More About Proteins

Protein is the ‘it’ word of fitness.  Protein shakes, bars, supplements are all going to get you the protein your body needs to recover after a workout and help maintain a healthy weight, but with so many choices on the shelves, how do you know what to eat?

Protein, made from amino acids, is a macronutrient found in meats, dairy, nuts and beans that promotes healthy skin, hair, fingernails, and muscles.  The best place to get protein is from whole food sources, but supplements can make getting your daily dose of protein a little bit easier.  It’s important to know the different types of proteins available out there and how you might find them packaged.  After learning last week about protein concentrate versus isolate and complete protein versus incomplete proteins, here are two more options for getting the protein you need.

Casein Protein:  Casein protein supplements come mainly from milk, and it is digested at a slower rate than whey protein.  The five to seven hour time period it takes to digest casein can help you stay full and give a consistent source of protein to your muscles.  Because it takes longer to digest, casein is not recommended for use immediately following a workout, but is perfect at nighttime.  Ingesting casein protein before bed will keep your body anabolic throughout the night as it thickens in the stomach and slows its absorption into the bloodstream.  This means the nutrients are released gradually, helping your body use the nutrients while you snooze.

Eggs:  When using eggs as an additional source of protein, it’s important to consider the egg white.  Known as albumin, the egg white can be found as a protein powder, but fresh eggs are probably a little less expensive while easy to find and cook.  Be careful to remove the yolk when eating eggs because eating as few as two eggs in a day can exceed the daily recommended amount of cholesterol.  Lots of meal replacements have egg albumin in them, and egg albumen has the added benefits of vitamins and minerals.  Egg whites are also very versatile, easy to digest and contain all of the essential amino acids.

No matter what your protein supplement choice may be, be careful of food allergies and over consumption of protein.  Too much of this good thing can strain the kidneys and other organs, and protein contains calories, so make sure to continue exercising or it might end up being stored as fat.  Some high protein foods are also high in saturated fat and overconsumption can lead to increased risk of heart disease.

For help making healthy protein choices, ask us!  Email!

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