For a number of years most of the so-called “Douglas Bag Max V02 physiological experts” in this country, the ones who claim to teach at universities and varying research centers in the U.S. have remained incredibly ignorant of the true nutritional metabolic powers of high protein diets.
Based on the average slugs that have no muscle mass compartment they continue to advise that a high protein diet is injurious to the kidney and liver and they are literally miles behind bodybuilders in the knowledge of how to manipulate body fat, muscle, insulin, GH and hormones.
Just recently the SUBWAY CO decided to incorporate the Atkins low carb philosophy and a nutritionist in the USA Today said, “I don’t agree and I am worried about all that protein.”
Jeff Everson responded by letter, “USA Today continues to be a borderline tabloid piece with poor journalistic research. At least try using some “experts” with a measured IQ over 60.”
Jeff also has stated, “The reality is that no one needs to be overweight or obese.” In fact, he says, he has little mercy at all for those who are, as they are fools. All they need to do is make the switch to multiple (more) nutrient-dense, but low-calorie meals a day (of 50-60% mixed blend proteins) AND pump iron 20 minutes a day. That is ALL it takes for a lifetime of leanness.”
Many of these “same old experts” lost in the 1950’s still give a blanket recommendation of 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight (or 0.8g/kg) no matter the size, sex or demands on the person.
The recommendation is based on outdated nitrogen urinary excretion studies from 30 years ago.
GET YOUR NITROGEN!
It is true that the most conservative research studies are on the protein required to prevent deficiency.
But, since 1975, well-controlled research studies have determined that nitrogen balance occurs when the amount of protein that goes into the body (food) is equal to the amount that leaves the body through all means as urine, sweat, feces, respiration, etc.
All the studies demonstrate that endurance and strength athletes require more than double the protein of the average sedentary person. Bodybuilders and lifters can need up to 2g per kg. of bodyweight.
The authors speculate that it’s certainly possible that heavy, regular users of testosterone GH and anabolic steroids may benefit from as much as 4.4g per kilogram of bodyweight, which is certainly not to say that this is any way remotely safe or healthy!
Protein calories are not as readily stored as body fat compared to carb and fat calories because of the metabolic costs in processing protein. This is a higher energy endeavor. It is more thermogenic and activates hormones that help with fat loss.
Yes, only a small amount of protein is burned for energy DURING normative life and exercise (10-20% of total calories burned). But, that is not the point of high protein meals – greater thermogenesis.
Protein intake is the most critical element for post-workout recovery, and protein increases the acquisition of muscle, not to mention providing numerous other benefits.
Protein and Hormones
In addition to the calorie burning effects of protein, higher protein intakes can increase the release of the hormone glucagon from the pancreas. Glucagon decreases the enzymes responsible for making fats and building up the fat stores in the liver and in the fat cells.
So again, higher protein intakes may lead to losses in body fat due to the thermogenic effects as well as the hormonal effects of eating protein. Protein may also help raise IGF levels which help regulate the rate and amount of muscle building. Increasing protein (or substituting) improves blood lipids and lowers cardiovascular disease risk.
REPLACING CARBS WITH PROTEIN
Again, why do all these lamebrain nutritionists recommend high carbohydrate diets when research demonstrates that replacing them with protein leads to better blood profiles and more muscle? (short answer-pure stupidity and no reality in a “real” world).
Indeed, three separate studies have now shown that increasing and substituting protein for fats or carbs is always associated with less heart risk.
Usually, the bad fats like LDL cholesterol decrease by between 6% and 9%, while the good fats like HDL cholesterol increase by between 12% and 17% (Wolfe, 1995).
In addition, studies with protein show that the ratio of plasma total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (the lower the ratio the better), decreased by between 15% and 16%.
Finally, the total triglyceride levels decreased by between 18% and 23% with protein.
Protein and Kidney Strain
This is that big old bugaboo. Just because your kidneys process protein breakdown does not portend that it damages healthy function.
Short of medical conditions like diabetes where the kidney may have difficulty with protein, there are no research studies in either humans or lab animals that support this.
