As an athlete, it’s important to maximize the intake of protein in order to rebuild and repair muscles during long workouts. Many athletes use legumes and products derived from them, such as tofu and tempeh, in order to meet their protein macros. However, cooking legumes damages many of the available proteins, and the enzymes that are normally present in the living plants are destroyed by heat. There is an alternative way to increase protein intake, involving a very simple change to how food is prepared.
Rather than eating protein, which requires the body to break down the foreign proteins into their constituent amino acids and then rebuild the proteins needed for cell repair, the amino acids that are the building blocks of protein can be eaten directly,. This reduces the amount of energy needed to digest and assimilate the amino acids.
There are 16 amino acids used by the human body, and 8 of them are only available from food sources. Amino acids are universal, but proteins are not. Eating pre-built protein is less efficient than eating amino acids. This method of absorbing amino acids rather than protein speeds up recovery and allows the body to use the energy normally expended in protein disassembly to be used for other purposes.
The best source of amino acids is sprouted legumes and seeds. As the young plant is developing from seed into a seedling, it needs to build cells quickly, and produces amino acids so that the cell walls can be built. Eating the high concentration of amino acids available in a young, growing plant allows the body to use them immediately. Sprouts are the perfect workout food!