From time to time the topic of protein and its usefulness has much been discussed and recommended by fitness personnel, body builders, experts or just simple wannabes as that crucial nourishing substance that everyone must have. But, how much do we know about this great little nutrient? Many people talk a lot about protein, but only a few really understands it. What are proteins? Proteins are found to be the building blocks of muscle, skin and bone tissues and it is one of 3 essential nutrients used as energy (the other 2 are Carbohydrate and fat). Let it be known, that this document is only intended to speak from the POV of fitness professional and not as a scientist. It is also important to highlight that all information garnered were derived from empirical analyses undertaken by otherwise qualified individuals in the field of clinical nutrition. Additionally, the purpose of this paper is geared at exploring proteins as a significant agent or catalyst to weight management and fat loss.
Over the past two decades, scientists have revealed a greater comprehension of the power of protein and its abilities to constructively impact ones metabolism, body composition and overall health. As revealed by the experts, away from muscle building, one of the principal motives behind the consumption of a protein rich diet is for its ability to control and decrease body fat. Although, there are many different mechanisms involved in explaining body mass and fat loss, a major theme that emerges is that of metabolic activity or what many people refer to as thermogenesis. Scientists however, have taken this a step further when they explored different forms of proteins and their contributions to wellness and thermogenic activity. A study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2007) observed a total of 23 lean and healthy individuals who consumed meals in a randomized manner. Three of the four meals were protein and consisted of 50% whey casein or soy along with 40% carbohydrate and 10% fat. Theother meal consisted of 95.5% carbohydrate with the remaining 4.5% being protein and fats. Additionally, all four meals were compared to a glucose only meal, which delivered the same amount of glucose as in protein meals. The study noted that after consuming the carbohydrate rich meals, minimal increases in thermogenic activity was observed within the subjects. However, the study finds that all 3 proteins yielded a significantly higher thermogenic effect than what occurred in the carbohydrates. When the three types of proteins were compared to each other, the Whey protein was found to have the best thermogenic response, with casein and soy following respectively.
As a final thought, the main finding of the study was that protein filled meals exhibited significantly greater thermogenic responses when compared to carbohydrate ingestion. Additionally, some types of proteins may garner greater thermogenic effects than others. What these results means to the average person is that, protein rich meals as a dietary choice, will promote a higher fat loss, will positively impact ones energy expenditure and allows for a more complete support in one’s endeavor to lose weight, maintain leanness and overall improved wellness.
Acheson KJ, Blondel-Lubrano A, Oguey-Araymon S et al. (2011) Protein Thermogenisis and metabolism
I have been a fitness, health and wellness trainer for the past six years. My expertise in this area has been from working directly in Public Safety and Healthcare for the better part of 20 years. The exposure received from my direct interaction with healthcare and Public Safety has honed and fueled my drive and passion for changing unhealthy life styles, coaching, and promoting wellness. The positive changes enjoyed by my clients since my involvement in personal training is testament to my diligence and commitment to the cause.
CPT, EMT-P, Bsc, MBA