Runners are now recognizing that protein plays a big role in endurance performance. However, what we are seeing is that a lot of our athletes, they simply aren’t getting enough. To make matters worse, the protein that they are getting in, is of fairly poor quality. It was in my own diet that I recognized this, and decided to utilize the Isalean shake in my own diet.
So how much protein do we need? For the longest time, protein requirements were no more than that of the average person, at 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150 pound person, you’re looking at about 55 grams of protein. However, new recommendations are 1.2-1.6 g/kg of body weight and I have seen all the “whey” up to 2.0 grams. For that same 150 pound person, you are looking at a new amount of 82-110 grams. Potentially, they may need as much as 136 grams! Now, a lot of this depends on the size of the person, how hard they are training, and where they are at in their training cycle. But, you get the point, it’s significantly more protein than what was previously thought.
Why we need more as endurance athletes
While we aren’t bodybuilders trying to bulk up, our body is constantly turning over tissue. These are exponential with the amount we are training. We aren’t talking just muscle, but amino acids (protein broken down) is vital to things like connective tissue and blood components!
While carbohydrate and fat provide so much of the energy needed to run, protein does provide some fuel source. Protein can provide up to 5% of energy demands. This number is not a game changer, but also note that if you are on a low carb diet, then the amount of protein providing fuel for exercise increases by even greater numbers.
Why I chose Isagenix Isalean
The Isalean shake is so much more than a simple protein powder. It’s 24 grams of undenatured whey protein. If you are not sure what that means, it’s simply not boiled to death so all the good stuff is cooked out. The dairy that Isagenix uses comes from grass fed cows with no antibiotics or hormones. On top of that the shake includes 23 essential vitamins and trace minerals.
These shakes are loaded with all the things I need- including essential fatty acids and high quality complex carbohydrates. For me, it made getting all the quality nutrients I need for my health and performance so much easier.
Why shouldn’t I just drink chocolate milk?
It is true that chocolate milk is a nice treat after a tough workout, but is it as the “perfect” recovery drink as often advertised? Let’s take a quick look at the make up:
For overall calories, there’s not a ton of difference roughly 200 for an 8 ounce glass of chocolate milk vs 240 calories for the same amount of Isalean shake. However, looking at where those calories are coming from, the differences become a lot clearer. In a glass of reduced fat chocolate milk, there is roughly 8 grams of fat, whereas there are 6 grams in a shake. Breaking that down even more, an Isalean shake has only 2 grams of unhealthy saturated fat and 6 grams of healthy fats (coming from olive oil and flax seed). Chocolate milk will include about 5 grams out of 8 total grams as saturated fats.
Moving to carbohydrate, chocolate milk will give you 30-36 grams of simple sugars. An Isalean shake will give you 24 grams of carbohydrate, with 8 grams of that total being in the form of fiber and only 11 grams of sugar.
Chocolate milk is often touted as a great source of protein, but in 8 ounces of milk, you get 8 grams of protein. Compare that to the 24 grams of high quality undenatured, complete protein in an Isalean shake it’s not even close. To get the the same amount of protein from chocolate milk, you now need to drink three glasses- which now puts your sugar content at about 100 grams.
Lastly, when we look at vitamins and minerals, chocolate milk contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin d and small amounts of a handful of other vitamins. An Isalean shake contains 40%, or more, of daily values for over 20 different vitamins and trace minerals.
Chocolate milk is great when you are in a pinch, but given a choice, you can see that there are more complete options out there.
What are the best practices with using the Isalean shake (or any protein supplement)?
- Use as a meal replacement. When Isagenix first formulated this shake, I hardly think they were keeping an endurance athlete in heavy training as a baseline! The shakes certainly were meant as a meal replacement for those trying to lose fat weight. Can they serve that purpose for the athlete in heavy training? The best answer is partly. I will use the shake in conjunction with other food (mainly fruit) to complete my breakfast. However, if you are a person who runs after work and needs something of quality a couple hours before your run/workout, then this is the perfect option.
- Can it be taken as a pre workout meal? Yes, if you are in a window of say 90-120 minutes before a run, then go for it!
- Post workout is probably the most popular use for my athletes. If you workout in the morning, then getting one of these bad boys in right after is crucial. Add some fruit for more high quality carbohydrate and you have an excellent start to the day. Your recovery is off and running, and your body is getting not only the carbs and protein it needs to refuel and rebuild, but also the vitamins and minerals that are crucial to performance and health.
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