Nutrition Tuesday: Protein Supplement Types

There are many different types of protein supplements available on the market today. Some are better than others, but all ultimately do the same thing. So what’s the difference between them all?


  • Whey protein – Whey protein is the component of milk that is separated out when making cheese and other dairy products. It is perhaps the most common form of supplement protein available in market today. It is considered a high quality protein because it contains all the essential amino acids that the body requires from diet and is a rich source of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are important in muscle building. Whey protein is soluble and easy to digest and is often referred to as a “fast” protein because it quickly gets to the muscles(1) whey protein can come in several different forms:
    • Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) – The amount of whey protein can vary between 25-89%. Most nutritional store products have about 80% of whey protein in the product along with lactose (4-8%), fat, minerals, and moisture (2).
    • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) – Is the purest form of whey protein available and contains between 90-95% protein. It contains no to very little lactose and is safe for most lactose intolerant people. WPIs are also very low in fat. The cost of WPI is slightly higher and thus products containing WPI might be priced higher than those with WPC (2).
    • Hydrolyzed Whey Protein – The long amino acid chains in the whey protein have been broken down into shorter peptide chains. This makes the protein more easily digested and absorbed by the body. Hydrolyzed whey is most commonly found in infant formulas and medical nutritional products (2).
  • Casein – Casein is another protein found in milk. It is considered to be a “slow” digesting protein because it helps prevent muscle breakdown. Often times recovery drinks or protein drinks will have both casein and whey ingredients because they work well together to prevent muscle breakdown and stimulate protein building, respectively(1).
  • Soy Protein – Soy is another popular choice of protein sources, especially for those who are severely lactose intolerant, vegetarian, or vegan. Like whey protein, it is considered to be a “fast” protein and can promote increases in lean body mass. Soy isolate contains about 90% protein, whereas a concentrate only contains about 70% protein. Studies have indicated that when soy protein has been compared to milk protein, milk protein leads to greater muscle mass gain. However, soy protein is still an effective option. Some people also worry about the nature of the soy in the product. The soy bean is one of the most genetically modified plants in the world. If you’re worried about the nature of the product then check for the organic seal of approval. Many products do use organic soy bean.
  • Albumen – Albumen is the high-quality protein found in eggs. It is easily digested and high in BCAAs. Egg protein is absorbed more slowly than whey, but faster than casein. It supports muscle building and contain be obtained through real food – eggs!
  • Hemp Protein – Hemp protein has recently come into the popular media due to vegan diets becoming more mainstream. Hemp protein contains all the essential amino acids . Hemp protein is comprised of two globular molecules, albumin and edestine. These proteins closely resemble several proteins naturally produces in the body and thus is easily digestible and absorbed by the body. Hemp protein is also a good source of iron and magnesium (3).

So what protein is right for you? It really depends on your goals, nutritional needs, and personal choices. There are many formulated protein mixes out there in the market to choose from too. Many of these are favored and contain other ingredients so read labels carefully. What works for your friend might not work for you. Consult with a medical or nutritional professional if you have questions or concerns.

1. Ryan M. Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed. Boulder, CO: Velo Press; 2012.
2.Whey Protein institute. Types of Whey Protein. Available at: Accessed on July 31, 2012.
3. Young D. Hemp Protein Nutritional Facts. Livestrong. Available at: Accessed on July 31, 2012.

    Nutrition Tuesday: What’s In Your Sports Drink? Part II

    With over 60% of the United States adult population being obese or overweight, sugar gets a bad rap. Yes, lots of processed foods with tablespoons (literally!) of sugar is bad for your weight and health. However, sugar is actually an endurance athlete’s best friend!

    When I say that sugar is an endurance athlete’s best friend, I’m not promoting going out and buying fistfuls of donuts, ice cream, and candy. I’m talking about simple sugars such as glucose and fructose. Back in May I wrote a post on carbohydrates: See HERE! Yesterday’s post discussed oxidation rates of CHO (aka sugar) of glucose and fructose and their affects on athletic performance.

