Protein Powder

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hey all! You may know that your body needs protein to recover from workout routines and maintain muscle mass, but did you know not all proteins are created equal. They all have their own special purpose, and the key is knowing when to use when.  Soy protein shakes and whey protein shakes are used for completely difference purposes. Knowing how and when to take protein shakes can help enhance your performance and help you reach your fitness goals faster.

Three Important Types of Protein to Know


Whey protein is found as a by-product of milk and cheese productions. This type of protein can be quickly ingested into the body quickly. Because of that whey protein shakes are the best protein shakes for post-workout recovery.  It also contains the highest concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) of any single protein source. BCAAs are essential amino acids in muscle protein, and help reduce the amount of muscle protein breakdown during exercise. Lean, sexy muscles here I come!!


Optimum Casein Protein
Casein protein accounts for about 80% of proteins in cow milk and cheese. This type of protein has the ability to coagulate (gel or clot) in your stomach, which causes it to digest very slowly. I opt to use for Casein powder instead of milk is because milk contains fats and carbohydrates, which I do not need for my purposes.


Image from FreeFoto

Egg protein is found in....drum roll please.....eggs!! These proteins take about one and a half to three hours to absorb into your body (medium absorption rate). As a side note, careful nutritional inspection will reveal that egg yolks are quite good for you too. Here is a comparison between egg white and egg yolk.  I still mostly eat just the egg whites though. 

How to Take These Proteins


Because whey protein can be absorbed quickly, it is best consumed immediately after a workout. After an intense workout, your body is in a state that craves nutrients. Failure to provide proper nutrition will force the body into a catabolic state (you do not want this). After a workout, you need simple carbohydrates to quickly push the body out of its catabolic state and whey protein to help your muscles rebuild. 
A great post workout drink is the P90X Results and Recovery Drink. Is it specially designed to provide the precise nutrients you need to recover quickly after intense workouts. 
          • Simple and complex carbohydrates for optimum glycogen replenishment
          • A high Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) blend to provide the critical building blocks for rapid muscle resynthesis
          • Vitamins, including antioxidants, to help reduce muscle soreness and assist in repair and growth
Studies show that with proper nutrition during the first hour following a workout you can increase your body's ability to recover by more than 100%. The key component to maximizing this "window of opportunity" is a formulation of approximately 4 parts carbohydrates to 1 part protein.

Because casein protein is absorbed very slowly, it is best to consume this protein before you sleep. The reason for this is because your body goes into starvation every night and runs on catabolism. Sleep is really the best time for your body to rebuild and recover, but it cannot do it if it is in a catabolic state. The slow release property of casein protein provides your body with a constant small source of protein to keep your body from catabolism. My pre-sleep shake is quite simple: water and casein protein (no other non-sense).


Egg proteins fall in between the two extremes and it is also a truly natural gold-standard source of protein. Some people suggest drinking whey protein in the morning to combat catabolism from sleep, but I prefer to incorporate eggs into my breakfast. Why?
  • One egg contains more than 6 grams of high quality protein containing all the essential amino acids our body needs to build and maintain muscle mass.
  • I need my breakfast to keep me full longer than 2 hours. Egg protein take longer to absorb than whey protein. Eggs also contain several B vitamins required for energy production (good way to start your day full of energy).
  • I don’t want to drink protein powders all day.
  • Eggs is one of the best fat burning foods.
An optimal breakfast would contain, 1 whole egg (with yolk) + 1 egg without yolk, giving you~10g of egg protein to start my day. I opt for 1 whole egg because the B vitamins and other useful nutrients are only found in the yolk.

Smart protein consumption is crucial to fitness success. I guarantee that if you follow this protein consumption plan, you will notice results quicker from your exercises. You will not be as sore during workouts, allowing you to workout longer. You will be sore less often, allowing you to exercise more often. You can even tweak your protein consumption (add more nutrients) to make them act like protein diet shakes and replace meals. Also, retaining more muscle mass will help you will lose fat quicker!! Who doesn't want that!? :)


  1. So if your optimal breakfast contains two eggs (one without the yolk), how do you usually prepare it and what else do you add to that meal???

  2. My mom was nice enough to buy me one of those Counter Top Griddles for Christmas, and I am CONVINCED it is the EASIEST way to cook eggs EVER!! There is no mess.
    But I will just cook them on there...add some salsa and voila! Done!
    Or you can put it in a whole wheat tortilla wrap with spinach. The key is to mix up it....I will add steamed veggies sometimes....or put it in a tortilla with red pepper hummus.
    Eggs whites in the carton are the best and fastest way to get eggs from the fridge to the stove....they are my go to. I always have a carton of eggs and a container of egg whites handy.
    In the summer, I like 2 eggs with strawberries on the side...yummy :)
    Hope that gives you some ideas!! I should post pics soon!!

  3. Wow, thank you. Your posts are so helpful. Thank goodness I like eggs. I usually just make them poached with one slice of whole wheat toast or boiled. Yummy, but gets old after a while.

  4. I hear ya! I go in phases of eating things....after awhile you just get sick of them. One of my New Years Resolutions was to learn how to be a better cook and try new recipes! For awhile there I was eating plain egg whites, baked chicken, and brown rice. I wanted to die!! It was awful lol So we are both on a mission to find a good variety of clean (and DELICIOUS) food!