Plus 5 Tips to Power Up Your Exercise Diet
- What ingredients are important to you for sports nutrition?
- What are the benefits of different proteins for muscle-building and recovery?
- Is the amino acid profile of sports nutrition products important?
- Why is Almased good for active people?
- These 5 tips can help you improve metabolism, assist in weight loss, and hold on to muscle.
Over the last few years, social media has played an outsized role in making fitness more popular than ever, including influencers posting about their fitness journey — from everyday meals to “sweat-selfies” to before-and-after pictures — which has had a direct impact on all of us, including what exercises we do and what foods we choose,
According to nutritionist Jamie Luu, RDN, LDN, “The impact has contributed to a surge in demand for sports nutrition products that support muscle building, energy and overall athletic performance.”
What ingredients are important to you for sports nutrition?
Since 80% of gym memberships go unused and 80% of weight-loss is related to diet and the foods we choose, it’s more important than ever that we pay close attention to the ingredients which are in our sports nutrition products.
In fact, Luu points out that many people today prefer products that not only provide functional benefits, but also include healthful ingredients, like plant-based protein, and clean-label claims, like organic, all-natural, sustainable, cruelty-free, and non-GMO.
What are the benefits of different proteins for muscle-building and recovery?
Both whey and casein are proteins derived from milk, but each protein differs in its amino acid profile, absorption rate and bioavailability, which can affect its ability to aid in muscle-building and recovery.
Whey protein is a soluble protein, which digests faster. In a comparison study between whey and casein, researchers found that after exercise, whey provided a significant surge in amino acids, which stimulated muscle protein synthesis — the process by which muscles grow.
But whey protein does have side effects linked to digestion. Some folks experience symptoms like bloating, gas, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Not that it helps, but it is believed that most of these side effects are related to lactose intolerance, since lactose is the main sugar in whey protein.
Casein, on the other hand, digests slower, releasing a small amount of protein into the body over time. Compared to whey, casein has more muscle-preserving properties that help with muscle recovery.
However, some people are allergic to casein or have trouble breaking down this very large cow protein.
Better to avoid the whole whey protein and casein problems by supplementing with non-GMO soy-protein-rich Almased, which contains 27 grams of multi-protein, helps you to retain muscle mass and stay full for up to 4-6 hours.
Is the amino acid profile of sports nutrition products important?
Absolutely! The composition of the amino acid profile can affect the rate of muscle synthesis and recovery, so it is super-important to look at the amino acid profile of products and not just the type of protein.
During exercise, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) — leucine, isoleucine and valine are oxidized — especially leucine. So, the amount available for muscle growth and synthesis becomes scarce.
Therefore, consuming sports nutrition products with amino acids is crucial in preserving and building lean muscle mass.
Nutritionist Luu notes that, when looking for a plant-based alternative, soy is the only plant that contains a complete amino acid profile compared to other plant proteins, which makes it the perfect alternative to dairy protein.
We all know to look for healthy protein to build a strong and healthy body. But, did you know soy is 36-56 percent pure protein? And that lunasin is a naturally occurring soy peptide that stimulates fat-burning metabolism?
One popular soy-based formula on the market is Almased®. Almased contains 27 grams of protein with a complete amino acid profile and bioactive peptides that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Almased meal shakes are made using high-quality, non-GMO soy. The Almased formula for nutritional shakes begins with all-natural, whole foods. Whole non-GMO soybeans, skim milk yogurt, and rich honey, full of raw living enzymes.
All are fermented in a special process that yields a perfect low-glycemic, high protein, healthy weight loss drink.
Why Is Almased good for active people?
Active people looking to speed up their muscle recovery can drink an Almased shake post-workout.
Almased is a plant-based formula with long-acting soy protein. The quality high protein in Almased and its complete amino acid profile helps the body retain lean muscle mass.
Plus, studies show that Almased can increase the basal metabolic rate and increase fat oxidation. Meaning: Almased can help the body optimize metabolism and burn fat, two important benefits that we look for when losing weight.
