By: Rick Bellanti – Feb. 2017
Obviously, hitting the gym and lifting those weights certainly help but we need to fortify those muscles with the proper nutrition both prior to working out and post workouts.
If you want to look good on the outside you need to do what’s right on the inside as well. It is important that you have a nutritional plan in place as well as your workout plan before you start hitting the gym. Timing is everything so if you want to maximize your gains make sure you are feeding your body with the proper nutrition at the correct times (pre and post workouts).
Before your workouts you should have, along with your protein, some healthy carbs. (Your body needs carbs to fuel your working muscles) as well as some fats (for example prior to my workouts, I have plain organic Greek yogurt and a small handful of almonds). Whey proteins have an incredible fast digestion rate and is great for that extra boost of energy during workouts. You want to consume your pre workout meal thirty to sixty minutes prior to starting your routine. Your post workout protein is there to help build and repair the muscles used during your workout.
A liquid option (protein shake) also helps in re-hydrating the body post workout and I recommend a high protein shake with about 25 grams of undenatured whey protein. The post shake I drink is a high-protein meal replacement made with whey protein which is one of the most extensively studied proteins, and far superior for muscle building and fat burning. (Please message me for more details on my super whey protein shakes).
So what is undenatured whey protein anyway?
Whey protein is the protein that has been isolated from whey, the liquid material that is left behind after all the solids have been removed from cow’s milk. It is an excellent source of dietary protein, very effective in building muscle for athletic nutrition, or for anyone who would like to reduce their body fat, and build muscle through exercise. Denatured protein is pasteurized by being processed at 160 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that all microorganisms that may harm you have been destroyed. So for undenatured protein, it is heated up just enough to kill the harmful microorganisms but not harm the necessary amino acids needed for muscle building.
Whey protein also contains biologically active protein micro fractions (amino acids) which provide antioxidant benefits, helps boost immune function and enhances muscle recovery and growth and you will want to consume it within twenty minutes of post workout for the maximum health benefits.
Where whey protein comes from milk, soy protein is plant based (made from the soybean).
When comparing whey and soy protein for muscle-building purposes, whey protein has the upper hand in more than one way. Whey protein was absorbed more quickly, had higher concentrations of amino acids (important for muscle building).
Additionally, whey protein has beneficial effects on hormones that can help build muscle, whereas soy protein does not, whey protein reduces cortisol, a hormone that can break down muscle following your workouts, where soy protein can lower levels of the male hormone testosterone, and testosterone is important for muscle growth. So in the weight loss / muscle building debate whey protein wins hands down. However, you may have no option if you are a vegetarian, soy protein will be your best option.
Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs, and has lost 160 lbs since the start of 2015. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to his Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti Facebook page and once a month he will address a few of the topics here.