if this would be ok for me. Just so you know, I'm a hard gainer, but I'm doing my best to eat as much as possible.

Would this regime be fine? If not, what would you recommend?

Thanks in advance Lee!

Once again, keep up the good work.

Kind Regards,


Hi Chris,

Thanks for your e-mail. Glad to hear that you like my website.

You can mix the supplements together in the same drink, they do not have to be taken seperately.

For example:
Breakfast - 1 weight gainer shake with 1 teaspoonful of creatine powder mixed in
1 hour before gym - 1 weight gainer shake
Right before gym workout - amino acid powder
Right after gym workout - 1 weight gainer shake with creatine and amino acids mixed in.
1/2 hour before bed time - 1 weight gainer shake

This is a much easier schedule to follow and will be just as effective.

Note: Creatine is best taken right after a workout. If you take it before it could cause bloating or cramps. Besides exercised muscles will absorb the creatine better.


Hello Lee,

I have a simple question: when is it that you need Aminoacid suppliments along beside the Proteine suppliments. Some people even prefere takning Aminoacids and not Proteines, others exactly the opposite. Others take both. Now we know that Proteines ARE Aminoacids. What is the difference and what to take?

Best regards,
Steve K.


Hi Steve,

I personally just use protein supplements. As long as you are consuming approx. 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, extra amino acids are not nessecary. Whey protein is one of the highest sources of BCAA's anyways. It is much cheaper, and just as effective, to get your amino acids from whey protein then it is to buy separate amino acid supplements.

I have a list of my top 5 recommended supplements at: http://www.leehayward.com/lees_top5_supplements.htm


What fat burning supplements would you recommend? I don't know what to take it and what type of fat burner will even benefit me.


I recently read the latest version of Will Brink's e-book of "Diet Supplements Revealed". Will really knows his stuff and has basically taken every fat loss supplement that you can think of and ranked them according to real world results that people have gotten from these products. Below I have listed the highest ranking fat burners. Any of these supplements would help be a good investment and help you with your fat loss program.

- Ephedrine and Caffeine (by far the best fat burning supplement)
- Green Tea Extracts
- Guggul Extract
- Tyrosine

Most others are basically useless or you would have to take so much to get any results that it would not be feasible to use them. You should get Will Brink's "Diet Supplements Revealed" e-book for yourself. It is a great read and will show you what supplements are effective and what ones are useless and a total waste of money.


Hi Lee, hope you are doing well.

I want to know that for a normal person like me who is not into heavy weights and all, which is the best supplement out of the five listed on your site?....

A friend of mine told me that it is dangerous to take protein shakes and all if you dont go for heavy exercises.

Could you please help me out with this



Hi Amasch,

Protein supplements are not dangerous, and you do not have to be a weight lifter in order to use them. In fact there are numerous health benefits from whey protein. It helps to strengthen the immune system, improve brain function, and whey protein has been researched in prevention and life extension studies for such things as cancer, AIDS and other degenerative diseases. It helps T-cell activity and decrease wasting tissues during illness and therefore increase well-being and the speed of overall recovery.

All of the supplements listed at: http://www.leehayward.com/lees_top5_supplements.htm are healthy and beneficial. But if you were only going to use one I'd probably recommend Greens for the overall health benefits as they are rich in phytonutrients which help support the body's self defense mechanism, detoxify, and nourish the body.


Hi Lee

I hope you have some time to set me on the right track. I am 36 and weigh 235lbs. I have lost about 30lbs in the last 10 weeks or so. I bought myself some weight-lifting equipment to help gain lean body mass. I currently work out with weights 4 days a week(10 minutes on an eliptical/treadmill before and after), and try to walk about 8-10km 2-3 days a week.

I watch what I eat (less than 2000 calories a day)....normally.

My only chance to work out in the evening after my son is asleep, then I go to bed.

I am concerned that if I am not eating anything or having a protien drink after my work-out, am I getting the results I could.

I would like to keep losing weight(or fat), can you please set me straight as much as you can.

Any help would be great.

Chris Sorley


Hi Chris,

Based on your size I'd suggest that you keep your caloric intake around 2500 calories per day. Going too low will slow down your metabolism and actually make it harder to lose fat and increase your lean muscle mass. A good nutrient ratio to aim for is 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fat.

