The age old bodybuilding approach to eating has almost been labelled the ‘’chicken and rice’’ diet – it is one which doesn’t inspire much desire within people who are about to start a diet. It spells boredom, anguish, frustration and most likely the end of somebody’s goal to eat healthy – they will get fed up. However beyond this there are other problems which I see, and this is why I would never have somebody just eat ‘’chicken’’ as their protein source for example.
There are 101 reasons why you should cycle and rotate your protein sources and here are the 3 most compelling in my eyes and experience.
One of the biggest issues with people’s health today is intolerances, having said that very few actually are aware that they have an intolerance. This can lead to hyper-fatigue, poor digestion and assimilation of nutrients and stomach pains. One of the most common causes of stomach intolerances is to eat the same protein source over and over again. By rotating protein sources throughout the day you are giving the body a break and allowing the good bacteria in your body to deal with the profiles of the food. Sure, there are some foods worse than others for this – eggs are probably the worst but any protein source has the potential to cause this.
Cross-Range Of Amino Acid Profiles
Every single protein source will have a unique amino acid chain which is then broken down within the digestive tract. Eating a diverse cross-range of protein sources allows the body to benefit from a whole range of amino acids. If you eat the same protein source all day, every day (chicken anyone?) then you are limited to one source of amino acids. When the body becomes used to one protein source the digestive performance of your digestive tract becomes less efficient. In turn this leads to less protein becoming assimilated leading to poor recovery, and growth.
Different Times, Different Needs In my opinion anyone who claims all protein sources are equal are barking mad!! At different times of the day there are undoubtedly better proteins than others, mostly due to their rate and speed of digestion. For example, 1 hour before a workout beef wouldn’t be ideal due to the density and fat content making it harder for the body to break down in time. In contrast a white fish would be ideal because it is very fine, therefore the body can break it down very easily. If ever you thought eating the same protein day and night was OK, I hope your opinion has at least gained a new perspective!!