The Underappreciated Role of Proteins in Human Health
Did you know that:
The anabolic effects of resistance exercise are amplified by amino acids or protein.
Higher protein/lower carbohydrate diet favorably affects body mass and composition independent of energy intake ("metabolic advantage").
High protein intake plays a key role in weight management, through (i) increased satiety, (ii) its effect on thermogenesis, (iii) body composition, and (iv) decreased energy efficiency.
Prospective epidemiologic observations indicate that higher protein intake is associated with increased bone mineral mass and reduced incidence of osteoporotic fractures.
Exchanging protein for carbohydrate significantly reduces LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") and triacylglycerol (harmful blood lipid) levels and increases HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol").
Higher consumption of protein has been inversely associated with blood pressure in several studies, i.e., protein decreases blood pressure.
It is possible to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes by increasing protein intake while decreasing carbohydrate intake (and without weight loss).
Higher protein intake has no adverse effects on healthy kidneys, liver or fluid status.
Well, the first one was easy. Physique athletes have known for years what science is now showing: the anabolic effects of resistance training are clearly amplified by
. The second one was also relatively easy thanks to popular high-protein diets (e.g., Zone diet). However, the other points may come as a surprise to some. But who can blame them when many health care professionals and even some scientists cannot get it straight, even though it takes about 10 seconds to find such evidence from PubMed.
All Proteins Are Not Created Equal
Not all proteins are of equal nutritional value; this reflects their differing amino acid content. Most dietary proteins contain most of the 20 or so amino acids; however, these are present in widely differing proportions. So-called "complete proteins" contain all of the essential amino acids in sufficient amounts to maintain life and support growth. In general, plant proteins are deficient in one or more essential amino acids while animal proteins contain all of the essential amino acids. A lack of essential amino acids in the diet results in a variety of adverse effects that depend on the degree and length of deficiency.
Whey protein has been singled out as the ultimate source of protein based on an excellent amino acid profile.
Whey may offer other benefits too (e.g., enhanced immunity). More information on whey protein is provided at the end of this article.
Ignore Protein DRIs
Although a real amino acid defiency is extremely rare in the US, a growing body of evidence indicates that many individuals (especially the elderly) are not getting enough quality protein to optimize physical and metabolic functions of muscle. This may have something to do with the misleading protein recommendations, i.e., Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). DRIs are entirely based on nitrogen balance measures. While use of nitrogen balance may be appropriate for establishing the amino acid requirements necessary to prevent deficiency, it is clearly inadequate to establish intakes that are optimal for maximizing muscle mass, strength, and metabolic functions.
As pointed out by Dr. Robert Wolfe in the latest issue of
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
, "there is no necessary relation between nitrogen balance and any variable of muscle mass or function... the amount of protein needed to maintain lean body mass is likely below that needed to optimize physical and metabolic functions of muscle." So, when it comes to optimal muscle function, protein DRIs are meaningless. For serious athletes who wish to maximise muscle mass and strength, I recommend about 2 - 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. For those who are only moderatelty active, I recommend about 1.5 grams per kilogram.
NytroWhey Extreme - The Ultimate Whey Protein Isolate
All whey proteins have an excellent amino acid profile but they are still not created equal. Cross-flow micro-filtered
(CFM) whey protein isolate is the cleanest form of whey protein known to mankind
. CFM whey is virtually fat and lactose free and has a pleasant taste. Cross-flow micro-filtration is a high-tech manufacturing process that uses ceramic filters to remove undesirable materials, so protein is not subjected to chemicals, therefore protein is left unharmed. CFM whey isolate offers at least the following benefits over ion-exchange whey isolate:
More calcium and less sodium.
Contains some proteins fractions (e.g., glycomacropeptides) that are important for the immune system.
The highest level of undenatured protein available (99%).
NytroWhey Extreme's sole source of protein is a CFM whey protein isolate. However, it is not just a whey protein powder.
is enriched with glutamine peptides, arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG), and DigeZyme enzymes (amylase, protease, cellulase, beta-D-galactosidase, lactase, lipase).
So, NytroWhey Extreme is a true Rolls-Royce of whey protein supplements!
However, I recommend that you ingest a serving of
immediately after resistance training, because it contains hydrolyzed (pre-digested) whey protein, which is absorbed more rapidly than intact whey protein isolates. Also, I would suggest that you take in a serving of
before bed, as it contains slow-acting proteins (in addition to CFM whey isolate).
A Sample Protein/Amino Acid Supplementation Program for a Serious Strength-Power Athlete
Important notice: If you have a kidney or liver disease, consult your doctor before starting this supplementation program.
About Anssi Manninen
Anssi Manninen holds an M.H.S. in sports medicine from the University of Kuopio Medical School. His numerous cutting-edge articles in Muscular Development firmly established his reputation as a leading authority on hard-core sports nutrition. Anssi's articles have also been published in scientific journals, including The British Journal of Sports Medicine, The Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, Nutrition & Metabolism, and Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Anssi is also an Associate Editor for Nutrition & Metabolism, a leading scientific journal in the area of nutritional biochemistry.
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