The Workout And Beyond: What You Might Not Know About Protein

Food high in protein on table, close-up

Most people who take their training seriously know that protein is vital to muscle performance and development. Protein consumption after a strenuous workout helps keep the body’s net protein balance positive. But recent research suggests that protein may have a bigger impact on health and well being beyond building muscle.

How Protein Supports Muscle Development

When you exercise, you are instructing your body to increase muscle mass. Protein intake furnishes the raw material for this new muscle tissue. If insufficient protein is provided, the muscle mass begins to break down in the absence of fuel to power the recovery and building of muscle tissue.

Timing Is Critical

The time during which the body can be supported with protein intake is finite: dieticians recommend that protein be consumed within an hour of completing your workout – preferably within 30 minutes. Delaying beyond an hour increases your chance of breakdown of muscle tissue.

Precision Nutrition and Protein

Whole food sources of protein are ideal, but the realities of intense workouts and the hectic pace of modern life don’t always allow us to take advantage of whole foods during that critical window following a session.

Engineered food sources offer the critical macronutrients (protein, carbs) that your body needs to recover and gain ground on your fitness goals. Highly portable and easily digestible, precision food sources supply everything you need when you need it.

Carbs And Proteins Are Friends – Really!

While every athlete should be strategic about carbohydrate intake, being spooked of carbs is unwise. Quality precision nutrition sources should include some high glycemic carbs to stimulate an insulin response. The insulin, in addition to helping to convert those carbs to energy, also acts to suppress cortisol and minimize protein breakdown in the muscles.

The Benefits Of Protein Beyond The Workout

Researchers at the University of Cambridge recently concluded a study of the effects of protein on special nerve cells called orexin cells. The study indicates that the chemical these cells produce (orexin/hypocretin) has a direct effect on wakefulness and energy expenditure.

Dr. Denis Burdakov, lead researcher for the study, reports, “Electrical impulses emitted by orexin cells stimulate wakefulness and tell the body to burn calories. We wondered whether dietary nutrients alter those impulses.”

In the course of the study researchers compared the effects various nutrients had on orexin cells. It was discovered that the amino acids in proteins induced the most response in the cells.

While the data is still preliminary, these initial findings suggest that there is some basis to the observation that protein based meals make people more alert than those who consume foods high in carbs. It was also found that glucose blocks orexin cells, but that the amino acids in proteins negate this effect – in short, protein can block sugars in the neural cells that closely affect wakefulness and energy expenditure.

“What is exciting,” says Burdakov, “is to have a rational way to ‘tune’ select brain cells to be more or less active by deciding what food to eat. Not all brain cells are simply turned on by all nutrients. Dietary composition is critical.”

Promax offers high quality, complete protein in a variety of delicious flavors to help ensure your body receives the boost it needs after an intense workout. Each bar contains all 9 amino acids, providing complete protein support. Free of artificial sweeteners, Promax compliments your active lifestyle.