    Most sports drinks are either made with one or more of the following sugars (1):

    • Sucrose – A disaccharide (two simple sugar molecules) that is commonly known as table sugar. It is made of one glucose and one fructose molecules.
    • Fructose – A simple sugar that is found in fruit and honey. It is digested more slowly because it must be converted into glucose first by the liver. 
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup – HFCS is made using chemical processes that first convert cornstarch to corn syrup and then convert 42-55% of the glucose in the corn syrup to fructose as a way to make it sweeter (2). HFCS has been under scrutiny as a possible culprit contributing to the obesity crisis.
    • Glucose – Is the main carbohydrate found in the blood and is used to make the glycogen stored in both the liver and muscle. Dextrose is another name for glucose.
    • Glucose polymers – Are long molecular chains of glucose. These molecules are not as sweet as other molecules such as sucrose or corn syrup.
    • Galactose – Is another simple sugar. It must be converted into glucose first by the liver before the body can use it for energy.
    • Maltodextrin – A glucose polymer that is manufactured by breaking long starch units into smaller ones. It is considered a complex carbohydrate and is most commonly found in sports drinks and other processed foods. 
    Some sports drinks also contain some protein. Insulin, a blood hormone, is responsible for transporting carbohydrates from the blood into muscle cells where it can be used for energy. Some preliminary research has shown that a small amount of protein added to Carbohydrates results in a stronger insulin response, which allows glucose to be delivered to muscles faster (1). This conserves stored muscle glycogen and may delay fatigue. In longer training sessions of at least 90 minutes or more, protein can be used as a source of energy if carbohydrates are not being replenished consistently (1). The protein that would be used for energy would come from muscle proteins. If protein (and carbs) aren’t being consumed, muscles would break down to provide the proteins for energy. However, one problem about carbohydrate/protein mixtures is that some people can’t stomach them. A carbohydrate/protein mixture drink is only suggested for long duration workouts over 2 hours.
    How to Choose the Right Sports Drink?
    Unfortunately, there is no scientific way to determine this. The best sports drink for you is the one you can tolerate at full concentration. If you dilute a sports drink so you can tolerate it, then you are most likely not getting enough carbohydrates and electrolytes, which is the purpose of consuming a sports drink versus water. Taste is important. Choose one you like and one that you will be motivated to drink throughout your workout! Another important factor to consider is the type of drink they will be serving on race day. For sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, it probably does not matter as much since the time on course is much shorter and you don’t need to carry 5000 bottles! However, in long course triathlons, especially Ironman, you will mostly like be utilizing the water stops. It’s best to try and train with what they serve on course so you can tolerate it on race day. If your a heavy sweater or if race conditions are hotter and more humid than normal, you might also need to consider the electrolyte content of the drink and/or consider taking an electrolyte pill. 

    Various Popular Sports Drinks

    Sports Drink
    per directions
    Carbohydrate (g)
    % CHO
    Sodium (mg)
    Potassium (mg)
    Carbohydrate Source
    Sucrose, fructose, maltodextrin, whey and soy isolates 
    Maltodextrin, fructose, dextrose
    EFS (2 scoops in 24 oz bottle)
    Complex carbs, sucrose, fructose
    Fluid Performance 
    Maltodextrin, fructose
    Ironman Perform
    Maltodextrin, fructose, dextrose
    GU Brew
    Maltodextrin, fructose
    Sucrose, glucose, fructose
    HEED (2 scoops in 24 oz bottle)
    Maltodextrin, xylitol, white stevia
    Maltodextrin, soy isolates
    Maltodextrin, HFSC
    (Information from various product labels)
    In Summary:

    • More is not better. The body can only absorb so much ingested CHO. Studies have indicated that a combined source of carbohydrates, such as glucose/glucose polymers and fructose, can have a higher oxidation rate of CHO and increase fluid delivery while decreasing gastrointestinal stress.
    • The ideal concentration of carbohydrates is between 6-8%. Gatorade has a concentration of about 6% and has the ability to empty from the stomach just as quickly has plain water. Anything above 8% will delay stomach emptying and can cause gastrointestinal distress.
    • A sodium level of about 110 mg per 8 ounces of liquid enhances taste, optimizes absorption, and maintains body fluids. Many sport nutritionists suggest a drink with at least 200 mg of sodium per 8 ounces to decrease the chances of developing hyponatremia (low blood sodium concentration) (1). 
    • It is important to choose a sports drink that you can tolerate at full concentration. Diluting the drink defeats the purpose of drinking a sports drink.
    • To calculate your sweat rate and possible hydration needs, review my post on HydrationSports nutritionists suggest consuming about 100-250 calories (25-60g) of carbohydrates per hour during workouts (2), which can come from a combination of sports drinks, gels, bars, etc.   
    ~ Happy Training!

