PURIS and the Patriots have one thing in common: plant-based protein.
Tom Brady and his team TB12 launched a plant-based protein shake made from pea protein. Check out the back of the pack. Available as "Made in the USA with Protein grown and made in the USA, Powered by PURIS." If you're already sold, you can buy some here.
Changing tides in nutrition
Athletes, for a long time, have touted the use of proteins, but plant proteins tend to be skipped. It was mostly dairy-derived proteins like whey and milk proteins and other animal-derived proteins that were the only proteins good enough for athletes to eat.
When I played in the NFL, I don't know how many times I was told that whey protein was the only option for athletes. Athletes across sports are embracing plant-based proteins and during this year's Super Bowl, we witness exactly how the power of nutrition can create longevity peak athletic performance.
How do you know if a protein is good for you as an athlete?
First, does the protein contain the amino acids you care about for recovery & regeneration of your muscles?
Protein is made up of amino acids and amino acids rebuild cells, muscles, and aid in recovery for athletes. Your body makes amino acids and uses those amino acids for energy every day. But your body doesn't make all amino acids, so you must consume the "Essential Amino Acids" through the food that you eat.
Any food that contains all the Essential Amino Acids is considered a Complete Protein. Many times, people will claim that plant proteins are not complete. This is true for some plant proteins but not pea protein.
For athletes, there are multiple amino acids that play a role in recovery and the rebuilding of muscle tissue and trigger protein synthesis. Branch Chain Amino Acids such as leucine (triggers muscle protein synthesis & growth hormone), isoleucine (muscle metabolism and blood sugar), valine (muscle protein synthesis), Lysine (building block of protein), and arginine (promotes blood movement to your muscles) as examples. Pea protein is an excellent option for athletes as it is comparable to whey protein in lysine, arginine, and BCAA composition.
Additionally, pea protein has 4X more arginine than whey which helps get those good amino acids to the bloodstream. If you want to consume an equal amount of BCAA and lysine as whey protein, just eat around 10% more pea protein gram for gram.
Can your body digest those proteins?
If you have the amino acids you are looking for then you need to be able to break down the protein into its amino acid form to allow your body to absorb the amino acids into your blood and ultimately your muscles and cells. Typically, this is where animal proteins have beat plant proteins in the past.
Animal proteins are highly digestible by the human body. In fact, an animal ate plants (that have proteins) and digested those proteins into amino acids and the amino acids went into their blood and then into their muscles, milk, eggs etc. Ultimately, most of the animal proteins humans consume were derived from plants. A cow is vegan (grass-fed milk, corn-fed steak). This is where pea protein is great as it is highly digestible — 98% of the amino acids within the protein reach your bloodstream.
I have been #plantstrong for 5 years now. My weight and body fat is the same as it was when I was playing quarterback at UConn. I get plenty of protein and one of the ways is through eating PURIS Pea Protein. Follow my journey at @TylerLorenzen.