So for you this would workout to: 250 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbs, and 55 grams of fat per day.

Strive to eat 5 times per day (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a couple healthy high protein snacks).

After your evening workouts you should have a protein drink and a piece of fruit. This will help build speed up your muscle growth and recovery. Food that is eaten after a workout will not get stored as bodyfat because your metabolism is elevated and your body needs the nutrients for recovery.

You should try to schedule time to go for a walk everyday. Walking is a great exercise for fat loss because it burns up extra calories and doesn't hinder your recovery from your weight training workouts. When I'm dieting for a bodybuilding contest I will walk for an hour per day, usually right before eating my breakfast each morning. But do what ever you can, even a quick 15 minute walk around the block on your lunch break is better then nothing at all.


Hi Lee,

I've been taking some creatine for 2 weeks now and I saw that protein supplement should be taken together for better results. I've been advised to buy UNIVERSAL EGG PROTEIN. I weight 78 kg and I am 22 years old. Now my questions are:

  • When should I take the protein ? Before of after my workout ?
  • I work out 3 times a week. On the days that I don't workout do I need to take the protein? If so at what rate?
  • One serving size in the UNIVERSAL EGG PROTEIN is 20g. How many grams of protein do I need ?

I hope that you'll be able to answer my questions.

Thanks a lot


Hi Jean,

You should eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day. This should come from a combination of high protein foods and protein supplements. I personally have 3-4 high protein food meals per day and 2 protein drinks per day. This is for everyday, regardless if I weight train or not. On the days you workout have one of your protein drinks right after your workout.

To find out how much protein, carbohydrates, fat, etc. are in the foods you eat check out http://www.calorieking.com


What is a good protien shake or mrp?
Also you do you have a homemade recipe that you can share.


Protein powders are all protein with trace amounts of carbs.
Meal replacement powders generally contain a 2:1 ratio of protein to carbs.
Weight gainer powders generally contain a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein.

A good protein powder is Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein.

A good meal replacement powder is Optimum Nutrition MRP.

And a good weight gainer is Champion Super Heavyweight Gainer

One of my favorite protein drinks is mixing vanilla protein powder with apple juice and then adding a few shakes of cinnamon. This tastes like apple pie.


hey lee, i had a question about supplementing, i am starting to do cardio a couple times a week for about 15-20 minutes after a 45-hour workout. my question is when should i take my protein/glutamine/creatine shake, directly after the workout then wait a little then do cardio? or after everything?


You should have your post workout drink after you finish your entire workout (weight training and cardio). If you were to drink it before doing cardio you may get an upset stomach and it would not be any more beneficial then drinking it afterwards.


Hi Lee,

How are you? I really trust your advice and have been referring to your website for a little over a year now. I am a personal trainer and deal with nutrition as well. One of my clients I am having a struggle with, getting the last 3lbs off. She is determined to be 110. She is 5"2 and right now is doing about 9 hours per week at the gym. About 3 pilates, 3 weight training, and 3 doing cardio. She is eating very lean, right now eating about 1600-1700 calories per day. She works long hours since she owns her own business. We are doing good complex carbohydrates about 3 - 60 calorie servings per day, not inlcuding the two servings of fruit and 3 vegetables. I have been working with her for about 6 monthes now, and she has made awesome progress so far, but I totally feel like I am failing her. If possible could you give me some suggestions to help her out? I figure she is eating about 800 of those calories are from protein. I dont want to increase her protein too much since she has a medical condition that protein gets into her urine. Yet I am tempted to cut out some carbs but she works such long hours I dont want her running too empty. I am in a complete corner and this has never happened before, I can always get people to their goal. And I also fear the maintenance as well. Any ideas?

Thanks so much,



Hi Armande,

I can give you a quick and simple answer to the problem. She is just eating too much.

At 110 lbs. 1600-1700 calories per day is a maintenance amount. This works out to approx. 15 calories per pound of bodyweight per day. For fat loss 12-13 calories per pound of bodyweight per day is what she should strive for.

So in her case she should not be eating any more then 1400 calories per day.

Break it down into ratios of 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat.
140 grams of protein per day
140 grams of carbs per day
30 grams of fat per day.

I know this doesn't look like much food, but 110 lbs. is not much bodyweight so it is all in proportion.

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