Understand Your Protein Products

protein

There are a plethora of protein products on the market these days.  These supplements can be a great way to meet your protein needs on a daily basis.  Protein supplementation can also be a great resource for muscle recovery after workouts. The key is to know what supplements are worth it and which ones may need to be avoided.

Types of protein supplements:

  • BCAA
  • Collagen
  • Whey protein
  • Vegan protein
  • High Protein meal replacements
  • Protein bars

 

BCAA:

These supplements are comprised of three essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, and valine.  They are essential to your diet because they cannot be produced by our body.  BCAA supplementation is mostly for high performance athletes.  A person who is not trying to bulk up muscle or speed up recovery after intense workouts do not need to spend money on BCAA supplements.

collagen

Collagen:

Collagen supplements are very popular right now and claim to help with skin elasticity, hair growth, joint integrity, and gut health.  The last blog posted on the site goes in depth abut collagen supplements.  Please refer to that blog for more information.  Is Collagen All It’s Thought To Be?

 

protein powder

Whey or Casein Protein Powder:

Protein powders on the market that are made from whey or casein cannot be considered vegetarian or vegan. These proteins are derived from cow’s milk.  Cow’s milk is composed of 80% casein and 20% whey.  The whey is the liquid portion and the casein creates the curds. Whey proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids. Casein is not as common in protein powder supplements and some people do not tolerate casein as well as they tolerate whey.

Whey protein powders can come in three forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed.

  • Concentrate gives you the protein along with the other healthy nutrients found in milk products such as lactose and the milk fats.  These types of supplements are usually the most affordable. These types also have the best flavor due to the milk fats and lactose.
  • Isolate is more protein and less lactose and fat.
  • Hydrolyzed is pre-digested amino acids.  They are the most readily absorbed and are also the lowest in carbs and fats.

The biggest difference between whey and casein is how fast they absorb into your system and how long they are effective with muscle growth.  Whey is absorbed fast and can be used to build muscle in the short term while casein is absorbed slower and can promote muscle growth for a long period of time.

Vegan Protein Powder:

Usually derived from soy, hemp or pea protein sources.  Soy is the only plant based protein that is a complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids).  These powders are great for people who are intolerant to whey or casein.  This type of powder is also good to use if you are on a diet that eliminates dairy products.

  • Vega One
  • Orgain
  • Garden of life

High Protein Meal Replacements:

These products can be used to replace a full meal or to replace a snack if you are not trying to lose weight.  These protein shakes also include carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals to help you get your daily recommended intake.

  • Orgain Shake
  • Premier protein shake
  • Atkins Shake
  • Slimfast high protein
  • Muscle Milk

protein bar

Protein Bars

High protein bars can actually have a high amount of carbohydrates.  So it is very important to read the nutrition label to look at carbohydrate count. Bars can be a great thing to keep around for when you are on the go or to help tide you over between meals depending on calorie counts.

  • Epic bars
  • RX bars
  • Quest Bars
  • Pure Protein Bars
  • Vega One Bars

 

Here at Weigh To Wellness Denver we think that you should always try and get your protein needs met from whole food and natural sources of protein.  These products listed above should be used to help meet deficits in your diet.  When you are on the go or are trying to build more muscle mass you may need a bit more protein in your diet than normal.  If you have questions on how to implement these products in your diet feel free to make an appointment with us!