Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What is the Purpose of Having Different Types of Protein Supplements?


I guess if you are a vegan you can skip to the final few paragraphs and go talk to anyone you can find who will listen.

Although you can get protein supplements made from several different nutrition sources whey protein is by far the most used as a supplement. Other choices include soy, egg, and even wheat. None of the other choices are as effective, available or as inexpensive. The only reasons I can find to use anything other than whey protein are some food allergies (such as lactose intolerance) or if you are a vegan.

Whey protein is a by-product of cheese production. It is usually about 5% lactose, some minerals (mainly calcium, potassium and phosphorus), some fat (usually about 1%), some carbs (15%) and protein (65-98% depending on how it’s processed) . It is also rich in the amino acids essential for the production of muscle.

Whey Isolate

Whey Isolate is processed to remove everything except the protein. Its protein makeup is 90-98%. Since whey isolate requires much more processing it is also more expensive.

Whey Concentrate

Whey concentrate is the most cost effective form of whey protein since it requires less processing than Isolate and is around 70-85% protein.


Many producers sell a blend of whey isolate and whey concentrate. These blends allow you to reduce the number of calories you consume while keeping cost down.

Casein Protein

Whey protein only accounts for about 20% of the protein found in milk while Casein is responsible for about 80% of the protein found in dairy products.

Casein protein digests much slower than whey making you feel fuller longer. And studies indicate that the body is more inclined to use casein for muscle building rather than energy.

Slower digesting casein is also better as a final meal of the day to help prevent catabolism (muscle wasting) due to the 7 to 9 hour fasting while you sleep.

Casein is typically around 92% pure proteins.

There are also casein-whey blends. 

Beef Protein

Beef protein isolate is a fairly new addition to the market.Pricing is about the same as whey isolate and protein content is about 75% as opposed to whey isolate's 90+%. but fat, carbs and calories are less than whey isolate and beef isolate reportedly has a better amino acid profile.

I have not tried it personally. Mainly because I have a little trouble getting over the thought of chocolate flavored or banana cream flavored beef.
If any of you have tried it, please let me know what you think.

Egg Protein

It’s called Egg Albumin (which is simply the Latin word for “whites”).

While not as efficient as whey or casein, it’s the best alternative for anyone lactose intolerant.

Soy Protein

Not as efficient as milk protein and doesn’t offer the amino acids.

Some studies indicate soy may have unwanted side effects on hormonal production. But the studies are mixed.

Wheat Protein

A popular vegan alternative to animal based protein or lactose allergies but lacks the amino acid profile for animal based protein. Of course wheat protein should not be used by anyone with Celiac Disease.

Supplements, including whey protein,  have received a lot of negative publicity lately due to alleged "spiking"  (adding fillers) and for adding inert forms of nitrogen making the product test as having higher protein content than it actually has. However, most of the products testing as inferior were the brands sold in the large discount chain stores.
Always buy the major brands from suppliers like

It's also a good idea to look and compare the  nutrition data on the container or posted on as well as the price. Cheaper is not always the best bargain.

I also make it a practice not to buy any supplement where the first ingredient says "Proprietary Blend". There's no way to tell what's in it or to compare it to other products.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

So, You Have a Slow Metabolism?


Last week I ran an article entitled The Only 4 Things You Need to do to Lose Weightl

The most common reason (or excuse) I hear for someone’s inability to lose weight is “ I have a slow metabolism”.

If you compare people of the same weight, height, sex and age you’ll find a variance in metabolic rate of around 10-15%. We’re talking about Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the metabolic rate while at rest. So variances in activity levels are not included.

You can calculate you BMR HERE

Let’s look a little closer at that 10-15%

Using the FDA’s standard 2000 per calorie per day diet, the 10-15% comes to an average of 200-300 calories per day.

That difference amounts to about 4 oz. of chicken  or 16 oz of sweet tea, or 1 bagel, or 2 table spoons of mayonnaise, or 1 cup of white rice, or less than ½ of that Whopper you had for lunch… get the picture.

Before you get all up-in-arms because you are female and you’ve heard women have a slower metabolism you should note the following: The female metabolism is slower. Mostly for physiological reasons; men carry a higher percentage of muscle mass. The difference is a whopping 3% or about 55 calories per day, or about ½ of a banana or 1 apple or 3.5 oz. of 2% milk.

There are medical conditions that cause a slower metabolism, the primary one being Hypothyroidism. If you think that may be the case see your doctor. Hypothyroidism can lead to other problems.
Some medications can also cause weight gain. Ask your doctor if any affect you and, if so, ask about alternatives.

Here's the conclusion of a study by Mayo Clinic.
 Adults with low BMRs did not gain more weight than did adults with high BMRs, implying that habitual differences in food intake or activity counterbalance variations in BMR as a risk factor for weight gain in a typical Western population.

So let’s finally put this excuse to rest. Even if you have a “slow 
metabolism” you’re only 2 tbs of mayonnaise away from being able to lose weight.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Congratsulations. You're Making Gains! But.......


You’ve found your groove, a program that’s working for you. Your nutrition is on point. You’re getting adequate rest. And the gains are evident. You’re gaining muscle, gaining strength, losing fat and progressing every week. That’s great!
But….are you leaving additional gains on the table?

Here a few simple tweaks that may help you maximize your gains.

Concentrate on Using Perfect Form

Don’t let you quest for progress cause a breakdown in form. Good form trumps everything. Breaking form leads to cheating (no matter how minor) and that means a wasted effort.

Bad form also opens you up for injury and I can guarantee injury will stop or even reverse your hard earned gains. Have someone else check your form periodically to make sure you don't stray.

Concentrate on the Negative Portion of the lift.

The negative (or eccentric) portion of the lift can actually provide more stimuli to the muscle than the positive (or concentric) part of the lift. Lower the weight slowly-fighting the force of gravity all the way down. Use a lowering tempo of 3 to 5 seconds for the eccentric phase.

Lowering the weight slowly will also force you to concentrate more on form and strengthen the mind-muscle connection…another plus.

Squeeze the Muscle at the Top of the Lift

Squeeze the affected muscle at the top for at least a count of 2. This “isometric squeeze” adds extra tension and stress to the muscle and provides higher blood concentration in the muscle.

Weighted Stretch

As you complete the eccentric portion of the last rep of the last set of an exercise, hold the load in the bottom position with the muscle in question in a fully stretched position. Hold this position for a count of 10 to 15 seconds with a goal of 30 seconds. You can even hold for longer periods of time up to ALAP (as long as possible) Probably the best illustration of a weight stretch position is to picture the bottom position of the dumbbell fly.

 como hacer aperturas con mancuernas correctamente:
(A) is the position where you use the "squeeze"
(B) is the "weighted stretch position"

The weighted stretch has the same benefits as the isometric squeeze with the added benefit of helping stretch the fascia surrounding the muscle thus giving the muscle bundles more room to grow. (Picture Saran Wrap around muscles or bundles of muscles)

 (Fascia-From the superficial (“body stocking”) fascia, it dives deep and forms the pods (called fascicles) that actually create your musculature like a honeycomb from the inside out. Imagine what it looks like when you bite into a wedge of orange and then look at those individually wrapped pods of juice.We’re like that too!Great article describing the important role of fascia.  And why the MELT Method works! - The Top 5 Ways Fascia Matters to Athletes:  

If you’re making gains you know you’re on the right path. Use these hints and minor tweaks to maximize your progress.