    1. Seebohar B. (2004). Nutrition periodization for endurance athletes. Boulder, CO: Bull Publishing Co.
    2. Clark N. (2008) Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 4th Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 

    Nutrition Tuesday: Proteins!

    Protein. My favorite topic. You want to see me get my panties all in a bunch. Let’s talk about protein. If you went out right now and asked 10 people why you eat protein and what it does for your body, I bet all but perhaps a couple people will get the question wrong…. 
    Protein is one of the three macronutrients; however, protein is not a sufficient source of energy used by the human body. However, under certain circumstances, dietary protein and/or certain amino acids can have very important roles in muscle metabolism and exercise performance(1). Proteins are similar in molecular structure to fats and carbohydrates, expect for one defining characteristic – proteins contain nitrogen atoms. The word amino literally means “nitrogen containing(1).” Structurally, proteins consist of various lengths and combinations of amino acids that are linked together by peptide bonds. 
    Proteins have many functional roles in the human body: 
    Specific Role in Human Body
    After a protein is degraded (broken down), some amino acids can be changed structurally to form glucose
    Growth and maintenance
    Proteins are found in numerous body structures, including hair, skin, tendons, muscles, organs, etc.
    Some hormones are classified as proteins, such as insulin, glucagon, prolactin and growth hormones
    Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions
    Antibodies are proteins produced by specific immune cells to help fight infections
    Acid-base balance
    Hemoglobin (a protein) not only carries oxygen, but serves as a blood buffer to help regulate pH
    Fluid balance
    Albumin and globulin (blood proteins) help draw fluid into capillary beds 
    Some proteins carry specific substances (i.e. hemoglobin carries oxygen)
    The human body begins to digest protein in the stomach. The enzyme pepsin cleaves the peptide bonds that hold amino acids together creating smaller peptides (short chains of amino acids) and some free amino acids. Once the contents of your stomach reach your intestines, enzymes from the pancreas and intestines will finish cleaving the peptide chains to absorbable amino acids(1). Amino acids are then absorbed by the small intestine into the bloodstream. Studies have suggested that about 95% of ingested animal proteins and about 85% of ingested plant proteins are absorbed by the body from one meal, but no one is really certain for sure(1). Before amino acids can be used for energy by the body, it undergoes a reaction to remove its nitrogen-containing compounds. 
    There are 20 unique amino acids that make up various proteins. Nine are called essential amino acids, meaning that the human body does not produce these amino acids and we must obtain them through our diets. The remaining 11 are considered nonessential because the human body can synthesize them. 

