Here I look at the misconceptions and misinformation about protein powder and recommend the most simple and effective ways to use protein for your specific needs and goals.
WHY DO YOU NEED PROTEIN?
Protein is considered by many to be one of the most important macronutrients your body needs to grow and thrive. Whenever the body is growing, repairing or replacing tissue, proteins are involved.
Protein is also the key nutrient to support ageless glowing skin, a healthy pregnancy and optimised immune system. Protein also balances your hormones, assists in sports performance and recovery and sustains lean muscle.
Protein is also the key nutrient to support ageless glowing skin, a healthy pregnancy and good immune system. Protein also balances your hormones, assists in sports performance and recovery and sustains lean muscle.
A quality protein powder made from wholefood ingredients can provide a fast and efficient way to get more protein in your diet. Whether you want to lose weight, recover after exercise and build lean muscle, support gut health or nourish hormones - protein is the key nutrient your body needs. You can check out my PROTEIN CALCULATOR for more info on how much you need each day.
NOT ALL PROTEIN POWDERS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Protein powders taste great and they promise to help you lose fat and give you instant energy. But do you really know what's in them? Like most health products, not all protein powders are created equal.
A good place to start when looking for a quality wholefood protein powder is by avoiding these ingredients. They are mostly added to act as cheap bulking agents to make more money for the manufacturer or to make the protein mix easier, or to improve the texture and taste of the product.
The protein is then poorly absorbed into the body, making it harder for you to reap all of its benefits. You can read more about it here: 10 Ingredients I Don't Want In My Protein Powder.
Some fillers in some protein powders include ingredients such as coconut flour, milk powders, added fibres or psyllium, which can cause gastric distress such as bloating. It’s also important to watch out for the amount of carbohydrates vs protein you are getting from the protein powder. Your carbohydrate count SHOULD NOT exceed the protein count in the powder that you buy, as it can cause elevated blood sugar and high insulin levels.
I’ve been in the fitness and health industry since my early 20s and have been seduced by many kinds of protein powders on the market. Some made me gain weight, some constipated me for days, and some made me feel bloated.
This was the main driving reason I decided to make my Health Chef Pure Native WPI and my Healthy Chef Organic Pea Protein range. Both protein powders are low in fat, low in carbohydrates (and free of soy, sugar and gluten), making it suitable for those who suffer from food allergies and food sensitivities.
It is also ideal for vegetarians, vegans or anyone wanting to incorporate more protein into their diet and support optimum health.
I’ve been in the fitness and health industry since my early 20s and have been seduced by many kinds of protein powders on the market. Some made me gain weight, some constipated me for days, and some made me feel bloated. This was the main driving reason I decided to make my Health Chef Pure Native WPI and my Healthy Chef Organic Pea Protein range.
WAYS TO USE PROTEIN POWDER:
AS A MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE
I love starting my day with a protein shake that keeps me full and nourished until lunch time. I combine a few spoonfuls of Healthy Chef Protein into a blender along with almond milk, spinach and banana. It's the perfect complete low GI breakfast that helps stabilise my blood sugar and boosts my metabolism.
WEIGHT LOSS + BODY SHAPING
Protein can work effectively to regulate the appetite, increase satiety and encourage significant weight loss. For weight loss, it is recommended you get between 80 – 120 g of protein per day to help keep you full and provide the body with essential amino acids for producing hormones and repair lean muscle. I’ll talk more about the importance of protein for weight loss and body shaping in next week’s post.
Protein has been shown to have a stabilising effect on blood sugar which can stabilise insulin and assist weight loss. Protein is also more satiating than fat and carbohydrate in the diet, which means we feel more satisfied when we eat it.
SPORTS PERFORMANCE + RECOVERY
The best time to consume protein is immediately after intense exercise when blood flow to the exercised muscles is high and the muscle is especially receptive to nutrients. Before exercise, it can curb appetite and keep blood sugars stable to get you through your workout in the best physical condition.
One of my favourite recovery shakes is simply a serve of Healthy Chef Chocolate WPI mixed with coconut water in our Blender Bottle - This combination provides instant hydration and a quick supply of protein that absorbs quickly into the body. Athletes love Healthy Chef protein because it doesn’t bloat or causes gastrointestinal issues, allowing them to perform at their optimal best.
ANTI-AGEING + BEAUTY
Protein is the key nutrient for ageless, beautiful skin. Your skin, hair and nails are made up of protein, so it’s important to include it in your diet to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails.
BEAUTY COMES FROM THE INSIDE. Amino acids in the diet help support healthy and firm glowing skin and thicker hair. Protein influences the skin structures and helps keep skin firm.
PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDER STRESS
Protein has a stabilising effect on blood sugar. High-stress levels can lead to hypoglycaemia or other blood sugar imbalances. Increasing protein intake can boost energy levels, reduce jitteriness, agitation and mood swings, improve sleep, and sharpen brain function.
ILLNESS + AGEING
Both the elderly and the chronically ill frequently suffer from muscle wasting. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that a higher protein diet can help to prevent further tissue breakdown and reduce the effects of both ageing and chronic illness. Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of muscle mass, it's quality, and strength associated with ageing resulting in frailty and frequent falls.
To have a strong immune system your body needs a daily supply of quality protein. Research studies have shown that deficiency of high-quality protein can result in depletion of immune cells, an inability of the body to make antibodies, and other immune-related problems.
PREGNANCY + BREASTFEEDING
It’s important to get enough protein throughout your pregnancy as well as in breastfeeding. Pregnant women need between 70 g - 100 g of protein per day to support a growing healthy baby.
Don’t forget to follow Week 2 of my special 4 Week Protein Series… I’ll reveal the importance of Protein For Weight Loss + Body Shaping.
Protein requirements are based on data from the 4th edition of Clinical Sports Nutrition, Journal of Sports Sciences and Medicine, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Nutrient Reference Values for Australia & New Zealand.