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Making Breakfast Anabolic

By eating pure protein first thing in the morning, your body produces more anabolic hormones (such as growth hormone and insulin) compared with ingesting the typical breakfast mix of protein, carbs and fat. Protein meals also can lower your cortisol levels. It’s well known that the stress hormone cortisol is the enemy of muscle, so this is a great reason to consider a protein only breakfast. This outcome was discovered in a study undertaken by endocrinologists at a German university. The participants in the study were men aged 18-40, and were given an amino acid mix including valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, threonine and histidine in water, with a range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. In this particular study, the control groups used for comparison fasted or ingested skimmed milk with the same amount of calories as the amino shake group. This milk powder solution consisted of mainly carbohydrates and secondly protein.

Protein Breakfast Increases Growth Hormone (GH)

This study indicated that the pure (liquid) protein breakfast caused a GH peak 21 times the norm, and also remained high for almost ninety minutes in nearly all of the test subjects. It’s expected that solid meals of protein alone would also achieve a similar, but less impressive result, however this was not investigated in this particular study. The bottom line is that bodybuilders, strength training athletes, and athletes of all disciplines should take note of the outcomes of this study.

Tips For an Anabolic Breakfast

Making your breakfast and/or lunch as high as possible in quality protein could assist you in achieving an improved Growth Hormone (GH), as well as IGF-1 spike. Note that this particular amino acid breakfast was instrumental in lowering the cortisol levels in the participants. In fact the cortisol level in the participants in the study halved. By comparison the cortisol levels in the group consuming milk powder declined by a mere ten percent.

Protein Only Meals For Lean Muscle?

Whilst this study indicated that there is justification for having high quality only meals, applying this across all meals may be counterproductive. The fact is that carbohydrates have many health benefits important to bodybuilders, strength training athletes, athletes in general, as well as the general population. In fact the ingestion of carbs just before and straight after training or competition is instrumental in spiking insulin, the hormone well reputed for its anabolic properties. If you are interested in further justification for consuming carbs as part of your nutritional/supplemental regime, have a look at the benefits in the article on Essential Supplements for Beginner Bodybuilders.

Ori Hofmekler’s Warrior Diet

This German study confirms the potential value of Ori Hofmekler’s Warrior Diet, considered to be a diet of choice for some strength training athletes. The premise of this diet (in brief), is to eat a main meal at night, avoidance of chemicals, combining of foods and challenging your body physically. This diet is also believed to address how you should nourish the body in sync with its circadian clock, by separating foods in the morning and evening, aimed at the effective removal of toxins, increased fat conversion to energy, improved nutrient utilisation and improved resilience to stress. Now that’s something we could all do with! The bottom line is that this particular diet is aimed at achieving a goal that many of us are striving to achieve: a leaner, stronger and healthier body.

J Endocrinol. 2003 Nov;179(2):237-44.

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