Physiological properties and effects:
We said above that protein powders need to – or at least should – have a purpose: to improve recovery times, and ultimately, body composition. But how does that occur? Or more specifically, what needs to happen in the body in order to recover from a workout, and subsequently improve body composition. To sum it up with one phrase, net protein balance needs to be positive.
When you vigorously train or exert yourself, a process called protein degradation (the breakdown of muscle protein) begins so that the body can fuel itself, and a process called muscle protein synthesis (the creation of muscle protein) slows down. Think of this like shutting off your engine (protein synthesis), in order to fuel your car (muscle protein breakdown). As this entire process plays out, the available pool of amino acids in skeletal muscle depletes, as they too are drawn in and broken down in the natural, catabolic process during exercise training.
While this situation is quite adequate during a training session, it’s precisely the opposite of what we want afterwards. At that point, we want the available pool of amino acids to increase, protein degradation to slow or stop, and muscle protein synthesis to increase. Enter protein supplements. Protein powders are a quick, convenient way to rapidly increase the available pool of amino acids in skeletal muscle.
However, not all proteins are created equal when assessed within the matrix of molecular triggers, enzymes, and amino acids that constitute skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Low quality blends, fillers, masking agents, and the like reduce the net protein content of many protein products, ultimately reducing lean muscle impact.
A quality protein supplement not only contains a high amount of protein, but the protein sources from which it draws need to be themselves high quality – and the benefit a particular protein source has can be assessed by analyzing its amino acid profile. Human skeletal muscle makes the most use out of a few, particular amino acids (the BCAAs among them), and so a quality protein needs to have an amino acid profile that is optimal for this context.
We chose the protein blend for Core PRO with optimization in mind. Our mix of cold-processed undenatured whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, micellar casein, and cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate has a robust and complete amino acid profile that has been shown in research to increase nitrogen retention, lean muscle impact, and satiating ability (the feeling of fullness). This blend has also been specifically configured to provide both rapid and sustained additions to your body’s amino acid profile – meaning your recovery is not only supported immediately after a session, when you most need it, but over time as well.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs):
Medium chain triglycerides are a form of fat with 6-12 carbon fatty acid esters, a chemical structure that allows them to effectively bypass gastric uptake for transport directly to the liver for oxidation. Their unusual chemical structure and metabolic process has resulted in MCTs being a focus for a wide range of therapeutic and exercise supplement uses.
In the context of exercise science, recent research has shown that MCTs significantly (up to 65%) increase resting energy expenditure, along with dose-dependently reducing fatty acid deposition in adipose tissue. These results suggest that MCTs are effectively increasing the body’s metabolic response to food intake.
Digestive enzyme blend:
One can easily make the argument that dietary enzymes – and in particular, digestive enzymes – are the most consistently underrated and overlooked component to a supplementation regimen. These powerful little protein structures influence or outright control a vast, complex network of bodily functions. In a fitness-specific context, digestive enzymes play an absolutely crucial role in the breaking down of dietary carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into their constitutive parts, and therefore allow your body to use them in various processes (glycogenesis, protein synthesis, etc).
Despite their critical function, many supplement companies overlook the necessity of digestive enzymes and do not include sufficient levels (and kinds) of enzymes in their products. For a whey product, in particular – a compound that requires significant digestion and breakdown – this is madness.
As usual, we take a much more comprehensive, clinical approach than the average. In Core PRO, we have included a digestive enzyme blend comprised by five of the most clinically-researched, critical function enzymes available. We have chosen them strategically and synergistically, ensuring they fulfill multiple functions, including, though not limited to: aiding in the breakdown of milk proteins and sugars, supporting healthy carbohydrate and fat metabolism and breakdown, and assisting in the metabolism of carbohydrates and starch.
Our targeted blend ensures that Core PRO not only provides gourmet taste and clinical ingredients within the protein itself, but that your protein also increases the effectiveness of your pre and post-workout nutrition in general.