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keenwesh

Whey protein powder, anyone use it?

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Most/all of my training is low intensity and long duration. I've been following the stuff outlined in New Alpinism. Basically a ton of ski touring and moderate solo days focusing on keeping my HR at 60% and covering as much vertical ground as possible. Is there any real benefit to taking whey protein during all of this? I've always dismissed it as something for weightlifters or people who spend all their time in the gym trying to build muscle mass but I have some friends who take it regularly and their following roughly the same regimen as I am.

 

The stuff is pretty expensive and not worth wasting my money on if it doesn't do anything. Can someone with a sports physiology degree provide some input?

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no physiology degree

 

there is reliable evidence to show that the body will burn protein sources before fat reserves, when carb reserves are depleted, in endurance events. Most of the serious sports nutrition drinks contain some protein, in addition to carbs, to allow the body to burn these ingested proteins instead of muscle mass. But one does not need much protein to stave off the catabolism.

 

you are still young. you may be able to get away with it but putting a little vanilla whey in with your Gatorade is a cheap way to make a inferior (but still working) sports drink. I don't think I could get away without a decent sport drink though.

 

Look into Costco. they got 5 pound bags (something like 60 servings) for $40.

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If LSD workout (<60% MHR) it isn't required but can help. Perpetuem from Hammer Nutrition is a great one.

 

Post workout it is a very good idea. Recoverite from Hammer Nutrition is a good choice.

 

Gatorade is absolute garbage and will negatively impact performance.

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I usually buy a bottle of gatorade and dilute it 50% for big days. It works better than water, but I agree that straight gatorade is terrible.

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when you say gatorade is absolute garbage that will negatively impact performance..do you mean for an athlete at the top of their game, trying to maximize their training or execute their craft to the highest level?

 

For the weekend warrior who is in good shape but not setting any speed records.. does it matter vs if they got a good night of sleep or ate something else beneficial or detrimental the night before? Anecdotally I've found the 'ade of whatever sort to be more beneficial than plain water when I'm doing something, assuming I take the same snack consumption breaks, I like having those extra calories with my agua while I'm going up--to me it seems to help.

 

 

 

 

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I find that if I drink gatorade while actually on a climb/run/hike/whatever I can feel myself getting even more dehydrated, i.e. negatively impacting performance. When it's diluted it is 100% better than water, especially over a long duration.

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To the original question, unless you're trying to add muscle mass, I wouldn't worry about the protein powder. That stuff probably contains very highly processed crap that is heavily marketed to 20 year old males. If you look at what Olympic athletes are eating to recover, it's not protein shakes from GNC.

 

What's House recommend for diet? I haven't seen the book.

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I picked up a 6 lb bag from Costco. I'm going to take it after workouts and see how/if it helps. At the very least it's a good placebo.

 

I've taken it for the last 2 days post workout and my muscles aren't as sore as they usually are (which means nothing).

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after 9 days just the scent of this stuff makes me dry heave. Seriously, raw eggs are easier to keep down.

 

If you're going to incorporate PP into your training regimen either have a strong stomach or a wide variety of things you can mix it with. Putting it in pancakes and a blender along with a bunch of fruits and veggies are the best ways that I've found for ingestion.

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A good way to get it in is to try and use a Vanilla flavored variety and mix it with yogurt and frozen fruit.

Kind of turns to a frozen yogurt and fruit Ice Cream substitute.

Worked for me while I was using it but then again my food choices have been commented on as odd by some.

 

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Trader Joes has a vanilla whey powder that's pretty good (tried the chocolate once, thought it was gross). Blended with TJ's green plant juice, a little milk or yogurt, a few bananas, berries and some peanut butter, it makes for a very tasty smoothy. Even just mixed with a glass of milk or water it's pretty good.

 

 

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i'm neither a sports physiologist nor a nutritionist....

It won't hurt. Mostly it's taken to speed recovery from more intense (resistance) workouts, and helps if taken within 1 hr of the workout.

http://www.nsca.com/education/articles/resistance-training--benefits-of-post-exercise-consumption-of-protein-supplements/

there's also a lot of info here:

http://www.jissn.com/content/5/1/17

and the gist of this article is that it's best to take supplements at a 3:1 or 4:1 carb:protein ratio within 20 minutes of exercise.

But if you're doing zone 1 workouts mostly, you probably are getting enough protein in your diet.

So, if you feel like you're not recovering as quickly as you want to, try it out.

 

imo, for mostly zone 1 exercise, if you feel fine, and your diet is healthy, taking protein supplements is likely just gilding the lily.

 

as for cost, if that's a concern, stick with eggs.

 

here's an article about the different types of dietary protein.

http://www.jssm.org/vol3/n3/2/v3n3-2pdf.pdf

you'll see that there is, practically speaking, little difference between the types of protein (most available stuff is soy and whey), but imo, if you're going to take it, try to find protein supplements that have as little added "stuff" as possible - ie I avoid stuff that has any sweeteners and other additives or thickeners. fwiw, I use plain unflavored whey protein b/c I don't like the taste of soy, and I find that whey dissolves and digests better - unflavored b/c I can add a variety of other flavors.

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No sports science degree, and I can only speak for myself, but yes, it's helpful. On multi-day trips I portion out chocolate protein powder into small snack bags to have when I reach camp. I like that it balances out the relatively carb-heavy diet (compared to what I'd eat in town) that I have in the mountains. I find it great for recovery after a long day. When not in the mountains I do weight lift a lot, so I seem to always be craving protein and the powder is an easy way to satisfy that.

 

There are some varieties that taste very good; just look through the ingredients and avoid anything awful and overly processed. Like I said, I take chocolate as I think it tastes much better on its own than a vanilla-like flavor. It also mixes awesome with peanut butter or coffee if that's your thing.

 

As for Gatorade, yeah, it's pretty crappy processed stuff, but a bit over the top to think it's going to limit your performance in some significant way. Nobody is competing in the Olympics here, and the difference between success and failure is not going to be determined on whether or not you drank a gatorade. :) The bromine crap in it is pretty fucking nasty though, best I can tell, and probably a good thing to avoid. I like one of the sports drink bottles with me on a trip (very light, good for mixing stuff), so I'll generally buy something in one of those bottles and once it's gone just refill with water, and mix in Cytomax, or something similar, from that point on. Wash the bottle and it will last you many trips.

Edited by JoshK

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Although I do use a protein supplement, I wouldn't bother if I didn't lift fairly aggressively and have a warp-speed metabolism. If you're looking to relieve muscle soreness, glutamine works well by itself. It is by far the most abundant amino acid in your bod, and post-workout soreness is often more responsive to glutamine than to ibuprofen.

I've tried tons of "sports drinks", and have had by far the best results with this home recipe: per liter of water - 1 tsp sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), 1 tsp potassium chloride ("salt alternative") 1 tbsp glutamine (mine from Optimum Nutrition), sweeten to taste with sugar, honey, fructose, or whatever. I usually also add a dribble of lemon juice for flavor - optional.

aside from the home recipe sports drink, I've had the best results with just plain old V8.

-Haireball

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