Peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, drinking too much and waking up with a hangover, all of these things go hand-in-hand; but maybe none more than working out and protein supplements.
The popularity of protein supplements is well entrenched as gospel among bodybuilders and most athletes, and for good reason, they work. A study published in Metabolism a peer review journal, found that young men who supplemented with 25 grams of protein immediately before and after training for 14 weeks had 18-26 percent greater gains in muscle size than men who supplemented with 25 grams of carbohydrates. And while protein is important, combining protein with carbohydrates results in a combo effect that boosts lean muscle building.
The two basic forms of protein supplements are whey protein and casein protein. Whey is popular among bodybuilders and athletes because it is quickly absorbed by the body and used primarily after the workout. Casein is another form of protein that differs slightly from whey. It is digested slower by the body and is popular as a nighttime protein as the release of amino acids is spread out over time.
Since athletes break down muscle mass more than people who don’t workout they need more protein. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, between .5 and .9 grams of protein per pound of body weight is needed. More protein is needed for strength and power athletes as well as those looking to add lean muscle mass. A 2-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio is recommended. While endurance athletes will need more carbohydrates than protein. A 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 is recommend.
A common way to meet this protein requirement is through protein powder that can be mixed with water or milk. I personally have done this for years and to be completely honesty never really loved chocking down chalky tasting protein powder. This is why I wrote an article titled; “Refuel after a workout with this surprising favorite” this article detailed the benefits of chocolate milk as a possible alternative to protein powder.
Through the power of social media and the internet, this article caught the attention of the makers of Gatorade. They kindly sent me some samples of their post workout drink, the G Series Protein Recovery Shake. At first, I was a bit skeptical, but handed out some samples to a few of my clients. The response I got was that it tasted pretty good. Now for some hardcore weight trainers the taste might not be a huge factor, however, for those who don’t like the taste of protein power (and probably need it the most) taste could be a deciding factor.
Another benefit of the Gatorade protein drink is that is doesn’t have to be refrigerated, which is great for on the go and when you forget your protein shaker at home.
Regardless of whether it is chocolate milk, a Gatorade protein shake or old school protein powder mixed with tap water, the goal is to replenish lost fluids during working out, refuel with carbohydrates and protein and finally make sure you do this on a consistent bases. So for people that are busy and always on the go, having an easy to make or already made protein drink may be a great option. Or maybe try a new protein powder flavor. I wonder if they have peanut butter and jelly?
Kyler Crouse, BS, CSCS, FMS is a personal trainer and strength coach who trains at Sierra Athletic Club and a training center instructor at Barton Memorial Hospital. Kyler specializes in performance enhancement and injury prevention. Visit www.KCstrength.com for more information.