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Protein: The Overlooked Secret to Staying Lean

Protein: The Overlooked Secret to Staying Lean

  The Basics: Since you are reading our blog, I am going to assume you know the basics of protein.   You probably know that protein is essential to building and maintaining lean muscle mass, and that if you aren’t eating enough your results from training will be sub-optimal.     But what you may not know is that eating the right amount of protein will greatly enhance athletic recovery from hard training sessions.   Not only that, adequate protein intake is critical to supporting optimal weight loss. It may sound counter intuitive, but eating more protein may be the missing link to your being able to get and stay lean.   So what makes protein so important?   Its all about Amino Acids   Why is dietary protein is so important?  Because it is where you acquire the amino acids your body needs to build and maintain important tissues.     We are literally made of protein from our bones to our muscles, arteries and veins, skin, hair, and fingernails. Our heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs are built of tissue made of protein.   A protein molecule is a molecule made of amino acids bound together. There are 20 amino acids that make up protein molecules. Ten of these amino acids are non-essential, meaning the body can manufacture them on its own, while the other 10 are essential amino acids, meaning the body must acquire them through the foods that you eat.   You may have heard the term “a complete protein”. This refers to a food that contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs.    Here is a list of common complete proteins:    Meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc) Poultry Fish/shellfish  Eggs Dairy foods (whey protein) Soy foods Quinoa   Here is a list of common incomplete proteins:    Legumes Grains Nuts/nut berries Seeds/seed butters Vegetables Vegetables     We must consume complete proteins in order to get the essential amino acids in the adequate quantities that we need to build and repair our lean tissues which are made out of protein.     you can also combine foods that together contain all of the essential amino acids that you need to form a complete protein.  So far we have established that protein is essential in order to get the amino acids that we need to build and repair lean tissue, but why do active, hard training people need more than sedentary people?   The more physically active that you are the more that your body breaks down your lean tissue in an effort to put amino acts into your blood stream to be used to support your activity level.   (this is what people are generally talking about when they use the term catabolic, although catabolic processes are happening 24 hours per day, but that’s a post for another day.)   The more active that you are, the more your bodies demand for amino acids goes up. So the more active that you are, the more your dietary protein retirement will go up In order to meet your bodies demand.    Remember, if there is a deficit in supply of amino acids from protein to your body, your body will make up for it by breaking down your lean tissue.   This inadequate protein intake and subsequent lean tissue breakdown is what can lead to poor recovery, excessive soreness, lack of energy, poor performance, lack of muscle growth and more.   It is imperative, then, that you ensure adequate protein intake for your activity level.    More than simply supporting your activity level, you also need adequate protein to get and stay lean!   All foods that you consume are comprised of protein, carbs, or fats.  Each of these macronutrients costs a certain number of calories to digest. This caloric cost is called the thermic effect of food, or TEF.   The TEF for each of the macronutrients is listed below.   Protein: 20 to 35%  Carbs: 5 to 15%  Fats: 0 to 5%   As you can see, up to 35 percent of the caloric content of protein is spent digesting the protein, while carbs and fats are significantly lower.   This means that if you eat a 2000 calorie diet with 40 percent of calories coming from protein, you would burn up to 280 calories per day simply digesting the protein.   Compare that to only 140 calories per day burned from a 2000 calorie diet comprised of 20 percent protein.    When replacing protein with either carbs or fats, the thermic effect of food, TEF is reduced and the result is is the amount of calories you burn daily.    In short, Increasing your protein levels while restricting your calories will allow for maximum TEF, and therefore maximum fat loss.   Satiety is King   Another Key benefit to protein is its effects on satiety. Satiety refers to the ability of  food to promote a sense of fullness. This is important, because they most critical aspect of getting results from any weight loss does is being able to adhere to it. If you are hungry all the time from inadequate protein intake you are much more likely to cheat and overeat. Make sure that you focus on hitting your protein consumption goals to give you the best chance at success.   So, how much protein do you need?   A recent meta analysis on protein intake to support resistance training recommends a minimum of 1.6g our  kilogram of bodyweight. (.8g per lb minimum). This is important, as a meta analysis is a review of all available research, nit just a single study. Now, keep in mind that this is the minimum required to support adaptations to your training, however you can, and probably should aim a bit higher. This is due to whites called the confidence interval in studies. This is the variance with which researchers suggest their findings may be off. In this case, aiming for 1g protein per lb of body mass should provide good insurance that you are getting more than enough protein to ensure efficient adaptations to your training.   The take home   If you have been suffering from poor recovery, lack of results in the gym, or not seeing the fat loss you want, the answer may be simply upping your protein intake. If you find it difficult to get enough protein through whole foods each day, a high quality protein supplement, like BioWhey from Nutrastat is a perfect solution.  With uncompromising quality, and flavors that are industry best, BioWhey is the perfect insurance against inadequate protein intake.  And in case you are wondering why you'd want a whey protein over something like a plant based protein, as long as you aren't vegan, we will fill you in next week in our next protein deep dive where we will talk about health benefits that are exclusive to whey protein. 

