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Protein is a staple with fitness and exercise these days. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to think about it and question whether you should take it. It’s actually one of the more popular questions I get from my clients.
Protein powder companies throw out claims like these all the time:
Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to take?
Or have you thought about why are you really taking a protein powder to begin with?
Is Protein Powder Safe?
This is a complex question because it eventually comes down to the brand or type of protein you use. For example, many proteins come mixed with different “enhancers” in them.
If you’re going to buy protein in a supplement shop, make sure you ask about that. However, if you go with my recommendation you won’t have to worry about it at all.
I’ve looked at multiple studies and for the most part, why protein is safe, even better are the vegan and plant based protein, except for soy.
CAUTION: Unfermented soy can mess with your hormones and you should not take any protein that has unfermented soy in it. This goes for drinks like soy milk, and any type of food with soy as well.
What’s The Difference Between Protein Powders?
When protein powders are created, you can come back with three types.
1. Protein isolate
2. Protein concentrate
3. Protein hydrolysate
When the protein is filtered, it’s done so in a high concentrated form. Isolate can be filtered in such a way that it’s nearly lactose free, even carb free, fat free, and cholesterol free.
Isolate protein is about 90% protein.
This is the same protein as isolate just not as filtered so there is lactose and anywhere from 70% to 80% whey protein in the mixture.
This would not be the choice for most women as it can definitely result in bloating. Plus if you’re dairy sensitive, it will probably cause issues.
Hydrolysate protein is a further processed form of isolate. It’s broken down even more with the goal of faster absorption into your body so it can “get to work” quicker.
I personally have never used this type of protein so I can’t speak to the personal affects I may have felt. All in all, any protein powder shows really good absorption so I would not waist your money on this… if it’s more expensive.
Why Take Protein To Begin With?
The idea of protein is to get your essential amino acids which your body cannot produce on it’s own. Typically you will get this naturally through the foods you eat and most people do.
The idea of protein supplementation comes back to the claims we talked about above. There is some evidence that it can help you recover a little faster, but all in all, most major benefits of protein have been disproved as being absolute truth. That might make a good article later!
However, I take a protein powder for a different reason which I’ll talk about in one minute.
What Protein Should You Go With?
Rule 1 is always going to be experiment with your own body. You need to know what makes you feel the best and gives you the benefits you’re looking for.
I recommend SunWarrior protein.
This is a vegan protein and yes, I’m a vegan but there are other reasons why I take this type of protein.
1. No Bloat
Whey proteins, being that they are dairy based, will make you bloat and produce gas. This would always make me feel uncomfortable… God forbid audibly gassy.
Plant based proteins do not produce the gas like whey, but again you should test yourself.
2. Hormone Free
Unless the whey protein you take says made from cows that have not been treated with hormones, then I would assume they are.
This is a lifestyle choice. Anything I can do to keep chemicals and other unnatural substances out of my body… the better!
Do You Get The Same Amino Acid Profile As A Whey Protein?
The biggest question you may have is are you getting the same amino acid profile compared to whey. Animal proteins are usually superior because they are complete proteins by themselves. They have all the essential amino acids your body needs.
Plants are different as there are very few complete protein plants. What has to be done is a mix of different plant proteins to create a mixture that delivers the complete amino acid profile.
SunWarrior does this so you are getting a complete protein supplement.
Why Do You Really Take A Protein Supplement?
As women, we don’t really want to get big and pack on tons of muscle. Sure we want muscle and want to get really strong, but not size. (Remember you don’t really have to worry about this being an issue… it’s a myth.)
So why take protein to begin with?
I take it as a healthy calorie additive. Here’s what I mean.
One of the meals that I love to include as often as possible is a calorie rich shake. These shakes can have 200 to 300 calories and are perfect for a mid-day boost or a breakfast energizer. Plus they are easy to kick up the calories higher if you need.
The point being that the protein really helps get the calories up high enough to make a difference and make you full.
Other ingredients I usually use are kale or spinach, fruits, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut butter, etc…
Alone that might not be enough for me, but with the protein it works out great.
Try The SunWarrior And See What You Think
I suggest the SunWarrior. If you don’t respond with bloat on whey and you love it, go with that.
Either way, I think it’s a good addition to your normal diet. Just don’t go crazy consuming it thinking it’s a magic weight loss supplement… it’s not!
Get the nutritional data for SunWarrior and more on this article I wrote.