Protein vs. Protein and Carbohydrates Post Workout- A perspective on recovery for athletes- 12/20/2017

You see it all the time in commercial fitness centers, guys standing around talking about how important protein is and how they need to increase their intake as though that alone were a magic bullet. Protein is certainly a large and necessary component of post workout nutrition and should be taken seriously as a supplement in the first 30-90 minutes post workout, but should it be the only thing in the shaker bottle? You broke down muscle, but you also burned through some of your energy stores. What about those?

The main thing that protein accomplishes is that it increases Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). MPS is well documented to be accommodate increases in LBM, strength, and recovery. Consuming Whey Protein post workout increases MPS for up to 3-hours post ingestion and specifically peaks at 45-90 minutes, which makes Q//Whey Protein a perfect product to intake immediately post workout to spur on the aforementioned benefits.

So what role do carbohydrates have post workout? They replace and increase muscle glycogen stores, which allows for better recovery, and improve workout intensity and time to exhaustion from BOTH strength and endurance training in subsequent workouts (Ivy, 2002). Carbohydrates also facilitate rehydration by allowing the cells to absorb more water and electrolytes after strenuous activity, thereby aiding in the removal of cellular waste products created during strenuous activity.

So, what if we take both Q//Fuel (carbohydrates) and Q//Whey (protein) together post workout for the strength athlete? Now we are increasing both muscle glycogen levels, which will help with recovery, AND we are increasing and optimizing MPS which will help with increases in LBM (Van Loon, 2000). And what if the strength athlete is looking for hypertrophy? We know that the increase in MPS will lead to an increase in LBM, but what about total mass and the necessary nutritional state to reach that goal? The research says that while it will not increase MPS *IF* the appropriate amount of protein is ingested- the increased calories, insulin response and replenishment of muscle glycogen are reasons to continue including it in your post workout drink (Ziegenfuss, 2004).

What about endurance athletes in comparison to the strength or hypertrophy driven athlete? There are many endurance, specifically ultra-endurance athletes, who mostly focus on carbohydrates post workout. The literature suggests that although the empirical advice and recommendations often call for a carbohydrate-centric recovery protocol, that a protein and carbohydrate drink mix post endurance activity is very important (Saunders, 2004). It will again lead to the increased muscle protein synthesis, quicker recovery time and improved future training. This is something that is slowly becoming more common in the endurance community as they begin to take into consideration the muscle damage done in certain types of endurance training, as for a long time it was only considered to be a strength athlete thing to intake protein post workout (Glynn, 2013). More research coming out suggests that the intake of both carbohydrate and protein together will help with many aspects of physical performance, not just strength (Williams, 2003).

As for the amount of protein and carbohydrates required, it is important to use the ARC to make sure you are reaching your supplement needs for protein and carbohydrates. Also, you must know what your daily macronutrient intake should be and your post workout nutrition should be accounted for in your overall macronutrient intake to avoid unnecessary calories. Great peri-workout nutrition doesn’t trump a poor general diet. The optimal amounts for each athlete will of course differ based on weight, exercise choice, intensity and goals. Consuming optimal amounts of carbohydrate and protein post workout will further facilitate your goals of increased LBM while better preparing you for your next training sessions

Take aways:

1) Whey protein intake post workout is important, as it increases MPS, but it will not optimize all aspects of recovery and potentially not increases in LBM and strength
a. Remembering earlier articles, you might also need to intake some amino acids with your post workout shake if you are not reaching your necessary essential amino acid intake in order to optimize your MPS
2) The inclusion of Carbohydrates in the post workout shake will lead to better muscle glycogen store replenishment, and this is of the upmost importance for endurance athletes that are not on ketogenic diets
3) Whether you are a strength or endurance based athlete the research suggests that you mix both carbohydrates and protein together to optimize your training, recovery and performance




Glynn EL, Fry CS, Timmerman KL, Drummond MJ, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB, (2013). Addition of carbohydrate or alanine to an essential amino acid mixture does not enhance human skeletal muscle protein anabolism. J Nutr. 2013, 143 (3): 307-314. 10.3945/jn.112.168203.

Ivy, J.L., H.W. Goforth Jr., B.M. Damon, T.R. McCauley, E.C. Parsons, and T.B. Price. (2002). Early postexercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. J. Appl. Physiol. 93:1337–1344.

