Pass The Protein Shake?
Protein shakes! If you don’t go round with your shaker wildly mixing the powder with your choice of water, milk or milk alternative have you even trained? ;)
This is one question I get asked over and over again. What is the best protein shake? Should I be taking a protein shake? Is whey protein the best? What brand do you recommend? So, let us take a look at these questions and the mighty protein shake phenomenon!
Protein is one of the three macronutrients. It is responsible for providing amino acids which support bone strength and health, create hormones and maintain muscle and skin. It’s a pretty important part of our nutrition; when we train protein allows our body to repair and rebuild the damage that is caused to our muscles. Think of the amino acids like little building blocks building the muscle walls back up.
In an ideal world, my advice would always be to source your protein from whole foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, beans and pulses. Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, carnivore - your preferred diet does not matter as you can get protein from many sources to support your body to repair and recover after training.
The sport you do and the amount of training you are doing has a huge effect on the amount of protein you will need to support recovery. This is very individual and is based on your weight, the type of training; for example are you weight training or in an endurance sport, plus the amount you do each day; do you train once a day, twice a week, twice a day?
As a rough rule of thumb you need around 1-1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight and this should be taken throughout the day as the body will only absorb and use what it needs and the rest will be excreted. So having a super protein rich diet and overloading the body is not the best way to support your bodies function. If anything you will be making it work harder to excrete the protein it does not require as urea.
Now, if you feel you need to take a protein shake to support your training and your recovery then you need to do some research into the best protein supplement for your body to digest and utilise. I discuss some options below:
Whey protein is by far the most common we see on the shelves, this protein is not suitable for vegans as it contains dairy and there are many reports of people who just cannot digest whey protein as it causes bloating and discomfort. It does have a good amino acid profile for your muscles to use but you need to be aware of the whey protein you pick. There are 3 main types, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate.
My advice would be to chose a whey protein isolate as this is the purest form of whey protein available and contains between 90-95% protein. It is a better source of whey for those with a lactose intolerance or digestion issues as it contains little lactose compared to the whey concentrate.
Hemp protein is a plant based protein and is a very good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is easier for most people to digest but does not contain enough amino acids so it may be better to mix this bad boy with another plant based protein to get the whole amino acid profile your body requires.
This is my choice of protein if I am training especially hard and cannot get enough protein through my diet. Research has found that pea protein (vegan) can match whey protein for muscle gains and it is fibre free so much more easily digested! No more bloating!
Hopefully this has answered a few of those questions, however drop me a line if you have anything you want to discuss specifically tailored to you and your training needs and I will do all I can to try and help you out!