Here we are New Year Resolution time!! Gyms will overflow with people who are determined to make this year the year they get into shape. Many are going to start taking supplements, drinking lots of protein shakes, eating endless salads. Today I am going to focus today on ....PROTEIN!
We have had the debate with protein do we do plant-based protein or whey protein? Or do I even have to do a protein shake can I just eat meat? Here are the key questions you should ask yourself. What are my goals? Gain muscle, lose weight, increase protein? Is your gut healthy and doing well?
Do I work out hard? Do I get enough protein in my diet alone?
There are many reason people add a protein shake to their diet. First off it is an easy way to up their intake of protein. Next, weight loss, protein is not stored by the body it is used and dumped as long as you don't do massive amounts of it. Another reason is muscle mass, many take protein shakes to fueling muscle growth and repair right after a workout. Fueling and building lean muscle mass can burn more calories and assist in losing fat. Things to consider, you don't want to overwhelm the kidneys with fast-digesting protein so do not drink too many of them if you want more protein to eat some meat or other protein-rich foods. Whey protein shakes are a fast-digesting protein, yes quick digesting so if you are looking for something to keep you full this may not be the best option. Unless you are adding fat or having a plant-based protein, these will slow things down. Things to consider when it comes to quality also not the same between plant and whey, and quality varies in each type of plant and whey.
Realize plant proteins have fiber which makes the absorption of the protein not as effective, fiber is meant to slow sugar and cholesterols but also it can inhibit digesting protein. Most plant proteins have rice in them which tends to come from china and carry carcinogens. Plants can have many toxins in them if they are not organic so you need to find an organic one. Fibers scrape the gut lining so they can be bad for a damaged gut. If your gut is doing well and you have good quality all organic plant protein, plus if dairy is a problem, then plant-based may be best for you. Again I will stress getting the US ORGANIC!
Whey needs to be grass-fed, cage-free animals, even organic these things are important on whey. Usually, if it is not organic but free-range it is good, due to free-range animals can't always be certified organic and the animals have detoxing organs to help rid them of the toxins, where plants can not. Whey is a fast-absorbing protein so great to recharge muscles after a workout. We have whey Concentrate, Isolate, and Hydrosloate. Whey concentrate has lower carbohydrate and fat, Isolate is removing fat and lactose, Hydrolysate is a type of predigested protein. If the whey has lactose and fat it can cause digestive issues if your liver and stomach are not properly functioning. Whey protein, a lot of times is denatured, meaning it is heated to high heat which kinks the protein. This can impact how you rebuild and the likely hood of mutations. I would look for low heat processed protein that has nondenatured proteins.
I think protein shakes can be helpful in building muscle mass, however, you should not do a lot of them in a day, and quality, like always, is everything. I usually go with a non-denatured protein with colostrum in it. Standard process has a great quality whey protein, or meal shakes that are called SP complete. They have both non-denatured protein and colostrum, the SP complete (meal replacement) has your greens, antioxidants, and other great nutrients in them. Having one of these and good quality grass-fed cage-free meat in your diet throughout the day is great for you. You can even add proteins from quality foods like bone broth, quinoa, buckwheat, hemp these are great ways to increase your protein.
The one that is best for you can depend on your body and the state of your health. Shakes are usually about a quick boost of protein after a workout or on the go protein as a way to fuel good lean muscle mass. Depending on your goal, exercise, body makeup, and digestion these all impact which protein is best for you.