Archive for Protein

Nutrition mistakes: Bars

Posted in Health with tags , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by razorsedgeperformance

Being a fitness and nutrition expert, I see all the scams that many other people fall for. Just like I probably fall for buying useless extended warranties, sometimes you just believe in the hype when you don’t know any better. In this case, the scam that bothers me to no end are protein bars. If you’ve read any articles here previously you’ll know I’m a fan of protein powder though, so what gives? Well it’s sort of a game of smoke and mirrors.
Is there protein in there? Yes.
Is it an easy way to get protein? Yes.
Is it just protein? No.

That my friends is the important question. Ever wonder why they can be so tasty AND healthy at the same time? Well they can’t. The same reason that chocolate bars aren’t healthy. If someone figured out how to make something healthy taste like a caramilk, well, they probably would’ve done that by now. The reason they taste so good is they contain sugar or sugar like substances, stuff we’re supposed to be cutting back on. Right? Of course. Here’s an example of a popular protein bar on the market.
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INGREDIENTS: PROMAX® PROTEIN BLEND (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CALCIUM CASEINATE), GLUCOSE, FRUCTOSE, YOGURT FLAVOURED COATING (SUGAR, PALM KERNEL OIL, SKIM MILK, SKIM YOGURT POWDER, (CULTURED WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CULTURED SKIM MILK, YOGURT CULTURE), SOY LECITHIN, SALT, FLAVOUR), WATER, COCOA, COOKIE PIECES (RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, TAPIOCA STARCH, PALM OIL, COCOA, CORNSTARCH, SALT, UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE, FLAVOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN), MALTODEXTRIN, SOY LECITHIN, CANOLA OIL, GUAR GUM, FLAVOUR.

CONTAINS: SOY, MILK.

Take a look at not only the nutritional information, but the ingredient list. Two things pop out at me, first of all there’s 31g of sugar in each bar. This definitely looks more like a candy bar than something considered a “health”food. Second of all, soy protein is the first ingredient on the list; besides the potential for soy to be toxic and raise estrogen levels, studies have shown that whey is superior to soy in promoting muscle protein synthesis. So why would you buy a product that has a potentially unhealthy protein source which is also an inferior product? Most people buy the one that tastes the best. This is the worst way to pick a snack, the unhealthy foods will win every time. It’s not that healthy food doesn’t taste good, it’s just that junk food has attacked the snack food market for years; when you’re in need of food, junk food will always find you. An easy solution is to try and make your own snacks and avoid bars.

With that being said, there are bars that exist which are fairly healthy but they’re more difficult to find. The easiest thing is to stick with light healthy foods. If you need protein, look for: cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, protein shakes or hard boiled eggs. For healthy fats, nuts are usually my HP to favorite but avocado is also a great choice. Protein and healthy fats are always a great start and they can be paired with fruit and veggies if you’re looking for a little more. Never buy an inferior food just for convenience, that’s lazy. Do yourself a favor and always pack extra snacks, snacks are often where diets Errol lose effectiveness. So be smart and pack a snack, you never want to feel like you HAVE to buy that candy protein bar.

Remember, it’s about getting better!

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Putting Protein on a Pedestal

Posted in Health, Performance with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2011 by razorsedgeperformance

I thought people were becoming more educated about food and their diets…turns out I was wrong. With new clients one of the first questions I ask is always, what are you eating? Or How’s your diet? Most people are pretty confident about their diet or say something like, “I eat pretty well”. Sometimes that’s the case but mostly you’re wrong. There’s always two things missing, not enough vegetables, not enough protein.

For some strange reason people still think protein is for bodybuilders or just for people looking to get huge.

Who's getting their protein?


Here’s the truth, we all need protein and we need lots of it. Why is that? There’s a few reasons.

1) Muscle Building – In order to build muscle, once you’ve provided the stimulus in the gym, you need to get adequate protein in your diet in order to keep your nitrogen levels positive. This is done through protein intake. If your nitrogen levels for a day are negative, you go catabolic (lose muscle); if your nitrogen levels are positive for the day, you go anabolic (gain muscle). There are very few people who need to lose muscle, pretty much everyone would benefit from gaining more. It makes you leaner and makes your body perform better. If you’re working out for body composition, you need to add muscle mass.

2) Fat Burning – Protein plays two roles in the fat burning process. For one thing, protein takes the most energy to break down in your body, thus it increases your metabolism on a daily basis. Secondly, it keeps your muscles from breaking down in a fat burning phase. If you’re exercising, there will be a point where your body will look to break down your muscle for fuel. The truth is, amino acids (what protein is made up of) are a very good energy source and your body will try to use them. If you want to burn fat and avoid losing more muscle, then we need to get adequate amounts of protein – both for fuel and to save your muscles. Whats the point of losing fat if you’re going to lose your muscle as well? The only way to improve body composition is to gain or maintain muscle mass while losing fat, not losing both.

Let’s not overlook the fact that amino acids are used for some of the most basic bodily functions. Women, where do you think the protein that’s in your hair comes from? Small things like that are overlooked when it comes to ones diet. So how much should you get? Where should you get it?

Ignore the Canadian Food Guide. If you want to increase the amount of muscle you have on your body, you need to get 1g/lb of body weight. It’s very simple. If you’re an elite athlete or bodybuilder, you may want to go even higher. This is a reasonable number. If you’re eating 4 or 5 times per day, there’s plenty of opportunity to get it. The trick is making protein a priority and putting it on a pedestal. Everytime you eat a meal, you should know where you’re getting your protein from. It can be from any meat, fish, bird, dairy, lentils, nuts or protein powder. Think of snacks like beef jerky, cottage cheese or hard boiled eggs. There is no shortage of protein (unless you’re a vegan, which takes more work). Bottom line, whether you want to put on muscle or lose fat, start getting in more precious protein! All your hard work will start paying off!!

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