by Charles Weller September 20, 2013
Plant-based protein contains more branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), arginine and glutamine for the athlete than most other types of protein. Specifically, pea protein (part of our Superfood Protein Smoothie blend) is rich in BCAAs and contains a similar amount to that found in milk and eggs, but is less likely to cause allergic reactions or intolerances.
BCAAs have been proven in many studies to be a potent performance enhancer, and BCAAs make a great energy source for working muscles because of their unique metabolism. Not only can BCAAs be used as energy themselves but they also enhance fat oxidation in glycogen depleted subjects. This allows individuals to train harder for longer without fatigue due to the higher energy demands being met. In short, BCAAs are essential for athletes when it comes to muscle growth, fat loss, and performance.
Pea protein also contains arginine, an amino acid shown to enhance immunity, promote a healthy heart, and assist in muscle metabolism. Arginine is also involved in a number of different functions in the body to help kidneys remove waste products from the body and maintain hormone function. In the body, the amino acid arginine also changes into nitric oxide (NO) which is a powerful neurotransmitter that hps blood vessels relax and improves circulation.
Pea protein also has a high lysine content. Lysine cannot be made in the body and must therefore be consumed through the diet. Lysine is the precursor of carnitine, the molecule responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Lysine also appears to help absorb calcium and plays an important role in the formation of collagen—the building block of connective tissue such as bones, cartilage, skin, tendons. It supports the normal growth and development of children and plays a role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Lysine deficiency is rare in typical American diets but can be a risk for strict vegetarians, vegans or elite athletes. Insufficient lysine can lead to fatigue, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, agitation, bloodshot eyes, slow growth, anemia, and reproductive disorders.
Pea protein also contains glutamine. Glutamine supplementation has long been used in medicine to treat those suffering from burns, trauma, and even cancer. In addition, glutamine has been used to increase the rate of wound healing and to quicken the recovery of those who undergo surgical operations. Because exercise is a form of increased metabolic stress, it causes the depletion of glutamine in the body. The rate of depletion depends on the intensity and length of exercise. Glutamine levels that become too low can have damaging effects on the body. Supplementation can ward off these effects in several ways:
Superfood Protein Smoothie contains a blend of five plant-based proteins, including pea protein isolate, for a full spectrum of amino acids to form a complete protein. It is rich in BCAAs, arginine and glutamine to help supercharge your performance and fuel your active lifestyle.