You may have noticed your pants got a little tighter after Thanksgiving. What’s worse, Christmas is just around the corner. And with it comes tons of delicious food. So why wait until January to start your New Year’s resolution to be healthier?
We’re not suggesting you ditch the turkey or shortbread cookies completely. But adding a little extra protein, either in addition to your exercise routine or as meal replacements, can work wonders on boosting your energy and getting your body the nutrients it needs.
There’s a huge variety of products on the market for anyone with pretty much any type of dietary restriction. Even if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan. It’s important to know what you’re putting in your body.
What is it? Whey is the most common and effective, popular for its low cost and high quality. It is the liquid that remains after milk is curdled and strained. While that may sound odd, it’s considered a complete protein. Also, whey contains all 9 essential amino acids and is low in lactose.
Why is it good? With it’s high concentration of essential amino acids, whey has a fast breakdown. Amino acids in whey are released in the bloodstream much quicker than other proteins. This means it’s great for workouts to kick-start your recovery and growth.
When should you use it? You can enjoy a delicious shake any time, but many experts agree that post-workout protein is essential to repairing your muscles.
How much should you use? Research shows that about 20-25 grams of protein after training is the most the muscles can use to achieve muscle recovery. Anything above that amount will no longer have the desired effect. It is simply burned as fuel, or supports fat storage if you have excess calories.
What are some good products to try?
A popular brand is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey. Delicious double rich chocolate flavor makes this guilt-free shake taste sinful. With 24 grams, it contains the most whey protein isolates ever.
If you’re looking for something to complement your workout, try Combat Powder Cookies ‘N’ Cream. Because its proteins digest at varying rates, the amino acids enter your bloodstream within minutes, and for up to 8 hours after! It’s great because it has immune-boosting properties that protect your body during intense training.
What is it? Soy protein is extracted from soybeans around the world. Soy gives some of the highest percent of protein by weight. Look for the percentage of protein and grams per serving when choosing your Soy supplement. There should be 90+ percent of protein from the actual powder. Therefore the higher the percentage, the higher the amount of protein you’re getting from the soy.
Why is it good? The soy concentrate is useful as a protein source to support training. Because it comes naturally from a plant source, soy is used as a primary source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
Soy is also a very heart-health promoting protein source because of its amino acid make up.
When should you use it? Again, you can use it any time but for optimal muscle recovery, use the soy product after intensive training to promote an anabolic response.
How much should you use? As with whey, you should consume no more than 20-25 grams as anything above this is burned as fuel or support fat storage.
What is a good product to try?
Sun Warrior’s Warrior Blend Protein has all the essential amino acids you can find, even more than eggs, milk and whey. It’s strictly water-washed to maximize the health benefits you’ll get from Soy. Regular Soy intake helps boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, prevent bone loss, regulate hormones and even promotes cardiovascular health.