    Much of the debate surrounding protein involves how much should you consume and what types. Traditionally, only animal proteins, such as milk, eggs, meat, and fish, have been considered “complete” protein sources (containing all the essential amino acids). Plants are considered “incomplete” because they lack specific essential amino acids. However, soy is considered a “complete” protein(1). Any vegetarian or vegan can obtain an adequate amount of protein (and all the essential amino acids) through their diet by consuming various food choices throughout the day. Interesting enough, greens have the highest percentage of amino acids per ounce of any food, but since they don’t weigh much, they need to be eaten in greater amounts(2). 
    The amount of daily protein intake is much debated. It really varies depending on your weight and what your daily activities are. Currently, the RDA for protein in healthy adults is 0.8 g/kg body weight per day(3). The International Society of Sport Nutrition suggests the exercising individuals ingest protein ranging fro 1.4 to 2.0 g/kg/day(3). They suggest that endurance athletes consume 1.0 to 1.6 g/kg/day depending on the intensity and duration of the endurance exercise. Recommendations for strength/power athletes typically range from 1.6 to 2.0 g/kg/day(3). 
    To figure out your protein requirements is quite easy. It’s just a simple math equation. I will use myself for an example. I currently weigh 125 pounds or roughly 57 kg (1 lb = 0.45 kg). I am an endurance athlete with a fairly intense and long training schedule, although it varies day to day. I am going to use 1.3 g/kg/day as my goal protein consumption.
    57 kg X 1.3 g/kg = 74 g of protein per day
    One relatively new development in sports nutrition is the knowledge that nutrient timing influences the physiological responses to exercise(1). Studies have shown that after exercise a 4:1 or 5:1 carb to protein ratio food or recovery drink is optimal for resynthesis of muscle protein and maintenance of other physiological structures that rely on amino acids, such as the nervous system(4). (This is a topic I plan on discussing in more detail in the future
    I’m not a huge fan of the Paleo Diet, but I did read The Paleo Diet for Athletes. One interesting section I found in the book was about why our ancestors chose to eat 6- to 8-ton elephants when they could have easily eaten prey like rabbits, partridges, and fish. Well, it’s because if you eat just protein and way too much of it, it can kill you. Laboratory studies have found that the maximum amount of protein humans can consume on a daily basis is about 40% of our daily calories(4). Anything above that, you become sick. Our earliest settlers learned that the hard way in what they referred to as “rabbit starvation.” Apparently, after eating enormous quantities of very lean meat, they would become nauseated and irritable, lose weight, develop diarrhea, and eventually die(4). What a way to go, huh? Have you ever wondered why you eat lobster with lots of melted butter? It’s because lobster is extremely lean (84% of its energy is protein) and could easily cause poisoning if that’s all you ate! So break out that tub of butter! 
    Don’t worry, I will be talking about protein and amino acids in much more detail in the future so stay tuned for some good posts coming up!
    1. Antonio J et al. Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press; 2008.
    2. Brazier B. Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press; 2007.
    3. Campbell B et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2007; 4:8.
    4. Cordain L, Friel J. The Paleo Diet for Athletes. Rodale; 2005. 
    (Disclaimer: Like always, this is for your information only. If you are concerned about your health and diet please seek out professional help from your medical provider and/or registered dietitian.)

      Nutrition Tuesday: Overview of Macronutrients and Micronutrients

      Last week we discussed the basics of metabolism. Now it’s important to discuss what nutrients fuel the body to not only get us through exercise, but our day-to-day activities for survival. Our bodies require two different types of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients. 
      Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which ultimately provide the energy necessary to maintain body functions at rest and during physical activities and maintain the body’s structural and functional integrity1
      Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. As their names imply, macronutrients comprise most of a person’s dietary intake, while micronutrients are essential in much lower quantities. With the deficiency of micronutrients, athletic performance in addition to normal physiologic function will suffer. However, with a well-balanced diet, a person should not have to worry about any imbalances. 
      Today’s post will give an overview of each type of nutrient required by the human body. The next few days this week I will post a more in-depth look at carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Next week I will discuss vitamins and minerals.
      The Macronutrients
      Carbohydrates often get a bad name, but without question, wholesome forms of carbohydrates are the best choices for fueling your muscles and promoting good health. Carbohydrates, as their name suggests, are carbon-, hydrogen-, and oxygen-based molecules that are abundant in most plant foods, especially fruits and grains1. Not all forms and sources of carbohydrates are alike. The carbohydrate family includes both simple and complex carbohydrates2. Simple carbohydrates are monosaccharides (structurally the simplest form of carbohydrates) and disaccharides (two monosaccharides). Glucose, fructose, and galactose are monosaccharides or sometimes referred as the simple sugars2. The three most common disaccharides are sucrose (table sugar), lactose (milk sugar), and maltose (malt sugar)2
      Complex carbohydrates are formed when sugars link together to form long complex chains, similar to a string of pearls. Plants store extra sugar in the form of starch, which is a complex carbohydrate. Humans store extra glucose mostly in the form of muscle glycogen and liver glycogen. This glycogen will become available for energy during exercise. 

