Archive for October 11th, 2012

October 11, 2012

How Much Protein Did You Eat Today? How Much Do You Need?

What do you think about when you hear the word protein? Maybe it’s an ad for some protein shake that promises massive muscles? Or is it the last high-protein diet craze you read about? With all this talk about protein, you might be confused as to which way to turn, or what protein really does for you. Hopefully this will help clear up any confusion…

What is Protein?

Proteins are part of every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. These body proteins are constantly being broken down and replaced. The protein in the foods we eat is digested into amino acids that are later used to replace these proteins in our bodies.

Protein is found in the following foods:

  • meats, poultry, and fish
  • legumes (dry beans and peas)
  • Tofu (soy)
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds
  • milk and milk products
  • grains, some vegetables, and some fruits

It’s rare for someone who is healthy and eating a varied diet to not get enough protein. Varied is the key word there.
Vegans and Vegetarians need to be especially careful.

How much protein do I need?

The following chart is from the Centers for Disease Control

These recommendations are for non-athletic, healthy people. Many fitness experts recommend that a person who works out regularly, take 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight, per day. Questions? Speak with your doctor, nutritionist, or a certified fitness trainer for more information.

What is the best protein to supplement with?

There are many different types of protein to choose from and it can be confusing.  All protein types will help you build muscle & lose weight. They all make great meal replacements; the difference is the source of the protein. While whey is milk based, or animal sourced, many proteins on the market are plant sourced. The choice is yours. While vegetarians and vegans may prefer plant sourced , whey-based protein is a great choice for athletes, due to its amino acid profile which is abundant in muscle tissue

Whey protein-

Whey is the ultimate source of protein.  It’s the highest quality of protein available.  Whey is a total protein, meaning it contains all of the necessary amino acids. It’s rich in BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) containing the highest known levels of any natural food source.  BCAAs are naturally occurring molecules that the body uses to build proteins.  Muscles have a particularly high content of BCAAs.  Whey is the preferred choice for before and after workout protein shakes.  Mixing whey protein with water and fruit instead of milk will rapidly increase the rate of absorption.

Soy protein-

Soy protein isolate is derived from soybeans and is considered free of fat, cholesterol, and lactose.  Soy is a good choice for vegetarians who need more protein in their diet.  It’s a complete protein and a good pick for people with lactose intolerance.  It can easily be added to foods to increase their protein content. Soy helps to lower cholesterol, improve thyroid function and fights many forms of cancer. Its plant based estrogens may not be a good choice for body builders or anyone with a history of estrogenic type cancers such as breast cancer.

Egg protein-

Surprisingly enough, egg protein powder contains no fat or cholesterol. It is produced from the whites of eggs and contains no yolks.  It is considered an ideal protein by athletes because it contains all eight necessary amino acids and a complete BCAA profile. 100% of egg protein ingested is kept in the body.  It does not contain lactose making it a good choice for people with lactose-intolerance.

Rice protein-

Rice protein is derived from whole grain brown rice. It has all of the essential amino acids, it’s hypoallergenic, free of soy, milk, yeast, wheat and other common allergens. It is used by the body more efficiently than soy.  Rice protein, however does not build muscle as effectively as whey, but it’s vegan friendly!

Plant source blends-

Many companies are now offering blends of pea, hemp, rice, chia and/or artichoke proteins. These blends offer a complete amino acid profile and are a great choice for vegetarians, vegans or anyone who is lactose intolerant.

Baums carries a large selection of different proteins  to choose from. Many come in individual serving size packs so you can sample different types & flavors to help you find your favorites!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.