Allen Maddox Fitness

Fitness Facts Of The Week

 New to fitness?

 Starting an exercise program can sound like a daunting task, but just remember that your main goal is to boost your health by meeting ACSM’s physical activity recommendations: 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days per week, or vigorous-intensity activity at least three days per week, and strength training at least twice per week.

Here are a few tips for incorporating exercise into your life:

  • Do it in short bouts. Moderate-intensity physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute bouts, which can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight.
  • Mix it up. Alternate moderate- and vigorous-intensity activities throughout the week. For example, walk briskly for 30 minutes three times a week and jog at a higher intensity on the two other days.
  • Schedule it. Set aside specific days and times for exercise, making it just as much a regular part of your schedule as everything else.
  • Be creative. A pair of athletic shoes and a little motivation are all you need to live a more active, healthier life. Remeber personal training is available to help you reach your goals. 
  • Make it a family affair. Take your spouse, your children, or a friend with you during exercise to add some fun to your routine. This is also a good way to encourage your kids to be physically active and get them committed early to a lifetime of health.

How to Sustain and Adhere to a Healthy Diet

  • Focus on eating a variety of healthy foods you like, rather than focusing on the less healthy foods you are trying to minimize.
  • Identify foods you tend to overeat and keep them out of your kitchen.
  • Don’t restrict all foods all the time.  Research shows that when you restrict your body from certain items, you tend to compensate for what is missing.
  • Listen to your body.  Try to eat on a schedule, but don't continue to eat when you’re full.  Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
  • Learn portion sizes.  Take the time to look at your normal servings of food and determine whether they are moderate or super-sized.
  • Don’t fall for fad diets and quick fixes.  Make choosing healthy foods a lifestyle.
  • Determine your motivation.  The external motivators (e.g. weight loss, getting into a bathing suit) are not enough to maintain healthy eating – do it for you and your health.
  • Avoid drinking lots of calories.  Reduce your intake of high-calorie, sweetened beverages (fruit juices, whole-fat diary, sweetened coffee with whipped cream, mixed alcoholic drinks with several mixers).
  • Limit the number of times you eat out per week.

This Fitness Facts will be updated on a weekly basis!


What is the Big Deal with protein?

Here is our very quick biology lesson:

Amino Acids make up protein.
Protein makes up basically everything in your body.
In fact the only thing our body has more of than protein is water.

It really is as simple as that. Protein is the building block of our whole body - muscles, tissues, hair, nails, etc - all made up of protein. If you do not have enough protein in your body you can NOT build muscle mass. The body needs to break protein down to amino acids to build muscles. So, no matter how much you work out - if you don't have protein - you will not gain muscle mass.

Another important point to remember is that every time you work out you are tearing down muscles and then rebuilding them. Protein is necessary to repair and rebuild your muscles.


What types of foods have protein?

Protein is found in common foods such as beef, fish, chicken, milk, eggs and cheese. Eating a diet rich in these foods is a good way to get protein. Unfortunately it can also be a good way to increase a lot of other things you don't want in your body like fats and sugars.

Here are some common foods and their levels of protein:

Food Amount of Protein
3 oz. broiled ground beef 21 grams
3 oz. roasted ham 18 grams
3 oz. veal -broiled 23 grams
3.5 oz. roasted chicken 27 grams
3.5 oz. baked/roasted salmon 27 grams
3.5 oz. tuna canned in water 28 grams
1 beef frankfurter 6 grams
1 oz. sliced ham 5 grams
1 large boiled egg 6 grams
1 cup of Milk 8 grams

Don't I get enough protein from my diet?

If you work out - probably not. New studies from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition show that someone who works out should ingest significantly more protein than couch potatoes.

How much protein should I take?

Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to this question. There are a two different formulas that are commonly used:

  1. To ensure that the body is in a positive muscle building state, in other words, that it is burning fat--not muscle, you should ingest at least .9 grams of protein per lean pound of body weight.

    For example, a 200 lb. man with 12% bodyfat requires 158 grams of protein daily.
    200 X .12 = 24 lbs
    200 - 24 = 176 lbs
    176 X .9 = 158 gms

  2. The latest study from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition says that people involved in strength training should get 1.6 - 1.7 grams protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of bodyweight per day. That is .7 grams per pound. Therefore, a 200 lb man (200 * .7) would need 140 grams of protein. Slightly less than the first formula.

As an estimate we figure that you should consume between .7 - .9 grams of protein per pound of body weight. These number vary based on the amount of body fat you have. Women have higher body fat than men, so they should be on the lower end of the scale. Here are some examples:

150 pounds = 105 - 135 grams of protein a day
160 pounds = 112 - 144 grams of protein a day
170 pounds = 119 - 153 grams of protein a day
180 pounds = 126 - 162 grams of protein a day
190 pounds = 133 - 171 grams of protein a day
200 pounds = 140 - 180 grams of protein a day
220 pounds = 154 - 198 grams of protein a day
240 pounds = 168 - 216 grams of protein a day
260 pounds = 182 - 234 grams of protein a day

Are all protein supplements the same?

No. Protein supplements can be made from a few different source of protein. These include milk protein, egg protein, soy protein. In addition, not all protein is absorbed in the same way in the body. The better a protein is absorbed by the body the higher the Biological Value (BV) the protein is said to have.

What is the BV rating I see associated with protein?

