Posted by: wellness training services | May 7, 2013

Good Healthy Protein

Dear Friends:  Ryan Gosse, my person trainer, has provided me with some good responses to questions I asked him about protein.  Have a read:
 
Q#1: When taking protein, what would you recommend and what should we look for in terms of a good healthy protein?
 
Protein, much like other macronutrients, can be found in various forms. Powder, bars, pre-mixed protein drinks, meats, vegetables, and fruits. With so many options, how could an “everyday person” really know which form of protein is tailored for his or hers needs?
 
QUICK OR SLOW: 
 
Proteins can be found in many fruits and vegetable that we eat on a daily basis. These proteins are digested and absorbed very quickly. For example: 6 spears or asparagus, boiled, minimal salt, has about 2.5-3.0g or protein. This type of protein can easily be digested and absorbed in under an hour. Another example: Cherries – One cup of cherries contains 1.5-2.0g of protein as well as 2.5g of dietary fibre, making this fruit easy to digest and quickly absorb.
 
Most protein supplements contain whey isolates, soy, milk proteins, or casein. Whey protein takes about 2-3 hours to full digest and absorb in the body. 
 
Soy protein, although considered a genetically modified product, takes roughly around 1-2 hours to digest. 
 
Milk proteins (cow or goat) roughly take a little over an hour to digest and absorb. 
 
Casein protein, named “night-time protein” takes roughly around 6-8 hours to digest and absorb. It got its name by scientific methods recommending bodybuilders to consume casein protein before bed. The body feeds off the protein as you sleep, maintaining muscle mass.
 
PROTEIN POWDER AND PROTEIN BARS:
 
When supplementing with protein powders and bars, there is a few things to look out for: how much carbohydrates, sugar (or types of sweeteners), and weight to protein ratio. Having a low carbohydrate protein powder or bar will generally tell you it’s “duties”. If a protein product is high in carbohydrates, its primary role is meant for weight gaining or energy. If it is a low carbohydrate protein product, it will assist with weight loss and muscle maintenance.
   
Aspartame is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners on the market. Most protein products no longer contain aspartame, but can contain other sweeteners that may or may not be bad for you. A very popular sweetener used in some protein products is STEVIA. Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family, native tosubtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. This plant, properly extracted, can be considered 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains no carbohydrates and can be found some protein products. Another sweetener to be look out for is sucralose, which is a chemically designed sweetener, does not break down in the body, and thus does not contain calories. Properly designed sucralose is considered to be 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. 
 
Although some products do not contain real sugar, some do contain it’s “copy-cat”. A few “copy-cat” sugars to look out for are: maltodextrin, fructose, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup. These sugars are added to protein powders and bars to assist with great flavoring, but can also increase one’s fat mass.
 
UNDERSTANDING WEIGHT TO PROTEIN RATIO:
 
The weight to protein ratio is very easy to understand. The least amount of protein powder you use for a high amount of protein is always a great product. Example: John bought a protein powder yesterday. The serving size says 34g scoop for 22g of protein. Jane bought a protein powder today. The serving size says 25g scoop for 20g of protein. I would rather consume Jane’s protein. A more concentrated product and would be tailored for weight loss and muscle maintenance.  
 
Stay tuned tomorrow for more information on protein health tips.
 
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