Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 23+ YogaX now with Shoulder Pain

Pretty sore from yesterday's C/S/T workout (plus I mowed the lawn, and didn't stretch). So I'm not 100% sure of the origin of the pain, but I know it's my upper back and shoulders. Perhaps yoga is exactly what I need right now - but who knows if I can even make it through the suffering.

I thought about a topic for today's science related post... I figured I'd start off simple with something everyone doing P90X can relate to. Proteins (polypeptides). I just want to talk a bit about them - what they are, why our body needs them, which ones are essential/nonessential, types of proteins, etc. Let's see how this goes. Please leave your comments below if you enjoy reading about this kind of stuff.

Most of you probably didn't know this, but proteins make up about 50% of our non-water body mass. They are a macromolecule that regulates our bodys, as well as repair, protect, and reproduce (via DNA).
1. are required for building and repair of body tissues (including muscle)
2. are enzymes, hormones, and many immune molecules
3. are involved in essential body processes such as water balancing, nutrient transport, and muscle contractions require protein to function.
4. can be a source of energy .
5. helps keep skin, hair, and nails (keratin) healthy.
6. are absolutely crucial for overall good health.

Most of you probably remember from highschool biology that there are 4 distinct protein structures: Primary, secondary, tertiary, quarternary. The simplest of these structures is a linear sequence of amino acids -Arg-Thy-Cys-Ala-etc... The most complex being the 3-dimensional structures of many proteins mixed together that have active-sites and can perform complex actions/synthesis. These molecules (in most senses) aide in having the body-chemistry work faster. Life without proteins would be very slow.

Amino acids are what we commonly refer to as "proteins" when we think workout drinks/protein shakes and food. Amino acids are just molecules that contain an amino group (R-NH2) and a carboxyl group (R-COOH) *where R is the rest of the molecule. The simplest amino acid is Alanine (H2N-COOH, simply combining the amino and carboxyl group). The remaining amino acids are more complicated and contain ring structures and or long chains of carbon atoms. Amino acids come in two types for the human body; essential/non-esscential. Essential amino acids are only called "essential" because our body is unable to produce them on its own. They are not more important for life functions (persay) than the non-essential type, just we need to consume them to have them. But I'll list the 22 amino acids below by group.

Essential: Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine
Nonessential: Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Selenocysteine, Serine, Tyrosine, Arginine, Histidine, Ornithine, Taurine

Protein powders are made from four basic sources: whey (from milk), egg, soy, and rice. Let's take a look at whey protein (because it's probably the most common). The protein fraction in whey (approximately 10% dry solids within whey) comprises 4 major Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and six minor BCAAs (we'll ignore). The major protein fractions in whey are beta-lactoglobulin (162amino acids), alpha-lactalbumin (14178amino acids), bovine serum albumin (66382amino acids) and immunoglobulins (varies in size). Together these supply high amounts of cystine and leucine, but should provide most of the other amino acids.

Most people don't require protein shakes. The only ones who really should be concerned with not getting enough protein are vegan/vegitarians, senior citizens, and annorexics. That being said, working out hard and wanting to rebuild muscles faster, protein shakes are probably a good idea. Many health studies are showing that protein shakes also raise the immune system (immunoglobulins!) and provide cancer fighting anti-oxidants. So having a few glasses a week could be benefitial, regardless of workout schedules.

Let's call that a day on Proteins and we can pick up class sometime next week, whe we can discuss something a bit more interesting like complex carbohydrates!

Today's weigh in: 147.0lbs.

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