Protein is an important part of everyone’s diet. Protein is in many foods, but there are times when you are just too busy to cook some chicken or some quinoa. So what’s an alternative solution? Protein Powder. Protein powders are convenient and they provide a convenient way to get the protein needed in your body. Another great thing about protein powder is that there are several varieties available so it is easy to find the right one to meet your dietary requirements.
Protein is necessary to help the body build and repair muscles, it assists in fat burning (this is a nice benefit to know), improves general health, gives a boost to your immune system post-workout and there are vegetarian/vegan options available.
Whey protein seems to be the most popular on the market. Whey is derived from milk, so if you are unable to tolerate milk products you may want to avoid whey. Whey protein provides 25 grams of protein per scoop. That’s quite a punch and is known to help build lean muscle. You will find a vast array of amino acids to assist with muscle recovery and growth along with assisting in fat loss. Since Whey is a complete protein it provides all the essential building blocks of amino acids including the very important branched chain amino acids (BCAA). These become depleted when exercising so it is often recommended that you consume whey within a few minutes after your exercise session is completed. As a bonus whey assists your body in producing disease-fighting antioxidants.
Casein is another protein powder available. Casein is known to build muscle while you are sleeping. It generally contains 15-20 grams of protein per scoop. This is also a milk protein. It provides a release of amino acids over a greater period of time. This helps with muscle damage that can occur 48 hours after your workout. This also helps to boost your immune system due to the high amounts of glutamine it contains.
Soy is a great alternative for those who are vegetarian and a good option for women. This generally contains 20-25 grams of protein per scoop. The soy compounds are known as isoflavones and have been shown to decrease symptoms of menopause and reduce breast cancer risk.
Brown rice is an incomplete plant protein, but by blending brown rice protein with either soy or milk you will be able to fill in the missing components. This contains about 15 grams per scoop. Brown rice protein is easy on the stomach and absorbs easily. If you are lactose intolerant pair with soy.
Hemp is great for vegans. You are provided anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids as well as omega-3’s which help aid muscle recovery after your workout. Since this is also an incomplete protein by either eating a variety of plant proteins throughout the day or including beans, legumes, and grains you will provide your body with the essential amino acids you need. Hemp is also known to help your heart by lowering cholesterol, enhancing memory as well as focus and concentration.
Feel free to mix these up, hemp one day, whey another, etc to see which type you like the best. It is easy to add a scoop to your morning oatmeal, or add to your smoothie or juice after a workout. Variety is the key. Remember your body can only metabolize 25 grams of protein at a time so eating more than that at one meal is of no benefit to you. Keep your body healthy and strong and help with exercise recovery by eating healthy meals.