They’re called meal-replacement prod-ucts (MRPs) – shakes, bars, powders, and so forth – because, as the name suggests, you are supposed to eat or drink them in place of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There-in lies the problem: If you do that, if you use them as true MRPs, you’re cheating yourself nutritionally – big time.For one thing, you won’t be the benefi-ciary of all the natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and other synergistic foods factors found in real food. For another, you’ll skimp on calories – by eating shakes or bars only at various meals – and thus cause your metabolism to downshift. Restrictive dieting practices such as replacing meals lower your meta-bolic rate, making it easier for your body to store fat. Instead of losing body fat, you lose a lot of hard-earned muscle in the process. And when denied food, your body will begin to feed on the protein in your muscles .
Because muscle is your body’s most metabolically active tissue, depleting it interferes with your ability to burn calories. I’m certainly not knocking MRPs – hey, we sell our own line of beverages, bars, and puddings here at Parrillo Performance – I’m questioning the whole meal replace-ment issue. What I’d rather see you do is use these products as meal enhancements (MEPs), or between-meal snacks, rather than as meal replacements . Here’s a close look at what I’m talking about. You will see that there are so many more uses for MEPs than you may be previously con-sidered .Increase Your CaloriesSupplements such as ProCarb, 50/50 Plus, Optimized Whey Protein, Hi-Protein Powder, and any of our bars or pudding (great for dessert) are the perfect comple-ment to meals in that they can help you in-crease your calories .
This is a critical tenet of my Nutrition Program. On my nutrition program, you gradually increase calories to lose body fat and gain muscle. Depend-ing on your sex, size, activity level, and present metabolic state, you eat between 2,000 calories a day and 10,000 a day, sometimes more. Add one of my MEP supplements to your meal, and bingo, you’ve easily upped your caloric intake for greater mass-building. MEPs can be used as snacks too – another way to push your calories up the nutrition ladder .Boost Workout EnergyFor even greater energy and endur-ance, sip a carbohydrate beverage such as ProCarb during your workouts. This pro-vides a source of carbohydrate other than muscle glycogen . With glycogen spared, fatigue is delayed, and you can work out longer and harder. ProCarb contains the slow-release carb maltodextrin or rice dextrin and is free of simple sugars such as fructose and glucose.Maximize RecoveryYour muscles are most receptive to syn-thesizing new glycogen within the first few hours after exercise.
To initiate re-covery and restore glycogen, an effective supplement to take is 50/50 Plus at this time. Scientific experiments demonstrate that this type of supplement (with the added protein) initiates the rapid uptake of carbs by your muscles – faster than carbs alone. (1) In addition, a carbohydrate/protein supplement taken following a workout stimulates the release of two hormones (insulin and growth hormone), creating an environment favorable to muscle growth and recovery. (2)Stay WellNo one likes to be sidelined from work-ing out due to a cold, flu, or other infec-tion. In addition to eating properly and supplementing with antioxidants, there are other measures you can take to bolster immunity so that you’re less like to get sick. One of these is using a whey-based supplement in your nutrition program . It also enhances recovery. We have two products containing whey: Optimized Whey Formula (100% whey protein iso-late) and our 50-50 Plus Formula (formu-lated with whey protein isolate, calcium casein, milk protein isolates, and malto-dextrin).
Whey is a component of milk that is separated from milk to make cheese and other dairy products. Research shows that whey protein diets increase the amount of glutathione in body tissues. Glutathione is involved in strengthening immunity. (3)In addition, whey exerts a powerful mass-building effect too. This may be partially due to whey’s ability to stimulate protein synthesis and enhance recovery. In one study, whey boosted post-meal protein synthesis by 68 percent, whereas another milk protein stimulated synthesis by 31 percent. (4) So you see: There is a lot more to these amazing supplements that is normally promoted. Their least-best use is as meal replacements. Their very best uses en-tail so much more – as calorie boosters, energy aids, recovery agents, and protec-tor supplements . Use them strategically, you’ll be amazed at the muscle-building, energy-boosting results you’ll achieve.
1. Zawadzki, K.M., Yaspelkis, BB., and J.L. Ivy. 199
2. Carbohydrate-protein com-plex increases the rate of muscle glycogen storage after exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 72: 1854-1859.2. Chandler, R.M., Byrne, H.K., Pat-terson, J.G., and J.L. Ivy. 1994. Dietary supplements affect the anabolic hormones after weight-training exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology 76: 839-845.
. Bucci, L. 1993. Nutrients as ergo-genic aids for sports and exercise. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1993.Bounous, G., Batist, G., and P. Gold. 1991. Whey proteins in cancer preven-tion . Cancer Letter 57: 91-94 .