Searching for the Perfect Strength and Recovery Strategy?
Who doesn’t want to recover faster, and more completely, from a hard training effort?
You may be surprised to learn that eating more protein isn’t really the answer. As a female athlete, you know that protein is important—not only for energy, but for physical growth and repair. It seems logical to think that more is better. But this simply isn’t the case.
Athletes don’t need more protein, they need more amino acids.
The body requires access to a total of 22 different amino acids, which play a role in its ability to produce energy and function fully and efficiently. Eight of the 22 amino acids are defined as ‘essential’ because they are not manufactured by the body; they must be derived from dietary proteins and/or an essential amino acid supplement.
Without an adequate supply of essential amino acids, the body cannot build muscle or recover from an injury, illness, or intense training activity. About 75% of all athletes are deficient in at least one essential amino acid and, as a result, fail to recover quickly and completely.
The Body Extracts Amino Acids from Dietary Protein.
And every type of dietary protein contains a different blend of amino acids. While it’s commonly believed that one protein source is just as effective as another when it comes to supplying the body with the resulting amino acids it needs, some proteins are much better than others.
Those that have a higher biological value are preferred because they offer a better balance of the eight essential amino acids your body needs. Organic, grass-fed meats, wild fish, free-range poultry, and whole eggs are good examples of high biological value proteins.
Other foods have a lower biological value; they contain a less than optimal mix of the eight essential amino acids and are, therefore, more difficult for the body to use. Whey, casein, soy beans, nuts, and egg whites are all low biological value proteins.
What about all those expensive whey, soy, egg white, and casein-based powders and bars? Despite all the hype, they’re not very effective. Only 18% of their total protein content is actually utilized by the body for repair and recovery.
While opting to eat high biological value proteins is a great place to start supporting improved performance and recovery, it probably won’t be enough. Not everyone can fully digest and efficiently break down dietary proteins into their underlying essential amino acid components. This is typically due to an Intestinal flora imbalance (the topic of a future post) or an insufficient supply of stomach acids and digestive enzymes, which decline with physical and mental stress—and with age.
As a result, it makes sense for anyone interested in improving their overall well-being to supplement their diet with a balanced essential amino acid formula that requires no digestion and can be almost immediately used by the body for repair and recovery.
Just as dietary proteins vary in quality, so do essential amino acid supplements.
Most contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and non-nutritive fillers. And the exact ratio of amino acids contained in each formula can vary, too. The specific product I can recommend is called FundAminos. It’s available on Amazon and Purecleanperformance.com. This particular essential amino acid formula is completely natural and filler-free. It’s a gold-standard product that offers the correct ratio of all eight essential amino acids, is 100% utilized by the body, and five times more effective than protein powders when it comes to re-building the body.