Protein Supplements

We don’t need supplements to build muscles, but because our bodies does not absorb or take in all the nutrients it needs, taking multi-vitamins, fish oils and protein supplements may be beneficial to ensure optimum performance and results. It’s an on-going debate on whether protein supplements are really necessary and the truth is, they’re not. However, protein powders are easily absorbed by the body after working out, so they can reach your muscles quicker compared to, for example, steak which needs a lot more time to be digested. In addition, they help escalating your total protein intake to efficiently build muscles.

When and how much should I consume protein shakes?

Protein shakes should be consumed within 20 minutes of your workout so your muscles can absorb them. Make sure to read the instructions on the pack to ensure you are getting the right amount of protein (should be around 25g). They can be added as part of your daily diet for extra protein, but they should never be used to replace real food like eggs, meat, chicken, fish, etc.

Below I will explain the pros and cons of different types of protein powders.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is the most commonly used type of protein powder, and it’s made from the clear liquid that’s left over from cheese-making, which gets dried up to form a powder. There are 3 types: concentrate, isolate,and hydrolysate. The main difference between them is simply how they’re processed and what they offer e.g. faster absorption rate, less fat/carbs, At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what type you consume, unless you have specific requirements.

Pros-

  • Quickly absorbed by the body
  • Can be easily blended in a drink
  • Tastes great, with a variety of flavours
  • High in protein (around 25g per portion)
  • Contains all necessary amino acids

Cons-

  • May cause stomach upsets in certain individuals or bloating – hydrolysate protein is the most recommended for these symptoms
  • May cause acne for some individuals, if combined with a high-dairy diet
  • Not suitable for vegans or individuals who are lactose-intolerant

Casein Powder

Casein is similar to whey, as it’s another compound found in cow’s milk. The main difference is that casein digests slower than whey, making it a better option when you need a slow release of protein (usually before bed as you will go several hours without food). However, I would not recommend it for beginners as it’s not really essential.

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein is my favourite as it always makes me feel more refreshed, and funnily enough, it’s a derivative of cannabis but it’s completely safe to consume.

Pros-

  • Helps ease muscle pain for quick recovery
  • Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant
  • High in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids
  • Easy on stomach and doesn’t cause bloating
  • Contains all necessary amino acids

Cons-

  • Doesn’t taste good
  • Less protein per portion, so you often need more scoops to have 25g of protein
  • May be expensive, specifically in the US since it’s illegal to grow, so it has to be imported

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein usually comes from, yes, peas…

Pros-

  • High in protein per portion
  • Suitable for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant

Cons-

  • Does not contain cystine (essential amino acid)

Soy Protein 

Soy Protein comes from soy beans, which are legumes native to East Asia

Pros-

  • Contains all the essential amino acids
  • Cheap
  • Suitable for vegans
  • High in protein
  • Suitable for individuals who are lactose-intolerant

Cons-

  • Studies say that soy can interfere with hormones if taken in large quantities, potentially lowering testosterone levels and increasing oestrogen levels

 

 

 

 

 

 

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