Our bodies require both micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) for basic nutrition and health. The Popeye’s Foundation of Health is based on the premise of obtaining these essential nutrients to improve the overall quality of life and enhance performance and recovery. The need for this “foundation” is a direct result of the poor nutritional direction found in our society today. At the very base of this Foundation is the key source of essential amino acids to our body: protein.
Our bodies will repair the fatigued muscle fibers in one of two ways.
- Utilize the amino acids from food sources that contain protein such as eggs, meat, beans, or
- Steal amino acids from other parts of your body resulting in the loss of lean muscle
It is important to understand the relationship between metabolism (BMR) and muscle mass. One pound of lean muscle will burn approximately 50 calories per day. Compare this to fat – one pound of body fat will burn between 3-5 calories per day. As a result, the more lean muscle you have and keep, the more calories (metabolism) you will burn!
Whey protein is one of the most effective protein choices for individuals of all ages who value the role of a healthy diet in helping to maintain and increase their fitness level and lean body mass. Whey protein isolate, the purest form available, is unsurpassed as a source of the essential amino acids required in one’s daily diet. Essential amino acids are the building blocks for healthy muscles, skin, nails and other body tissue.
Whey protein is a naturally complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids required in a healthy diet. It has the ideal combination of amino acids to help improve body composition (more muscle/less fat), enhance athletic performance, and build and maintain muscle mass. As well, whey is a quality source of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), containing the highest known levels of any natural food source. BCAAs are important for both strength and endurance athletes alike, as unlike any other amino acids they are metabolized directly into muscle tissue and are the first ones used during muscle repair after training.
Whey protein isolate has the highest BV (Biological Value*) of any type of protein. A score of 70 or higher is considered a high quality source. As the chart below indicates, whey proteins dominate when compared with whole food BV. Whole food is still a very important part of a balanced diet and it’s very important not to replace whole food protein sources with protein shakes entirely. Use the protein shakes in addition to the whole food protein you consume.
|Whey Concentrate||104||Lean Beef||80||Peanuts||68|
|Egg (White)||88||Casein||77||White Potato||34|
*BV refers to a measurement of how efficiently and how quickly your body can actually use the protein you consume.
There are several types of whey protein available today:
1) Cross Flow Micro-filtration (CFM) Whey Protein Isolates
CFM whey isolate is the most refined whey protein on the planet. This method of refinement produces a protein that is 85-93%+ protein with virtually no fat, cholesterol or lactose. CFM whey proteins are at least 99% un-denatured and contain a high amount of calcium. This is one of the fastest absorbing proteins so it is ideal for a post-workout shake and in the morning when your body is breaking your nightly fast and is in an “anabolic” state.
2) Mixed Whey Protein
Mixed whey has a lower percentage of protein purity than CFM whey isolate (usually in the range of 73%-80%) by utilizing lower grade whey concentrate in a blend with the premium CFM isolate – thus the term “mixed whey”. As a result, the cost is keep down when compared to purchasing pure Isolate and offers the consumer a quality protein at an affordable price. Tips when comparing brands in this category include reviewing cholesterol levels, sodium content as well as overall protein purity percentage as some brands use far less isolate than others in their mix!
3) Sustained Release Protein
This is a great new twist on protein supplementation! Combining whey isolate with slower releasing proteins such as whey concentrate, casein, and egg albumin ensures a steady supply of amino acids are released over a protracted period of time – especially handy when eating is not an option! (Bedtime, traveling). Look for blends that add enzyme support to maximize absorption and eliminate gastric issues for those who suffer from lactose intolerance. EFA’s and fiber blends are also key ingredients that slow gastric emptying and helping ensure the protein releases at the slowest possible rate.