What is the best possible protein supplement, who needs to take it, and when?

Any athlete, or those training like one, aught to ingest extra protein about 30 minutes after training, and it should come from whole foods, in a low fat, ratio of 4/1 carbohydrate/protein. The perfect post exercise recovery drink as it turns out is most likely low fat chocolate milk!

Cows milk contains 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar (in the form of lactose), And 8 grams of fat, per serving (1 cup). The protein is a mix of two main types: whey protein (20%) and casein protein (80%). The chocolate syrup provides another 15-20 grams of sugar. I’m going to discuss the difference in those proteins, then get into carbohydrates, and nutrition in general.

As the article states, whey is a “fast acting” protein that is quickly absorbed into the blood stream for use by the body, while casein takes a little longer to be digested and used. Post exercise, this naturally occurring combo in milk provides the best option for immediate and overnight recovery.

But how much? All protein, when separated from its original source regardless of its chemical composition, works out to 4 calories per gram. Fish protein=4 calories. Steak protein=4 calories. Milk protein and peanut butter protein and soy protein; all 4 calories/gram. Depending on what you do in terms of exercise, an adult diet should consist of 20-30% protein.
An adult sedentary male should eat around 2000 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. 20% protein would = 400 calories of protein; or 100 grams of protein per day. That 400 calories leaves this imaginary person with 1600 calories left to eat. 1600 calories that must come from carbohydrates and fat, the only other sources of calories a person can eat.

A carbohydrate is anything that can be turned into glucose easily during digestion. This includes sugar (in all its forms from refined table sugar to honey, agave, molasses, maple syrup, etc) to grains, fruits, and vegetables. Now, like protein, some sugars are fast acting (digest rapidly) and others less fast acting (digest relatively slower). This is not a value judgement on good and bad anymore than it was with the proteins. It’s a question of proper timing on your part. Fast digesting sugars help energize the body in the moment, and can aid in recovery immediately after exercise, while slower digesting carbs can help the body recover quickly, stay active over the long day, and continue to recover during sleep. That’s why chocolate milk is such a good post exercise recovery drink. The sugars and whey help with immediate recovery while the casein and the (low) fat content help with the longer term recovery.

All carbs are 4 calories/gram when separated from their parent source. Carbs from sugar, carbs from lettuce. Carbs from yellow peppers, potatoes, or rice, are all 4 calories. And 40-60% of imaginary mans 2000 calories per day should come from carbohydrates. Because our mystery man wants to eat as low fat a diet as possible like most health conscious people (though not me), lets say 60% carbs out of
the remaining 1600 calories for the day. thats 960 calories or 240grams of carbs.
That means our sedentary male has consumed 1360 calories from protein and carbs. 640 calories to go! But where can we get them?

Fat. Fat is a dense energy source containing 9 calories/gram. A calorie is simply a measure of energy, so 1 gram of fat has a drop more than twice the calorie (energy) of either protein or carbohydrate. All fats are comparatively slow to digest, and can aid in long term recovery (overnight) if properly timed during a day with exercise. You realize that there are “good” fats like fish and olive oil (unsaturated) and “bad” fats like those found in red meat (saturated). But regardless of whether a fat is “good” or “bad” (a different argument and blog post on that controversy) they are all 9 calories/gram. That means the remainder of this persons calories must come from fat; 71 grams of fat for the day to be precise; to get to a healthy calorie total. This person might tweak the carbs and protein up a bit to cut down the fat content, but either way, it’s a 2 for 1 exchange. He must add two grams of either protein or carbs for every 1 of fat he cuts. And there are definite downsides to that, as well.

There are nutritional exceptions: water and alcoholic drinks. Water has 0 calories, while alcoholic drinks are like super carbs, and possess 7 calories per gram (a chemical change that takes place during fermentation). So every serving of beer, wine, brandy, or scotch requires a reduction of calories. Two servings of carbs or proteins for every 1 serving of alcohol, or about an even exchange of fat for alcohol. The problem with alcohol is the more you drink, the less you’ll pay attention to making smart eating decisions!

