A new study has determined that protein intake from solid foods has a significant impact on infant growth during the first year of life. The study tested whether dairy-based or meat-based protein in an infant’s diet contributed to growth and weight gain.
It’s known that men benefit from whey protein supplements and exercise, and for what is believed to be the first time, the same can be said for women, according to a large study.
A new expert consensus has reviewed the benefits and safety of dietary protein for bone health, based on analyses of major research studies.
Source: Expert consensus finds that higher protein intake benefits adult bone health: In seniors with osteoporosis, dietary protein intake above currently recommended levels may help to reduce bone loss and fracture risk, especially at the hip, provided calcium intakes are adequate — ScienceDaily
I’ve mentioned the Slow-Carb diet (SCD) before. It’s a great way to lose fat, feel and look better, and it’s pretty simple. One of the key components of the SCD is 30 in 30. The goal is to ingest 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up.
30 in 30
Aiming for 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up is not an arbitrary thing. Achieving this, or as close as possible, will promote fat loss, boost energy and metabolism, increase satiation, suppress appetite, improve BMI longterm, and help to reduce craving for carbs (junk food).
When it comes to actually ingesting the 30 grams, there are plenty of ways to do it. Seeing the number “30” might seem like a lot of protein, but it’s really not. With real, whole foods you can eat:
- 5 eggs
- 150 grams of sausage
- ¾ C of beans/lentils
- 1 C cottage cheese
- 3-4 oz. of tuna
You can also mix and match some of these. The goal is to get the 30 grams of protein, so whatever method is easiest for you and allows for success is the way to go. For example, instead of eating 5 eggs, you could have 3 eggs, 50 grams of sausage, and a fibrous veggie (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower).
Another method is to use drinks/shakes to get your 30 grams. While not the best way, as drinking calories is not as effective or satiating; if it’s the only way, it’s better than nothing. Some drinks that will get you to or near the 30 grams of protein are:
- Protein shake- High quality shake will be between 15 to 30 grams. Make sure it doesn’t contain any sugar or soy, and as few carbs as possible
- Protein bar- Same as above, high quality. Avoid, sugar and carbs
- Protein coffee- Make your own or buy some
- Smoothie with added protein or collagen powder
The SCD and the 30 in 30 protocol is not best for everyone. It is an optimal way of eating for those who:
- Are not regularly eating well
- Have a slower metabolism
- Frequently crave carbs/sweets
- Have low energy
- Do not eat enough protein
While not exactly a new thing, using the sauna has been shown somewhat recently to have tremendous health benefits. More and more quality research is coming out demonstrating that regular sauna use is so beneficial for people in so many ways.
Then and Now
Sauna is a Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath and/or bathhouse itself. A sauna as thought of today, is originated in Finland. A modern sauna is usually a simple, wooden room, with varying heat sources in the center. The most common heat source is an electric heater, filled with rocks. The way a sauna achieves such high temperatures without harming people is by controlling the humidity and air flow.The lower humidity in saunas compared to steam rooms is what allows for higher temperatures.
There are many benefits of regular sauna use. Let’s dive right in.
