Sigma Nutrition Radio:  Health | Performance | Wel

Sigma Nutrition Radio: Health | Performance | Wel


SIGMA Nutrition Radio: a place where people interested in self-educating themselves in order to take control of their own health, body and performance can get access to honest, science-backed information and opinions from leading experts. Every week the show features deep-diving interviews with amazing guests with expertise in different areas related to nutrition, health, performance, mindset and living life to its fullest potential.


SNR #184: Uncertainty About Artificial/Non-Nutritive Sweeteners (Listener Question Episode)  

We take a deeper look at artificial/non-caloric sweeteners; effects on bodyweight, glucose tolerance, gut flora and health. What does the evidence say about safety and health concerns?

All references are linked to in the show notes page at

SNR #183: Arthur Lynch & Eoghan McNeill - Sports Psychology in Self-Paced/Closed-Skill Sports  

Sigma coach Arthur Lynch interviews sport psychology PhD researcher Eoghan McNeill of the University of Limerick on applying evidence-based sports psychology techniques to improve performance, particularly in powerlifting and other self-paced/closed skill sports.
Eoghan is a PhD researcher in the PESS department at the Univeristy of Limerick. Eoghan's research examines improving performance in self-paced sports (focusing on golf) through psychology techniques and mental preparation. Eoghan has a MSc. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Ulster University, Jordanstown (UUJ). Eoghan can be contacted at

In This Episode We Discuss:

Pre-performance routine and the importance of conscious thought
Use of first-person and third-person imagery for performance and skill acquisition
Effective self-talk
Thought replacement strategy and reframing negative thoughts

SNR #182: Reid Reale, PhD - Research on Water Loading & Making Weight Practices in Combat Sport  

Reid recently completed a PhD, focusing on weight cutting techniques and body composition of combat sport athletes. This work was carried out in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport, where research is combined with helping elite level Olympic athletes. Reid has a master’s degree in dietetics and holds Accredited Sports Dietitian and Accredited Practising Dietitian status with Sports Dietitians Australia and the Dietitians Association of Australia respectively.  He won first prize in the “Young investigator award” at the 2016 European College of Sports Science annual congress in Vienna, for his presentation ‘Rapid weight loss in Olympic combat sports’.

On the sporting side, Reid started training BJJ in 2006 and received his black belt in 2015 from Prof. Chris Derksen of the Peter De Been lineage. He is an active competitor having fought in hundreds of BJJ competition matches and winning gold medals at every belt level. His most notable and recent achievements include 2016 UAEJJ World Pro Trials Black Belt Heavyweight champion (Sydney, Australia), 2015 Asian Open Brown Belt heavy weight silver medallist (Tokyo, Japan), 2015 Pan Pacific Brown Belt open weight champion (Melbourne, Australia).

In This Episode We Discuss: Why cut weight? Methods used to cut weight The mechanisms by which water loading can potentially be useful in weight cutting Low residue diets and acute weight loss Deciding how much to cut for each sport
SNR #181: Jeff Nippard - Intuitive Eating, Control-Based Eating & Body Recomposition  

Jeff Nippard is a WNBF Pro Drug-Free Bodybuilder and internationally qualified IPF/CPU Powerlifter in the 74 kg class. He earned the title of Mr. Junior Canada for natural bodybuilding in 2012 under the guidance of Dr. Layne Norton. Prior to earning the Canadian national title, Jeff was a two-time Mr. Junior Newfoundland title-holder for 2009 and 2010. As a powerlifter, Jeff has claimed a 227.5 kg (502 lb) squat, 152.5 kg (336 lb) bench press (2014 Canadian national record) and a 235 kg (518 lb) deadlift with an all time best Wilks score of 446.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry, Jeff has gathered the requisite scientific knowledge to compliment his practical experience acquired through training and coaching. Jeff worked as a coach with esteemed online coaching group The Strength Guys through 2014 and 2015 before branching out with STRCNG. Jeff has coached women's bikini and men's bodybuilding national and provincial champions, professional natural bodybuilders and nationally and IPF Worlds qualified raw powerlifters.

