Everyone can benefit from the quick hit of amino acids and other nutrients provided by a protein shake. Protein powders are very popular and for good reasons. They are:
• More convenient than high-protein foods like meats, fish, eggs and dairy
• Either fat and cholesterol-free or contain only a small fraction of the fat and cholesterol found in high-protein foods
• Money-savers when compared to high-protein foods like meats and fish;
• Great-tasting and can be used by the whole family.
Walk into any health food store and the amount of choices when it comes to protein powders may be overwhelming. Let’s have a look at some of the types, to help with choosing the best one for you.
Whey protein is a by-product of milk and cheese and has been promoted for its health benefits for hundreds of years. Whey can help maintain blood sugar levels after meals, supports the immune system and helps preserve lean body tissue among many other benefits. And if you’re on the go a lot, a high quality whey protein shake is a far better choice than most other nutritional bars and processed convenience snacks.
Beef proteinis a chosen source for many body builders, but you don’t need to be one to use it. Beef protein powders use hydrolyzed beef, preferably from hormone-free, anti-biotic free, grass fed animals. Using beef powder in your shake helps strengthen bones and muscles, while eliminating the dangers of the high fat and calorie content of eating a steak. It also supplies your body with other healthy nutrients including, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium and potassium which you won’t necessarily get from using whey or plant based protein sources.
Soy protein is good for lactose intolerance or if you’re looking for vegetarian protein with low-fat and zero cholesterol. Studies
show it may reduce the risk of heart disease. But soy isn’t for everyone. Among some of the reasons for this is that soybeans contain phytoestrogens, which mimic the body’s natural estrogen hormones. For men, this can lead to a testosterone imbalance, infertility, low sperm count, and increased risk of cancers. For women, it can cause estrogen dominance, which has been linked to infertility, menstrual troubles and cancer. Also soy contains high levels of phytic acid that can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb important minerals, including zinc, calcium, copper, iron and magnesium. So for some, it is prudent to have a look at pea or rice formulations.
Pea protein has a high Lysine content as well as a unique array of essential and non-essential amino acids. Lysine cannot be made
in the body and must therefore be consumed through diet. Lysine is the precursor of carnitine, the molecule responsible for converting fatty acids into energy and helping to lower cholesterol. Lysine also appears to help absorb calcium and plays an important role in the formation of collagen—the building block of connective tissue such as bones, cartilage, skin, tendons. Pea protein provides a delicious alternative source of protein for anyone but especially for vegetarians, vegans or those following restricted diets. It is entirely gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free.
Rice protein can also assist in weight loss or weight management, with the advantage of being very low fat and low calorie. Preliminary research has tied rice protein to fat loss and lowered cholesterol. Recent research has also indicated rice protein can help with recovery and gains in muscle when taken after exercise.
Hemp protein is slowly growing in popularity among vegans and non-vegans alike. Hemp can be considered a superior protein source due to its above-average digestibility, which also makes it ideal for athletes.The better a protein is digested, the more efficiently it can be used by the body. Other hemp protein benefits include potential immune enhancing and anti-fatigue properties, as well as a high fiber content which can lower risks for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, constipation and diverticulitis
Protein powders may also be enhanced with digestive enzymes to help improve the absorption of large servings of protein or extra amino acids like glutamine, BCAAs and arginine, extending and enhancing their nutritional benefits. The addition of carbohydrates and nutritional fats to the protein and/or the addition of vitamins and minerals may make the protein powder useful as a meal replacement.
All protein powders work in the sense that they will do a good job of supplementing protein and other nutrients to your diet. But whether you are choosing an animal or vegetable protein powder, quality is important. And the most common concerns when looking closely are allergies to protein components such as lactose, soy, casein or eggs, as well as artificial ingredients and sweeteners which are best to avoid.
At The Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy, we carry the highest in quality, pharmaceutical grade and natural protein powders that you can get for the best results. Call us or come in and speak with , our supplement manager, about your choices.