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postheadericon 6 Best Sources of Protein

6 Best Sources of Protein

Not only is protein essential for good health and building muscle, it can help one lose weight. For this, it works in a couple of ways. First, it takes calories to process protein. For every 100 calories eaten, it takes 30 of them just to breakdown and process the food. Also because it takes longer to breakdown, it leaves you feeling fuller longer thus reducing the temptation to snack between meals on something that is most likely is unhealthy anyway.

Protein comes from two sources – either animals or plants. However, some plant sources are not complete meaning they do not contain all nine essential amino acids; usually a varied diet of protein sources will provide enough complete protein. Here are four of the best animal sources of protein along with two plant sources:

Seafood

Most seafood is a great source of protein because it is generally low in fat. However, the “fatty fish” – salmon, halibut, trout and tuna – are sources of good fat, namely Omega 3 fatty acids.

Lean Meat

The white meat of poultry and pork are excellent sources of protein without all of the saturated fat as can be the case with many cuts of beef. For poultry, be sure to cut away the skin before cooking as that does have saturated fat in it.

Dairy

Most dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are good sources of complete protein. They also provide a healthy serving of calcium and are usually fortified with vitamin D – necessary to break down calcium into a usable mineral the body can use.

Eggs

Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. Many choose to eat just egg whites and throw the yolk away, but that is a mistake. While the whites do contain over half of the protein, the yolk supplies vitamins A, E, D, and K, along with phosphorus, zinc and thiamin. The American Heart Association approves healthy adults eating an egg per day.

Beans

Fact: one-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak. And they are loaded with healthy fiber which keeps you feeling fuller longer. This reduces the urge to snack between meals thus keeping your total daily calorie count down. Keep in mind, beans are not a complete protein by themselves and should be supplemented with one of the other protein sources in this list.

Soy

This complete heart-healthy protein should be part of any healthy diet. Fifty grams of soy protein has been shown to reduce cholesterol by about 3% in test subjects. Plus, there are so many ways to use the soy products tofu, tempeh and soybeans, one would never tire of eating them.

Protein is necessary for good health. And because the body cannot create the essential amino acids, getting enough complete protein on a daily basis is optimal health-wise.

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postheadericon What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Protein Deficiency

There is a mistaken belief that the only people who have to worry about balancing their diet are those who aren’t actively trying to eat more healthily. Unfortunately, with the best of intentions, many people can fall into the common trap of not eating enough protein. This is particularly common amongst vegetarians but also affects people who have greatly reduced their red meat intake. Protein is vital for your body to function properly, and a deficiency can have damaging effects. Let’s look at four of the big warning signs that might indicate a protein deficiency in your diet.

Sweet Cravings

Although one of the main functions of protein is to maintain your sugar levels, a deficiency in protein doesn’t always translate to standard hunger. Rather, it can manifest itself as cravings for all kinds of sweet, sugary food. While some cravings are just that, cravings, a constant craving is very likely to be caused by a deficiency of protein that is causing an imbalance in your blood sugar levels.

Lethargic

Balanced blood sugar levels have a much greater impact than simply affecting cravings. When your blood sugar levels are imbalanced your general energy levels can become unstable. This can lead to your mood lowering, your energy levels dropping and a general feeling of lethargy. Individuals with a protein deficiency often find themselves unproductive in the workplace and lacking any kind of energy at home.

Sleeplessness

It may seem counter-intuitive, but that same protein deficiency that is making you feel lethargic and depleted of energy won’t help you sleep. In fact, it will do the opposite. When your blood sugar levels are imbalanced, the body will crave sugar. A good night’s sleep is dependent on your body burning fat stored in the body. However, when the body is craving sugar, this doesn’t happen. In turn, people can find themselves lethargic during the day yet unable to sleep at night.

Immune System

One of the roles that protein plays in our body is to be used in the formation of various bio-compounds that help to boost our immune system. A deficiency of protein prevents this from happening, and as a result, our immune system stops functioning as well as it should be. This can lead to bad skin, weaker hair, and even a susceptibility to colds and viruses. If this sounds like you, you may need to address the level of protein in your diet.

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postheadericon Protein vs. Carbs Post Workout Snacking

Protein vs. Carbs for Post-Workout Snacking

After a workout, especially weight or resistance training, muscles are significantly lowered of glycogen. Workouts anywhere from 6 to 20 sets done over a period of 15 to 30 minutes will reduce glycogen by 30 to 40 percent. Workout lasting longer, or including high intensity training, deplete glycogen stores even farther – down 60 to 75%!

To take advantage of maximum recovery and muscle rebuilding, it is important to replenish glycogen within two hours of ending a workout by consuming fast-digesting carbs. This enables the glucose from the carbs to enter the bloodstream almost as quickly as ingested. By replacing the glycogen in the muscles, water is pulled in maximizing muscle size. Why is this important?

Muscle cell volume is required for long-term muscle growth (as is protein, but more on that later). So by getting glucose into the muscles fast, it pulls in water increasing muscle size leading to building muscle mass. Muscle growth starts with getting glucose back into the muscles fast.

Studies have shown that by delaying replenishment over two hours reduces glycogen replenishment by as much as 50%. Yes, the body will eventually replenish glycogen over the course of 24 hours, but at the expense of building muscle mass as quickly.