In This Episode We Discuss:

Intuitive eating vs. ad libitum eating Accurately defining intuitive eating Using intuitive eating whilst making physique progress Factors that influence whether intuitive eating or control-based eating is the best tool Long-term planning for body recomposition
SNR #180: Jason Gill, PhD - Role of Ethnicity in Cardio-Metabolic Disease Risk  

Dr Jason Gill is a Reader in Exercise and Metabolic Health in the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow. He leads an active multi-disciplinary research group investigating the effects of exercise and diet on the prevention and management of vascular and metabolic diseases from the molecular to the whole-body level. Major research interests include: why certain population groups (particularly South Asians) appear to be particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of a `Westernised' lifestyle, and how lifestyle interventions can modulate this excess risk; the interactions between physical activity, energy balance, adiposity and disease risk; and the mechanisms by which exercise regulates lipoprotein metabolism.

He is a past Chair of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Division of Physical Activity for Health and a member of the development groups for the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity and for prevention of cardiovascular disease. Jason is Director of the MSc programme in Sport and Exercise Science & Medicine, and also plays an active role in communicating the science of physical activity, diet, obesity and cardio-metabolic risk to the widest possible audience including a number of appearances on TV documentaries and organisation of Understanding of Science events for the general public.

In This Episode We Discuss: Modifiable factors that influence cardio-metabolic disease risk Differences in diabetes and cardio-metabolic disease risk between different ethnic groups Is this increased disease risk a function of ethnicity alone or a mismatch between the environment and that populations evolutionary past? How different BMI values correspond to different levels of risk between ethnic groups Differences in cardiorespiratory fitness levels and capacity for fat oxidation potentially contribute to ethnic differences in the cardio-metabolic risk profile Do we need ethnicity-specific physical activity guidelines? Research questions that remain unanswered
SNR #179: What Interviewing the Best Minds in Evidence-Based Nutrition & Fitness Has Taught Me About Them  

Episode 179: Patterns that I've recognised and traits that are common to the best people in evidence-based nutrition and fitness.

SNR #178: Listener Input, Future Plans & Latest News  

Episode 178: I need your input as a valued listener! I talk through some exciting new plans, ideas and where we as a community should aim to bring this podcast.

SNR #177: Chris & Eric Martinez - Habits, Mentality & the Self-Improvement Side of Fitness  

Chris and Eric Martinez are the founders of Dynamic Duo Training. The twin brothers have the knowledge, the credibility, the passion, the “in the trenches” experience training themselves and clients, and have been mentored under some of the most prestigious coaches in the industry such as Layne Norton, Eric Helms, and Dr. Joe Klemczewski. Chris and Eric are constantly striving to innovate, learn to be better in all areas of life, evolve, and most importantly execute and serve to their clients. They recently authored the book 'The New Era of Fitness'.

In This Episode We Discuss: The components that comprise the "new era of fitness" Forming new habits with clients Mentality towards fitness goals Why personal development is important How to improve yourself Lessons learned through experience and education
SNR #176: Eric Trexler - Citrulline & Nitrate Supplements for Performance  

Eric Trexler is a PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill, under Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan. He has a research focus on how exercise and nutrition affect metabolism, performance, and body composition. Eric comes from a background in natural bodybuilding, powerlifting, and strength coaching, and currently holds certifications in sports nutrition (CISSN) and strength and conditioning (CSCS). Eric completed his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University, and his master’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill.
In This Episode We Discuss:

Proposed mechanisms of action of citrulline
Citrulline malate vs. L-citrulline
Nitric oxide "boosters"
Why arginine is ineffective
Dietary nitrates and nitrate supplementation via beetroot/pomegranate
What athletes might this work for?
Research on cordyceps supplementation for exercise performance

SNR #175: Prof. Klaas Westerterp - Metabolism, Energy Expenditure & Weight Regulation  

Klaas Westerterp is Professor of Human Energetics at Maastricht University. His field of expertise is energy metabolism, physical activity, food intake and body composition, and energy balance under controlled conditions and in daily life. He is member of the Editorial Board of the journal Nutrition and Metabolism (London), the European Journal of Applied Physiology, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.

