Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jose Antonio: Educator of the Year

At this year's 32nd annual NSCA conference, ISSN's CEO, Jose Antonio, PhD, CSCS, FNSCA was named Educator of the Year.

Dr. Antonio (on the left in this photo with Dr. Lee Brown) earned this honor for his contributions to teaching and the clinical application in the field of strength training and conditioning. In the words of Robert Jursnick, NSCA's Executive Director, "Jose's well-earned award and his contributions shape NSCA into what it is today."

If you missed this year's NSCA meeting, count on attending next year. I know podcasts, webinars and the like are the current trend for obtaining CEUs but, foregoing conferences means you miss out on networking and you miss out on meeting many people who are truly inspirations to this field.

The NSCA conference gives you access to the people who shape the field of strength and conditioning, those who conduct the research studies we base our programs on and the top trainers and strength coaches worldwide. It's truly an honor and a privilege to know both Jose and Lee Brown, learn from their experiences and listen to their ideas for the future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whey still best

This study was designed to compare the acute response of mixed muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to rapidly (i.e., whey hydrolysate and soy) and slowly (i.e., micellar casein) digested proteins both at rest and after resistance exercise. Three groups of healthy young men (n=6 per group) performed a bout of unilateral leg resistance exercise followed by the consumption of a drink containing an equivalent content of essential amino acids (10g) as either whey hydrolysate, micellar casein, or soy protein isolate. Mixed muscle protein synthesis (MPS) was determined by a primed constant infusion of L-[ring-(13)C6]phenylalanine. Ingestion of whey protein resulted in a larger increase in blood essential amino acid, branched-chain amino acid, and leucine concentrations than either casein or soy (P<0.05). Mixed MPS at rest (determined in the non-exercised leg) was higher with ingestion of faster proteins (whey=0.091+/-0.015, soy=0.078+/-0.014, casein=0.047+/-0.008 %(.)h(-1);); MPS after consumption of whey was ~93% greater than casein (P<0.01) and ~18% greater than soy (P=0.067). A similar result was observed after exercise (whey>soy>casein); MPS following whey consumption was ~122% greater than casein (P<0.01) and 31% greater than soy (P<0.05). MPS was also greater with soy consumption at rest (64%) and following resistance exercise (69%) compared to casein (both p<0.01). We conclude that the feeding-induced simulation of MPS in young men is greater after whey hydrolysate or soy protein consumption than casein both at rest and after resistance exercise; moreover, despite both being fast proteins whey hydrolysate stimulated MPS to a greater degree than soy after resistance exercise. These differences may be related to how quickly the proteins are digested (i.e., fast vs. slow) or possibly to small differences in leucine content of each protein. Key words: hypertrophy, muscle mass, weightlifting.

J Appl Physiol. 2009 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men.
Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM.
McMaster University.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Higher Protein Diet for Athletes

The protein needs of athletes is a common point of disagreement among nutrition professionals. In response, many established researchers have investigated this question in controlled clinical trials. A summary of the evidence presented by the the National Diary Council (NDC) in a whey protein booklet highlights the importance of high-quality protein for exercisers, older people and individuals on a reduced-energy diet. The article references a recent position of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the Dietitians of Canada (DC) where exercise nutrition authorities agree that regular exercisers may benefit a protein intake that is up to two times greater than the American RDA (0.8g/kg or 0.36g/lb).

Skeletal muscle is degraded by both endurance and strength exercises. Intuitively, it seems that athletes of both kinds, for example runners and powerlifters, may need extra protein to compensate for the demands of exercise-- a lot of research supports this notion. After endurance or resistance training, the exerciser may require a protein intake that is up to two times the RDA value to maximize skeletal muscle mass and achieve peak performance. The following are the protein recommendations (in grams of protein per each lb or kg of body weight) that may be appropriate for different types of exercisers:

A recreational exerciser: 0.5-0.7 g/lb (1.1-1.54g/kg)

An endurance athlete: 0.5-0.8 g/lb (1.1-1.76g/kg)

A strength training athlete: 0.5-0.8 g/lb (1.1-1.76g/kg)

An athlete restricting calories: 0.8-0.9 g/lb (1.76g/kg-1.98g/kg)

For example, the RDA for a 180 pound strength-trained athletes is about 65g/day. A dietary protein intake of 65g/day may be acheived by eating about 8 oz of boneless/skinless chicken breast, for example. On the other hand, both endurance and strength athletes weighting about 180 lb (~82 kg) may require between 90g/day and 144g/day of daily protein. The 90g/day to 144g/day protein recommendation may be met by eating between 11 oz and 18 oz of chicken breast or about four to seven 1-oz scoops of whey protein. In order to maintain skeletal muscle, up to 0.9g of protein per pound of body weight may be beneficial for an athletic individual consuming a reduced-calorie diet. Given that gymnasts, rowers, wrestlers, bodybuilders, powerlifters often utilize lower-calorie meal plans, a higher protein diet may be valuable for these indivuals.

Though protein is recognized for its role in maintaining and repairing skeletal muscle tissue,some amino acids may also influence metabolic processes. For example, research performed by DK Layman and his colleagues demonstrates that the essential branched chain amino acid leucine, plentiful in whey protein, signals structural protein synthesis. Leucine appears to “turn on” the muscle-building machinery in the body, in addition fueling muscle during exercise and serving as a structural component of muscle.

The overall amount of protein is important, but the quality of dietary protein is also of consequence. High-quality or “complete” dietarty proteins are usually extracted from animal sources. Most vegetable proteins, like those coming from beans, grains and nuts, do not contain all of the needed parts and must be carefully “complemented” to be complete. Furthermore, plant proteins are generally low in signaling proteins, like leucine. If you are a vegetarian, soy is a good source of plant-based protein. Also, this chart is a helpful guide for meal-planning with the use of complementary proteins.

In conclusion, both competitive and recreational exercisers may benefit from dietary protein intake that is up to two times greater than the RDA. High quality dietary proteins include lean meat, low-fat dairy, polutry, eggs and whey powder.