The link below talks about protein supplements for athletic recovery, but lacks the context for the layman that I’ve sought to provide above.


“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer


9NEWS.COM: Studies more firmly tie sugary drinks to obesity

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New research powerfully strengthens the case against soda and other sugary drinks as culprits in the obesity epidemic.

A huge, decades-long study involving more than 33,000 Americans has yielded the first clear proof that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight, amplifying a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone.

This means that such drinks are especially harmful to people with genes that predispose them to weight gain. And most of us have at least some of these genes.

In addition, two other major experiments have found that giving children and teens calorie-free alternatives to the sugary drinks they usually consume leads to less weight gain.

Collectively, the results strongly suggest that sugary drinks cause people to pack on the pounds, independent of other unhealthy behavior such as overeating and getting too little exercise, scientists say.

That adds weight to the push for taxes, portion limits like the one just adopted in New York City, and other policies to curb consumption of soda, juice drinks and sports beverages sweetened with sugar.

Soda lovers do get some good news: Sugar-free drinks did not raise the risk of obesity in these studies.

“You may be able to fool the taste” and satisfy a sweet tooth without paying a price in weight, said an obesity researcher with no role in the studies, Rudy Leibel of Columbia University.

The studies were being presented Friday at an obesity conference in San Antonio and were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The gene research in particular fills a major gap in what we know about obesity. It was a huge undertaking, involving three long-running studies that separately and collectively reached the same conclusions. It shows how behavior combines with heredity to affect how fat we become.

Having many of these genes does not guarantee people will become obese, but if they drink a lot of sugary beverages, “they fulfill that fate,” said an expert with no role in the research, Jules Hirsch of Rockefeller University in New York. “The sweet drinking and the fatness are going together, and it’s more evident in the genetic predisposition people.”…

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“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

High-Intensity Regimens and Older Exercisers – NYTimes.com

Thanks to reader Thane, again, for bringing a great piece to my attention (and yours, by extension).

Kudos to the NYT. As seems to be their pattern, they publish an outstanding piece following an embarrassingly bad one.

Below is a really GOOD article published in the NYT about the benefits of high intensity training (with some caveats) for older adults; 60+ years old up to 75! The same advice could be given to just about anyone, at any age. Intensity is king when it comes to physical training. And high intensity is relative to the current condition, and age, of the trainor. In other words, stop futzing around. Click the link below


“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Testosterone marketing frenzy draws skepticism – Yahoo! News

This has been going on for almost 15 years now under the guise of “Life Extension Therapy”, but is now entering the mainstream of medical science.  I’m not judging, myself.  These kinds of treatments are inevitable, much as drugs in sports is.  This is the future we are heading towards, whether we like it or not.  Future generations, I imagine, will wonder what we were fussing over.

Testosterone marketing frenzy draws skepticism – Yahoo! News.

Why I eat Organic

Sometimes, I truly hate the New York Times. Their tag line runs the heading: “All the news that’s fit to print”. I wonder how many people today know the source of that tag line. I sometimes wonder if the editors remember the source of it. Let me tell you, in case you don’t know. Back in the 1890’s competing newspapers were more concerned with sensational headlines to move sales, and they weren’t above making stories up, or blowing small stories up into national epics by exaggerating it out of all proportion (think about news organizations that continue to publish stories about “birthers”).

The Times would stand above all that and it’s reputation for integrity has allowed it to become the 3rd most widely read newspaper in the nation, and the only local newspaper with a national following (USA Today and the Wall Street Journal are 1 & 2, respectively) and garner 108 Pulitzer prizes in its history; more than any other news organization in the world; an award created by a rival newspaperman, but judged by a panel of national writers.

Unfortunately, this “newspaper of record” has experienced steadily declining readership (as have all print newspapers), and feels the need to print things, I’m guessing, that create a bit of sexy controversy.

