What’s going on Overtime!
Hope everyone had an awesome labor day weekend with their families and friends.
I had an amazing one, but today is a start of a new week and the beginning of our new sports nutrition series that I’ve been promising.
So without further ado, here’s Josh with this weeks nutrition article.
What up OTA.
So this past weekend I was chilling with a couple of friends talking about this new series that Overtime Athletes is starting.
I want to deliver the best information out there and truly help athletes around the world get a solid understanding of what their nutrition should look like for optimal performance and aesthetics.
So to kick off OTA’s Sports Nutrition Series let’s start off with the basics.
A topic widely discussed in the fitness industry but one that is so misunderstood.
So what exactly is protein?
Now, we can keep it simple and say that protein is the building blocks of muscle; it helps rebuild tissue and other bodily chemicals, but there’s no fun in learning stuff you already know.
So let’s take it a step further and really discuss what protein is and what your body does with it.
Protein is chemically constructed from amino acids, which are organic compounds made up of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.
These amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and proteins are the building blocks of tissue (muscle).
There are 20 total amino acids known to man, and 9 of them are essential (histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine), meaning our bodies don’t naturally produce these 9 amino acids, so we must get them through our diet.
How does the body absorb protein?
This is a question that’s not asked or answered very often. But I believe it’s important to understand or at least know how macronutrients are handled by your body.
When you eat protein, lets say a nice juicy steak; your body can’t actually use that protein to repair your tissue.
Protein molecules are too large to be absorbed.
So what does the body do?
Unlike other macronutrients, protein starts breaking down in the stomach.
Once your body recognizes that you just ingested protein it starts to secrete an enzyme called pepsin.
This enzyme breaks the bonds that hold protein molecules together, called peptide bonds.
When these bonds start to break down, you start getting amino acids linked together which are called, polypeptides.
After your stomach completes breaking down as much protein as possible using pepsin.It starts to move the polypeptides into the small intestine for further breakdown.
Once in the small intestine, the pancreas releases more enzymes called trypsin, chymotrypsin, and carboxypeptidase which really go to work on breaking down the polypeptides into smaller units of amino acids.
From there your small intestine absorbs the free amino acids into the bloodstream which sends them out to your whole body to be absorbed by what needs to be repaired.
What are the best types of protein sources?
To be completely honest with you, animal protein.
Why? For 2 good reasons.
- According to Jay R. Hoffman and Michael J. Falvo;
proteins from animal sources (i.e. eggs, milk, meat,
fish, and poultry) provide the highest quality rating of
food sources. This is primarily due to the ‘completeness’
of proteins from these sources.
- Animal protein comes with saturated fat and cholesterol,
two very important molecules necessary for your body
to run at an optimal level.
Now that’s not to say you can’t be a vegetarian or vegan athlete, because I’ve met some.
But they were top level and had an expert tell them exactly what to eat in order for them to consume the right amount of protein (in grams) with the complete amino acid profile every single day.
Unless you’re able to hire an expert or spend 100’s of hours studying how to truly get all the nutrients the human body need through plants, then I suggest sticking with animal based proteins.
They’re complete, meaning they have all 9 essential amino acids.
This is helpful because instead of having to eat ten different plants to get the Notorious 9, you only have to consume an egg, or a steak, or even just a scoop of protein powder.
How much protein should I eat?
There’s a lot of mis-information out there regardingthis topic.
And most of the confusion stems from the bodybuilding days where fitness magazines were recommending 300+ grams of protein a day.
I remember once I tried eating 316 grams of protein.
That was a digestive nightmare.
Nevertheless, throughout the years I’ve learned and experimented with different amounts of protein consumption.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
We don’t actually need these crazy amount of protein body building magazines have been recommending all these years.
Eating at about .8-1g/per lbs of LBM (lean body mass) is enough to maintain muscle mass.
And if gaining mass is the objective, then going as high as 1.25-1.5g/per lbs of LBM is going to deliver much better results.
This is super important as an athlete since you’re constantly tearing down your body through training and practices.
But you see everyone is different, and depending on your goal, body weight, body fat, and activity level, protein requirements will be different as well.
One things for certain though, when it comes to protein synthesis, 20-40g of protein is enough to activate this important step in muscular repair.
As long as you understand these two things, finding your protein intake shouldn’t be that hard.
Experiment and see what works for you.
Hope you guys got a better understanding of what protein is and why it’s important in your diet if you want to become an Overtime Athlete.
If you have any questions hit me up in the comments below.
And make sure to share this article if you want to learn about carbohydrates and how they fuel your performance next week.
Talk to you soon,