Topline, we all need more high-quality protein in our diet from multiple sources and much fewer foods such as refined sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, sodas, sweetened juices, refined carbs, deep-fried foods, and partially hydrogenated (trans) fats.
Instead of skipping nutritious meals, people are looking for products that can easily and quickly replace their meals.
And since we all like ease and convenience, ready-to-mix and ready-to-drink products are a must-have when they are busy or are on-the-go all the time.
Here are 5 things we want to include in a convenient lifestyle approach to metabolic health:
1. Eat More Protein and Amino Acids
Certain foods can increase our metabolism through something called the thermic effect of food (TEF), which is caused by the extra calories needed to process some nutrients.
Protein gives us the biggest boost in TEF, increasing our metabolic rate by 15–30 percent.
It also makes us feel fuller, which makes us less likely to overeat, too.
And when we’re trying to jettison fat, protein helps keep our metabolism primed so we can hold onto our lean muscle mass
And making sure that we’re getting high-quality amino acids, the building blocks of protein (such as taurine), is just as important.
Fortunately, Almased, the low-glycemic, high-protein meal replacement and food supplement, provides us with not only a whopping 27 grams of protein per serving but also separately provides us with nearly 15 grams of essential amino acids.
And published research backs up the metabolic, healthy blood sugar and muscle-building benefits of Almased.
In fact, a 2012 study by Dr. Daniel König and colleagues tested Almased in a group of 11 overweight or obese men in a trial called “The Breakfast Study.”
The results? The authors saw several metabolic improvements, including significantly reduced levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and a potential increase in something called protein YY, a peptide that makes us feel more full food-wise. The researchers saw benefits even up to several hours after breakfast, after lunch, a benefit known as the “second meal effect.”
The authors believe that the low-glycemic effects of Almased are due not only to the special amino-acid ingredients but also to healthy compounds, called, isoflavones that come from the product’s non-GMO soy ingredient.
And Almased plus resistance training can offer even more benefits.
A 2011 study in middle-aged men found that those who had the shake experienced more significant improvements in muscle strength and body composition compared to the non-shake group.
2. Down more cold water
Drinking more water is a great idea, partly because we’re drinking H2O versus all kinds of carbonated sodas and sugar-jacked juices.
But drinking an extra 17 ounces (about 2 cups) of cool, freshwater each day also boosts our resting metabolism by 10–30 percent for up to one hour.
And drinking water 30 minutes before a meal helps us feel more full, too, so we can eat less.
3. Get more active
The benefits of increased exercise show up all over, including improvements in healthy sugar metabolism and decreased insulin resistance.
Whether we’re using weights or doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes — or both — we burn more fat, keep more muscle and hold onto our strength.
4. Have tea
It’s hard to come up with an easier “done for you” addition to our metabolic health program than drinking more tea but, yes green tea and oolong tea improve metabolism by 4–5 percent.
They also can increase fat burning by 10–17 percent and can help with overall weight loss.
5. Get more sleep
We’ve mentioned this before, but it can’t be stressed enough: Get more Zs!
Not getting enough sleep is linked to obesity, increased blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
So there it is. You don’t have to settle for a processed and empty-calorie packaged diet that’s bursting with sugar, trans fats, and artificial ingredients.
Start out with those 5 tips that will help you eat better and be more active — and add Almased’s diabetic-friendly, low-glycemic and high protein shake to the mix, maximizing your pathway to metabolic health!
Remember that 80% of weight loss is diet. So make sure to include Almased in your new healthy eating and exercise lifestyle!
Give Almased a try!
König D, et al. “Fuel selection and appetite-regulating hormones after intake of a soy protein-based meal replacement.” Nutrition. 2012;28(1):35─39.
Deibert P, et al. “Soy protein based supplementation supports metabolic effects of resistance training in previously untrained middle-aged males.” Aging Male. 2011;14(4):273-279.