This measures the amount of protein ( or more precisely - the nitrogen) retained in the human body per gram of protein absorbed. This measure started out as a percentage - with a whole egg being at the top of the chart - 100% nitrogen absorbed. However, things got a little more confusing when Whey Protein was discovered. The problem is whey is a better source of protein than an egg - so it actually scores higher than 100. This means the percentage must be dropped - because greater than 100% does not make much sense. So, today BV is a number which lets you compare different types of protein. Here is the BV of some common foods:

Protein BV
Whey isolate 110-159
Whey concentrate 104
Whole egg 100
Cow's milk 91
Egg white 88
Fish 83
Beef 80
Chicken 79
Casein 77
Soy 74
Rice 59
Wheat 54
Beans 49

What is Whey Protein and why is it good?

Whey Protein is derived from milk protein. However, unlike milk proteins - whey protein does not contain fat or lactose sugar. Whey protein is the best form of protein to take when using a supplement. Basically with Whey Protein you get all the advantages of protein without the excess baggage other proteins come with - no fat and no lactose. Not only that, studies have shown that Whey Protein can increase our blood levels of glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant which is essential to a healthy immune system. As we get older glutathione levels decrease and our immune system weakens. Studies are still being done - but at the University of Nebraska Medical center they were able to extend the life span of hamsters by 60% by supplementing their diet with Whey Protein. So, whey protein is not only good for building and repairing muscles, it also may extend your life.

What are the reasons I should supplement with whey protein?

* To build muscle mass
* To speed recovery time
* Reduce injuries related to working out
* Maintain a healthy and fit body
* Feel better during your workouts


Will taking protein make me fat?

No - in fact it may help you if you are on a diet. You see the amino acids in protein may help keep your blood sugar levels stabile. This is important because it keeps you feeling good all day and stops your craving for food that occurs when your blood sugar level drops. If your diet is too high in carbohydrates your blood sugar levels go though peaks and valleys. You go from a burst of energy and feeling full to a lull and being hungry. In addition, if you are dieting, getting 17 grams of protein from a protein shake that has only 90 calories is better than getting your protein from a big meal which may have hundreds of calories.

How Do You Compare Protein Products?

Very carefully! I will be honest with you, it is very hard to get the facts from a quick look at the labels. If you want to compare two competing products here are some tips to make sure you are comparing apples to apples:

* Make sure both products are Ion-Exchanged Whey Protein. This is one thing everyone agrees on - Whey Protein is much better than egg protein.

* Whey Protein can be made of concentrate, isolate or a a combination of the two. Isolate is more expensive than concentrate - but has a higher Biological Value. On paper a pure Whey Protein Isolate mix is going to be the highest quality. However, in practice we feel a blend of concentrate and isolate provides the best bang for the buck. It is not clear that the benefits of only taking Isolate are significant enough to merit the steep increase in price over a good blend.

* Watch out for the Serving Size trick. What you really want to look at is amount of protein per gram. Scoops come in all sizes - so a company could advertise "50 grams per serving". But if a serving is 75 grams of powder - this is not a high quality protein. On the other hand a product like CytoSport Complete Whey Protein has 16 grams of protein in a 22 gram serving size. As you can see this is a much better ratio.

* Compare all other ingredients. You may not want aspartame in your protein. You also need to compare calories, carbs, taste, etc. As you can see - it can be very difficult.

Why do we recommend CytoSport Complete Whey Protein?

We encourage our customers to comparison shop - that is what we did when trying to find a protein powder to carry for our customers. It was a very hard decision - but after careful evaluation of quality first, then price value - we found our top pick - Complete Whey Protein by CytoSport.

Protein Powder

The first thing you NEED to have in a protein powder is GREAT TASTE. After all, it does not matter how impressive the ingredient list is if you can't bear to swallow the protein! CytoSports Complete Whey Protein is one of the best tasting proteins on the market. In addition, the protein mixes easily with a spoon or shaker cup - no blender needed.

Don't let the great taste and affordable price fool you - the CytoSport Complete Whey Protein packs a nutritional punch. The secret to enhanced muscle growth and improved protein synthesis is Complete Whey Protein's incorporation of very low, low, medium and high molecular weight whey peptides. Short and long chains of amino acids bonded together by a selective hydrolysate process present in the essential nutrient (nitrogen) in the most ideal condition to be absorbed and incorporated into the human metabolic process.

The Complete Whey Protein also has a 50.3% Branched-Chain Aminos to EAA ratio. This is one of the more impressive ratios in the industry and helps explain why the Complete Whey Protein by CytoSport is a favorite of serious athletes.


If I don't want to drink a shake, are there any other products with protein?

Sure. If you want a delicious muffin packed with 10 grams of protein, try Fred's Incredible Muffins. These 100% Natural muffins come individually wrapped and make a great grab and go snack.

You can also find some excellent protein in the Tri-O-Plex Bars. These are great tasting bars and have an amazing 30 grams of protein per bar.

When is the best time to take a protein supplement?

This depends on your diet and when you are eating foods rich in protein. Here are a few points when it is best to take a protein supplement:

  1. Right after a workout - this is when your body goes into a stage of recovery and growth. Having the amino acids that make up the protein is key at this point.

  2. First thing in the morning - because your body has just gone though 8 hours (or however long you sleep for) of not having food - so the protein levels are way down.

  3. Before you go to sleep - this helps prevent the protein breakdown that naturally occurs when we sleep. If you are not trying to build muscle mass then this protein breakdown is fine. But if you are working out - you want to try to minimize any losses you suffer when you sleep and your protein metabolism slows down.

Are there any dangers of taking too much protein?

Yes. As with basically anything - too much of a good thing can be bad. If you take too much protein, say you weigh 150 pounds and take 300 grams of protein a day - your body will not be able to process all the protein into amino acids. What your body can not use will have to be excreted as a waste product. This means your kidney and liver will be doing a lot of work just to get the excess protein out of your body. While this will not cause any major problems over a short period of time - you would not want to be overworking your kidney and liver over the course of several years.

That being said - protein supplementation is very safe if you stay within the dosage guidelines.

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