Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs)
Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs) form the foundation of today's fitness nutrition program. Experts repeatedly affirm that if you can afford only one supplement, then a high-quality MRP should be it.
What is an MRP, and how does it differ from a protein powder? How do these fit into your fitness program?
Where MRPs came from
To answer the question of where MRPs came from, it's necessary to look at protein powders first. Protein powders originally came about back in the early days of competitive body building.
The idea was to provide the muscles with a source of quality protein to accommodate the repair needed following intense exercise. Most of these were egg-based. As the science of protein powders matured, other protein sources became more prominent.
Meal replacement powders started to appear on the market long after protein powders gained a foothold. A driving force behind these was to provide a source of quality protein and quality carbohydrates.
People who traveled or worked in an office (or other location) with limited quality food choices could mix a powder with water and meet their protein and carbohydrate needs without blowing their diets.
Before the MRPs came along, "weight gainer" powders were the only alternative to protein powders. These promoted the gain of body fat and some muscle. The idea behind the MRP was to promote the gain of lean muscle.
Today, the variety of MRPs on the market is enormous. It seems everyone who makes any kind of nutritional powder also makes an MRP. Some of seem to be very inexpensive, while others seem to be quite pricey. But, things are not always as they seem.
Evaluating MRP options
One of the big issues with protein powders is the quality of the protein that makes up the powder. This quality is a function of the protein source plus the processing method used. The lower the quality, the less effective the protein powder is--and therefore, the more of it you must consume to get the desired effect (think of a drink that has been watered down).
With MRPs, protein quality is also a big issue. However, it's not the only issue. After all, you are trying to replace a meal, not just a protein source. Here are the issues to look at when evaluating an MRP:
If you examine the universe of MRPs per the seven attributes above, you can very quickly narrow down your choices. The MRPs shown in this article are all good ones I have personally tested. The Optimum Nutrition and Lean Body are outstanding.
More about MRPs, below....
The role of MRPs
How can this one supplement be so beneficial? Why not creatine, HMB, or some andro stuff? The answer is very simple: basic nutrition. This is what is missing from most fitness programs. Unfortunately, many people are in denial on this point.
If you are taking other supplements but are not getting leaner, stronger, or more muscular, what do you think is happening? Most likely, your cells simply lack the building blocks to do what they need to do. And those other supplements are simply wasted.
How you should specifically use an MRP really depends on your specific goals. Here are some examples:
Should you take vitamins with an MRP?
This depends on your nutrition needs, but generally you can cut back on normal vitamin supplementation if you are using a quality MRP. You should probably take a sustained-release C and a B-complex on workout days, regardless of what MRPs you use.
MRPs and cycling
There is no reason to cycle MRP usage. A good MRP is food, not a collection of synthesized chemicals. You may want to switch brands or flavors on occasion, but there is no reason to "go off" MRPs periodically--or really ever.
MRPs and water
One of the criticisms levied at MRPs is "You have to drink a lot of extra water if you take them." This is fallacious. First of all, you don't "take" MRPs. You eat them. They are food. Second, if you are drinking the normal amount of water that you should be drinking, MRP consumption doesn't require extra water. The cure for dehydration isn't starvation--it's drinking water.
MRPs and fat
Don't overdo it! Making an MRP with two scoops (or whatever the serving size is) will give you X amount of calories. How many calories and grams of protein fit your program? Probably not more than those two scoops.
Don't make the mistake of throwing scoop after scoop into a blender, then adding all kinds of other stuff. This very typical behavior is how you turn a 240 calorie body-sculpting meal into a 2400 calorie fat-making brew.
Used properly, an MRP is a godsend to the serious athlete, bodybuilder, bodysculptor, or anyone else seeking to have a lean, healthy body. Use it properly, and reap the benefits.
is a subsidiary of Mindconnection.com. When you follow the links from this
site to the purchase area, you will go to Mindconnection's secure server.|
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please view theaboutus pages, or write to sales @ mindconnection.com. We do want your business.