Should I drink my protein shake pre- or post-workout?

Should I drink my protein shake pre- or post-workout?

You can take in protein or amino acids pre- and post-workout, but if I absolutely had to pick one time, I'd say pre-workout. Sacrilege, you say! If you're more upset than a cat kicked off a ledge, give me time to explain before you claw my face off.
Post-workout shakes have long been considered the most important pieces of the workout nutrition puzzle. Recent research suggests, however, that ingesting protein and amino acids prior to training may be even more beneficial.
Here's why:

Fuel Your Muscles

Pre-workout protein, specifically the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), will help fuel your muscles during training. BCAAs don't need to be processed by your liver; after being absorbed, they head directly to your blood stream to be picked up by your muscles.

This is key because exercise causes the breakdown and oxidation of BCAAs. Providing BCAAs to working muscles will prevent the need for your body to catabolize the working muscle itself.

Increase Protein Synthesis

Adding protein prior to your training session primes the pump: It starts protein synthesis during rather than after your training session.
Pre-workout protein most likely increases amino acid delivery and uptake by muscles during training.
Taken alone or as part of a complete protein, BCAAs inhibit muscle breakdown. So net protein synthesis is elevated even higher!

Burn More Calories

A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise found that one scoop of whey protein prior to working out increased calorie burning over the subsequent 24 hours.
The exact cause of this increase in calorie burning is unknown, but it may be due to the added metabolic effects of increasing protein and modifying substrates (energy sources) used during exercise.
Don't wait for the eggheads: It's okay to reap the benefits of the what (increased calorie burning!) without knowing the why (exact metabolic cause).

Carryover Effect

There is also a carryover effect of nutrients taken in the pre-workout period. After ingesting protein, muscle protein synthesis can stay elevated as long as 3 hours.
This means that pre-workout protein allows you to double dip: You reap the benefits of elevated blood amino acids during your training session in addition to a carryover of elevated blood amino acid levels after your workout.
This elevation of blood amino acids will also help prevent excessive post-workout muscle breakdown.
This occurs partly through the reduction of the muscle-catabolizing hormone cortisol. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that starting your workout nutrition with a protein-and-carbohydrate shake 30 minutes prior to exercise led to a significant reduction in cortisol up to one day following the training session.

Fat-Burning Bonus

Taking protein (specifically BCAAs) alone before a workout is extremely beneficial during a low-carb diet. The consumption of pre-workout BCAAs, especially when glycogen levels are low (as they are during a low-carb diet), leads to an increase in fat oxidation (fat burning) during high-intensity exercise like interval training or metabolic resistance training.

The Winner: Pre-Workout Protein

The nutrients you ingest around your workouts are extremely critical to developing and refining your physique. If you skip pre-workout protein, you skip a chance to support intra-workout anabolism (muscle growth AND reduce post-workout catabolism (muscle breakdown).
Provided that you're getting adequate dietary protein throughout the day, I recommend BCAAs pre-workout. Their free form offers much faster absorption and uptake, which means your blood amino levels will be high when you hit the training floor.

Put an End to Mindless Snacking

Five tips to break bad habits—and drop the pounds now

We snack a lot more than we think. Over time, even occasional snacking can take a toll on our waistlines. Luckily, making a few small changes in our daily habits can stop—and even reverse—this diet damage. Cornell Professor Brian Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, and president elect of the Society for Nutrition Education, offers up five tested ways to break your snacking habits and help get you on your way to a lean, healthy body.


Drink Water

"It's very easy for us to confuse dehydration with hunger," says Wansink. "We know our body's craving something and we just assume it's food, but frequently it ends up being liquids, especially in active people. I would guess seven times out of 10 what they think of as hunger is really just a slight dehydration." You don't necessarily have to drink pure water, but make sure the beverage is low in caffeine and sodium. "Caffeine and sodium dehydrate you even more, giving your mouth a feeling of thirst, which can lead you to snack," warns Wansink.

Don't Make It Easy

Mindless munching is often a result of easy snack-access. To slow yourself down, Wansink suggests making snacking a challenge. "Put in some interruption that can make you think twice about how much you want to snack. If there's a bowl of candy sitting at your desk, you don't think twice, it's there. But if you put barriers in your way, it'll really test how much you want this." There's proof in the pudding. In a study Wansink did with a candy dish, office workers ate 125 calories less when the dish was just 6 feet away from them than when the dish was at arm's distance. Those seemingly trivial 125 extra cals can add up to a whopping 11 lbs in just one year.

Make Tradeoffs

A great way to reduce careless snacking is to make up some sort of condition every time you have cravings. "For example, you can have anything you want from the vending machine if you are going to work out that day, or if you have a light dinner, something where there's some sort of trade off that you have to make," suggests Wansink. "If you regularly stop by 7-11 on the way home and buy a Slurpee, start taking an alternative way home to reduce that temptation. Or say 'I can get that only if I run an important errand on the way home.' That way, you break that habit, or diminish it so that you're at least getting something done when you snack."

