This day and age, athletes are bombarded with dietary supplements that entice athletes to buy their products. Sport drinks that contain electrolytes and carbohydrates have significant scientific backing for ergogenic effect on endurance training. Although these two have been well researched, the majority of sports ergogenic supplements that arrive on the market each year have minimal or no testing at all.
The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) provides a set of guidelines for the quality, purity, manufacturing practices and ingredients in supplement products. Look for the USP-verified mark when purchasing supplements.
Nutritional supplements do not require FDA approval, nor do they go through the same rigorous testing and scientific process as pharmaceutical drugs. Althletes need to be aware that some supplements may contain a banned substance and pose a health risk if consumed in conjunction with other supplements or medications. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates the advertising of dietary supplements.
What about protein?
The amino acids in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are sufficient to build muscle, and their minerals, vitamins and antioxidants also keep us extremely healthy, so we can feel great and exercise regularly. Animal products do not contain a significant amount of nutrients, antioxidants, or phytochemicals. They are high in calories and protein and accelerate aging and cancer cell growth.
Think of protein as a condiment on your plate. Not the other way around. When you do eat any type of animal products, try to buy 100% grass fed beef, organic chicken and wild caught fish.
Amino acids are broken down to make enzymes and you only need to replace the amino acids that are used up. The amount of protein you need everyday is minimal and when eating a plant based diet, you will get not only protein, but a variety of minerals and vitamins that your body needs.
Kidney - Proteins are not used up like carbohydrates are so the more protein you eat, the workload of the kidneys increases within hours of consumption.
Eating a whole-food, plant-based diet will result in optimal health and athletic performance, including building muscle. Remember, resistance training and lifting weights builds muscle. Don't be worried about protein, as you will find it virtually impossible to consume inadequate protein. All whole plant foods contain protein. Legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and, to a lesser extent, fruit. If you eat a WFPB diet and consume adequate calories, you’ll get enough protein.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Cathy at 512-736-4664.