Knowing the Essentials – Part 1

This is just a repost of something I wrote for a magazine that is very unorganised and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I hope you guys will appreciate it more – only a quick copy and paste, back to revision I go !

There are many people wanting to start getting fit every day that goes by. Whether it’s just a passing phase, for medical reasons or for personal reasons, there’s always the question of where to start.

First things first, what sort of body are you looking to achieve? Are you looking to put on mass but still be in shape or are you simply searching for that six pack that you know is in there? This is vital. There are a huge variety of products on the market that are willing to sell you all kind of beneifits but you need to make sure that you know their key functions and what their main target is.


There are hundreds to choose from but which one is right for you? I can very nearly guarantee you that you will never find the perfect one for you right away. You will waste a few notes here and there but in the end it’ll all be worth it.

Protein is a key food group in our diet helping to restore and create new muscle tissue found in foods such as fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products and more. When undergoing training you’re creating new muscles and developing the ones you already have and of course you need to feed them otherwise you may not see progress quite as quickly as you’d hope. It also helps during recovery.

Now some proteins have a much higher calorie intake than others. Obviously, the higher the calorie the more weight you’re likely to put on but that’s okay if you’re trying to add mass to your frame. Some shakes can contain 1500 calories per intake and you’re supposed to have around 2 shakes a day! There’re also those that are used as a meal replacement when you’re trying to lose weight and become fitter but not starve yourself! Never starve yourself. Ever.

But like I said, it’s about experimentation but knowing these basics and doing your own research is essential.


When you eat foods that contain protein, the digestive juices in your stomach and intestine get to work on breaking them down. The proteins in food are divided into basic units, called amino acids. These amino acids can then be reused to make the proteins your body needs to maintain muscles, bones, blood, and body organns.

Imagine a long chain – we’ll call it protein – and within that long chain are many differnt links – which we’ll call aminos. These amino acids can join together to make thousands of dfferent types of proteins. There are 22 that are especially important to human healthy but our bodies only naturally produce 13 of them which are essential. However the other nine may need a little help from you. Whether that’s from eating animal sourced food which are enriched with these other aminos (a problem when it comes to vegetarianism) and things like peanuts but a easy way round it is getting a supplement from your local nutrition supplement shop. They’re often seen labelled as BCAAS (branched chain amino acids) and are referred to as “the bulding blocks of muscle”!


The term “whey” refers to a milk serum, which is the liquid by-product produced during the curdling of milk. Whey proteins make up about 20% of the protein content in animal milk. It is a complete protein source, which denotes that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids and is also rapidly obsorbed and processed within the body when taken. It helps to maintain muscle mass and prevent age-related muscular atrophy while boosting insulin sensitivity and metabolism; enhancing fat loss. Another benefit includes the enhancment of your immune system functioning, especially when you’re physically active. There’s just so many benefits! Whey is like the bow on everything, helping to keep everything together and making your progress that litttle bit better.


Casein has pretty much the same benefits as whey protein however it is much slower to process throughout your body which is why you find more people taking whey than casien. However you will find traces within the regular protein shake so it is never truly ignored. You’re a fool if you do ignore it as your body needs to find the right balance in order to fully recover. Casein is better to use before you go to bed so you’re body isn’t fasting whie you’re sleeping.

Written by Savannah Liu.


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