Here’s an article from the Alternative Daily about the wonders of Coconut Oil.
Whey Protein Supplements
Many people have decided to begin their workout supplement regiment with whey protein. It is perhaps the most prominent of supplements on the market and one that touts the ability to build bigger and stronger muscles and a lean physique. Whey protein is a safe and effective muscle building additive to your health diet and is easily found in health food stores or online.
What is Protein?
Proteins are large biological molecules consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms and participate in virtually every process within cells. Many proteins are enzymes that catalyze biochemical reactions and are vital to metabolism. Proteins also have structural or mechanical functions in muscles and the proteins in the cytoskeleton, which form a system of scaffolding that maintains cell shape. Proteins are also necessary in our diets, since our bodies cannot synthesize all the amino acids they need and must obtain essential amino acids from food. Through the process of digestion we break down ingested protein into free amino acids that are then used in our metabolisms. All protein from any source is made up of about twenty amino acids, the difference being the sequence of the amino acid chains. Also it’s the way the amino acid is structured that will change the type of protein you are getting in your diet.
Essential Amino Acids
Some important protein sources are beef, chicken, fish, egg, whey, soy, and casein, and soy and each is different from the other primarily because of the amino acids that comprise each unique protein source. These high quality proteins all contain eight specific amino acids, which are known as essential amino acids. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are three of these essential amino acids and for physically active individuals they supply energy to working muscles as well as helping to reduce muscle damage and soreness following intense workouts. These are known as the BCAAs.
Leucine is the only known dietary amino acid supplement that can stimulate muscle protein synthesis. People who want to increase lean muscle mass and experience improved recovery can base their protein supplementation on the amount of leucine in the content. When comparing types of protein for the greatest amount of leucine, Whey comes out on top.
There are objective scoring systems that rank protein quality and whey protein is usually ranked the highest because of the high amount of leucine it contains as compared to other protein sources. Where do we get whey protein? It comes from milk. A cup of cow’s milk gives you about 8 grams of total protein. The main group of proteins found in cow’s milk is called caseins and the rest are known as whey proteins. In milk about eighty percent of the protein is casein and whey comprises the rest.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey is left over when milk congeals during the process of cheese production, and contains everything that is soluble from milk during the coagulation process. Basically it is a solution of lactose in water with some minerals. It is then processed for human foods by removing the fat, then other methods are used to remove lipids and other non-protein materials. Whey protein supplements are commercially available as concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates. The main differences would be the method of processing, fat and lactose content and amino acid structure.
The quality of the product will determine the amount of available protein in a Whey protein concentrate. Usually there will be between 25% and 89% protein in a concentrate supplement. The protein level in whey protein concentrate will increase as the amounts of fat and/or lactose decrease. Whey protein concentrate is processed further to become whey protein isolate, the most pure and concentrated form of whey protein available. Whey protein isolate will contain 90% or more protein and small amounts of fat and lactose.
Whey protein hydrolysates are made from either whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate and the amount of protein present will vary with method used and product. The product is made when whey protein hydrolysates are enzymatically predigested, a process by which milk protein is enzymatically broken down into smaller pieces. This allows the amino acids to be absorbed by the body more rapidly than intact proteins.
Whey Protein: Is it better?
Of the three most common commercially available protein supplements whey, casein, and soy, whey protein is significantly better than the other protein sources. The difference is found when these proteins are compared for their ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in the few hours following exercise. It often outperforms other protein sources in maximal strength, increasing lean body mass, or in maximizing fat loss.
While you can use many sources of protein in your fitness supplement programs, whey protein would be the superior choice. This should be used as the foundation of your protein intake as it i\has been known to increase rates of protein synthesis, increase lean muscle mass, improve overall strength and help you recover more quickly from strenuous exercise.
In an active workout routine an individual should ingest between 3/4 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight or 1.4 and 2 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. If you are a more serious trainer you can try taking 1-1.5 grams per pound of body weight per day. If you want to maximize your training program you should try taking a whey protein supplement.
For a long time, confusion surrounded creatine monohydrate. Like football players on a fumble, everyone wanted a piece of the ball. But supplement users and companies had questions: is creatine safe and effective, or is it dangerous and over-hyped?
I’m Layne Norton, a natural pro bodybuilder and Ph.D. in Nutritional Science. With my background, I can cut through the bro-science and bring you the true science.