      The main functions of carbohydrates are:
      • The primary function is to provide energy to the cells of the body, particularly the brain
      • Facilitate the body’s metabolism of fat
      • Spare muscle protein
      Lipid is the collective name given to a vast variety of water-insoluble chemicals, including fats and oils. Fat or lipids are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The ratio of oxygen to carbon and hydrogen is much lower in lipids than in carbohydrates, and thus lipids are a more concentrated source of energy1. There are three major types of fatty acids that can be distinguished by their molecular bonds and number of hydrogens. Fats can be saturated (the maximum number of hydrogens), monounsaturated (having one carbon-carbon double bond), or polyunsaturated (having two or more carbon-carbon double bonds)1

      The main functions of fats:
      • Fats provide many of the body’s tissues and organs (including the heart) with most of their energy. Fat is the ideal fuel because it contains almost twice the energy as glucose, weighs less, and is easily transported and stored1.
      • Essential for the transmission of nerve signals that generate muscle contraction.
      • Serve as a transporter for vitamins A, D, E, and K.
      • Provide cushioning for the prevention of vital organs and insulation from thermal stress of cold environments.
      Proteins are essential nutritionally because they are comprised of amino acids, which the body needs to synthesize its own proteins and nitrogen-containing molecules that make life possible1. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids. Of these 20 amino acids, 9 are considered to be essential because the human body cannot synthesize these amino acids. The remaining 11 amino acids are considered nonessential because the human body can synthesize them. 

      The main functions of proteins:
      • Produce antibodies for the immune system
      • Produce enzymes that are required for various chemical reactions in the body
      • Component of structural hormones:
        • Contractile proteins for muscle tissue (i.e. actin and myosin)
        • Fibrous proteins in connective tissues (i.e. collagen, elastin, and keratin)
      • Component of transport proteins (i.e. hemoglobin)
      • Component of peptide hormones (i.e. insulin, thyroid hormone, etc.)
      • Source of fuel when muscle glycogen levels are low due to prolonged intense exercise 
      The Micronutrients
      Vitamins are metabolic catalysts that regulate biochemical reactions within the body2. They are found in plants that we eat and are created by the plants themselves. Vitamins are categorized into either water-soluble or fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are found in the fluid portion of our bodies and do not accumulate to a large degree in the body1. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the lipid (fat) portion of our bodies and can accumulate in the cells1. Some vitamins include: Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A.
      Minerals are natural substances that plants must absorb from the soil2. The human body uses minerals for many different jobs, including building bones, making hormones, and regulating the heartbeat. There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals3. Macrominerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur3. Trace minerals include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium3

      1. Antonio J et al. Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements. Totowa NJ: Human Press, 2008.
      2. Clark N. Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 4th Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2008.
      3. MedlinePlus. Minerals. Available at: Accessed May 28, 2012. 
      (Disclaimer: This is for your information. If you need help with your diet and developing healthy lifestyle choices then I suggest seeking out professional help from your medical professional or registered dietitian. If you see any errors, please let me know!)

        Proteins: Are you Consuming Too Much?

        Protein is a term thrown around pretty freely these days in the gym, out on a long run with your training partner, in fitness magazines, and on the internet. But, do most people even know what constituents a protein and what and how the body used protein?

        Proteins are considered to be the most versatile macromolecules in living systems and proteins serve crucial functions in essentially all biological processes. Proteins function as catalysts, transport and store other molecules such as oxygen, provide mechanical support and immune protection, generate movement, transmit nerve impulses, and control growth and differentiation1. In other words, proteins have a lot of “jobs” within the human body.

        Proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids. The chains of amino acids then spontaneously fold up into 3-D structures that are predetermined by the sequence of amino acids in the protein chain. It’s function is directly dependent on this unique 3-D structure. There are 20 different amino acids that vary in size, shape, and other chemical characteristics. Human can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids and the remaining 10 must be obtained through diet. These 10 amino acids that are supplied via food are called essential amino acids2. Failure to obtain enough of even one of the 10 essential amino acids results in degradation of the body’s proteins, muscles and so forth, to obtain the one amino acid that is needed2. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use.

