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Q&A: Estrogen Blockers, Glutamine and Peptide, Whey, and Fiber

We examine estrogen blockers, the difference between glutamine and peptide, the how's and why's of whey and fiber.

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Glutamine or Peptide?

Question: What's the difference between L-glutamine and glutamine peptide?

Answer: L-glutamine is a single amino acid; glutamine peptide means glutamine attached via a peptide bond to one or more amino acids. L-glutamine comes in two types, synthetic and fermented. Glutamine peptide comes from hydrolyzed wheat protein. It's also found in most protein sources such as whey, casein and soy. Wheat protein has the highest concentration of glutamine peptides, at around 30%. Glutamine peptides aren't converted to L-glutamic acid in the stomach, whereas L-glutamine can be converted. The theory is that the glutamine peptide delivers its glutamine intact while some of the L-glutamine is converted to less useful L-glutamic acid.

How's & Why's of Whey

Question: What's the difference between whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate?

Answer: Whey from cow's milk is processed to form these three different types of protein powder. Whey protein concentrate is the least processed, generally has a higher amount of fat and carbs, and usually has the highest amount of native milk fractions (alpha lactalbumin, beta lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptides, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, immunoglobulins, etc.).

Whey protein isolate is further processed to remove much of the fat and carbs but also removes some of the valuable fractions. Whey protein hydrolysate is one step beyond isolate - it's enzymatically chopped up into smaller peptides for easy digestion and absorption. Generally, the greater the level of hydrolysis, the worse the powder will taste. Pricewise, whey protein concentrates are typically the least expensive, followed by isolates and then hydrolysates.

What's Missing?

Question: I get enough protein, and don't overeat carbs and fat. What else should I do to keep adding muscle and subtracting bodyfat?

Answer: Most bodybuilders focus on a high-protein diet and thus don't get enough fiber. While high protein may increase muscle mass, it can be detrimental to regularity and to a healthy intestinal milieu.

A high-protein, low-fiber diet can throw off the balance of good to bad bacteria in your gut. The end result is a constipated, gas-producing environment that can cause discomfort, bloating and health problems. Adequate fiber consumption may help prevent colon cancer, an even bigger benefit down the road.

Consume more soluble and insoluble fiber. Whether it comes from supplements or food, strive to get at least 15-30 grams of fiber daily. Drink plenty of fluids as you increase your fiber content. Try adding a probiotic acidophilus/bifidus product to supply the necessary good bacteria to your gut. You can also eat yogurt with active cultures, but many bodybuilders avoid dairy so the supplement might be a better choice.

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