Don't Bury the Evidence

Some guys like to stuff their empty bags of chips and candy wrappers into the very bottom of the trash in an attempt to forget that they ate them at all. Don't hide the wrappers! Leaving the candy wrappers on your desk at work or the chicken bones on your plate during the football game is a good way to remind yourself to slow down. Wansink also suggests staying mindful of this when you drink: "When you're partying with other guys and you're having fun, it's often easy to forget how much a person's drank, whether it's beer or soda. An easy way to keep track of things is to put the bottle-top in your pocket. That way, once you feel them, it'll remind you how many you've had that night. It's an easy way to keep track of something that it's easy to lose track of."

Have Your Cake, But Skip The Bread

Eating out at restaurants can easily throw off your weight loss goals. Thankfully, there are easy tips we can follow to eat well and still enjoy ourselves. "First, we are horrendous bread eaters, so don't let the waiter bring the bread basket," advises Wansink. "The second thing is, order something that you really want. Eat all the meat and veggies, and don't have the carbs if you don't want them. But don't skimp on an entree by trying to get something you think is healthy because it's just going to backfire in the long run. Finally, remember this rule of thumb when eating out at a restaurant: limit yourself to the entree and just two other things—it can be two drinks, a dessert and a roll, or it could be 2 rolls—it just can't be all of the above."

Muscle Up The Smart Way: Your Expert Guide To Whey Protein Hydrolysate

Most of you know that whey protein is the way to go for building muscle, but what exactly is whey hydrolysate?

If number of syllables translated into number of pounds of lean mass gained, hydrolysate would win the supplement game hands down. But that's the thing: Does that addition to the "whey protein" phrase actually mean anything, or is it just a bunch of fancy-sounding bro-science, designed to make you cough up few more bucks each month?
Good questions. I've got the answers, and more. Today's lesson concerns whey hydrolysate, a hot-topic product in the muscle-building world.


What Is Whey Protein Hydrolysate?

Milk is composed of two major protein types: whey and casein. In human milk, whey makes up approximately 90% of the protein during early lactation and then it levels-out to about a 60:40 and 50:50 ratio of whey-to-casein in mature and late lactation, respectively. Contrast that with cow's milk, which contains only 20% of its protein from whey, with the remaining 80% coming from casein.
The emphasis of whey protein in human milk speaks to its role in supporting rapid development and a strong immune system, and the abundance of casein protein in cow's milk seems to explain the great majority of the allergies associated with consuming dairy.
After cow's milk is pasteurized and other processing takes place, the whey and casein can be separated by several means. Sweet whey, which only contains about 30-to-40% of its contents as protein, is the most basic form of food-grade whey. The remaining 60-to-70% of sweet whey is predominantly lactose sugar and fat. Filtration and other purification processes concentrate the whey to provide higher amounts of protein and yield fewer carbs and fat. These are called whey protein concentrates. A whey that's 90% or higher in total protein is referred to as a whey protein isolate.
Regardless of the level of concentrate or isolate, all of these forms of whey are still composed of extremely large peptide structures. To reduce their size, enzymes in your digestive system have to break the bonds between select amino acid sequences to yield smaller peptides that your body can actually use. To speed up that process, whey manufacturers can "pre-digest" the protein to create whey protein hydrolysate.
A hydrolysate can be created from sweet whey all the way up to isolates. Also, the enzymes and reaction conditions used – as well as the number of available bonds that are broken – dictate the final composition of the hydrolysate. The greater the degree of hydrolysis, the smaller the number of amino acids per peptide … and the more bitter-tasting the resulting protein. So hydrolysates can vary a lot more than concentrates or isolates.

