To protein or to not protein?

Our body needs 3 basic macronutrients that make up the food we eat: carbohydrates, protein and fat. Each person needs different amounts of each based on their weight, height, body fat, activity level, plus a bunch of more complicated things. Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to strength training. Protein contains amino acids, and amino acids are the building blocks of muscle.  It’s essential to have a balanced amount of protein in your system throughout the day. When the appropriate amount of protein is in your system, your body is in an anabolic state which allows you to build muscle. If you are protein deficient your body goes into a catabolic state and will start to look for energy and break down your hard earned muscle.

There are 2 basic ways to get protein into your system. The first and most logical way is food, and your best protein sources are your lean meats. However, it can take anywhere from 6-8 hours to digest your food and derive the protein from it.  The second way to get your protein is through supplements, most typically protein powder. Whey protein powder will get into your system within one hour. Your body needs a steady supply of protein throughout the day, so it is most important to consume protein during and immediately after your workout. But if you ate a meal after working out you would not get the necessary protein to your system for 5-8 hours and all that hard work from exercising goes to waste. This is why a protein shake taken within 30 minutes after your workout is important.  It gets that protein into your system and your body will stay in that anabolic state, so you can continue to build muscle.

We carry two different brands of protein–Progenex and SFH—each with a few options.  Progenex offers four different types of protein: RecoveryMore MuscleCocoon, and Build. Recovery is just that, a recovery whey protein isolate supplement containing 22-23 grams per serving. More Muscle, also a whey protein isolate has 30-33 grams of protein and also has added BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) which are essential to muscle building. It gives you more bang for your buck with the higher protein content per serving, depending on how much protein your body needs.  Cocoon is a nighttime recovery made up of casein protein which is a slow releasing protein. When taken before bed, Cocoon gives you the sustained protein in your system to keep it in an anabolic state for the duration of your sleep. Build is a carbohydrate supplement which can aid in the absorption of your protein and give you the added energy needed to sustain longer workouts. While carbs have a bad rap, it’s extremely important you get enough of that macronutrient as well, to restore your glycogen stores after a tough workout. High glycemic carbs like Build will replenish those stores more quickly than a low glycemic carb.

SFH has four options: Pure, Fuel, and Recovery. All SFH proteins are derived from grass fed, free range cows. Pure is your basic whey protein supplement great for anyone from kids to adults and contains 23 grams of protein per serving. Fuel is a great anytime protein containing 20 grams of protein combined with coconut fat (MCT’s) and apple pectin (a low glycemic carb). Because of its 4.5 gram fat content this is a great product to get both of those macros into your system easily.  But because of its fat content, it is not great for post workout recovery. Fat slows down your digestive system and thats not what you need post workout. Recovery is a post workout formula containing 16 grams of protein, as well as BCAA’s, and creatine. Recovery also contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate which is great for your joints.

In a nut shell, it is very important to take a protein shake at the very least right after you work out. But whether you choose Progenex or SFH (or a completely different brand) is up to you. Progenex has more protein per serving and uses fructose for taste so it has a small amount of sugar. If you like the taste and want the most bang for your buck its an excellent choice. If you want a grass fed, free range protein that uses stevia for taste rather than fructose then SFH is the choice for you. Both have great benefits, and your coaches all take one or both.

If you have any questions about protein or diet in general please email

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