At least one study on soy isolate suggests that higher protein increases kidney function.
Calcium Loss and Bone
Recent studies show that higher protein usually leads to a higher bone mineral content and healthier bones. In general, high protein foods are also high in calcium, potassium and phosphorus.
Protein and Digestibility
Advantages to supplemental protein sources are many — caloric, sodium and fat control, convenience, affordability and they are higher in quality and even digested and absorbed better. Yes, a great supplemental protein powder should be much better in function and better absorbed due to the amino acid profiles of the supplements (and the lack of lactose sugar or fat).
Your protein must come from high quality sources and quality is measured in many different ways but the most common are biological value (BV), PER, (protein efficiency ratio) NNU (net nitrogen utilization) and the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS).
The BV score gives us an indication of how much of the protein eaten remains in the body. Since the BV score is measured relative to a high quality “test protein” (usually egg protein), the test protein is given a BV of 100. A BV score of 70% or greater is usually considered good quality protein.
The PDCAAS measures the individual amino acids in the protein and a deficiency in only one amino acid may cause dramatic negative consequences.
A good company will provide you with a certificate of analysis (COA) from the manufacturer of the protein itself telling you what the ingredients are.
Many studies have shown that whey and casein proteins have different properties in the body and both whey and casein peptides have profound pharmacologic effects (drug-like effects).
These effects include the prevention of cancer, the ability to decrease blood pressure, the ability to stimulate the immune system and fight infection, the ability to increase nitrogen retention, and the ability to increase the efficiency of nutrient delivery into the muscle mass.
Protein Processing and Isolation
It is very important to note here that these amazing properties of whey and casein are only available if the processing of the original milk protein is done properly (i.e. the proteins are not destroyed or denatured nor are the active peptides lost.
The processing of milk can be done in several ways in order to separate out the casein and whey from the lactose, fat, and other milk components. Since casein is relatively easy to separate and whey protein is a bit more complex, let’s discuss whey.
To concentrate whey protein many companies use six major processing steps including:
1) partial predigestion
2) enzyme hydrolysis
3) ultrafiltration and dia-filtration to remove lactose (milk sugar) and fat
4) reverse osmosis to separate different sized whey particles
5) an ion-exchange process, and
6) high-speed air drying at low temperatures.
These steps start with liquid milk and end up giving us a concentrated whey protein in powder form. Previously, the “good’ whey structure was destroyed and many of the most potent peptides in whey and casein were eliminated.
The following types of whey protein are available today:
1) Whey protein concentrates are now processed at low temperatures and low acid conditions. They can contain as much as 70-80% percent protein, with small amounts of lactose and minimal fats. In addition, this process ensures that about 90-96% of this protein is undenatured. (It also contains most of the active peptides discussed above.)
2) Ion exchange whey protein isolates are now processed to contain more than 90% protein content with minimal lactose and no fat. This offers an advantage over whey concentrates in terms of pure protein content. However, some of the isolation procedures (ion-exchange procedures) lead to a denaturation or a loss of the important peptides so ion exchange might be avoided. One should also on occasion, combine concentrate with isolate, and, isolate can be used when one wants zero fat and zero carb protein, as prior to a contest.
3) Cross flow micro (CFM) filtration methods have been developed in order to prevent the problems with ion exchange proteins. This method is by far the best for whey protein concentration and isolation. In fact, just like ion exchange proteins, this method produces an isolate that is greater than 90% protein with no fat or lactose. However, unlike ion exchange proteins, CFM proteins are at least 99% undenatured and retain all of the important peptides discussed above.
Whey and casein protein can be hydrolyzed (broken into smaller pieces) by enzymes that produce small chains of amino acids called peptides. Hydrolyzed, these undenatured peptides have many benefits over and above whole protein sources.
First, since the GI prefers peptides to whole proteins or amino acids, hydrolyzed proteins are more easily broken down and absorbed into the blood stream than whole protein sources.
