Choosing the Right Protein Powder for You
Image: Choose what works for you. Keep it simple.
Protein is an essential nutrient found in every cell in our body and is vital to the structure and functioning of all our bodily tissues. Protein is made up of amino acids that the body uses to make our natural brain chemicals, our enzymes, immune cells, hormones, regulatory and storage cells. Having a protein deficiency can compromise the health functioning of our cells and organs and can occur in people of any age.
Taking protein powders is one way of making sure we get enough protein in our diet. These days there are several to choose from all coming from different sources. The 4 most popular include whey (from dairy), pea, soy and rice protein isolates. Protein isolate simply means a protein isolated from its source.
So lets look at what each of them have to offer.
Whey protein isolate contains almost no carbs or sugars, has a pleasant flavour and because our body absorbs it quickly, is perfect to have before and after exercise or as a quick and filling snack. Whey is high in the amino acid Leucine, the only amino to directly stimulate muscle synthesis.
Pea protein isolate is digested much slower than whey protein making it ideal as a meal replacer or to boost your general energy intake. It is very safe with those with allergies and has a soft, earthy flavour. Pea protein isolate is low in the amino acids cysteine and methionine and rich in lysine. On the other hand, rice protein isolate is deficient in lysine but has high levels of both cysteine and methionine. Thus, these two powders taken together make a great amino combination.
Rice protein isolate is suitable for those with allergies and is easily digested by most. Organic sprouted brown rice protein powder is processed with the bran and the endosperm layers, which increases its amino acid profile and allows for greater retention of nutrients. Rice protein is 80% protein and 20% carbohydrates and fibre, making it excellent for intestinal regularity.
Soy protein isolate is packed with glutamine; a restorative amino acid that the body uses to repair damaged tissue caused from wear and tear in our muscles and digestive tract. Soy also contains isoflavones, which promote healthy cholesterol levels in the body and support proper hormone production.
Protein powders are fun to experiment with. They can be used to make energy balls or add to your cakes, slices and breads to make them more satisfying.
Enjoy your week in the kitchen,
Naturopath Affordable Wholefoods