This week I decided to answer two questions I recently received from a reader. -CW
Chad, my dermatologist recommended that I stop using whey protein. However, I know you recommend it for pre- and post-workout nutrition. What should I do?
CW: First off, acne is primarily caused by excessive inflammation in the body. So anything that reduces inflammation can help clear up your skin. You can put every acne cream ever invented on your face and it still won’t work nearly as well as cleaning up your diet by adding anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and wild fish.
So the question is: does whey protein increase inflammation? I believe that 99% of them do because the natural immune-boosting nutrients in whey have been destroyed through heating and acidification processes used in most whey protein powders. However, what if whey protein is manufactured the right way, thereby keeping the immune-boosters in tact? From what I’ve experienced with clients, a clean whey protein such as Warrior Whey will probably decrease inflammation in most people.
But I’m not your doctor, and I always advise everyone to list to what their doctors say first. So if your doctor is hellbent on having you avoid whey, the next best option is to take 5 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) directly before and after training. Then eat healthy protein from food 30-60 minutes later.
What’s the best exercise to improve my sprinting speed?
CW: The deadlift, period. Sprint strength coach expert, Barry Ross, has compiled more data than probably anyone in the world and it’s his numero uno exercise for sprinters. There’s a strong correlation between your max deadlift and your sprinting speed. In my last conversation with Ross he mentioned that his data show a big jump in sprinting speed when an athlete achieves a double body weight deadlift.
Now, there’s plenty of research that shows the benefit of boosting your squat in order to run faster. However, the back squat isn’t for everyone. It’s a difficult exercise to perform correctly if you’re tall or have long femurs or suffer from insufficient mobility in the ankle, hip, thoracic spine, and shoulder joints. For most, the deadlift is a safer exercise to perform heavy since you can drop the load at any time. This is why I always recommend that you deadlift on a platform since the barbell should be released after each lockout.
Furthermore, don’t paint yourself into a corner and assume that the deadlift must start from the floor. If you have long legs or limited flexibility, rest the barbell on an elevated surface 6 inches above the ground.
So why try to overcome the potential drawbacks of the back squat when the deadlift can get the job done just as well, if not better? Keep pulling heavy and you’ll run faster than ever.