SNR #174: Jorn Trommelen – Carbohydrate Oxidation During Exercise & Pre-Sleep Protein  

Episode 174: Researcher from Maastrict University, Jorn Trommelen is on the show to discuss his research on the effect of glucose/fructose on carbohydrate oxidation during exercise and the effect of pre-sleep protein on muscle protein balance.
Jorn earned his MSc in Nutrition and Health with top honors at Wageningen University & Research Centre. He is now pursuing a PhD in Muscle Metabolism at Maastricht University, at one of the leading laboratories in that field.

His research focusses on protein ingestion to optimize post-exercise muscle protein synthesis. In addition, he investigates carbohydrate metabolism during and after exercise.

Jorn won several awards for his research including:

A Young Investigator Award at the European College of Sport Science Congress in 2015 The GSSI Sport Nutrition Award at the American College of Sports Medicine in 2016 The Gail E. Butterfield Nutrition Travel Award at the American College of Sports Medicine in 2016 A GSSI Nutrition Award at the European College of Sport Science Congress in 2016
SNR #173: PJ Nestler - Training Specificity, Fight Conditioning & Pre-/Post-Training Strategies  

Episode 173: Performance coach PJ Nestler discusses training approaches for combat sport athletes to increase their strength, speed and power so that it actually translates to improved performance in the ring/cage.
PJ is a human performance specialist with over a decade of experience preparing top athletes for competition, and a life mission to help athletes and coaches realize their true potential. Over the past ten years, PJ has trained dozens of athletes from the UFC, NFL, NHL and MLB. His passion for combat sports and commitment to excellence, has driven him to become a leader in combat sports performance training. He has worked extensively with over 100 fighters, including multiple Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champions and Top 10 ranked UFC fighters
Outside of training top athletes, PJ is devoted to sharing his knowledge and experience, with the purpose of elevating the fitness profession.

SNR #172: Ben Esgro - Thoughts on Lifting, Obsession and Fitness  

Episode 172: Ben Esgro returns to give more philosophical thoughts on training, powerlifting, achievement and much more.
Ben is the founder and COO of De Novo Nutrition. The company has both consulting and supplement branches, based on objective science and ethical practice. Ben is a registered dietitian (RD), as well as having a Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Science (MS) from Marywood University. He has over 6 years experience of coaching and programming for individuals all the way from general population folks all the way up to elite competitors, such as IPF Worlds 2015 93kg silver medalist Layne Norton. In addition to being a highly-regarded coach, he is also an accomplished competitor as both a USBF Pro Qualified Natural Bodybuilder and an internationally qualified IPF powerlifter.

Corey Peacock, PhD – Physical Preparation, Conditioning and Recovery for Elite MMA Athletes  

Episode 171: Corey Peacock, PhD discusses how he implements science-based practices in the physical preparation of the elite MMA athletes he works with, including Anthony Johnson, Michael Chandler, Matt Mitrione and Rashad Evans.
Dr. Corey Peacock is currently serving a dual role as the Head Exercise Physiologist and Performance Coach for MMA’s the Blackzilians fight camp. In this role, he is responsible for contributing physiological evaluations, strength & conditioning, and injury prevention methodologies. His experience as both a Strength Coach and Sports Performance Researcher have allowed him to implement state of the art injury prevention technology and coaching techniques within the team. A former collegiate football player and coach, Corey graduated from Kent State University with a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology, focusing his application on human performance.

He works closely with many Strength & Conditioning professionals from the NFL, NHL, MMA and NCAAF and is regarded as one of the top Performance Coaches and Sports Scientists in South Florida. Along with coaching, Dr. Peacock also works as a professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Nova Southeastern University. As a researcher, he has contributed multiple peer-reviewed publications integrating the fields of exercise physiology, athletic performance, and supplementation.

SNR #170: Aadam Ali - Challenging Biases, Nutrition Philosophy & Practical Experiments with Ketogenic Dieting  

Episode 170: Aadam Ali of Physiquinomics is on to discuss his personal diet experiements, what he learnt and some philosophies on nutrition and training.
Aadam writes fitness-related content over at his site Physiqonomics. He writes about his philosophies on nutrition, training and all things physique related. He also self-experiments with different approaches and reports the results. These have included periods of time eating various iterations of a ketogenic diet, employing extended fasts, using time-restricted feeding and more. He has also written content for various other reputable sites including Strengtheory. Aadam also works one-to-one with coaching clients who want to improve their physique.

