Why incorporate protein powders into your diet?
We are huge fans of eating whole foods. However, sometimes life can get in the way. If you have heaps of life stress and digestive difficulties, protein powders can support you toward optimal health & wellness.
Your body can become over stressed if your digestive tract is improperly digesting your food and causing inflammation. Protein powders offer your body a “break” by being easily digested and absorbing the nutrients efficiently to help your body perform optimally.
When I first started teaching nutrition, I didn’t want to recommend protein shakes because they weren’t “natural”. However, when 90% of my clients were coming to me with heaps of symptoms and stress, adding a simple protein shake was an easy solution to offer convenience and decrease inflammation so the body could heal quickly. Which seeing results and feeling better would make us both happier.
Types of Protein Powders
Whey has been the most popular protein powder in the weight lifting and exercise community. If you know you feel great on whey, make sure to purchase grass-fed, non-denatured sources. If you have tried whey protein in the past and felt it “stick in your gut”, please try other sources of proteins. Whey is a dairy protein and may cause inflammation to those who are lactose intolerant or inflamed. Be cautious of added synthetic ingredients, such as sucralose (Splenda) or other words that you cannot pronounce.
Rice and pea proteins are plant based and gentler on the digestive tract to assist the liver in the filtering process. These sources are easy to digest making them low on the inflammatory scale and are a good segue to support digestion to other quality protein sources. Keep an eye out for non-GMO’d, organic, sources.
Egg white protein powders contain a good level of protein and can be a great alternative for Whey. However, if you experience many digestive disturbances and food allergies, be cautious of this source.
Hemp protein is a good neutral source. I have not seen many of my clients excel on this product by itself. However if it combined with other quality plant protein powder sources, they can work synergistically.
These sources offer essential amino acids your body needs and can only get from food. Adding a protein shake is a great insurance plan to make sure you are receiving the amino acids your body needs to build muscle, repair cells, and support your nervous system.
Variety is key for a healthy life. Try to rotate your protein powders monthly between two sources when you discover which ones you feel best on.
How much protein to incorporate in your diet?
A good rule of thumb of how much protein you need per day is one gram to every pound of muscle you have.
For example if you weigh 180 pounds and are 35% body fat. (Ask your personal trainer, gym, or a quality scale)
Take 180 X.35 = 63 pounds of fat
180-63=117 pounds of muscle.
So that is 117 grams of protein per day as a baseline. Most people may not be eating high quality protein sources or absorbing the necessary amounts.
We recommend to get 20 grams of protein within the first hour of waking.
Whether from a protein shake, egg scramble, chicken sausage, Lox, veggie juice (yep veggies have protein). Incorporating high quality protein first thing in the morning will set you up for the day to balance your blood sugar, calm your mind, support your muscle mass.