Beginners Guide to Protein Powder

Implementing protein powders are an easy way to help guarantee your body is adequately nourished and energised. They’re used for a variety of purposes, including weight reduction, enhanced athletic performance, muscle growth, and overall health.

The protein powder options are limitless so taking time to find your perfect match is essential. Determining what your specific needs are before making a purchase will help you get the most out of your supplements.

Whole foods or protein powder:

If you are busy, protein shakes can be a great way to supplement your protein intake without spending time and money on cooking wholefoods. It is important to remember that while shakes can give you a dose of protein they have less nutritional value than whole foods. Shakes work better if you are looking to lose weight but it is important to remember your nutrition when using them to supplement meals.

Adding nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, fish, egg whites, low-fat dairy, skinless chicken or turkey and lean cuts of beef and pork to your diet can help you increase your protein intake, notes nutritionist Vicki Witt.

Protein Type:

Whey protein is one of the most frequently used proteins and is ideal for daily use. It contains all of the essential amino acids and is readily absorbed. 

“Whey protein aids in metabolizing stored fats as a source of energy throughout the day” notes protein powder mechant Organic Innovation, “Whey Protein can provide you with antioxidants for mental clarity, general wellbeing and sustainable long term muscle maintenance”.

“Whey protein can aid in increasing energy levels After a workout, Whey isolates and concentrates are ideal” notes protein powder merchant 

Another popular option is soy protein. It can aid in the reduction of high cholesterol levels and can help with menopausal symptoms for some women. It may also aid in the development of bone mass and improve osteoporosis.

Other types of protein include:

  • Milk proteins which can enhance immune function and muscle growth.
  • Egg protein which has a slower release.
  • Hemp protein that is plant-based and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Pea protein which is easy to digest, plant-based and generally gluten free.
  • Brown Rice protein, 100% plant-based making it perfect for vegetarians or people who can’t have dairy or gluten (be sure to double check the ingredients if you have dietary requirements).

Matching a powder to your needs

  1. Lose weight — Choose shakes without added sugars or carbs for weight reduction. Avoid powders with high levels of dextrins/maltodextrins which are sweeteners derived from starch.
  1. Stick to your budget — If you want to save money opt for cost-effective bulk containers of protein powder over ready-to-drink shakes which are more expensive.
  1. Build muscle — Choose a protein shake with a high biological value which will let you know how well your body will absorb and use the protein. Whey protein and whey isolates are ideal for building muscle.
  1. Stay vegetarian or vegan — If you’re vegetarian, vegan or lactose intolerant  you will want to opt for plant-based protein shakes like soy, hemp or pea over whey protein which is milk-based. 

Knowing when you need protein:

If you’re exercising regularly it is recommended that you eat protein within 60 minutes of finishing exercise to aid recovery. That’s when your muscles are ready for the extra use of protein for repair and growth. To maintain weight, it’s vital to have a regular supply of protein at each meal and snack to keep you satisfied. 

“When you eat protein it can help to raise your tyrosine levels which are an amino acid that promotes the manufacturing of dopamine” explains the mindfulness and NLP experts from the NLP Hypnosis Institute, “These chemicals can make you feel more energised and alert which is great for motivation and general wellbeing”.

Different medical conditions can change the amount of protein that is healthy for you to consume so always consult your doctor to find out how to make protein work best for you.

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