Tag Archives: protein consumption

How Protein Becomes Muscle

29 Sep

Protein consumption, following a workout, is an important component of the muscle and strength building process.  But how, exactly, does the process work?

Here’s a terrific resource from Men’s Health titled, How Protein Becomes Muscle.  This animated video explains the process from ingestion through each subsequent stage — transportresponserepair and growth; and construction.

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Finish Your Workout With Protein

15 May

If you train at my facility, then you know that every training session ends with a reminder to “eat and get your protein.”  And, although protein consumption can come from a variety of sources, whey protein shakes are a quick, convenient, and portable way to ensure that you’re getting an adequate quantity and quality of post-workout protein.

Drink a protein shake right after your workout to aid and facilitate muscle recovery.  Consuming protein, following your workout, “can increase muscle protein synthesis by 100% for up to 24 hours,” says Michael Roussell, PhD and nutritionist.

Additionally, keep in mind that protein consumption should not be limited to post-workout.  To maximize muscle protein synthesis throughout the day, aim to get some protein every three to four hours, including lean protein at every meal or snack.  Research shows that active individuals should get about 0.6-0.8 grams of protein, per pound of body weight, per day.  Competitive athletes may need as much as 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, daily.

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Get More Protein In Your Diet

13 Mar

Our society is “over-carbohydrated” and “under-proteined.”

Not only do most people not get enough protein in their diets, but their distribution of protein consumption throughout the day is not balanced – relatively little protein with breakfast and lunch, and lots of protein with dinner.

In a University of Texas study, researchers found that muscle protein synthesis—the driving force behind your muscle growth—was 25 percent greater when people ate protein throughout the day (30 grams of protein per meal) compared to those who ate a bulk of their protein at dinner (10 grams for breakfast, 15 grams for lunch, and 65 grams for dinner).

Research indicates that active individuals and athletes should consume at least 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, every day (that’s 90-120 grams of protein a day for a 150-pound person).

For some people, the thought of consuming that much protein in a day can seem overwhelming, but balancing your protein intake throughout the day – along with a little strategic planning and preparation – can simplify the process.

Here’s an article from Men’s Health titled, 13 Easy Ways to Get More Protein In Your Diet.  The article lists several fast and convenient ways to boost your protein intake.

Here’s another resource – a previous blog post – with a simple but effective strategy for increasing your daily protein consumption: Increase Protein Consumption With This Simple Strategy.

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5 Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

28 Mar

5-Tips-To-Boost-Your-Metabolism_1024x1024[1]Here’s a nice article from our friends and colleagues at ASD Performance.

  1. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST

Eat a good breakfast. Every. Single. Day. If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode which in turn causes your metabolism to slow in order to conserve energy. And the heartier your first meal is, the better. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that volunteers who reported regularly skipping breakfast had 4.5 times the risk of obesity as those who took the time to eat.

      2. DRINK COFFEE:

A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf.

  1. RELAX:

Research is now showing that high levels of stress in in fact contributing to to weight gain. When you are stressed, your body will increase your stress hormone cortisol, which stimulates fat cells to increase in size and encourage fat storage. Stress hormones can also spike your appetite, making you likely to overeat or stress eat.

     4. PICK UP THE PROTEIN:

Cramming protein into every meal helps to build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest. Aim for about 30 grams of protein — the equivalent of about one cup of low-fat cottage cheese or a four-ounce boneless chicken breast — at each meal.

  1. CHOOSE ORGANIC PRODUCE:

Researchers in Canada found that dieters with the most organochlorides (chemicals found in pesticides) stored in their fat cells were the most susceptible to disruptions in mitochondrial activity and thyroid function. Translation: Their metabolism stalled.

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Get Stronger (here’s how)

2 Dec

LoadedBarbell[1]Everybody wants to look good, but the real benefit of strength training is… well… getting stronger.  Increasing your physical strength will serve you much better in the long term, whether you’re an athlete or not.

And, while the aesthetic result of working out is great, research shows that stronger people generally live longer (so there’s that).  Strength and functional fitness is the way to go.

Move better, function better, perform better.

Here are a few basic tips for improving your strength (with some information borrowed from our friends at ASD Performance):

Lift Heavy

Lifting heavy (90% 1RM) will improve strength by recruiting high-threshold motor units. The muscle fibers associated with these motor units have the most potential for increasing strength. However, they fatigue quickly.

Exercise Selection Matters

Maximal lifting is best applied to multi-joint exercises (e.g., squats, deadlifts, presses, and pulls). Even though the weight is heavy, your intent should be to move the weight as fast as possible. This will ensure you’re recruiting as many fast-twitch muscle fibers as possible.

Incorporate Plyometrics

Otherwise known as jump training, plyometric training involves hop- and jump-type exercises that train and develop what’s called the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC). The stretch-shortening cycle teaches the body to better utilize stored elastic energy to produce stronger and more forceful contractions. This improvement in reactive ability can also be explained by improvements in muscle-tendon stiffness. Body-weight or weighted plyometric can be utilized such as consecutive body-weight jumps over hurdles or continuous dumbbell jump squats.

