Friday, January 6, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Pre-workout Drinks on Me!

Getting up at 5AM for strength training sessions is exhausting - especially in the winter, when it's cold and dark. After I wake up & get dressed, I go downstairs & eat some whole wheat crackers and drink a few sips of coffee. I know this isn't that great, so I've been looking into fixing myself a sports drink before these AM training sessions.

After some research today, I know what I want in this drink: Whey & Soy Protein Powder. I just need to find an Organic Soy Powder. Yes, I have an organic soy fettish. It started when I realized that US companies can sell or put genetically modified ingredients in our food without labeling it. Since soy is one of the most genetically modified crops here in the USA, I avoid anything with soy, unless it's organic!

So, why whey & why soy?
Whey is an excellent source of branched chain amino acids, which are thought to stimulate protein synthesis, prevent muscle breakdown, and delay fatigue. 

Running is a very catabolic exercise, so building muscles through strength training and diet will help me avoid injury. Whey also contains small protein fragments (polypeptides), which will help increase blood flow to muscles. Another benefit of whey is that it is quickly digested so the amino acids will get into the bloodstream faster than other proteins sources. A good to know when you don't have much time to eat before a workout!

There are three great things about soy:
It contains the highest amount of arginine than any other protein,
It contains the phytonutrient genistein,
It increases growth hormone. 

The protein, arginine, and the phytoestrogen, genistein, are great nitric-oxide-boosting amino acids. Nitric oxide helps to increase blood flow to the muscles through vasodilation, allowing more blood to reach muscles. The phytonutrients in soy will also help to enhance muscle recovery following a workout. Like whey, soy is also easily digested.

According to my research, I should mix about 10-15grams of whey protein with 10-15grams of soy protein in water or juice. I should drink this up to 30minutes before my workouts, which is the exact amount of time it takes me to get to the gym!


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