Have you incorporated protein powder or protein shakes into your diet? If so, what’s in it?
Ideally, it’s BEST to get all of your nutrients, including protein, from natural food sources. However, most often than not, we struggle getting the proper amounts of protein, vitamins, & other nutrients on a daily basis. In those instances, when used properly, a good protein powder can help to increase your daily protein consumption to proper levels.
With so many different products on the market, how can you know which product is right for you?
Do your research!!! According to a report in the Nutrition Business Journal, the supplement industry is roughly a $36.7 billion dollar, UNREGULATED industry. While there are a lot of beneficial products on the market, there is also a lot of junk!!!
Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a protein powder as a nutritional supplement:
Kind of Protein: There are many types of protein powders available. Here are a few to consider:
- Whey Protein makes up 20% of total milk protein. Whey is acknowledged for its superior amino acid profile, high cysteine content, fast digestion, and mixture of peptides. (Most common)
- Casein Protein makes up 80% of total milk protein. Casein is acknowledged for its superior amino acid profile, slow digestion and mixture of peptides.
- Protein Blends are generally a combination of several types of protein blends such as whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, egg protein, casein protein, and soy protein.
- Whey hydrolysates (also known as hydrolyzed whey protein, and are also called peptides), are powerful proteins that are more quickly absorbed; more so than any other form, since your body prefers peptides to whole proteins.Whey protein isolate contains more protein and less fat and lactose per serving. High quality isolates comprise 90-98% protein while whey concentrates comprise about 70-85% protein.Whey protein isolate provides the greatest amount of protein, which milk contains. Due to its chemical nature it is the easiest to absorb into your system.
- Other Proteins include pea protein powder, soy protein powder, hemp protein powder, brown rice protein powder, & vegan protein powder blends.
Read the Label & Select High Quality Source Protein: Look at your ingredients list. If it’s a long list of ingredients, it’s best to find a much better product where you can read & understand all the ingredients listed. Look for protein that has been tested for purity and quality.
When to Drink Them: The most important time to drink your protein shake is right after you exercise. This is when your muscles need the protein to help rebuild them. Another option is to have a protein shake for breakfast. With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, making sure it is protein packed will help keep you feeling full throughout the day.
Types of Flavors & Sweeteners: Most protein powders will fall into 3 categories: no flavors/sweeteners, artificial or a combination of artificial & natural flavors/sweeteners, and only natural flavors & sweeteners. There are many products available based upon your personal preferences.
Cost: Sometimes, the hype is better than the product. Again, do your research. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the unrealistic claims and promises behind their supplement products. Take the time to compare ingredients, research the company’s history & customer reviews. Sites like vitacost.com is a great alternative to finding great products at great prices.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. Feel free to share your thoughts with us. Leave us a comment & share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.