Rest Longer

When bodybuilding or training for muscle growth, short rest periods are recommended between sets, such as 30-60 seconds. When training for strength, increase your rest to 2-5 minutes depending on the exercise. The loads lifted will require longer rest periods to ensure you complete the same number of reps in the subsequent sets. Your mental strength and ability to focus on the heavy set will also appreciate the longer break.

Get Your Protein

Most experts agree that active men and women should ingest 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of their target body weight, daily.  Athletes and more experienced weightlifters may require more protein, as much as a gram (or more) per pound of their target body weight, daily.  Lifting heavy weight creates a lot of muscle demand.  Feed your muscles often, with lean protein from whole foods and a quality whey protein supplement.

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Debunking 7 Muscle Myths

2 Oct

7-truths-8[1]Some of the stuff — strength and conditioning “facts” — I hear in (and out of) my facility is comical.  There are lots of anecdotal “experts;” from coaches to parents to the athletes themselves.

Here’s a nice resource from Men’s Health titled, The Truth Behind 7 Muscle Myths.

The article dispels some common misconceptions about workout duration; protein consumption; squat depth; muscle soreness; stretching and injury prevention; Swiss ball exercises; and free weights vs. machines.

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Protein 101: Types and Timing

28 Aug

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There’s a lot of discussion (and confusion) about protein consumption and supplementation.

What kind of protein supplement should you use, and when should you use it?

Check out this article to learn more about Types of Protein.

This article provides insight into Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training.

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Muscle Recovery 101

13 Jul
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey on Whole Grain Bread

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey on Whole Grain Bread

The way exercise works is actually pretty simple.  Exercise helps stoke your body’s fat-burning and muscle-building capabilities.

The harder (and higher intensity at which) you train, the better response you get.  Moderate- to high-intensity exercise stimulates the mobilization of your fat stores (that means it gets fat out of “storage” and into the bloodstream where it can be used by the muscles as energy).

This effect can last up to 24 hours (some experts contend the effect lasts even longer) and allows you to burn more fat even when you’re not exercising.

After your workout, your body is hungry for and ready to convert consumed proteins into new muscle.  Depending on your strength and fitness goals, consuming the right nutrients after your workout can help you burn more fat and/or add more muscle.

CARBOHYDRATES

Volumes of research prove that consuming carbohydrates within 30 minutes post-workout can stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis (energy, in the form of stored glucose, in your muscles).  This can help restore your muscles’ energy supplies for future workouts.

PROTEIN

Equally as important, consuming protein, particularly its essential amino acids, immediately after and up to 3 hours post-workout provides the body with the building blocks for muscle protein synthesis. When you combine carbs with protein after a workout, especially a prolonged, resistance training session, you can maximize the results of your strength training regimen.

POST-WORKOUT (Carb + Protein Combo) SNACKS

Here’s a short list of ideas for your next post-workout snack:

  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt with berries/fresh fruit
  • Hard-boiled egg and apple slices
  • Lean turkey/chicken breast sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and sliced avocado

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Eat Your Way to Fitness

8 Jun

8c08f343446b14128f6f9df8dd797ddb[1]Exercise is important, but you can’t “out-train” a bad diet.  If you’re serious about results, regardless of your strength and fitness goals, your exercise and nutrition plans need to be aligned.

Complement your efforts in the weight room by following these three simple Diet & Nutrition rules:

  1. Limit the junk.  Snacking on high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like sweets, chips, and soda will sabotage your strength and fitness plan.  And, while I’m not a fan of an extreme, fanatical approach to diet and nutrition — moderation is the key — you’ve got to limit these foods to no more than 10% of your intake, or about 200-250 “junk” calories per day.
  2. Make protein a priority.  Active men and women should aim for at least 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of their target body weight, daily.  Athletes and more experienced weightlifters may require more protein, as much as a gram (or more) per pound of their target body weight, daily.  Increasing your protein intake can help you feel fuller longer, increase muscle growth, and boost your metabolism.
  3. Eat more produce.  Add more (whole) fruit to your diet to provide your muscles with carbohydrates to fuel your training.  You’ll get the added benefit of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to keep you healthy.  Aim for 2-4 servings a day.

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Get Your (Whey) Protein

1 Jun

pGNC1-13512491dt[1]If you’re not already using a whey protein supplement, what are you waiting for?

In addition to its post-workout, muscle-building potential, whey also helps direct glycogen into fatigued cells, reducing muscle soreness and improving muscle function the day after you train.

Most experts agree that active men and women should ingest 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of their target body weight, daily.

Athletes and more experienced weightlifters may require more protein, as much as a gram (or more) per pound of their target body weight, daily.

Here’s a previous blog post with a simple strategy to increase protein consumption, throughout the day.

Our country is notoriously “over-carbed” and “under-proteined.”  Reduce the carbs and increase the protein intake to look better, feel better, and perform better.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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