Carbs

The best fast-digesting carbs is pure dextrose. Some candies are mostly dextrose such as gummy bears or pixie sticks. Some bodybuilders eat fruit immediately after a workout, but the natural sugar in fruit is fructose, which is a much slower digesting-type of sugar, so it must first travel to the liver where it is turned into glucose, sent to the bloodstream and then onto the cells. Much of this happens outside the two-hour window.

Protein

When we workout, muscle tissue is damaged at the cellular level. The damaged protein must be broken down and eliminated and new protein created, called protein breakdown and protein synthesis respectively; together the process is called protein turnover. Don’t confuse this protein process with the macro-nutrient protein that we get from food.

This is where eating protein post-workout comes in. It aids in protein synthesis which helps develop muscle mass. It can take as little as 20 grams of protein to stimulate protein synthesis.

So to answer the question which is better post-workout? Alone, neither. You need both post-workout glucose from carbs and protein in the cells of the muscle to gain muscle mass. One without the other is ineffective.

 

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postheadericon How Healthy Is Your Protein Supplement

How Healthy Is Your Protein Supplement

It can be hard to go into a store these days without being confronted by a vast collection of protein supplements that all claim to be packed full of goodness and nutrients. Sure enough, protein supplements have become the norm in kitchens and fitness centres around the world. Although some people use protein supplements when they probably don’t need to, there is a core base of users that need a supplement that offers them a high-quality source of protein. However, are all protein supplements made the same? Is your protein supplement as healthy as it can be?

Choosing a protein supplement is something that you should spend time on. As with most retail products, not all protein supplements are made equally, and not all of them are as good for you as they claim to be. The regulations over protein supplements can best be described as loose, so it is worthwhile knowing what to watch out for.

Sweeteners

The addition of sweeteners to your protein supplement may make it taste a little better, but it utterly defeats the purpose of taking the supplement. Protein supplements are a way of boosting your protein intake without changing your diet – if your supplement has sugars or artificial sweeteners in it, then it is changing your diet! Sugars also tend to trigger our cravings, and while protein acts to stabilise our blood sugar levels, it can only do that efficiently when extra sugar is not being introduced at the same time! Protein is a health supplement, not a snack. Avoid the sugar.

Denatured Protein

The process by which protein supplements are made can vary greatly. However, one such process should be avoided entirely, and that is denaturation. When protein is exposed to great heat, it can become denatured. In essence, this is the breaking down of the protein before you consume it. Protein is no good to our body in this state, and all of the benefits that you hoped to gain from the supplement are lost. Denatured protein should always be avoided.

Soy Protein Isolate

There are different types of proteins, isolates and concentrates, and while both have value, soy protein isolate should specifically be avoided. This is a highly processed form of soy that has been manipulated to form a protein, but the reality is that this protein is far from the type of high-quality protein you find in a whey protein supplement. If you are going to buy a protein supplement, invest in quality, and avoid soy protein isolate.

 

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postheadericon The Top Five Muscle Growth Products

The Top Five Muscle Growth Products

When you work out, you want to be able to enhance your efforts with muscle growth products that boost your fitness and size. 

The following are the top five muscle growth products you need to add to your fitness regimen.

1 . Protein Powder.  The most commonly used protein powder is whey protein powder.  This comes from the protein in milk.  It’s digested quickly and easily by the body so it can get to work building muscles after you exercise.

You can also use casein protein powder which also comes from milk.  This is slower digesting and when paired with whey protein, you’ll begin to see better muscle growth results.  Both of these products should be taken after working out.  But you can also use them daily for energy boosting.

2. Creatine.  Creatine is a supplement that has been well researched and has been scientifically proven to help build muscle.  It’s made of three particular amino acids that play an important role in muscle cell growth and repair.

You use creatine by taking it just before you exercise.  The creatine will supply your muscles with oxygen and allow you to have more energy throughout your routine.  You can also take it right after your workout to provide the needed amino acids for recovery.

3. Nitric Oxide Boosters.  Nitric oxide is a chemical compound that helps your body to dilate blood vessels.  What that means for your muscles is that when you take nitric oxide boosters before your workout, your blood vessels are better able to supply your muscles with nutrients.

You’ll have more energy while you exercise and you’ll have better recovery after your workout.  By adding this supplement, you’ll begin to see results right away.

4. Carnitine.  If you’re not only wanting to build muscle, but also burn fat carnitine is a great choice for you.  It causes your body to use the energy from stored fat for your muscles.  It also can increase your levels of testosterone after a workout which leads to more muscle growth.

You’ll take this both pre and post workout for the best results.  You can just add it to your protein shake.

5. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).  There are three amino acids that are critical to muscle growth – valine, isoleucine, and leucine.  These are all found in BCAA supplements.   They help you to have more energy during your workout.

When I was younger and just starting out trying to build muscle the only supplements available, where I lived, were the big jugs of weight gain powder and liquid amino acids. Drinking the amino acids could be compared to drinking old motor oil. Fortunately taste has improved over time.

In addition they aid in muscle growth and they help you recover without as much soreness after a workout.  These muscle growth products have all been proven effective to enhance your workout and give you the best results.