Let’s clear the field and get to the core.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most heavily researched and widely debated supplements available. Ever. It’s also one of the most effective. Learn what it is, how it works, and why you should be using it.
Let’s start at the top. Creatine mono isn’t some super-chemical created by a bodybuilding Tony Stark. It’s actually an organic acid found naturally in food, and it exists in significant quantities in meats like beef and fish.
Creatine is nitrogenous, which just means it contains nitrogen, and is made from a combination of 3 amino acids (the building blocks of protein): glycine, methionine andarginine.
In humans, approximately 95% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle where it exists as creatine phosphate and can donate its phosphate molecule during certain metabolic processes. We’ll discuss the importance of this in greater detail below.
If you’re wondering whether you can benefit from creatine supplementation, consider your fitness goals. Creatine is primarily for people who are looking to maximize muscle, strength, and/or performance gains.
So, if you’re trying to get bigger, stronger, and maybe even lift longer and heavier, creatine can help. If you’re not trying to do any of these things, go take a nap and come back when you’re ready.
THE ENERGIZER BUNNY
Creatine supports these goals because it can be used as a source of energy for anaerobic work, which includes high-intensity weight training and cardio work likesprinting.
Supplementing with creatine has been shown to significantly increase the concentration of creatine in muscle. Remember that—in muscle—creatine is found as creatine phosphate and can act as a phosphate donor. Our body’s energy currency—a molecule called Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, or ATP—used phosphate to power certain cellular processes.
During exercise (and other activity), ATP is broken down to Adenosine Di-Phosphate (ADP), where it loses one of its phosphate molecules. The loss of this phosphate essentially provides the energy to power your cells during any activity, including exercise.
As your ATP stores become depleted, performance can suffer. Creatine phosphate can help restore ATP by donating its phosphate to ADP to reform ATP. In this way, creatine can help improve performance and has also been shown to increase strength and power.
While all this performance and strength stuff sounds great, I’m sure you may be wondering what creatine will actually do for your body.
Creatine has also been shown to increase lean body mass, mostly through increasing the fluid content of muscle cells. While this may seem like an ‘artificial’ increase in lean body mass, keep in mind that muscle cells that are better hydrated are also more anabolic.
Additionally, creatine has been shown to increase the activity of muscle satellite cells, which may increase the overall capacity for long-term muscle growth.
SO MANY OPTIONS!
Every few years, it seems like the latest and greatest form of creatine comes out. Creatine monohydrate is the most common and the most studied form of creatine on the planet. It has proven its worth in research time and time again.
Nonetheless, many other forms of creatine exist—too many to name here—but none have shown the consistent results of creatine monohydrate. Fortunately for you, creatine mono is generally the least expensive form of creatine available, so it’s good for the muscle and the wallet.
HOW MUCH, MAN?
There are two traditional ways of taking creatine monohydrate. You can take 3-5g per day (depending upon muscle mass), which will saturate your intramuscular creatine stores in a few weeks. Or, you can load creatine at 15-25g for the first 4-5 days, which will saturate the muscle cells more rapidly.
While loading saturates the muscle cells faster, the downside is that you do not assimilate the majority of that creatine, so people on a budget may consider it wasteful.
TIMING IS …
Many people consume creatine post-workout since it’s been speculated that taking creatine after training will lead to better uptake of creatine into the muscle.
In all likelihood, however, this is splitting hairs. Consistent supplementation of creatine at 3-5g per day has been shown to saturate muscle cells, mostly regardless of time consumed. Therefore, I suggest consuming your creatine whenever it’s most convenient.
PACK YOUR STACK
Creatine has been shown to work synergistically with both beta-alanine and HMB, so users who want to maximize creatine’s benefits should consider supplementing with those products, as well.
Of course, your usual supplement foundation of a multivitamin and protein—whey and/orcasein—still applies.
WHAT TO CHOOSE
As a rule, I recommend purchasing supplements whose maker can provide lab analysis of the products. This ensures that what’s on the label is actually in the bottle.
Based on current research, it appears that creatine monohydrate is the most effective creatine product available on the market today. If you are going to spring a few extra dollars for anything, then go for a micronized form of creatine monohydrate to improve mix-ability.
If you’re looking to add a supplement to your workout routine than you probably should be looking at Creatine. There are many brands to choose from and Layne gives to great suggestions. Work hard!