The need for this article from a doctors perspective is long overdue! If you've ever wondered how to choose a protein powder- look no further. This blog series "Protein Powders: The Expose" will educate you on how to choose protein powders. There are so many choices- even I was overwhelmed!
Here's an overview on what to expect:
- Why choose a protein powder?
- How do I select the right one?
- Who's it good for?
- When to use vs. animal based protein?
- What do they taste like?
Protein is a basic building block of the body . Every cell is influenced by the abundance of or lack of protein. Enzymes, which catalyze every biochemical pathway and essential for our survival, is a protein. Many of the sex hormones, immune system and essential minerals for body function is dependent on having adequate protein intake. From my perspective it's an essential macronutrient that everyone MUST consume.
The debate starts when we examine what type of protein source to consume. Whether you subscribe to vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic or paleo style of eating- all need protein sources on a daily basis.
Low intake of protein can be a source of fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, weight gain, and a host of other nondescript symptoms. I see this all the time in practice. Adequate protein intake can help moderate blood sugar levels, build muscle mass, and keep weight gain to a minimum for both men and women. Those who are physically active have higher demands on body requirements for all nutrients, including protein. In short, having enough protein in abundance will help optimize your health in a subtle, but powerful way.
Powders give us freedom to consume multiple sources of protein without consuming lots of meat/nuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'll discuss more in depth disease states which need protein powders to keep at bay.
For example, folks with cardiovascular concerns, especially having a family history, should having a plant based protein powder in constant rotation in their diet. Better yet, anyone that has inflammation (whether apparent or not) should utilize protein powder. (I'll go into this much deeper later...)
I'm concerned when a patient wants to survive off just nuts and seeds for daily living. Yes our cave-brethern did it, but they also did not have the same level of stress filled, active lives and living in a super polluted environment. Our daily lives put a stress on our bodies in a way not seen before. So adding an extra dose of protein to help deal with re-balancing and detoxifying- I think its worth it!
Protein in powder form is an easy and quick food for ultra busy professionals, soccer/ballet moms and hard working entrepreneurs burning the midnight oil. So the excuse of I just didn't have time to eat is just an excuse when you have a complete protein source so readily available, and quick & easy to prepare in your cube or in the car!
So now you ask, how do I select the right powder- there's too many options?
Stay tuned for part 2...