Protein is an essential building block for your muscles, bones, and skin
Unlike other macro-nutrients (fats and carbs), the body has no way of storing protein. Even though the body needs large amounts of protein, our bodies either burn it right away or flush it out as waste. Since your body needs a constant supply, protein should be a critical part of your daily diet.
Though it is an important nutrient, our sources aren’t always the best. The protein in meat and eggs come saddled with saturated fats, extra calories, and cholesterol, not to mention they’re pretty hard on the kidneys and can be, for some, hard on the digestive tract.
As an alternative source, many have turned to protein powders. While growing in popularity among fitness and weight loss groups, many are not aware this powder offers benefits beyond the conventional muscle building and meal replacements.
The Power of Protein
When you are eating unhealthy foods, you are filling your body with empty calories. Once digestion begins, you quickly start to feel hungry again. Plant protein, like pea and rice protein, is a slow digesting protein that works wonders to curb cravings. Less cravings means less eating, less calories and less sugar…I think you get the picture. Pea and rice protein leaves you feeling fuller for longer periods of time and as a bonus it triggers leptin, a hormone produced in fat cells that decreases appetite.
Whey protein has been on the radar of professional athletes and body builders for years because of its ability to assist in athletic recovery. However, this advantage isn’t limited to just the professionals. We have all found ourselves bemoaning the pain in our legs while climbing stairs the day after a tough workout. Whey stimulates protein synthesis because of its amino acid composition, assisting your muscles to repair and rebuild. Because of this property, less time is needed between workouts, performance is enhanced and lean muscle is more easily built and maintained.
Vegetarian Nutritional Aid
One of the most difficult things to replace in a vegan or vegetarian diet is protein. Plenty of foods contain protein but the difficulty lies in piecing together a complete protein profile from grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts. This is precisely where a protein powder can help. While many vegan-friendly protein powders exist, I suggest a pea and rice protein instead of soy based protein powders. The reason? Soy proteins have high levels of phytoestrogens which are estrogen-like chemicals that occur naturally in plant foods. Overloading in these chemicals can cause an imbalance in the body’s natural hormone ratios. This could be dangerous, especially when vegans ingest more soy products than average, to begin with.
Easy Meal Replacement
Let’s face it, we’re all very busy these days and the pace of life only seems to increase. One of the main reasons unhealthy foods are consumed is because of convenience. That being said, it only takes a couple of minutes to blend together a delicious protein smoothie and know that you are doing a good thing for your body. A recent study suggests replacing one meal a day with a protein smoothie can reduce your daily calories by as much as 500 calories.
Need a few delicious recipe ideas to get started? Check out our 31-Day Smoothie Calendar!
What To Watch Out For
Unfortunately, not all protein powders are created equal and you should know about the negative side to some protein powders. A hot topic lately has been the recent discovery of a compound similar to methamphetamine in Craze, a specific brand of protein powder. Of course this is an extreme case, but it dramatically demonstrates the importance of consumer awareness.
The Best Solution
Be careful when picking a protein powder. Check the ingredients diligently to make sure they are safe. One factor to consider is that lots of brands are often filled with preservatives and other synthetics like aspartame, saccharin, and artificial flavors.
Many powders on the market are also highly processed with heat to the point that the protein is denatured, meaning the natural qualities have been altered or stripped. Denatured proteins have been known to increase toxicity in the body because the body no longer recognizes it and can’t process or metabolize the material.
In contrast, our whey and body proteins contain no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, are stimulant free, and non-denatured. We stand by our products with a Quality and Satisfaction Guarantee and hold our raw materials to the highest standard.
Whether you’re interested in the physical benefits, the convenience, or the nutritional benefits, protein powders can be a powerful addition to your daily diet—just be sure to choose the right one.
When it comes to something as important as your health, we encourage you to ask questions! Wondering something about protein powders? Post it in the comment section!