The NYT recently published the results of a Stanford university study that cast doubt on the value of organic fruits and vegetables compared to non organic. They compared three vitamins; A, C, and E, and concluded their was no statistical difference in the content. The Times offered the conclusions of this one study; with out of context quotes by the lead researcher; and no other analysis. There was no discussion of method, other studies, why only those three micronutrients were compared, or any of the other reasons someone might choose to eat organic, that have nothing to do with nutrition yet still profoundly affect health.

To be fair, the NY Times did follow up on their “Well” blog and did a much better job of going into the details and nitty-gritty (click this sentence).

How many of you actually knew that? My point is, if the story didn’t merit a full examination in the print edition, it was not worth publishing at all. It merely confuses and muddies the thoughts of a public already too overwhelmed with information overload to follow-up with further investigation on their own,  and that’s why they purchase The New York Times in the first place!

Here’s my take.Some people eat organic foods under the erroneous belief that they automatically are getting more nutritious products. There are dozens of factors affecting the micronutrients content of produce that it’s very difficult to compare. The soil it was grown in, the water used to irrigate, and the ripeness when it was picked all affect the nutritional content. So if I can’t be sure my organic produce is more nutritious, why spend the extra money? Well, I know what won’t be in my organic produce: poison. Pesticides are poison. Skull and crossbones poison. Dont believe me? Go to your local home and garden section at Home Depot and look at the warning labels on any pesticide you find. Poison. Plain and simple. Imagine seeing this warning on produce at the market: “this produce has been repeatedly sprayed with deadly poisons”. See what they tell you to do in case of accidental ingestion of pesticides.

Multiple studies have shown that Pregnant women who consume the most pesticide laden diets give birth to children whose elementary school I.Q.’s are 4-7% lower than average. Childhood cancers, autism, learning deficiencies of all kinds, MS, MD, and a host of other once rare disorders are becoming all too common in our society, and the constant ingestion of *poison* would seem to be a logical place to start looking. But instead, the popular myth that childhood vaccinations, which save 100’s of millions of lives every year ( there is actually a historical record, you know), is somehow the cause of every childhood disease and disability, while the **poisons they ingest daily** somehow remain free of blame or even suspicion.

When “mad cow” disease swept Europe, livestock farmers who used organic feed were unaffected. No cattle on organic farms had to be destroyed, while upwards of 80% of all the other livestock around the continent had to be destroyed because of the infection.  Read this if you want to learn more on this:  Click

Other reasons I eat organic is because organically grown produce doesn’t last as long. It tends to be locally grown and locally sold. In other words, I’m supporting the local economy; the farmer next door, who’s making an extra effort, at considerable expense in time and money. And by the way, the local can buy personal training sessions with me if they are earning a good living, the farmer in Idaho can’t support me at all.

There are concerns with organic farming when looking beyond the local and personal level.  Repeated studies have shown that organic farming techniques produce significantly lower crop yields compared to modern industrial farming.  With 7 Billion people in the world, is it possible to feed everyone organically?  I have my doubts, and I’m not about to start saying we should allow 50% of the world population to die of starvation.  Starving today or possibly getting a deadly cancer in 20 years isn’t a hard choice to make if you’re the starving person or the parent of a starving child.  Click this sentence to be taken to a great article in Scientific America.  My advice, on a personal level, is anyone who can afford to eat organically should do so, as much as possible, without becoming sanctimonious.  Then we should be encouraging agricultural scientific research to produce safer, better approaches for industrial farming to make food, and the environment, safer.

C’mon NYT’s. We have so few reliable media sources left. You charge 100% more per edition than any other local daily. If we buy your paper at that price, don’t we deserve the whole story and all the details, too.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Science News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip – Gizmodo

A protein that a study shows can build crazy muscle without lifting a weight (in rats, of course)!  Supplement manufacturers are gonna go crazy, and the weight lifting public is gonna eat this stuff up!  Why don’t I have a million bucks to invest?  Do any of you?  We can make a killing.


Science News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip – Gizmodo.