I had internet problems yesterday that prevented me from publishing this blog entry. I am happy to be able to publish it now.
This past week I asked a question about Metabolic Surge and a ccomment regarding protein storage. In Mission 1, Day 32: Protein storage…what? I questioned the concept that author Nick Nilsson seemingly put forth regarding protein storage. I took Lilla's advice and emailed Nick. He graciously responded and agreed to let me post his answer in this post. My question to Nick was as follows:
Question about Metabolic Surge comment. In the eBook you make the following statement: “Your body uses up its protein stores and, just like carb-loading, this creates an urgent need in your body to store the missing nutrient when it gets it again.” This sounds like you are saying the body can be deprived of protein and it will then, when given protein again, store up what it was missing. However, everything I read says that protein is not stored in the body like fat and carbs. The body only uses the precise amount of protein it needs and the rest is eliminated in the urine. So, my question is this—are you saying that protein can be stored in the body like carbs and fat or is this statement saying something different?
Nick's reply to me clears up the matter nicely:
Hi Michael, I should definitely clarify that. Basically, what the zero-protein day does is increase that “need” in the body for that protein. When you do zero-protein, your body uses up it's store of free amino acids (these free aminos are found in the bloodstream – the equivalent of about 80 grams of protein or so). The body has to start pulling it from the muscle tissue to try and replenish that, which is similar to what happens when the body uses blood sugar and uses glycogen from the muscles to try and maintain blood sugar. And just like with glycogen, when the stores of aminos are reduced in the muscles and bloodstream, when you add in protein in great quantities after that deprivation, there is a supercompensation effect. So basically, when you do zero protein, it removes protein from the muscles. When you add it back in, your body pulls aminos back into the muscles and ends up pulling in MORE than were there before. It IS a temporary situation (just like when the body overcompensates with carbs) but that presence of more amoino acids makes for a highly anabolic environment in the cells, leading to easier muscle growth in the short term. Hopefully that makes sense!
What Nick says is the exact same understanding of have of protein depravation from Optimum Anabolics. The idea is when you deprive your body of a macronutrient and then reintroduce that macronutrient into your diet, your body sucks up everything it can from that macronutrient and uses it accordingly. If you deprive your body of protein, when you finally reintroduce it, your body will eat it up in the form of muscle growth. As Nick says, it is a temporary situation. In fact, Optimum Anabolics recommends 3 weeks of a protein depravation cycle. During that cycle you only consume 30 grams of protein daily and that is only right after your workout. By the end of that time period, you slowly reintroduce protein to your body and it sucks it up like a starving child. It was a weird thing to experience, but it really did spur on muscle growth at the time that I tried it.
On another note, I asked Nick about using the Metabolic Surge nutrition plan combined with my New Rules of Lifting weight lifting program and he said it would be fine. In fact, he's interested in what kind of results I get using that combination. Consequently, I am starting the Metabolic Surge nutrition plan on Sunday, December 2, 2007. I have created a special category called “Nutrition – Metabolic Surge” to track the 36 day period in which I will be experimenting with this approach. I plan to turn my body into a true fat burning machine during this time period.
I'm extremely excited that tomorrow (Sunday) will be my first day back to pushing the weights again. I felt so lazy this week and yet I had a cardio session every single day (except today, which was a rest day).
I just finished up writing the talking points for the podcast and will record it later today. I will upload it on Sunday. I look forward to your comments on it.