Protein shakes in a nutshell

June 25, 2020

So what is all the fuss with protein shakes and why does everyone in fitness bang on about it? 

Simply, protein powder is an easy way to bulk up your protein goal and hit that target. Protein plays a vital role in the biological functions of the human body. It is essential for muscle growth and repair, as well as maintaining normal function and the forming of enzymes and hormones in the body. Protein also plays a role in transmitting nerve pulses (ie, moving our muscles) and maintaining and strengthening your immune system. Plus when protein is consumed it’s filling, which gives you that satiated feeling. This means you feel generally less hungry, which helps when you are looking to snack less and feel fuller for longer if you are trying to achieve a calorie deficit for weight-loss.

Protein is vital for helping our muscles rebuild and recover. Exercise places our bodies under stress while we work out, which results in protein breaking down. By replacing protein after a work out we are ensuring our body is fuelled for training and building strength!

Eating whole food varieties of protein is more beneficial to a complete diet as it is natural, easy to digest and and not synthetically made. A lot of us struggle to hit our protein targets and shakes are a simple and convenient way to increase protein intake without much hassle.

There are several types of protein powders. Whey is easily and quickly digested by the body, while casein is slow releasing. Both whey and casein are derived from cow’s milk. For vegan options, I recommend looking at soy based products, as soy is a complete protein, contains all nine of the essential amino acids we need. 

Here is a list of my favourites:

Optimum Nutrition

My favourite flavour is the peanut and chocolate, which is delicious mixed in with yogurt as a dessert like mousse that is really high in protein. The French Vanilla Crème flavour is a good base protein powder for fruit smoothies as a staple mix that isn’t overpowering.

Vega

Amore expensive protein option, but a good product if you are vegan. Generally my advice with vegan protein that is often a lot sweeter due to plant protein being very bland in comparison to whey that is made from milk that has milk sugars that are sweet, is to use fruits that are not overly sweet like strawberries, blueberries, pears, kale and all of subtle tasting options.

Wheybox

These guys are a small new company with an awesome selection of flavours that are vegan and whey. The gingerbread, strawberry and coconut are all worth a try. The only issue I have is that I wish it wasn’t sold only in little individual sachets, but I get the idea and it’s good for mixing things up. It’s just not very good for the environment – not to be a buzz kill. I’ve done a few boxes and the flavours are delish! 😋

PhD Diet Whey

This is the lowest calorie out of the brunch and very tasty, it’s a hard match between this one and Optimum, both are good texture, easy to drink, enjoyable in flavour and after taste. Almost all the flavours are really good and not overly artificial. Strawberry, vanilla and salted caramel (with cold coffee) are all winners! 

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