Saunders, M. J., Kane, M. D., & Todd, M. K. (2004). Effects of a Carbohydrate-Protein Beverage on Cycling Endurance and Muscle Damage. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 36(7), 1233-1238. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000132377.66177.9f

Stearns, R. L., Emmanuel, H., Volek, J. S., & Casa, D. J. (2010). Effects of Ingesting Protein in Combination With Carbohydrate During Exercise on Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(8), 2192-2202. doi:10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181ddfacf

Van Loon, L.J., W.H.M. Saris, M. Kruijshoop, and A.J.M. Wagenmakers. (2002). Maximizing postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis: Carbohydrate supplementation and the application of amino acid or protein hydrolysate mixtures. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 72:106–111. 2000.

Williams, P.B.R., D.L. Fogt, and J.L. Ivy. (2003). Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance. J. Strength Cond. Res. 17:12–19.

Ziegenfuss, T. N. (2004). Postworkout Carbohydrate and Protein Supplementation. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 26(3), 43-44. doi:10.1519/00126548-200406000-00012

Q//WHEY and Everything You Need To Understand About Whey Isolate - 9/27/2017

Whey Protein is well researched and seen everywhere these days. Let’s start at the beginning and define it and its function, then we can define what makes Whey Isolate different, and why you should incorporate Q//WHEY into your training regimen. Whey Protein and Casein Protein are both found in milk.  When a chemical agent, usually renin, is added,  they can then be separated. The casein is the curds part of the milk after the coagulation and the whey is found in the water soluble part. The Whey Protein can upregulate the muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in the human body and is absorbed faster than most other protein sources. Whey has the correct mix of amino acids, specifically leucine and L-cysterine to help reduce fat while maintaining or increasing LBM, even in obese populations (Frestredt, 2008).

Now that we know what Whey Protein is and how helpful it is, we can look at Whey Protein Isolate- which has a higher level of concentrated protein with fewer carbohydrates, less lactose and less fat than Whey Concentrate (Cribbs, 2006). This higher concentration of protein can lead to more specific protein macronutrient intake without the addition of potential GI distress due to lactose or unwanted carbohydrate derived calories. This makes for a superior product that has also been proven to work better in the body even compared to other proteins (Tang, 2009).

Multiple studies have compared the types of protein used post exercise, and have shown that Whey Isolate led to the better lean body mass (LBM) increase, body fat (BF) decrease and 1 rep maximum strength gains than Casein and other types of Whey Protein (Cribbs, 2006). These studies solidify the idea that Whey Isolate should be used whenever possible as a supplement compared to other protein supplements. That’s where Quantified Nutrition and Q//WHEY- Whey Protein Isolate come in.

Using the A.R.C. we can see for specific people the amount of Q//WHEY- Whey Protein Isolate can vary, but the results support its use. Many studies specifically show that the damage that occurs from eccentric loading during exercise is best recovered from by Whey Isolate vs other forms of Protein, meaning that even if the exercise is mostly high impact cardio Whey Protein Isolate can still lead to gains in LBM and decreased BF (Cooke, 2010). The large eccentric loading that happens during running, sprinting and jumping is often enough stimuli to lead to a change in muscle for endurance athletes which makes Q//WHEY- Whey Protein Isolate a great protein resource for days that involve resistance training, high impact cardio or those trying to lose body fat while preserving LBM.

The A.R.C. Scoop contained within Q//WHEY allows for accurate measurement of each serving, so whether you need 12 grams or 42 grams of protein, you are able to easily and accurately dose that serving for yourself.


Take away points:

1) Q//WHEY- Whey Protein Isolate helps to optimize post workout nutrition by having optimal protein bioavailability and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s)
a. Use the A.R.C. to calculate the appropriate amount for you, then apply those numbers to your post workout intake of Q//WHEY- Whey Protein Isolate for resistance training and high impact cardio

2) Q//WHEY- Whey Protein Isolate can also be used as a great way to break the fast in the morning for an athlete who wants a high quality source of protein while also minimizing carbohydrate intake. This will help stave off catabolism, decrease BF and increase LBM




Cooke, M. B., Rybalka, E., Stathis, C. G., Cribb, P. J., & Hayes, A. (2010). Whey protein isolate attenuates strength decline after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7(1), 30. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-30

Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Carey MF, Hayes A: The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006, 16: 494-509.

