I often get asked the question ‘why should I take a protein powder and do I need one?’
Of course there are many sources of real food protein that we can take but in my eyes it is easy to understand that protein powders offer some great benefits:
- They are a quick and effortless way to grab high quality nourishment (as long as you choose one that isn’t loaded with artificial sweeteners and flavours) on the go
- They are almost THE ideal post work out recharge
- You can make ‘wondershakes’ Basically a meal in a glass! Adding in avocado, coconut oil, nut butters, berries and even spinach or kale gives you a great balance of nutrients which is readily absorbed into the body as it is already broken down.
- They can be a wonderful addition to a weight loss regime, again for the above reasons. Maximum nutrients meaning your metabolism will be firing on all cylinders, plus the digestive system gets a bit of a break as it doesn’t have to work as hard to break down everything.
If you are looking to lose fat, gain muscle mass, build yourself back up after illness or injury or just need something convenient that can be taken with you on your hectic schedule, then this could be the perfect addition to your daily regime. How many of us don’t allow enough time to cook a proper breakfast, then end up grabbing a slice of toast or sugary bowl of cereal or…better yet a muffin and a skinny latte?! EPIC FAIL! As soon as we do this we are setting ourselves up for a blood sugar rollercoaster ride throughout the day. That means a peak in energy shortly followed by one hell of a CRASH! All of those excess sugars and carbs will have an impact on overall health and weight.
Why do I need protein?
All proteins are comprised of amino acids which are the building blocks of life. Hair, muscles, skin, tendons and cartilage are all made from amino acids. In fact every single cell in our bodies as well as hormones and enzymes contain protein.
Some of the amino acids that make up a complete protein can’t be made by the body. These are called essential amino acids as they have to be obtained from food.
Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, promotes muscle growth and repair (women don’t panic, you won’t turn into muscle mary!) and fuels fat burning…what’s not to love?!
Should I choose whey or vegan protein?
You have probably felt slightly confused when staring at the HUGE vats of protein powders currently available. I know I certainly have! The majority of proteins available on the market are either formed of whey protein or soy protein. I firmly believe that the best option is a plant based protein that is not soy derived. You may be thinking why? Let me explain….
Whey Is a by product of the dairy industry. After fat and casein are removed from milk, dairy processors are left with whey protein. Whey is composed of bovine blood proteins – not sounding so tasty, right?!
Also the quality of the whey hugely depends on the cows it comes from and how they have been reared. Unfortunately cattle are often raised in inhumane ways, fed on unnatural foods like grains and pumped with antibiotics to rid any bacteria that may be coming from the poor conditions they live in. If the cow is eating it, guess what…so are you! No wonder we are experiencing superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. If choosing a whey protein always opt for organic whey that has come from grass fed cows.
Whey contains lactose (this is the sugar portion of the dairy) Many people lose the digestive enzyme which can break down this after the age of 2. When you can’t break down a food sufficiently, it can cause damage to the gut lining and inflammation which is the basis of all disease. It also leads to gas and bloating. Not so good if you are thinking of heading to the gym…I guess the silver lining is you will clear the gym so you won’t be queueing for any machines!
So the other option is to have a vegan protein. Again there are different types of vegan protein:
Soy protein is made from unfermented soy. Unfermented soy often comes from genetically modified crops and has the ability to alter our fine balance of hormones dramatically. It has oestrogenic effects which means for women, they can become oestrogen dominant (this can cause havoc with fertitlity) and for men – all I need to say is MOOBS (man boobs)– never a good look. Soy also has a huge impact on thyroid health and our thyroid is a gland that rules how every single cell in our bodies works. If your thyroid doesn’t work properly, your body doesn’t work properly I suggest avoiding processed soy products for these very reasons.
So surely there HAS to be a better choice?
Yes! Hurrah!!! Combining a few different plant based proteins in the best option. This gives you a full amino acid profiles that is easily absorbed and utilised by the body.
I choose to use Arbonne essentials Vegan protein powder which is a combination of pea, rice and cranberry protein.
By combining these 3 plant based powerhouses you end up with a protein powder that is pretty impressive:
Cranberry protein is the only 100% plant protein that contains 25% complete protein, including all essential amino acids. It’s also a powerful detoxifier, diuretic, immune booster, reducer of cellulite, and can help improve skin conditions, circulatory health and
Peas are a high fiber, low calorie, nutrient dense superfood, satisfying all essential amino acid requirements. They’re great for restoring the body’s nitrogen balance after intense exercise, help increase muscle mass while reducing body fat, improves vasodilation, calcium absorption and the immune system.
- No cholesterol
- Low glycemic index
- No bloating, gas, indigestion or constipation/diarrhoea
- No estrogens, antibiotics or GMO
- Reduced lactic acid and ammonia build up
- Pre-digested, resulting in a 98-99% digestion efficiency, so you need less
- Increased nitric oxide production, decreasing blood pressure
I hope that has unravelled some of the protein dilemma’s you may have been facing.
For some fab protein recipes feel free to get in touch.