Shakil Mirza | Contributor
Featured Image: Protein powder is a popular, cost-effective solution for students and gym-goers. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
As the new school year begins, hundreds of York students will be lining up to renew their gym memberships, in hopes of balancing fitness with their hectic academic schedules.
Some may have plans to bulk up for the winter season, start shredding and lowering their body fat, or build lean muscle. Whatever those goals may be, they can’t be attained without the foundations of a healthy diet.
Protein is a nutritional necessity for the human body, with daily portions corresponding to a person’s weight and exercise regime. Protein is an essential building block for the growth and repair of cells, as during digestion, the stomach breaks it down into amino acids for enzymes, in order to create bonds for new chains to be made for reuptake into the bloodstream.
There are three protein sources suggested by dietary guidelines—animal, dairy, and plant-based foods. Protein can be found in foods such as chicken, eggs, lentils, greek yogurt, and nuts. However, many busy students and frequent gym-goers will attest that their routine includes protein supplements, either in the form of shakes or as a part of their cooking regime.
The most common dairy source of protein is protein powder—the separation of milk into two constituents of whey and casein. The liquid whey is then pasteurized into a powder form. The body contains 20 amino acids, and complete protein powder contains nine of the essential amino acids needed for synthesis of muscle growth, which can only be found in food.
Taking protein powder before a workout will help lower the “wear-and-tear” on the muscles during training and after a workout, as the muscles can absorb protein powder for faster recovery and maintenance.
“I usually take protein after my workout within 40 minutes, since it’s fast digesting and goes to those broken muscle fibers,”…