Thursday, July 1, 2010

Top 3 Reasons You Should Eat Protein-Part III

If I haven't convinced you yet to re-evaluate the amount of protein in your diet, here's something else to consider:   

protein can reduce muscle damage and soreness when consumed after exercise. 

I actually have already blogged about this here as it relates to injuries.  I know so many SHEs that have nagging muscle-related injuries (sore calf, strained hamstring, etc.) and this is something relatively easy to try that might help.  It won't help for everything, but it won't hurt either. 

You see, dietary protein reverses the breakdown of muscle that occurs during and immediately after exercise.  If you do not eat anything after exercising or just have carbohydrates, muscle continues to breakdown, which can result in soreness.  If you're looking for some light summer reading, here's a science article on the subject written by a few Dr. Dorks. 

The best way to get the amino acids to your muscle is by combining the protein with carbohydrates.  The carbohydrate helps shuttle the components of protein (the amino acids) into the muscle.  In fact if you like milk, it's been shown to be a great drink following a workout because it has a good ratio of carbohydrate to protein.  

I prefer to get my protein from a jar, specifically from Fitness Nutrition.  They have a new product, Gold Medal Aminos, that I quite like.  One or two scoops dumped into a sports drink and it's the perfect recovery beverage (in case you're wondering, it also works in beer...speaking from experience here).  It's low in calories, easy to use, and contains all of the important amino acids that are essential for repairing muscle (for example, leucine is likely the most important amino acids for achieving this benefit).  Other protein products will likely elicit the same benefit as this one...this is just my personal favorite.

Lastly, timing of protein intake is critical!  Studies have shown that protein needs to be consumed either immediately before, during, or immediately after (ideally, within 30 min) exercise to make this happen. 

So as you head into this long weekend of BBQs, I wish you safe travels, fun times, and carte blanche to consume all sorts of protein!   

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