Thus the results from the blood sweat & tears you expended in the gym SOLELY depend on Optimal Nutrition.
When it comes to Macro Nutrient intake, OPTIMAL would mean that every meal be a combination of:
A modicum of Carbohydrates coming solely from Fiber rich green leafy vegetables
Protein to the tune of 1.5 to 2 grams per Kg bodyweight minimum, all coming from First Class Animal Protein sources such as Eggs, Milk Products (Paneer/Cottage Cheese), Chicken, Fish, Mutton & Beef as only these have the ideal Essential Amino Acid Profile to cause immediate protein synthesis in the body
Fats from Mono-Unsaturated cooking mediums such as Olive Oil, Omega 3 Fatty Acids from Fish Oils, Egg Yolks & generous amount of saturated fat coming from Animal meats, Milk to create a healthy balance between the abundant omega-6 & the relatively sparse Omega-3.
Now to do this in every meal, every day is a tall order even for the most driven & focused. More often than not what does happen is that the intensities in the gym keep rising and reasons for not being able to comply with the above dietary requirements increase day by day.
THIS, MORE THAN ANYTHING CAUSES YOUR WORKOUTS TO NOT YEILD RESULTS OR WORSE YET LEAD TO A DECLINE IN PERFORMANCE DUE TO INCREASE IN DEFICIENCIES & THIS LATER ON LEADS TO DECREASED IMMUNITY & ILL HEALTH.
Out of the above 3 macro-nutrients –
Carbohydrates are always in abundance & more often than not in excess, plus everyone has access to fibrous vegetables.…
Once you get rid of the stupid dietary fat phobia, Fat intake is also as easy & practical as choosing the right cooking medium and not going for the lean cuts or the fat free dairy, but instead choosing fatty meats, full fat dairy & cooking in Ghee & MUFA’s such as Olive Oil and simply supplementing with Omega-3 Fatty Acids from good Fish Oil Supplements.
But getting the optimal quantum of First Class Proteins in every meal, every day is extremely tough.
Thus almost 90% of the supplement industry focuses on making convenient, high biological value Protein powder Supplements as that is the missing link in diets of almost all individuals that compete in Power sports & Ultra Endurance Sports or non-competitive individuals who engage in intense workouts to gain muscle & lose fat to get stronger & more athletic.
The Supplement Industry derives & extracts this high protein concentrates & Isolates mainly from Milk & Eggs. (Casein, Whey & Albumin).
There are powdered extracts of Soy protein as well but Soy by itself is a Second Class vegetarian source lacking the Essential Amino Acid, Methionine and thus does not deserve consideration in this list.
Egg was always the God Standard when it came to Bio-Availability before Whey was discovered & thus enjoyed the BV score of 100. It is a relatively fast absorbed protein, being slightly slow than Whey, which is the fastest metabolised protein source known to man with a BV score of 104.
Casein on the other hand is also quite high when it comes to BV at 88 & its special place in Sports nutrition as an Anti-Catabolic Protein is due to the fact that it curdles in the stomach & releases Amino Acids into the blood stream at a slow trickle, thus keeping the body in a positive nitrogen balance for a longer time.
One more reason that I would say, “Optimal Sports nutrition is NOT possible without supplements, is the extremely important “Pre & Post Workout Meals”.
In the immediate Pre-workout, the body requires a good protein to load the body with Aminos, but if given whole food sources such as meats, Cottage Cheese (Paneer) or even the relatively fast absorbed Eggs, the bodies Digestive system would draw blood to itself thus leaving the Musculoskeletal system with a less than optimal supply of blood thus causing workout performance to suffer.
In the immediate Post-Workout period the depleted body needs glycogen replenishment to halt the body from wasting muscle protein for energy & also needs an immediate supply of Essential Aminos from First class protein sources. Now again if given whole food at this time would not be such a good idea as the blood supply has mostly been shunted to the Musculoskeletal system thus short changing the Digestive system & rendering it inefficient at digesting & metabolising whole food.
THIS IS WHERE PROTEIN POWDERS WILL ACTUALLY SCORE OVER WHOLE FOOD.
Now before I go any further, crucial questions which really need to be answered with the complete clarity & unambiguity of a YES OR a NO are –
Are we doing ourselves any kind of harm in any way in exchange for the convenience & efficacy of a Protein Supplement???
Is there a trade-off between getting the right nutrients at the right time in the right quantities in the most convenient manner & side effects???
Are we compromising health in the long run just to get better performance in the short term???
The answer to all of the above questions is a resounding, loud & clear NO
Macro-Nutrient food supplements such as Protein powders derived from Milk & Egg HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SIDE-EFFECTS (Unless of course you consider boosting anabolism & boosting immunity to be Side-effects)
It is downright HEALTHY to take Whey Protein Supplements…
Whey Protein Supplements (Not an Apple) can keep the Doctor away…
It is Downright Unhealthy to workout intensely & NOT consume the right quantum & quality of Protein.
Almost everyone who plays a competitive sport requiring power & strength or engaging in highly catabolic Ultra endurance sports or workout enthusiasts engaging in 3-6 workouts per week & does not supplement his or her diet with Protein powders IS DEFICIENT IN PROTEIN… I will justify this claim of mine in the next paragraph with some average examples. Let’s take an average 70kg male, with a body fat percentage of 20%. He is training at an intermediate level of intensity in a bid to improve his body composition by building some decent muscle. His recommended minimum per day intake of protein would be about 2 grams per Kg of body weight 70 X 2 = 140 grams of protein. To make my point I will bring his daily protein requirement to 100 grams of Protein per day.
Now another issue with protein is that unlike Carbs & fats, it cannot be stored & hence must be equally distributed all through the day. So even if we take a basic sports nutrition protocol of 5 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Pre & Post Workout meals), he will need at least 20 grams of first class protein in each of his 5 meals….
This means that his breakfast will need to have 3 whole eggs, Lunch & Dinner will need to have at least 100 grams of either Chicken or Fish or Beef or Paneer EVERY SINGLE DAY & his pre-workout meal would have to be 3 Eggs about 2 hours prior to the workout & his post workout would require about 6 Egg Whites. Now I am sure many of you have already decided in your head that this is not possible every single day & yet this is what is required for this average 70kg male to get some results from his efforts in the gym… The truth is most individuals requiring almost twice as much protein are not even having half of the above mentioned intake…
Especially in India, exercising vegetarians are not even getting half of the protein they should be getting at a sedentary level of activity… The Non-Vegetarians in India are also primarily vegetarian most of the time & may have Non-Vegetarian food in one or two meals two to three times a week… In such a scenario, every workout will simply contribute to losses of metabolically active lean tissue & actually accelerate the aging process by speeding up age related degeneration… This scenario is even worse for Competitive Athletes… for them the above simply results in an extremely short career span…
This may sound like BLASPHEMY… but it is a fact
NOT WORKING OUT is healthier than WORKING OUT in a Protein Deficient state.