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Snooze to Improve: 5 ways sleep optimizes your gym results

Snooze to Improve: 5 ways sleep optimizes your gym results

While spending time in the gym and the kitchen are the foundation of any quality physique, the quality of your sleep shouldn't be underestimated. Sleep is proven in a multitude of studies to be a crucial factor in achieving better results from your workouts, with numerous physical and mental benefits that come from consistently getting a good night's rest. In this blog post, we discuss the top 5 reasons why sleep enhances your results in the gym. Improved Muscle Recovery and Growth:Our bodies undergo repair and regeneration while we sleep. During the deep stage of sleep, known as slow-wave sleep, the body releases growth hormones that stimulate protein synthesis and muscle repair. This is crucial for the muscle rebuilding process, especially after a tough workout session that may have caused micro-tears in muscle fibers. Insufficient sleep can delay this reparative process, prolonging muscle soreness and reducing your progress in the gym. Increased Energy and Endurance:A good night's sleep helps maintain optimum energy levels, allowing you to perform better in the gym. Lack of sleep can lead to reduced motivation, sluggishness, and a decrease in overall physical performance. The extra energy you gain from proper slumber equates to longer, more intense workouts, which in turn translates to better fitness results. Enhanced Mental Focus:It's well-known that sleep is crucial for cognitive function, including memory, decision-making, and focus. When it comes to working out, having a clear, focused mind can help you maintain proper technique and avoid injuries. Additionally, being mentally sharp can assist in pushing through intense training sessions with increased motivation and confidence in your ability to achieve your fitness goals. Better Hormonal Balance:During sleep, the body regulates several critical hormones, including those responsible for appetite, stress management, and muscle growth. Getting enough sleep ensures a proper balance of these hormones. For example, a lack of sleep can result in elevated cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone, which negatively impacts muscle growth and recovery. Conversely, adequate sleep promotes a healthy balance of hormones like testosterone, which significantly impacts muscle building, strength, and overall gym performance. Weight Management:Sleep plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolic rate, which is vital in managing weight. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that sleep-deprived individuals experience a decrease in their metabolism due to impaired glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, insufficient sleep has been linked to imbalances in hunger-regulating hormones, causing cravings and overeating. Ensuring adequate sleep creates the optimum internal environment for managing weight and achieving better results in the gym. Sleep is a powerful ally in the quest to build muscle and get lean. Maximizing the benefits of your workouts isn't just about the time and effort spent on physical activity but also the quality and duration of your rest. Prioritizing sleep as part of your fitness routine can make a significant difference in achieving your strength, endurance, and overall performance goals.  But what do you do when your sleep quality isn't ideal?  If you have a hard time falling asleep, or staying asleep, then taking a high quality supplement designed to optimize sleep may be the key to taking your sleep, and your training, to the next level. If you: Take longer than 5 to 10 minutes to fall asleep wake up multiple times in the middle of the night Have a hard time falling back asleep if you do wake up Wake up feeling tired and not well rested Then you need to get a handle on improving your sleep so you can optimize your results in the gym.A product like DROWZZ can help you fall sleep quickly, stay asleep throughout the night, and have you waking up feeling refreshed and full of energy to attack the gym and make amazing gains. If you know your sleep needs to improve, click here to pick DROWZZ up, your health, and your physique will thank you.   

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Why Everyone Who is Physically Active Should Supplement Creatine

Why Everyone Who is Physically Active Should Supplement Creatine

Not taking creatine? Here's why you should be.  The Physical and Cognitive Benefits of Creatine Supplementation   First, let's go over what creatine is. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in meat and fish. It's also available as a supplement in powder or pill form. For fit minded individuals, creatine supplementation has become increasingly popular due to its numerous physical and cognitive benefits. Increased muscle strength and size: Creatine helps increase the production of ATP, which provides energy to the muscles. This allows for increased strength and endurance during exercise, leading to greater gains in muscle size and strength over time. Improved performance: Creatine supplementation has been shown to improve performance in high-intensity, short-duration activities such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping. Enhanced brain function: Creatine is also involved in brain function and has been shown to improve cognitive performance in tasks that require short-term memory and reasoning skills. Creatine is Safe and Misconceptions About Side Effects Despite its popularity, you may be hesitant to supplement with creatine due to misconceptions about its safety and potential side effects. But research has shown that creatine is very safe and well-tolerated by most people.And this is key. Creatine has thousands of studies going back 4 decades supporting its effectiveness and safety. Let's go over some of the common concerns you may have about creatine.   Dehydration: One common misconception is that creatine supplementation can cause dehydration. However, studies have shown that this is not the case as long as the user stays properly hydrated. Of course, this can be extra important during times when the weather is very hot, like summer. So make sure you stay well hydrated and dehydration wont be a problem.  Kidney and liver damage: Another misconception is that creatine can cause kidney and liver damage. However, numerous studies have found no evidence to support this claim. And it doesn't even make sense. Remember, creatine occurs naturally in meat, eggs and other animal products, and these can all safely be consumed in high amounts with no ill effects. Weight gain: Some people also worry that creatine supplementation will lead to excessive weight gain. While it is true that creatine can cause a small increase in water weight, it's important to remember that the majority if this water is in the form of fluid within the muscle cells, so your muscles will look fuller.  The takeaway is this: Creatine works! Not only does it work, it doesn't negatively interact with other supplements. That means you can stack it with anything and everything else you take. For this reason, creatine should be a staple supplement in your performance enhancing arsenal year round!

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