I have always had problems gaining weight, though my weight has always been relatively healthy. My metabolism is high, and thus I have always had to eat heaps of food if I'm training to keep my weight good and put on muscle.
When I was living in Australia, this was comparatively easy. Good food is easy to find, and for a while I used to also take bodybuilding supplements, which I found smoothed out and filled in any gaps in my diet.
But for the last six months I have been living in China. Despite what the Chinese might tell you, the food here is not so great. Moreover, it's usually overcooked and relatively un-nutritious. Since coming here I've lost 8kg and now weigh 80kg. To make matters worse, my teaching contract has finished and now I'm travelling, making my diet even more haphazard. So I decided to look for some bodybuilding supplements to help me get heaps of protein. But they're really hard to find and particularly expensive.
So I've been thinking about other ways. So I wondered what about powdered skim milk? Years ago a friend of mine said that that was an effectively cheap alternative to supplements. And I'm inlcined to agree. It has less fat, and heaps of protein. It's also easily accessible in the stores here and light and easy to carry. All I need is water.
Can anyone offer me criticisms on this?
The body basically needs three main nutrients. Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fat. Powdered skim milk has all three. And the one most risky one - fat - is in the lowest proportion.
Also, I read that all proteins are digested in pretty much the same way. They all break down into amino acids, and are reassembled regardless of their original form.
But then I read on a website harping on about eggs as sources of protein, that egg protein is digested more efficiently than other sources. What exactly are the ramifications of this? Is it true, and if so, which proteins are particularly inefficient?
Moreover, I don't remember what kinds of protein my supplements used to have. I remember whey protein was the big deal, but I think whey protein is what skim milk also has. Are there other kinds of protein that supplements have but skim milk powder doesn't have?
And I guess I won't be seeing any more creatine. What exactly does creatine do, except earmark water for the skeletal muscles? What will I be missing out on? Can anybody help?
And what else is in most supplements that I won't find in skim milk?
Milk/powdered milk is a very good source of protein. Other excellent sources which should be readily accessible pretty much anywhere are tuna, eggs and chicken.
Egg protein is more biologically avaliable to your body than most other protein sources so you will be able to break it down quickly. Whey is even more biologically avaliable so you can break is down even faster. However, it's not always desirable to have a protein source break down and be absorbed so quickly as you can fall short of amino acids before your next meal. For this reason, whey is best post work out and 1st thing in the morning when your body needs a quick supply. Other sources are better at other times of the day. Egg is broken down semi-quickly and milk protein (casein) is broken down slowest. Milk contains a combination of whey and casein making it an excellent choice. Its about 20% whey and 80% casein.
Some protein powders have other stuff added to them but basically, the protein is all you really need.
As for creatine, although it gives you greater water retention in you muscle cells, this isn't the main reason for supplementing it. ATP is used by your body to carry out all functions. It's the basic currency unit your body uses to get things done. Supplementing creatine allows your body to convert more used ATP (ADP) back to ATP, hence allowing you to do more work, ie from a lifting point of view, lift more weight. Good though it is, protein is more important as it's the building blocks for muscle.
I personnally don't believe that powdered milk is healthy. Why? Oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is formed during the high-temperature drying process. It is this oxidized cholesterol and other oxidized lipids, not cholesterol or saturated fat, that is associated with aterial endothelial damage and pathological buildup of plaque in the arteries.
[This message has been edited by arkie6 (edited 03-09-2003).]
The tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T H Huxley