Date Posted: October 03, 2014
As an essential in developing muscle, and probably the most frequent term used in the fitness world, protein intake is a priority to consider in achieving your fitness goals. Protein is important in that this molecule helps promote the muscle building process referred to as "protein synthesis." There are several types on the market to be aware of before choosing the right one for you.
This is the most basic form of protein and the most inexpensive. This is a good choice for a protein beginner. The concentrate has a low lactose level which may be beneficial to those who are lactose sensitive. A good way to prepare a whey concentrate is a simple shake blended with water or almond milk.
The isolate is quickly absorbed in the digestive system. It is meant for those who are interested in eliminating as much fat from their diet as possible. Isolates are an ideal choice to incorporate into a pre or post workout meal due to their fast absorption. Whey isolates are my top choice and the only powder form of protein that I use. I like to use my isolates in shakes as well as mixing it with my carbs such as oatmeal or cream of rice.
This type of protein is slow digesting and ideal for night time. It takes approximately 5 to 7 hours to digest therefore it is perfect to use before you go to sleep. During this time frame, the body will absorb it and make use of the nutrients. Casein protein powder typically gives the consumer the feeling of being "full." It is also a different consistency compared to the whey concentrates and isolates, because it is a bit thicker. An enjoyable approach to preparing your casein is to make a "pudding" with it. Try placing the scoop of protein in a bowl and adding water while mixing until achieving a pudding like consistency. Mix in a tablespoon of unsweetened coco powder and cool in the refrigerator.
There are several proteins that fall under this category such as soy, rice, and pea proteins. This is a good source of protein for those who live a vegetarian lifestyle. Most vegetable proteins are hypoallergenic which means that they are easy to digest. Soy proteins are the only ones that offer all of the essential amino acids. It is also believed that soy protein helps strengthen the immune system. Unbeknownst to many, brown rice is not only a carbohydrate but a good source of protein. It also contains Vitamin B, fiber, and is easily digestible. Finally, of all the vegetable proteins, pea protein is the one which is closest to a whole food source because it has the fewest artificial ingredients.
If you are looking to put on some serious mass, weight gainer proteins are for you. This type of protein is ideal for a "bulk." Weight gainers combine protein and a mix of high-carb ingredients giving it its density. Overall, gainers will help you consume more calories than by just consuming your food alone.
Egg whites are a natural, common and great source of protein. They are naturally low in fat and carbohydrates as well as cholesterol-free. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. For a clean egg white meal, try adding red peppers and spinach to your scramble. Walden Farms ketchup and BBQ sauce carried at Nutrition Zone in Fairfield offer a calorie, carbohydrate, and sugar free topping to your eggs.
Meats, Poultry, and Seafood
Here is the most obvious source of protein. Meats, poultry and seafood provide a whole food source to contribute to muscle development. When selecting your meat proteins, it is important to keep two things in mind; portion size and quality. When purchasing meat I would recommend choosing lean cuts. By lean, I would recommend 99%. Some good choices are ground beef and lean steak. Good sources of poultry are grilled or ground chicken or turkey. Top seafood choices that contribute to muscle development are tilapia, salmon, cod, mahi mahi, and tuna steak. The other aspect to take into consideration is portion size. It is important to take into account your gender and fitness goals when determining the proper portion measurement. Consuming too low or too high amount of meat, poultry, or seafood protein will cause difficultly in absorption, therefore possibly hindering muscle growth.
My Top Protein Choices:
- Allmax Isoflex Natural
- Species Isolyze
- Eat the Bear Pure Isolate
Recipe of the Week: Chicken "Fried Rice"
What You Need
- 4 ounces of chicken
- 1/4 cup bean sprouts
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup broccoli
- 3/4 cup of cooked brown rice
- Braggs Liquid Aminos
Spray pan with non-stick spray and heat on medium heat. Sautee chicken until golden brown. Add in broccoli, bean sprouts, and egg. When mixture is cooked add in the brown rice and Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste.
FST-7 = Fascia Stretch Training, the "7" referring to 7 sets performed as the final exercise of a target body part. Developed by Hany Rambod, this system is used for overall muscle growth and can aid in improving stubborn body parts. This method typically follows a heavy workout. Try it out by selecting a moderate weight that you can complete 8-10 reps with. In between each set, take a 30 second rest period until all 7 sets are finished.