Everything You Need To Know About Protein Enhancements

protein powder on a plate

Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, which, means it has no reservoirs to draw from when it needs a new supply and as a macronutrient. What this essentially means is that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. This according to the Harvard University Medical blog that highlights that in order to find out how much you actually need for your minimum required daily allowance you need only to multiply your weight by 0.36.

Required Daily Protein Allowance = Your Weight x 0.36

You can use this calculator to make it real easy on yourself.

There is a lot of excitement around high-protein diets and it’s for a very good reason. Protein plays a big role in bodybuilding and weight loss. Yes, both! musclesProtein is an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood and the body uses it to build and repair tissues. You also need protein to make hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals. So protein is vital to every cell in the body.

With that said, we do not necessarily need copious amounts of protein every day and according to the department of health services, the body needs a good amount of protein and from different sources as well (i.e. legumes, fish, meat).

For example, teenagers and active men need three daily serving of protein of a total of 7 ounces. For teenage girls, active women and most men need two daily serving of a total of 6 ounces. For children under the age of 6, most women and some older people the recommended intake is two daily servings for a total of 5 ounces.

As you can see, any amount of protein intake exceeding more than 8 ounces per meal every day is more than enough, in fact much more than the body needs. Extra protein does not necessarily give you more strength or build muscle faster as some would think. Furthermore, according to nutritionists, the body can benefit from getting protein from better food sources, nutritional supplements and regular exercises for a healthy metabolism, stimulate weight loss, and build muscle.

Research indicates that high-protein diets induce greater fat loss. This is because they increase satiety and decrease hunger. People on this diet, take in 200 calories per day – 10% less energy – which could account for the weight loss.

While all that is backed by scientific evidence, it is important to choose the protein you eat wisely as it may contribute to a successful weight loss and overall health or be detrimental to your health. Sometimes foods that are high in protein can result in you getting a hefty amount of artery-clogging saturated fats that can cause cardiovascular diseases, type2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, (all linked with consuming large quantities of processed meats; i.e. deli meats, hot dogs, and sausages). Not only are these proteins damaging to your body, you will have a very difficult time losing weight and keeping it off.

There is always the intake of protein through a plant based diet, afterall there are many vegetables that are high in protein, such as: green beans, broccoli, and kale. The mention of a plant based diet as a source of protein can be hard to comprehend for most people, especially if they prefer their steak rare and juicy. However, a lot of plant based foods like legumes, soy and nuts can give you the same amount of protein as meats and they are a healthy source of fats.

It is also good to consider fish as apart of that diet. It offers heart health omega3 fatty acids, generally less than meats. Add that with green beans that contain even more protein plus they are full of fiber that increases satiety – and you have a meal.

Protein Enhancements

Other ways of improving protein synthesis other than from food are with quality protein enhancements. Being able to take control of the rate and frequency of protein synthesis is just about the most important thing to an individual who is trying to enhance their physique or to a body builder.

For the benefit of body building and keeping lean, protein enhancements have proven to be very effective. The problem is that there are so many protein enhancement products available in the market today which makes it virtually impossible to know which one is the best rather, which one best suits your needs.

Despite the different protein enhancers, such as protein bars, which do double up as a small meal and most of them contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, alcohol, and sugars, they aren’t readily absorbable. There are several others that come in powder and liquid form that are easily digestible and have proven beneficial and offer great results in performance and muscle growth when used as a pre and post-workout diets.

  1. Whey Protein Powder

This is considered a complete protein which is a bit low in lactose content and contains 9 essential amino acids. It is by far the best protein for bulking up and stimulating muscle gain because they contain digestible whey protein isolates and hydrolysates, which are the purest forms of whey that get to the muscles fast as well as increase blood flow to the muscles. It also improves muscle protein synthesis, which is the main goal in bodybuilding and promotes the growth of lean tissue mass.

Reports have shown that there are other health benefits associated with consuming whey powder such as:

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Aids weight loss

  • It has anticancer properties

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Improve immune response to asthma

  1. Creatine

Its superior success cannot be easily overlooked as it makes good on its promises (when correctly used) in strength training and bodybuilding. Its benefits of bursts of power push the body’s endurance during high-intensity workouts and strengthen muscular contractions at a faster rate for more reps during workouts. Creatine also:

  • Reduces muscle cell damage and inflammation

  • Improves cycle sprint performance

  • Provides powerful anabolic boost

  • Enhances muscle volumization

  • Prevents against free-radicals and neurodegenerative disorders

  • Improves glucose tolerance

  • Improves bone healing and may reduce age-related muscle loss known as sarcopenia

  1. Casein Protein

Although abundant in milk protein, the insoluble structures in Micellar Casein is soluble in water, which, when paired with whey protein makes for a great post-workout shake because whey increases protein synthesis and casein blocks protein breakdown. Because casein and whey have different yet complementary effects, this combination has been found great for muscle anabolism and for a sustained benefit on protein balance.

Casein protein has great benefits when taken before bedtime as it promotes a sustained anti-catabolic environment as you sleep. Consume casein protein powder throughout the day for the following additional benefits:

  • It is a higher quality of protein (Optional for vegetarians)

  • Casein promotes colon health

  • Increases muscle strength

  • Its high in calcium, therefore, beneficial in fat loss in terms of fecal fat and energy excretion

  1. Beta-alanine

Also known as CarnoSyn, is the building block of Carnosine, which is an antioxidant and anti-aging compound which acts as an acid buffer in the muscles while increasing physical performance. Beta-alanine is a standard ingredient in most pre-workout supplements. The Carnosine present in beta-alanine can help against diet induced drops in PH balance as well as protect from the production of high levels of lactic acid. Other benefits of beta-alanine are:

  • It is the most consistently effective performance-enhancing supplement so far

  • It is a potent antioxidant

  • It raises muscle carnosine concentrations over time

  • Enhance muscular endurance

  • Improve moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular performance

Branched-chain amino acids BCAA

Specifically, Leucine and isoleucine are not produced in our bodies, therefore, very essential because these amino acids make up the building blocks of protein. Although our bodies do not need them in excess, adequate amounts are necessary for energy production during and after workouts. Branched-chain amino acids have various health and physical benefits such as:

  • Reduce serotonin levels that cause fatigue and improve workout intensity

  • Promotes anabolic hormones that repair and reduce muscle breakdown (catabolic crisis)

  • Improve exercise performance

  • BCAA is used to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease, certain cancers and brain conditions due to liver disease

Glutamine

It is a naturally occurring amino acid in the blood stream which makes up about 35% nitrogen and plays a key role in protein synthesis and transporting nitrogen to the muscle cells. It is an essential amino acid that is a building block of protein and the body uses in large amounts. Used commonly in fitness to preserve muscle tissues, glutamine is known to be the most important amino acid compared to other single amino acids and its benefits are abundant especially in improving muscle metabolism and cellular support. Glutamine also:

  • Helps in building muscle, burning fat and boosts metabolism

  • The essential amino acid promotes performance and recovery from exercise

  • Promotes digestive and brain health with memory, focus and concentration

  • Fights cancer and cuts sugar and alcohol cravings

  • Glutamine is essential for maintaining intestinal functions such as healing leaky gut, ulcers and also improves immunity in people with AIDS

  • Linked to protein synthesis, glutamine prevents the muscle catabolism

The thing to remember when selecting any protein enhancer is that not everyone responds to protein the same way to promote muscle growth. And in order to prevent unhealthy intake of protein that can potentially cause lasting damage to the liver, it is always important to consult a professional who can best advise you depending on your target weight and requirements.

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