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Protein Power: What's the Deal? Part I, by Tony Haynes
o Gunnery Sergeant Albert Einstein is a genius in nutrition o-rah motivators, it's the extreme motivator here to help whip you into shape. This week we're going to discuss one of the most controversial subjects in the fitness world today. That subject is high-protein diets. Everyone has seen this advertised on television and radio and everywhere else where there's any type of media. Well, during the next few issues of Semper Fitness we'll discuss the ins and outs of the program. This issue we'll talk about the theory behind the high protein diet. Let's get busy with the scoop.

Many people have asked my opinion of the high protein diet and whether I would or have recommended it to anyone. I believe that the protein diet is an easier diet to follow than most. However, I don't recommend it for extended periods of time. To understand my reasoning, we must look at the theory behind the protein diet and understand carbohydrates and what they do in the body. A concise knowledge of carbohydrates, their purpose and how our body reacts to them will help us understand the protein diet better.

The human body's main source of energy comes from carbohydrates. Most carbohydrates when broken down convert to sugar. This sugar is then stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen to produce energy when needed (i.e. working out, walking, living). No matter how complex the carbohydrate, in its purest form, it's nothing but sugar. The intake of sugar profoundly affects the body. First, it causes a major spike in insulin production. The simpler the carbohydrate, the bigger the spike. This is because most simple sugars are absorbed directly through the stomach lining and into the bloodstream. That's why parents hate when little kids eat a lot of candy.

Second, in the adult body, a couple of different things occur. If the amount of calories that you take in from carbohydrates is over your basic metabolic rate (refer to archive: Darth Metabolism), these extra calories will be converted to body fat and stored for later energy use. Next, if the carbohydrates are simple, it will cause that insulin spike that we talked about earlier. Insulin is released to help regulate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream.

Excessive insulin production has been frequently associated with weight gain. This is why many diabetics that inject insulin, in many cases, gain weight or body fat. Understanding this should shed a little light on how carbohydrates affect the body. Next issue, we'll discuss protein and why so many people are finding this to be like the Holy Grail. Until then, stay pumped, stay motivated and oo-rah!

Semper Fi!

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