- Heat causes increased blood flow
- Oxygenation of cells, organs, and tissue
- Mitochondrial boost
- Metabolic waste flushing
- Improved blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated heart rate: As mentioned above a sauna session will elevate heart rate to a level similar to medium intensity exercise
- Increased levels of IGF-1: Some studies have shown increases by as much as 200%-330%! IGF-1 is a hormone that causes anabolism (muscle growth), and recovery from exercise. Both leading to increased muscle growth
- Increased insulin sensitivity: Great for overall health and muscle growth
- Increase in heat shock proteins(HSP): Also aids in muscle growth by preventing catabolism (muscle breakdown) and increasing MPS (muscle protein synthesis)
- Reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- 48% lower risk of heart disease
- Increased insulin sensitivity: Insulin resistance/poor insulin sensitivity is a common factor in many metabolic disorders
- Increase in FOXO3: Gene associated with longevity and protects against DNA damage
- Heart rate increase: Regular elevation of heart rate increases heart health
- Heat Shock Proteins: HSP activate FOXO3 which help to prevent heart, brain, and metabolic disorders. HSP also increase lifespan and are associated with centenarians
- Lower levels of stress
- Increases in attention and memory
- Myelin growth: Myelin is the sheath around nerve cells facilitating signal transmission
- Neurogenesis: Growth of new brain cells
- 24% or 40% (depending on frequency) reduction in all cause mortality
- 27% or 50% (depending on frequency) reduction in cardiovascular death
- Up to 65% reduction in Alzheimer’s and/or dementia (depending on frequency)
As this technology is somewhat new, less data is available. What has been observed thus far is that full spectrum ( as opposed to only mid or near spectrum) offers the most benefits. Infrared saunas are preferred more and more as there is less heat, so they are more bearable to some. Similar to more traditional saunas, infrared saunas can provide the following benefits:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Mood enhancement
- Similar circulation benefits
- Cell health
- Wound healing
How Much and How Often
Is probably what you want to know now. Most of the data shows that benefits start at a frequency of 2-3 sessions a week, but more robust benefits are observed at a frequency of 4-7 sessions per week. As far as duration and temperature, that hasn’t been determined exactly, but a sweet spot seems to be about 174 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.
The transformation of barley grains into beer is an old story, typically starring water, yeast and hops. Now, in a report in the Journal of Proteome Research, scientists are highlighting another character in this tale: proteins. The results could someday lead to a better, tastier brew.
As far as supplemented protein goes, there are lots of different kinds. The most common are whey, casein, and vegetable-based. Whey and casein are both animal-based, made from milk. Milk protein is made of about 80% casein and 20% whey. Whey and casein differ in their effects as well, more on that later. As far as vegetable-based protein there are several options, they key is to utilize complete proteins. A complete protein contains all of the essential amino acids (EAA).
Types of Protein
Whey Protein: The most used and easy to find protein supplement. Whey is found in two forms, isolate and concentrate.
- Whey protein isolates (WPI) are the purest form of protein, with up to 90% concentration of protein. The process of making WPI removes almost all fat and lactose making it more or less ok for lactose intolerant people to consume. WPI are considered the best protein supplement because of the purity, the lack of fat and lactose, and the amino acid profile it provides.
- Whey protein concentrates, while not as pure as WPI still provide amino acids and can enhance performance and recovery. The process of making whey concentrates is not as refined as with WPI, but water, lactose, ash, and some minerals are all removed.
Casein Protein: The major component of bovine (cow) milk. Casein protein exists in micelle form, which is a large colloidal particle. Casein differs from whey in that the micelle particle, when digested, expands to form a gel or “clot” in the stomach. This can be beneficial for slower, sustained protein/nutrient release opposed to the fast acting effects of whey.
Vegetable Protein: Vegetable proteins are a viable option for supplementing protein. As mentioned above, the key is to use a complete protein, which will have all of the EAA. Vegetable-based proteins will usually have lower amounts of EAA, though still beneficial for performance and general health. Soy-based protein is the most common vegetable protein, which is unfortunate because soy, it turns out, is not very good for muscle growth, hormone regulation, or stress.
Efficacy of Protein
- Whey protein, both concentrates and WPI are best pre or post workout, as they are quick digesting. It would seem there are more benefits as far as muscle growth and recovery from training with post-workout protein supplementation. WPI and concentrates will enhance muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and increase insulin. This insulin increase will push glucose and amino acids into your (muscle) cells, and insulin also inhibits cortisol, the stress hormone, which if your worked out right, will be elevated.
- Casein Protein is used in a different way than whey. Most commonly, casein is taken at night, around bed time or as a meal supplement during the day. Because of it’s slow digesting micelles, casein protein can be very filling and will provide a slow release of protein and EAA for up to 8 hours.
The amount you should be taking depends on you and your goals. The more lean mass you have the more protein is recommended. Also if your goal is to gain mass you will usually need to supplement more than someone whose goal is to reduce body fat or maintain weight.