Hydro whey is perfect post-workout and as the ultimate cutting phase AND muscle building protein supplement!
Who's It For, Anyway?
Whey hydrolysate is great for anyone looking for a high-quality protein source capable of helping them achieve their total daily protein goals and maximize muscle growth. Additionally, because of its significant effects on insulin and satiety, a hydrolysate is a great protein source for post-workout supplements or anyone looking to increase muscle mass while reducing body fat.
What Does It Do?
Whey protein is ideal for stimulating muscle growth. It has been demonstrated to provide the greatest anabolic response to weight training. Whey has been shown to elicit up to a 122% and 31% greater muscle protein synthesis response to exercise than casein or soy, respectively.
Whey contains 30-to-50% more of the amino acid leucine, the essential and branched chain amino acid responsible for stimulating muscle-protein synthesis. It's "bioavailable" and rapidly-digested, spiking blood amino acid levels after consumption. The faster the rise in blood amino acids, the greater the peak and total muscle protein synthesis response. In that regard, whey offers the most bang for your protein buck.
Additionally, whey protein has been demonstrated to improve exercise recovery and immune function, as well as increase thermogenesis, improve fat loss, and reduce hunger. So not only is whey great for muscle building, it's also a powerful fat-fighting fuel! Whey protein hydrolysate has been suggested to augment the beneficial effects of whey protein due to its ability to increase plasma amino acid levels faster, and to a greater peak concentration than normal whey. Although studies in humans have not shown these differences to reach statistical significance, the blood amino acid response to hydrolysate versus whey seem promising. My dissertation work revealed that people consuming 30 grams of hydrolysate twice per day significantly increased muscle mass and reduced body fat without significantly affecting total body weight.
Sounds Awesome So Far … Are There Any Downsides?
Paradoxically, while the rapid spike in blood amino acids from hydrolysate is beneficial for stimulating protein synthesis, it also increases amino acid oxidation – that is, the breakdown of amino acids for energy.
Some people consider this increased oxidation a waste of amino acids, but that's a simplistic view of protein metabolism. Just because these amino acids are used for energy, rather than stored, doesn't mean they're "wasted." Whey is still more anabolic when compared to other protein sources that don't cause such a large increase in amino acid oxidation. If you think that's a downside, I've got some beachfront property in Utah you might be interested in.
Another potential downside – if you want to call it that – is that whey protein hydrolysate generally costs significantly more than normal whey protein. The greater the degree of hydrolysate, the greater the cost will be. Hey, you get what you pay for. As a customer, you have to "whey" the potential benefits against the increased cost.

How Much Why Protein Hydrolysate Should I Take?
Depends on your body weight, total protein intake, and whether you consume it alone or with other protein sources. Since whey hydrolysate is rich in leucine, you don't need as much of it to maximize muscle growth as you would from other protein sources. For example, for a 200-pound male looking to increase muscle mass, I'd recommend 25-to-35 grams of whey hydrolysate immediately post-workout or in place of your current protein supplement. Achieving that same effect with chicken breast might take 45 grams.
When Should I Take This?
Whey hydrolysate can be consumed any time of the day, but many people take whey hydrolysate both pre- and post-workout.
Consuming whey pre-workout ensures that an adequate supply of amino acids will be present in the bloodstream during the workout. Might it upset your stomach? Unlikely. Whey hydrolysate is easily-digested and gut-friendly.
Consuming it post-workout allows you to jumpstart recovery by maximizing the anabolic response to exercise and increasing protein synthesis. Research shows that whey hydrolysate can augment the growth response to weight-training sessions, reduce body fat and recovery time, and reduce muscle soreness.

How To Choose A Product?
I recommend looking for a product that contains an extensively hydrolyzed whey protein, of at least a 15-degree of hydrolysis. My study used a 32-degree derived from an 80% whey protein concentrate, which is about as high as you'll want to go because the bitterness becomes disgusting. If you want fewer carbs and less fat, then choose a hydrolysate derived from an isolate or 80% whey protein concentrate starting material. If you want smaller peptides, go with a 20-to-32 degree.
Are There Any Side Effects Lurking Around The Corner?
Though some people are allergic to whey, allergies aren't nearly as prevalent as it is with casein, soy or wheat protein. In fact, even those who might otherwise experience upset stomach, pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and other GI distress arising from a dairy allergy have been shown to have no significant adverse events from an extensively hydrolyzed whey of predominantly low-molecular-weight peptides.
Should Anyone Avoid It?
If you've been advised by your physician not to consume this product due to a health condition, then don't. While most people tolerate whey protein hydrolysate very well, those with very severe allergies to whey should use caution.
Take Me To The Bottom Line:
Whey protein hydrolysate is an extremely high-quality protein that has myriad bodybuilding and health-related benefits.


Zombie Escape at Panic Point

Another Mud Run!!??

Yes, Another G.I. GYM team mud run, this time with ZOMBIES! Lets all sign for the 10am run before June 30th to save $$$ here is the link to the registration page

Race Info

September 8, 2012

2739 Cedar Creek Road, Youngsville, NC

5k course with 16 obstacles and over 100 zombies

The Details

There will be mud.  The 5k course follows a path through open fields, forest roads, and water crossings.  Each racer will be equipped with three health flags.  The object of the race is to finish the course as fast as possible while holding on to at least one flag.  The enemy?  Zombies on the trail who attempt to “infect” you by stealing your flags.  If you cross the finish line without a flag your time will be unofficial, and you will carry the zombie virus for the rest of your life.  If you need a health boost (a flag), find a roving medic, who will prescribe a brief, intense exercise to restore part of your health.