In fact hydrolyzed proteins may be absorbed in about half the time that it takes free from amino acids or whole proteins. This can lead to a more rapid delivery into the body, especially when it is needed most (like after weight training workouts).
A GREAT PROTEIN should NOT contain much fat as fat slows digestion and nutrient delivery. It should not contain much sugar, it should contain branched-chain amino acids or free-form leucine (or both) as these amino acids may be independent stimulators of protein synthesis. It should be high in glutamine and it should contain carbohydrate to protein ratio of two parts carbohydrate to one part protein.
The benefits of such a post-workout beverage includes rapid liver and muscle glycogen replenishment, rapid increases in protein synthesis, and rapid decreases in protein breakdown.
These benefits are important for athletes who wish to gain muscle mass or for athletes who need to promote rapid recovery so that they can perform optimally during their next bout of exercise.
Some studies have already shown that hydrolysates do not stimulate the release of the catabolic hormone cortisol whereas whole intact proteins do stimulate this catabolic hormone (Slag et al. 1981). But, when looking for a good hydrolysate, look for one that has been enzymatically hydrolyzed.
Whey vs. Casein – Is One Better Than the Other?
Over and over – what is difference between the major milk proteins, whey and casein? Whey makes up about 18-20% of cow’s milk protein while casein makes up about 75-80% of cow’s milk protein. Moooo!
While whey and casein may have different bioactive peptides, they also have major physical differences. The main difference is how they behave once they enter your GI tract. Both are definitely high quality protein sources with high PDCAAS and BV scores, but what differs between the two proteins is their rate of digestion and absorption into the body.
Simply put, the amino acids and peptides from whey protein move through the GI and into your bloodstream quickly while casein amino acids and peptides “clot” in the GI and therefore are much more slowly digested. Casein therefore takes longer to get to the blood stream than whey. In this case, being faster isn’t necessarily better. So what do these differences in digestion and absorption mean to us?
Well, functionally this means that the amino acids and peptides from whey will rapidly get into the blood. And these rapid rises in blood amino acids create a quick and short-lived increase in protein synthesis. Studies show that after consuming whey protein, blood amino acids rise and then return to normal 300 minutes after eating). Although this does stimulate protein synthesis, it has no impact on protein breakdown. The balance between protein synthesis and protein breakdown determines muscle gain.
On the other hand, casein creates the opposite effect. The slow delivery of casein will lead to a small but steady increase in blood amino acids over a long period of time. After consuming casein, blood amino acids are elevated for at least 420 minutes. This stimulates protein synthesis to a smaller extent than whey but it does significantly decrease protein breakdown. After 420 minutes, the casein group had a far more positive protein balance than the whey group (total synthesis was greater than total breakdown.)
Most results showed that casein supplementation leads to the acquisition and recovery of lean mass and muscle function twice as fast as whey supplementation.
Milk does have peptide components that may lead to better anabolic and anti-catabolic effects so a combination of whey and casein may offer the anabolic and anti-catabolic benefits of both proteins, as well as, all those cool bioactive peptides of both. A protein blend of milk protein isolates, whey isolates, and casein will probably offer the best possible form for muscle.
1) First thing in the morning. When waking up in the morning, your body has just been through a long “fast” (6-9 hours for most people). At this time, the best thing you can do for your body is to consume a relatively quick digesting protein source. Therefore a fast protein source would be best to start your day with like Beverly Muscle Provider, PRD NitroCene, Optimum All-Whey, BioPlex).
2) Immediately after training. After training your body is primed for nutrient uptake, especially the muscles. So this is a great time to consume a quick digesting fast protein. Since whey protein hydrolysates are the fastest to be digested and absorbed, these are pretty much the only choice of protein for post workout recovery nutrition. But don’t forget your carbs and BCAA.
3) During the day. Since your goal is to keep catabolism down and to maintain nitrogen go for a slow source like Beverly Ultra Size, DYA Approved Propeptide, Labrada Lean Body, BSN dessert, MET-Rx. Ca labs.
4) Immediately before bed. Repeat No 3!