EP.82 - Do you need protein shakes, the anabolic window and all things protein

Podcast - 30 Minutes - Protein is constantly one of the hottest topics in all of nutrition, do you need shakes? how much should I have every day and does the anabolic window exist? 

Durham and Jacob go into depth on all things protein, from what it even is, where you can get it, the importance of post workout nutrition and whether or not you might need protein shakes.

NB: One thing we didn’t cover is how many total grams you should be having every day. For athletes doing high-intensity training (strength, power, hypertrophy, sprint, or conditioning training) aim for 1g of protein for every KG of body weight as a MINIMUM. Even better is to hit 1.5g/kg every day. Spreading it evenly throughout the day with a decent serve (20-30g) right around your workout.

 
 

Some resources:

Our own article about protein is a great starting place for all things protein

Protein is a key building block not just for muscles but also our neurotransmitters, hormones and enzymes (like mTOR)

BCAAs are a contentious topic, but we believe they can be a big part of the puzzle especially for hard training athletes. The key BCAA is Leucine

There are 20 amino acids, the 9 essential amino acids are: 

  • Histidine, - inflammatory agent as part of the immune response
  • Isoleucine, - One of the three BCAA amino acids
  • Leucine, - the muscle growth and mTOR trigger (the most important BCAA)
  • Lysine, - Plays a role in calcium absorption, tissue repair, and hormone production
  • Methionine, - Helps the generation of new blood vessels. A lack of methionine can lead to greying of hair
  • Phenylalanine, - The key precursor tyrosine and then to dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline
  • Threonine, - Precursor to glycine which in turn is a key component of collagen protein (tendons and ligaments)
  • Tryptophan, - the precursor for serotonin (the happiness neurotransmitter) and melatonin (the sleep hormone) - Our oats recipe is a super way to dose up before bed.
  • Valine. - the third BCAA

The other 11 amino acids are broken into non-essential:

  • alanine, 
  • asparagine, 
  • aspartic acid,  
  • glutamic acid.

And conditional (may need more of these in certain extreme situations):

  • arginine, 
  • cysteine, 
  • glutamine, 
  • tyrosine, 
  • glycine, 
  • ornithine, 
  • proline, 
  • serine

Durham was totally onto something with the brain-protein connection. While the brain is mostly fat (60%) protein is the second most abundant molecule and is a key component of heaps of vital neurotransmitters.

Whether you have your shake before, during or after the workout doesn’t seem to matter, what really matters is having that serving of fast digesting protein and carbs in the system when your body needs it most. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214805/

 

And finally, what protein powder is best?

Most of the brands are very similar (despite the range of claims they make on the packages). We recommend avoiding the mass gainers as these are high in maltodextrin (a simple carbohydrate). 

WPI is the best for post workout (fastest digesting), but soy, pea, and WPC all work fine. Hemp powder is less ideal post workout but might be a good snack or meal on the go, while casein is perfect for pre-bed as it is super slow digesting.

You shouldn’t have to spend any more than $50 a kg for WPI and $40 for WPC (buying 3-4kg at a time will bring the price down heaps)

 
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