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Have we finally reached the Holy Grail of fitness? Scientists from McMaster University seem to think so. Researchers believe they have discovered what it takes to accomplish the most popular exercise goal in the fitness community: how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
A fermented pea protein provides maximum bioavailability of nutrients: My Immune Power Protein Shake is fermented for four months to make these nutrients readily available.
This study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2016, was an interesting one. Researchers started by asking 40 young men to exercise intensely for a month while cutting calories by 40 percent.1 The experiment was called “grueling,” and for good reason. The researchers were putting the subjects’ feet to the fire to see how quickly they could get the men to lose fat, retain muscle, and improve fitness.
Researchers caution that this rigorous program may not be sustainable for the long-term, but we can glean some key takeaways from the study. By exercising at high intensity, managing their diets, and eating enough protein, one group of men saw notable muscle gains and fat loss.
The good news is, there’s a simple way to translate the truths of this study into a plan that will work in your daily life. If you want to support muscle growth, lose fat, and maintain a healthy weight, getting enough protein is critical. What’s even more important? Getting the right protein that your body can use can make achieving this fitness goal seem almost effortless.
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I talked in my previous articles about how important it is to really digest the protein you’re eating. You can read more about that in Part 1 here. Part 2 also covers how the right protein can help to control blood sugar and encourage healthy weight loss. When you truly digest your protein, you’re most likely to see weight and fat loss, accompanied by simultaneous muscle growth.
The pea protein found in my Immune Power Protein Shake is easy for your body to use. This complete vegan protein, with 15 grams of fermented pea protein per serving, is one of your best options for shedding extra weight as you build muscle.2, 3 It also contains eight medicinal mushrooms to further balance blood sugar (necessary for weight loss), while strengthening immunity.4
Not only has eating one serving of peas a day been linked to long-term weight loss, but controlling blood sugar with protein can encourage weight loss and prevent diseases like metabolic syndrome and diabetes.5, 6 Fortunately, my Immune Power Protein Shake was designed to do both. It contains plenty of vegan pea protein to keep you full so that you naturally eat less. As I mentioned, I also added eight medicinal mushrooms to the blend to help lower blood sugar -- promoting weight loss, while boosting immunity.7 These medicinal mushrooms can protect against obesity by actually changing the composition of bacteria in your gut.8
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Pea protein has an exceptional amino acid profile, making it a popular protein pick for exercise and fitness. It’s full of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that can reduce or prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. In a 2012 placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, BCAAs helped to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage in a group of men who were resistance training.9 Fermented pea protein can better support muscle growth since it’s made bioavailable by the fermenting process. As your body uses and digests this fermented pea protein, long, lean muscle growth -- instead of muscle breakdown after exercise -- becomes automatic.
Pea protein can promote muscle growth by preventing breakdown, but its benefits for exercise recovery are distinct. Remember, the BCAAs in fermented pea protein are especially bioavailable for muscle repair after exercise. Researchers have also discovered that these BCAAs can encourage post-exercise recovery and protect against injury.9, 10 Some studies even indicate that taking a protein supplement like this could help athletes and exercisers to reduce soreness, improve recovery time, and encourage muscle gains after a workout.11 Since the muscle-building protein, minerals, and phytonutrients in my Immune Power Protein Shake are so easily digested and do not sit heavy in the stomach, you can use it as you like it. Try it as a pre- and/or post-workout recovery shake.
Pea protein can help you to feel fuller for longer to support healthy weight loss, but how does this translate to cravings? In a study conducted on satiation in 2011 in the Nutrition Journal, pea protein was found to be one of the highest-rated proteins to promote satiety and reduce food intake.12 If you are among the many people who struggle with cravings, this is excellent news. Constant cravings can affect your mental health and can make it difficult, if not impossible, to successfully lose weight. Pea protein helps with cravings by naturally lowering levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone in the body. Pea protein contains a large number of peptides that keep the stomach fuller for longer and keep ghrelin release at bay. This effect makes it much easier to resist tempting foods as you choose gut-friendly, workout-fueling foods instead.
While not as exciting as long-term weight loss, improved heart health is a big long-term benefit for exercisers and athletes alike. Pea protein may help to lower blood pressure, thanks to its high arginine (amino acid) content that maintains healthy blood vessels. 13 In a 2010 rat study, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research scientists also discovered that taking a pea protein supplement can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels better than a casein protein supplement -- thus, protecting the heart.14 The American Heart Association recommends regular exercise to help prevent heart disease and stroke. Taking a fermented pea protein can fuel a workout while providing added heart health benefits.
One frightening reality that can come with age is the possibility of sarcopenia. Thankfully, my Immune Power Protein Shake helps protect against this so-called “natural” part of the aging process: It buffers common muscle loss that can comes with age. Now that I’m in my 70s, I add my Immune Power Protein Shake to three meals a day for this reason -- to provide a bioavailable nutritional boost I can’t get anywhere else. As a 2012 study in the Journal of Aging Research pointed out, preventing age-related muscle atrophy will help keep you physically capable and independent as you get older.15 Getting enough protein, and especially an easily digestible protein, is key. Start this fermented protein habit young, and you may not have to worry about sarcopenia as you age.
If you’re wondering where to begin, I’ve included one of my favorite pea protein smoothie recipes for you to try. It’s delicious and nutritious, though you can still shake up a scoop of my Immune Power Protein Shake with water on the days when you’re pressed for time.
Adapted from The Body Ecology Living Cookbook
You can find this refreshing smoothie recipe and many more in the full collection: The Body Ecology Living Cookbook.
Weight loss, reduced cravings, muscle growth and recovery, improved heart health, and less muscle atrophy with age -- one of the easiest ways to achieve these benefits and many more is by adding my Immune Power Protein Shake to your daily diet.
You can enjoy it in the morning, afternoon, or night and as a pre- or post-workout recovery snack. For those hoping to lose weight, try it as a meal replacement. For those hoping to build muscle and gain weight, add it as a supplement to your meals. I also recommend taking a scoop several hours before bed to improve sleep and promote a deeper recovery. An evening snack of fermented pea protein may prevent the blood sugar crashes that can wake you up in the middle of the night.
As an athlete or exerciser, you know you must give your body the right fuel to compete. My Immune Power Protein Shake helps to sustain energy, weight loss, muscle growth, and gut health at any activity level.
You’ll be getting all the essential amino acids your body needs to form a complete protein. The 100 percent fermented and bioavailable protein in the shake also removes harmful anti-nutrients that can bind to essential minerals and strip food of its nutritional value.
Whether you have health issues like gut dysbiosis or celiac disease, struggle with cravings and blood sugar spikes, need more fiber in your diet, or want to improve your muscle recovery to improve your fitness, fermented pea protein can help. And from my experience, it doesn’t hurt that my Immune Power Protein Shake tastes great too. Just one scoop can leave you feeling lighter and more energetic as you tackle or recover from your next workout.
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