        Why is protein important to the athlete? Traditionally, athletes seem to fall into two categories: those who eat too much (i.e. bodybuilders, weightlifters, and football players) and those who eat too little (i.e. runners, dancers, and triathletes)3. The current RDI for protein consumption is 0.8 kg/day (0.4 g/day) per pound of body weight. Nancy Clark, MS, RD, gives this examples in her book: a 150 lb recreational athlete who burns about 3,000 calories a day can easily consume 300-450 protein calories (75-112 g). This equates to about 1-1.5 kg of protein, which is more than the RDI of 0.8 kg. Joe Friel, MS, suggests the following protein intake4:

        Training Volume (Hours/Week)

        Protein (g)/day











        To calculate your individual protein need, take the protein g/day number from above and multiple it by your weight in pounds. For example,

        140 lbs X 0.9 g/lb = 126 g protein per day

        Now there seems to be a “fad” going around the fitness world telling you your not consuming enough protein. Personally, I believe it’s in part due to the “feud” between the crossfit vs. endurance sport world and the emergence of the Paleo Diet. So, if people were not getting enough protein than you would think that a protein deficiency is a common problem. True protein deficiency, if you eat at least a somewhat healthy diet, is virtually non-existent, even in highly active athletes.

        Many people have the perception that more protein is better. If I eat this slab of steak 3x a day then I will look like this guy!

        Protein is important for cellular function and muscle repair. However, too much protein can make you sick. When too much protein is consumed, it must be broken down, primarily by the liver, by partly by the kidneys and muscles. Excess consumption overworks the liver and kidneys and can cause accumulation of toxic protein byproducts5. Amino acids, due to their chemical structure, are acidic by nature. Animal proteins are rich in sulfur-containing amino acids and when broken down release sulfuric acid5. In order for the body to buffer these harsh chemicals, bones dissolve to release buffering reagents and can lead to osteoporosis. Animal protein is also linked to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

        Another myth about protein is that you must eat meat and dairy to obtain enough protein in your diet. That is completely untrue. Animals, including humans, can only produce half of the amino acids that compose proteins. The other half must be obtained through diet. Plants can make all 20 amino acids. Sure, not all plants have each of the amino acids, but that is why you should eat a balanced diet of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Plants are rich in proteins. Plants are so rich in protein that they meet the protein and nutritious needs of the world’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows. Humans are a faction of the size of these animals and we can deduce that plants will also easily meet our protein needs!

        Eating a well balanced plant-based diet will not only meet your protein needs, but will also meet your daily fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidant, and phytochemical needs. See the chart here of protein contents of some common vegetables, grains, and animal products. Per percent of calories of protein, spinach has more protein than chicken, pork, salmon, and milk!

        Another common misconception is the need for protein powders, shakes, and bars. I’m guilty of this. I use a protein powder in my recovery shakes after a hard workout. I use either soy or hemp protein vs. an animal based product. It is best to eat whole foods rich in protein vs. isolated protein products. Isolated products, such as protein powders, are generally highly processed by a laboratory. Be aware of what you buy and if you really need that extra protein. Can you read all the ingredients on the wrapper? Look at your protein bars, I bet you can’t read half the crap they jam pack into those “healthy” bars. I have eliminated bars from my diet because of that factor. You can easily make your own bars that meet all your nutrient needs at home in your kitchen using whole foods.

        Proteins are an important aspect of your diet, but be careful that your not over-consuming protein. Protein is needed in aiding muscle recovery, but too much of it can be toxic to your body because your body cannot store it like fat and carbs. So next time you reach for you protein bar and shake after a heavy workout, make sure you ask yourself if you really need that extra protein in your diet. Chances are, if your eating a well-balanced diet then your body is already getting enough protein.


        1. Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L. Biochemistry, 6th Ed. New York: WH Freeman and Co; 2007.
        2. University of Arizona. The Chemistry of Amino Acids. Available at: Accessed February 12, 2012.
        3. Clark N. Sport’s Nutrition Guidebook, 4th Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2008.
        4. Cordain L, Friel J. The Paleo Diet For Athletes. USA: Rodale; 2005.
        5. McDougall J. Where Do You Get Your Protein? Available at: Accessed February 12, 2012.
        Note: I am not a nutrient expert (although that is my goal in the future). I have a degree in Biochemistry and working on my Masters in Public Health. I am able to read and translate complex scientific concepts to a more reader friendly language. I researched this topic and have included a few of my own opinions. I encourage you all to do your own research and consult nutrition experts if you have any questions regarding protein and your diet. With that said, I can address any questions that you may have, but I am not an expert.