Every seasoned weight lifter should include bodywork as part of their restoration regimen. Five professionals…
December 17, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
The type of protein you consume after training can have a major impact on your results. Weight training breaks down muscle fibers and connective tissue. You then need to build that tissue back up and animal protein does a much better job than plant protein since it provides a greater spectrum of the raw materials necessary for growth and repair of human tissue.
The quality of animal protein is important though. You’ve heard it said that “you are what you eat,” so if you consume foods that are full of chemicals, your cells may eventually become laden with chemicals. Eating organic foods that are chemical-free is a step in the right direction, but there’s more to it.
Buying organic produce is a wise decision for optimal health, but buying organic meat is not as beneficial as you may think. Cattle, for instance, should have access to fresh air, sunshine, and contact with the earth. They should be allowed to graze on natural pastures where they can eat grass, not grains (even if the grains are organic, it’s not what these animals are meant to eat).
Stay away from grain-fed meat and go with grass-fed as much as possible. That goes for protein powders as well. In fact, two of the best protein powders to consume right after training are grass-fed whey and gelatin (or a form of gelatin known as collagen peptides). I consider these proteins vital for maximum results. Here’s why:
Whey has been shown to be superior to other proteins after resistance training for several reasons:
Vital Whey from Wellwisdom is derived from cows that are grass-fed and graze year-round on natural pastures. It’s GMO-free, hormone-treatment-free, pesticide- and chemical-free and undergoes minimal processing to best maintain the fragile immune-modulating and regenerative components naturally present in fresh raw milk. This is the whey protein that I use and recommend to others.
A secret weapon to long-term training success is collagen. You see, when you train, you don’t only break down muscle tissue, you also stress connective tissue like bones, ligaments, tendons and even skin. So you can supply all the nutrients your muscles need to grow and repair, but if your connective tissue is not ready to go next time you train, you’re an injury waiting to happen.
It takes connective tissue considerably longer to recover than muscle (some experts claim as much as 7 times longer to recover) and it gets worse as you age. Collagen production drops significantly beyond the age of 25 and connective tissue is made up of a high amount of collagen. Think of collagen as the scaffolding that holds your connective tissue together. Less collagen means less support for your tissue and that’s never a good thing when you lift heavy weights on a regular basis.
If you lack the specific amino acids that combine to form collagen (i.e., glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine), your body can’t produce enough of it. Gelatin provides the body with the raw material it needs for collagen production.
Hydrolyzed collagen (also referred to as collagen hydrolysate or peptides) is a form of gelatin that’s easy to digest and quick to absorb but won’t gel like regular gelatin (it’s soluble in cold liquids so it will dissolve easily in your post-workout shake). This is the form of gelatin you should use directly after training – one of the best on the market comes from Vital Proteins.
Remember, what an animal eats profoundly affects its health and the nutritional quality of its milk, meat, and hide. Collagen Peptides from Vital Proteins is sourced from cattle that graze solely on lush grasslands in Brazil and are not given hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. They eat their natural diet of grass and receive plenty of open space and sunshine, just like nature intended. The result is a natural, high-quality animal protein that will build a strong and resilient human body.
The Vital Dose
If your goal is primarily to reduce body fat, mix a scoop of Vital Whey and a scoop of Vital Proteins in 12 ounces of water and consume immediately after training. Eventually you’ll need to add some carbohydrates to the mix or your performance in the gym may suffer. One option that I mention in my book Mass Explosion is to substitute glutamine for carbohydrates. Research from the United Kingdom shows that 8 grams of glutamine taken after exhaustive exercise can promote similar muscle glycogen storage to consuming 61 grams of glucose.
If your goal is to put on as much muscle mass as possible, add a scoop of Vital Whey and a scoop of Vital Proteins to this post-workout cocktail for a truly potent effect. An hour after consuming your post-workout shake, eat a solid meal that contains a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
To build high-quality muscle and a body that can withstand the rigors of regular heavy lifting, it’s vital that you consume high-quality proteins after your workouts.