Protein Powders

By: 321go 1 Comment

Todays post is brought to you by Adam Rogers:

Why take protein after a workout? First of all, muscles are made of protein. Exercise, especially intense exercise with lots of eccentric movements, breaks our muscles down, causing trauma on a microscopic scale. The rebuilding of these muscles, which is the mechanism for increased strength and muscle mass, relies on a quality protein source with a complete profile of amino acids. Research suggests that ingesting a high quality protein source after resistance training leads to increased delivery of amino acids to the muscle tissue, which augments muscle protein synthesis and minimizes protein degradation. What does this mean for the athlete? Improved recovery, stronger muscles, and an increased ability to impart force (this is a good thing).

While we would clearly prefer a whole food approach to post-workout nutrition whenever possible, based upon benefits like nutrient absorption and digestion from a balanced meal, protein powders can offer several advantages to any athlete looking to improve performance and recovery. These advantages include

1. Convenience – Easier to prepare and take than a full balanced meal

2. Transportation – Easier to pack up and take with you to the gym, a competition, or a race environment.

3. Cost-effective – While a high quality protein powder can carry a big price tag, the number of servings per bag means that it will last awhile. And when compared to the cost of the foods that it might replace over that timeline, there can be a significant savings.

4. Diet aid – Protein powders taken periodically during the day can help regulate blood-sugar levels and bring a feeling of fullness, both of which can be major benefits for someone following a strict diet regimen.

So what kind of powder should you be taking? As with most things, the answer might depend on the athlete in question. Most protein powders are built upon a central ingredient, such as whey, egg, rice, soy, casein, wheat, even peanuts. It is important to make sure that the athlete does not have any sort of reaction or intolerance to the main ingredient, as clearly this would compromise the effectiveness of the supplement.

That being said, based off of objective measures of the quality of the protein (such as the Biological Value http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_value and PDCAA score http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_Digestibility_Corrected_Amino_Acid_Score) and information on toxicity (read: don’t take soy protein), the protein sources that seem to stand out from the rest are whey protein and egg protein.

Egg protein is made from the egg whites, and has great scores for absorption and amino acid profiles. Egg white protein has a BV of 100 and is often considered to be the most readily utilized protein. When shopping for an egg white protein powder, you’ll want to make sure that the chickens used as the source for the eggs were not treated with any growth hormones, as well as checking the ingredient list for any common fillers or added sweeteners. It is also very important to ensure that you don’t have any reaction to eggs, anything ranging from a mild sensitivity to an allergy. Reactions to egg whites are more common than reactions to the yolks, and separating the two might unveil an intolerance that you didn’t know you had.

Both whey and casein are proteins derived from milk, but whey has several benefits, including the ability to be almost completely separated from lactose, the sugar in milk which usually causes digestion problems in most people. Whey also has the benefit of generally tasting better than other proteins, specifically egg white proteins. There is a hierarchy of whey protein powders that might be confusing to someone unfamiliar with them. Whey protein concentrate contains some fat and lactose, and has less protein than the other versions. Whey isolates contain more protein and less fat than the version from concentrate, and has usually been processed to remove as much of the lactose content as possible. Whey hydrolysate has been predigested and is, for all intents and purposes, completely free of any potential allergens. It also usually contains digestive enzymes, making the absorption process even smoother. As to be expected though, as you climb the ladder from whey concentrate, to whey isolate, to the hydrolyzed version, the price is going to increase, sometimes dramatically.

Monday WOD

run 800m

21 squat clean thrusters

run 400m

21 squat clean thrusters

run 800m



  1. […] that we’ve gone over protein here and here .  Centerville CrossFit would like to announce that we have Affiliated with Progenex to […]

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