Updated: Feb 27, 2019
PROTEIN POWDERS – YES OR NO?
There are a number of factors to consider when thinking about a protein powder. It used to be just for body builders, but gradually over the years other athletes have jumped on the bandwagon, & even the average person exercising, plus vegans & vegetarians. We have different varieties for varying needs also, so which one do you choose?
Protein powders are derived from peas, soy & milk (hemp not the best). They are processed products so depending on the extraction process to remove the protein molecules from the wholefood & keep the enzymes & nutrients intact, will be the difference between good & not as good.
For some people, adding a powder to their diet is not necessary if they eat enough natural protein-rich foods. It is helpful for vegetarians, vegans, lactose intolerant or those with digestive issues. Then there are those who workout a lot with (heavy) weights & don’t eat enough protein. We know that eating meals or snacks with protein in them keeps us fuller for longer, so instead of reaching for a muffin, choc bar or chips, having a piece of fruit with a protein shake will be better for those who can’t eat Greek yogurt or nuts. They’re handy & quick too. Others who may need a supplement are people who need to put on weight or the opposite. If you use for weight loss, this is where your powder needs to have essential vitamins & minerals also.
Some protein powders don’t have a range of other essential minerals in them like the wholefood would, so if you can eat real food, do so first. A shake is great though after a weights workout that you can get into your system within 30mins for best results in building & repairing muscle.
As a health & fitness professional for over 18 years I have taken numerous whey protein powders ranging in quality & price. I have found the perfect one for me which is vegan. So what is the perfect one for you?
Pea Isolate is made from yellow split peas. It has all the Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) required for muscle growth. It goes best in conjunction with Soy.
Soy Isolate is the only complete plant protein, containing all 20 BCAA’s.
Casein is a slow release derived from cows milk & a complete protein.
Whey is fast release from cows milk & also a complete protein. When you see concentrate, that means it is a cheaper version as not pure. Isolate is the purest form of whey & can be taken by lactose intolerant.
How do you know whether you should go whey or soy? Personal or ethical preference. These days I prefer a quality complete plant based protein loaded with nutrients, but you have to decide what’s best for you.