by Wade T. Lightheart
3 Time All Natural National Bodybuilding Champion, Founder of the Institute of Advanced Natural Health Sciences and advisor to the American Anti-Cancer Institute explains how cultured enzymes and plant proteins are the new standard for high performance health
Strength athletes have placed a high importance on the consumption of large quantities of meat, eggs, fish, and poultry for many decades. However, today’s meat products provide a number of challenges; expense, environmental costs of production, the use of chemicals, hormones, and preservatives that may have detrimental side effects when consumed by humans.
In an effort to increase protein intake over many athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts began using protein powders developed from milk, eggs, soy and eventually whey protein. Today protein powders are standard in most nutrition programs and for vegetarian athletes they are essential.
Protein powders offer convenience of preparation yet many athletes have found that consumption of these products lead to digestive problems, bloating, and gas and have sought out other options. The challenge with a high protein diet is the increased potential for undigested proteins to serve as food for bacteria in the body which produce a variety of toxic substances that lead to disease.
All proteins have different combination of amino acids (the building blocks that your body uses to build muscle, repair tissue and run countless functions).
Whether the protein you consume is from meat, eggs, or a protein powder each protein has a certain level of bioavailability. Biovailability is the ability of your body to break down the protein into utilizable amino acids.
How a protein is prepared has a dramatic effect on its ability to be digested in your body. For example raw eggs have a high bioavailability but genetically modified soy proteins contain 13 different enzyme inhibitors which prevent the absorption of the amino acids which are contained within the protein. Chemical fertilizers, hormones, preservatives, and high heat all affect the structure of the proteins and thus their value.
In order for your body to break down protein it must use enzymes to break down the tissue. Enzymes are naturally occurring in all live food including raw meat. When an animal kills another animal for food it also gains the valu- able enzymes that prey contains. All plants contain the natural enzymes to break down the plants when consumed by animals or humans in order to digest provided the plants are consumed live.
Humans are the only species on the planet that cook their food and as a result they lose the benefits of the enzymes contained within raw food which are critical to digestion and absorption of food. As a result humans have to manufacture their own digestive enzymes in order to break down food. This may increase the incident of disease. (See Enzyme Nutrition by Dr. Edward Howell)
Recently many individuals have turned to raw food diets in an effort to preserve precious enzyme reserves in the body. Many preach the benefits of raw food diets but very few raw food enthusiasts are strength athletes a fact pointed out by many main stream nutritionists and sports scientists.
Typically, raw food diets have low protein content due to the degradation of protein content in plants from commercialized growing practices over the last several centuries.
Recently, there has been a developing trend of supplementing the diet with high concentration levels of cultured enzymes in an effort to improve the digestion and absorption of protein in the body.
Vegetarian bodybuilders’ such as myself have experimented with mega-dosing massive quantities of cultured enzymes with raw hemp based plant protein in an effort to increase protein digestion and utilization of amino acids. The results are impressive.
Cultured enzymes are enzymes that are range from 10 -1000x more powerful than at typical enzyme found in a plant or manufactured by the body. By consuming enzymes before and during eating the body is not required to utilize its precious enzyme reserves in order to digest food.
Hemp protein is one of the few plant proteins that contain all 22 amino acids used by humans including the 8 essential amino acids that the must come from the diet. Hemp also contains a perfect ratio of essential fatty acids along with massive quantities of insoluble fiber which is essential for digestive health.
By combining hemp protein with cultured enzymes there is an increased absorption of the muscle building proteins and improved utilization of the amino acids present in the food consumed. This is a major breakthrough in plant based sports performance.
It is now possible for vegetarian athletes to consume, digest and absorb enough protein to aid in the rapid recovery from intense workouts. Most strength athletes consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight (an almost impossible figure to achieve on a plant based diet). Vegetarians who wish to build muscle need only to consume 0.5 grams of plant protein per pound of bodyweight in con junction with a cultured plant based enzyme formulation.
The result is a reduction in undigested proteins, increased utilization of protein that hasn’t been denatured by cooking, and decreased likelihood of undigested proteins remaining in the digestive system.
This breakthrough into a Healthy High Performance model of nutrition will be the next great trend in sports performance. Many athletes who have “burned out” on high protein animal and protein powder diets are now adding hemp protein and enzymes to the mix with excellent results.
As the cost of meat production rises and the strain on the environment increases from the 7 billion people on the planet, plant based proteins combined with cultured will likely be the coming solution to our needs as a species.