Evans WJ: Protein nutrition and resistance exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 2001, 26 (Suppl): S141-152.

Frestedt, J. L., Zenk, J. L., Kuskowski, M. A., Ward, L. S., & Bastian, E. D. (2008). A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutrition & Metabolism, 5(1), 8. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-5-8

Tang, J. E., Moore, D. R., Kujbida, G. W., Tarnopolsky, M. A., & Phillips, S. M. (2009). Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. Journal of Applied Physiology, 107(3), 987-992. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00076.2009

Tipton KD: Protein for adaptations to exercise training. Eur J Sport Sci. 2008, 8: 107-118. 10.1080/17461390801919102.

Athletes Resource Calculator (A.R.C.): How Athletes Can Optimize Peri-Workout Nutrition Strategies - 8/15/2017



The most commonly asked question when an athlete or competitor talks to me about food is “how much?”. This is a good question that needs to be asked and constantly adjusted as training, body weight, body composition and goals change and evolve throughout a train-up, season, deployment or year. These same people calculate their macronutrients utilizing simple online calculators and use those numbers throughout the day. This is an intelligent and important tool for an athlete to use.

Then comes the second most asked question from the same population, “what supplements should I be taking and when?”. This question is often more complicated for the athlete to answer on their own with the amount of misinformation and lack of conclusive research. This question requires more thought and coaching from the professional as well, because it’s constantly changing. Thankfully, now that question can be approached with an online calculator, the Athletes Resource Calculator (A.R.C.). This new offering from Quantified Nutrition allows athletes to calculate exact amounts and timing of each supplement they offer, Q//AMINO, Q//WHEY and Q//FUEL. The ARC doesn’t give just general recommendations using gender, height and weight, but also goes 3 steps further. It asks about exercise type (weight training, endurance, etc.), exercise duration and the intensity of the workout, as measured by Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

This ability to measure each product within a 1.5 gram range aids the user in the adoption of the A.R.C. and provides a huge advantage to anyone using supplements. This allows health and fitness professionals such as myself, or well-informed athletes like you to maximize each training session. Now as body weight, training intensity, competition season or training cycles change there will be a seamless transition and easy adjustments to exact supplementation needs. Let me provide a couple of examples.

Example 1 is a Strength Athlete who has just finished their competitive season. They now need to rebuild, add muscle and strength while starting to prep for the next contest or season. This can be tricky because with most strength sports there are weight classes, so the athlete must remain within a weight cut of their goal weight class, while maximizing relative strength and body composition- not an easy thing to do. So now that same strength athlete can use the A.R.C. to figure out exactly what is required before, during and after his workout at an RPE of 5-8 and exactly how to adjust supplementation to reach his new goals.

Example 2 is a Cross Country (5K) runner who is entering the preseason. They need to develop muscular strength and a large aerobic base prior to specifying their workouts for the actual competition season. These are two different requirements, of which the solution to is different macronutrient ratios depending on the type of stimulus (workout) and intensity. If this athlete were to incorporate the A.R.C., those macronutrient ratios could quickly be calculated to a very specific amount, based completely on the individual Cross Country athlete, without consuming additional calories detrimental to a distance athletes performance.

Example 3 is a Soccer Team. All of the athletes complete relatively similar amounts of work on the same day throughout the season. But not all athletes weigh the same. Some may be nursing injuries and just doing physical therapy. Some days may be more conditioning oriented, while others have weight training sessions. Point being, even within a team environment, there are different considerations that handing out a protein shake cannot possibly account for. A team can quickly categorize players by weight class, make shakes for each weight class based on the type of training for that session, and now every player has a custom shake that accounts for these variables, and keeps the athletes from consuming unnecessary calories in an effort to recover from workouts and training sessions.

What separates the elite from the very good? After equalizing for talent and athletic ability, which is always very close in high level athletes, it comes down to doing the small things better and more consistently than everyone else. This new tool allows athletes to know exactly how to reach each goal throughout their training calendar, including competitions. Being armed with the knowledge of how to prepare the right storage amount of energy, the perfect intra workout/contest calories and the optimal way to maximize recovery post workout could be what elevates you from very good to elite.