New Certification! Plant-Based Protein Tips

Plant-based Athlete Sports Nutrition Certification

I couldn’t be more please to announce I have earned a Certification in “Plant-based Proteins in Sport” to better support the plant-based athlete.

The certification was led by renowned Sports Nutrition Scientist Asker Jeukendrup and MySportScience Academy.

I can now provide even more evidence-based sports nutrition support to plant-based, vegetarian and vegan athletes!

My aim is to provide my nutrition clients and athletes with first-rate nutrition and training recommendations and this is only possible if I continue to expand my nutrition education and stay abreast of the most recent scientific research.

It is well-established science that plant-based diets provide both physical and environmental health benefits (including improved cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, lower rates of heart disease and cancer to name a few).

So how can we do it right?

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Here are just a few facts I learned during this certification program:

Lean muscle tissue is turned over and synthesized at a rate of 1-2% per day

  • This means that every 50-100 days, you completely turn over and recondition your muscle (this provides interesting opportunities for athletes looking to recondition their bodies & body composition!)

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Muscle Protein Synthesis relies on several factors including:

  • Protein digestion
  • Amino acid absorption
  • Plasma amino acid availability
  • Hormonal response

Post-Exercise Protein Synthesis depends on several factors including:

  • Source of Protein
  • Amount of protein
  • Macronutrients
  • Timing
  • Food preparation
  • Body Position

Muscle Protein Synthesis is regulated by how rapidly the protein source can be digested and absorbed

  • You’re better off consuming a high-quality protein powder post workout to speed up absorption and recovery
  • Look for protein hydrolysate or hydrolyzed protein sources since they have been proven to accelerate protein digestion and absorption, augments post-exercise amino acid availability, and speed up muscle protein synthesis.
  • Make sure your protein is high in the amino acid Leucine, since this branched chain amino acid provides a very strong stimulus for muscle protein synthesis

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Plant-based Protein Consumption Worldwide:

  • Worldwide: 58% of total protein intake comes from plant protein
  • USA: 44% of total protein intake comes from plant protein

Some plant-based proteins produce a lesser anabolic or muscle building response compared to animal-based proteins.

  • This is usually due to their lower essential amino acid content, lower leucine, methionine, and lysine content.

How can you get enough protein as a Plant-based Athlete?

  • Simply eat MORE and increase the amount of protein you consume
  • Combine protein sources to produce a more complete amino acid profile (eg. Pea & Brown Rice Protein)
  • Fortify your diet with specific free amino acids (like Leucine)

What’s the latest scientific research? 

Most plant-based proteins haven’t yet been assessed for their capabilities of muscle-protein synthesis and amino acid composition.

Most research on plant protein has been conducted on protein isolates (like soy protein isolate), however most people eat the majority of their protein from whole foods which generate multiple chemical interactions that can affect muscle protein synthesis rates. 

More will be revealed as plant-based protein and sports nutrition studies continue to emerge.

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