It’s time to get in shape for summer, and one of the classic tools in the dietary arsenal when it comes to building that lean summer body is protein.
Protein is an essential building block for our bodies and those of us that avoid meat particularly need to make sure we are getting all the essential amino acids we need to keep our bodiés fighting strong. A good quality protein shake is a convenient, quick way to supplement the protein in your diet and is also a valuable aid to those who like to be physically active and fit.
What Are The Options?
If you are a vegetarian you have more scope than a vegan in that you can still use some animal-based based protein.
Whey is the runny liquid part of milk that separates from the fatty part of the milk during cheese production. It’s an incredibly healing and nutritious mixture of proteins and nutrients with an impressive full range of amino acids that your body absorbs really easily. It is particularly high in important branched chain amino acids like Leucine, which promotes growth and Cysteine which ups your levels of glutathione, an important cellular antioxidant.
Whey is a favourite amongst many body builders, models and athletes as it is great for building lean muscle mass and can promote weight loss. It has also been found to help lower blood sugar levels, boost immune function and increase bone density.
If you are lactose intolerant you may struggle with whey as it does still contain lactose, although it is sometimes tolerated better than other dairy products for some allergy sufferers. Whey concentrate is the closest to original whey and contains the most nutrients, as well as the most lactose, whereas isolates have less lactose and fat, but also less nutritional value.
Egg White Protein
If you are lactose intolerant but still would like to use animal protein, egg white provides a top quality protein option that covers all the amino acid bases too. It has a similar amount of protein to whey, and also contains the branched-chain aminos needed for muscle protein synthesis and growth.
Of course there are those of you who may also not tolerate eggs well either, and for you, there still more fantastic hypoallergenic options in the plant world.
The veggie world can hold its own when it comes to the protein game. Plant-based proteins aren’t acid forming the way animal protein can be and are an option for those of you who prefer to turn to the leafy world for your nourishment.
24 Mar, 2015, By SaskiaWhereas it really doesn taste that great (best mixed with water), it is one of the best post workout vegan protein shakes I have ever tried! If you e serious about your workout and recovery I can highly recommend it. It replenishes your energy and leaves you feeling great! Add 40ml of Flax Seed Oil together with water to any of the Phyto Pro shakes and it tastes creamy 🙂
Pea protein is also high in branched chain amino acids, and unlike whey and egg protein, is hypoallergenic for those of you sensitive souls. It does all the things you need from a protein powder, being low in carbs and containing all the right amino acids, matching egg white and whey when it comes to protein load. It’s easily digested and because it doesn’t contain any allergens you won’t land up with a gassy tummy.
It helps you build lean muscle mass, keeps you fuller for longer, and promotes weight loss too. Pea protein is an excellent option for vegans or dairy and lactose intolerant people, and there’s no law against you meat eaters out there benefitting from it too
Hempseed is plant protein deluxe. It’s a wholefood, which is always a plus when it comes to nourishing your body as it means it has a complex matrix of nutrients that your body recognizes easily as food. It is also hypoallergenic and easily digested, with a lovely nutty taste. It also has the sought-after full amino acid profile of all 20 amino acids, so you’re nicely taken care of on that account.
Hempseed is very high in Editin, an amino acid that helps boost your body’s immune system. It’s also brimming with omega 3 essential fatty acids, and you can’t get too much omega 3’s! Unlike whey and egg powders, hempseed is also very high in fiber, which is great for your digestion, and contains chlorophyll which is a great alkaliser for your blood.
When choosing your protein powder be sure to look out for pure powders as close to natural as possible, that aren’t loaded with all sorts of fillers, additives, preservatives or unhealthy artificial sweeteners. You can always put together your own divine delish smoothies at home and use naturally yummy sweeteners such as raw honey, or sugar equivalents such as xylitol or erthyritol.
You can kickstart your leaner, more energised summer bod with a daily dose of quality aminos in a variety of yum smoothies. Remember, although smoothies are technically liquid, its always good to chew them a bit before you swallow, as you’re really eating food and need to get your digestion going. So what are you waiting for? Up your protein power! (You can take a peek at our full and varied range of protein powder options here).