It is a well known fact among athletes, fitness enthusiasts and those in the sporting world that eating well is as important as training right if they’re to achieve their goals and ambitions. There are some exercise scientists that would go so far to say that nutrition would account for 80% a successful training program to achieve optimum performance and health benefits. You cannot out train a bad diet!
As far as the macro nutrients go (protein, carbohydrates and fats), protein is crucial. While all three are obviously essential, ask anyone following a diet for training (or aesthetics) if they take low levels of protein to look good, most would say no. As readers will remember about how HIIT increases lean muscle which also improves insulin sensitivity, protein intake is an important factor to this.
This first part on Protein Stripped Bare will aim to draw upon important points based upon the research conducted by Kurtis Frank and Sol Orwell who co-founded Examine.com in early 2011 to help make sense of scientific research on supplementation and nutrition. Independent and unbiased, they recently have released the Supplement-Goals Reference in order to make it easy to figure out which supplements work (and which are hype).
Why is protein so important for health and performance?
Meat is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for any healthy diet. It helps build and repair muscle as well as help maintain healthy hair, bones, skin and blood.
Building muscle takes more than just putting hours in at the gym. While training is obviously important, rest is equally significant. Without rest, strength gains will not occur. It’s during this time muscles heal (with the aid of protein) from the stresses forced on them during exercise.
How much do I take?
Protein consumption is measured upon an individual’s body weight. Unless one is morbidly obese were protein is taken for 1 g of protein per total body weight in kg desired. Otherwise the proven guidelines are displayed here-under:
- 0.5g/kg body weight – this is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein. This is the minimum to keep you alive and in ‘general’ health.
- 0.5-1.0g/kg body weight – this is a higher range mostly used by health-conscious people or people who are new to exercise and are trying to build some muscle.
- 1.0-1.5g/kg – this is the range which tends to be recommended for building muscle and reaching your athletic goals.
- 1.5-2.2g/kg (1g/lb) – recommended based on anecdotal evidence, but extremely under-researched (the highest dose recommended being around 1.8g/kg
According to the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, strength athletes require between 1.2g and 1.7g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Endurance athletes need a protein intake of 1.2g and 1.4g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Therefore, a strength athlete weighing 105kg will require 126g to 177g protein daily and an endurance athlete weighing 75kg will need between 90g and 105g protein each day. It’s thought a typical 6oz lean fillet steak contains approximately 32g protein.
The Benefits of Protein:
It’s imperative for an athlete to consume a sufficient amount of protein daily to support muscle growth and meat is an excellent source.
If you are worried about some meats or sources of protein not containing enough or all of the Essential Amino Acids, don’t be.
If you are taking the recommended 1.5 grams per kilogram of your body weight across a range of incomplete and complete proteins, (lean chicken, beef, eggs, tuna etc) your amino acid profile will be on par or above the RDA and in line with your performance related goals.
Keep your protein levels solid and you don’t need to worry about complete and incomplete proteins and the bioavailability/amino acid profile of each.
The Good news.
The Bootcamp has provided a solution. In affiliation with MuscleFood, Bootcamp members can now enjoy reductions in all sorts of responsibly sourced, gourmet lean meats from grass fed beef to corn feed chicken with no added water, salt or other additives at extremely competitive prices.
In affiliation with Bootcamp Circuits London, MuscleFood will either provide the meat specific to your assigned nutritional program from the Bootcamp (made available upon request) or provide you the meat and other products ranging from nuts, oils, supplements and other low carb alternatives.
Protein – The Facts.
Meat is naturally rich in multiple vitamins and minerals, all of which essential for muscle gain. It contains high quantities of zinc, selenium and B vitamins e.g. B 2, B 6 and B 12, as well as iron, in red meat.
Zinc, known for helping in the production of protein, assists in the recovery, repair and growth of muscle cells as well as boosting the body’s immune system.
Selenium, an anti-oxidant, helps prevent muscle injury post-workout by preventing oxidative damage to the healthy muscle cells, thus allowing them to repair and grow faster.
B vitamins help release energy from foods meaning an athlete will have a much more energetic and worthwhile workout.
B6 and B12 even have specialised roles that directly relate to muscle growth. B6 is needed for AA metabolism and B12 is required for maintaining nerve function, thus allowing muscles to contract.
A 4oz lean cut of beef provides your body with approximately 50% of the RDA of B6 and 25% of the RDA of B12.
Iron, known for boosting energy levels and combating fatigue, also helps facilitate the production of red blood cells. These then transport oxygen around the body and helps stimulate cell growth – particularly in the muscles.
Naturally found in red meat, creatine is a nitrogen-containing compound that provides muscles with energy and helps improve protein synthesis, thus encouraging muscle gain. It is common for power lifters to supplement with creatine to help boost their phosphate system and increase explosive power (and the regeneration of). Providing that we are consuming adequate amounts of red meat, we will produce enough creatine necessary to sustain performance in the gym or the sports field.
90% of creatine is found in the muscles with the remaining 10% in the heart and brain.
Essentially, meat is well-balanced and excellent natural source of various elements crucial for muscle growth.
In our next part of Protein Stripped Bare:
Don’t believe the hype and structuring protein intake to reach your goals.
Sol Orwell, Kurtis Frank. (2013). The Protein Bible. Available: http://schwarzenegger.com/fitness/post/the-protein-bible-part-1-introduction. Last accessed 17th November 2013.
Tarnopolsky MA, Atkinson SA, MacDougall JD, Chesley A, Phillips S, Schwarcz HP.. (1992). Evaluation of protein requirements for trained strength athletes.. Journal of Applied Physiology. 73 (5), p1986-1995.
Thomas W Buford, Richard B Kreider*, Jeffrey R Stout, Mike Greenwood, Bill Campbell, Marie Spano, Tim Ziegenfuss, Hector Lopez, Jamie Landis and Jose Antonio.. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 4 (6), p1186/1550-2783.