SNR #169: Chad Macias - Cancer Metabolism & Caution Over Ketogenic Diet/Ketones  

Episode 169: Molecular physiologist Chad Macias, of the Institute for Human Kinetics, discusses some limitations of research, issues of misinterpretation and/or inaccurate communication related to research on cancer, nutritional ketosis and the press-pulse method.
Chad is currently pursuing post-graduate research in Molecular Oncology. Chad has spent over 19 years conducting research and developing protocols in cellular and molecular physiology. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Diego, and has developed some of the most advanced blood lactate testing and intermittent hypoxia protocols in the world. He founded the Institute for Human Kinetics in 2011, where he works with many of the world’s top athletes. In addition, he was a two sport Olympic athlete. He also serves as the Human Performance Specialist at Navy Special Warfare developing programs to prepare Navy Seals for combat deployment though their Tactical Athlete Program. Chad also heads OPI’s Research Team and has the knowledge base to conduct medical and exercise physiology research in both humans and rodents.

SNR #168: Powerlifting Weight Classes, Cutting Weight & Long-Term Thinking - Sigma Team Discussion  

Episode 168: The Sigma coaching team sit down to discuss issues related to selecting a powerlifting weight class, progression over the long-term and the pros and cons of cutting weight.


SNR #167: Dom D'agostino, PhD - Traumatic Brain Injury, CTE & Implications for Combat Sport Athletes  

Episode 167: Dominic D'Agostino, PhD returns to the show to discuss issues related to traumatic brain injury (including CTE) and associations with contact sports such as boxing, MMA and American football.

Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D.

Dr. D'agostino is an Assistant Professor at the College Of Medicine Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology at the University of South Florida. The primary focus of his laboratory is developing and testing metabolic-based therapies, including ketogenic diets, ketone esters, ketone supplements and metabolic-based drugs. His research also explores the use of these metabolic therapies for a broad range of disorders linked pathophysiologically to metabolic dysregulation, including seizures, neurological disorders, wound healing, muscle wasting and cancer. The laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro techniques to understand the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanism of metabolic therapies.

In This Episode We Discuss: Development of chronic TBI Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and association with combat sports and American football Potential risk reduction strategies for combat sport athletes What's going on in the brain after injury? - GABA, glutamate, elctrolytes, etc. Substrate metabolism in the brain and neuro-inflammatory response after injury
SNR #166: Stephan Guyenet, PhD - The Neuroscience of Overeating & Regulation of Calorie Balance  

Episode 166: Stephan Guyenet, PhD discusses what drives us to overeat, factors affecting appetite regulation and calorie balance.
Stephan is an obesity researcher, neurobiologist, and author. In addition to his research, he enjoys synthesizing and communicating science for a general audience over at his hugely successful blog. Stephan has a BS. in biochemistry (University of Virginia) and a PhD in neurobiology (University of Washington). He recently published the fantastic book 'The Hungry Brain', which dives into the causes of obesity from the perspective of overeating and related brain chemistry.

SNR #165: Kevin Hall, PhD - Testing the Carbohydrate-Insulin Model & a Response to Gary Taubes  

Episode 165: Kevin Hall, PhD of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is on the podcast to discuss his work examining the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity and responds to recent comments on the issue by Gary Taubes.
Dr. Hall is a Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Biological Modeling at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Kevin's laboratory investigates how metabolism and the brain adapt in response to a variety of interventions to diet and physical actvity. They perform experiments in both humans and rodents to better understand the complex mechanisms regulating macronutrient metabolism, body composition, and energy expenditure. A unique aspect of the laboratory involves the development of mathematical models to quantitatively describe, explain, integrate, and predict our experimental results.

Over the past couple of years, Kevin has been the principal investigator on a couple of high-profile metabolic ward studies looking to examine: 1) the effect of restricting calories from fat vs. from carbohydrates, and 2) the hypothesis that ketogenic diets offer a metabolic advantage.

In This Episode We Discuss:

Defining the carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity
Scientific models and the principle of experimental falsification
Main predictions of the carbohydrate-insulin model
Examining the idea that ketogenic diets confer a metabolic advantage
Response to recent comments from Gary Taubes
The effect of weight loss on appetite

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