With the healthy resolutions in full swing, it only seems like the perfect time to discuss protein. Protein in your diet not only helps with muscle health and growth, but it keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day. This is crucial in managing a busy schedule as well as maintain a healthy weight. Protein is found in many healthy foods such as nuts, eggs and chicken. These options are great, but if the thought of eating them daily seems mundane... Protein powders are a great solution.
So what is the difference between the different kinds of protein powders?
1. Whey: Complete protein from milk, easily digested and absorbed rapidly (great for post workout). Avoid if you are dairy or lactose intolerance. Helps with muscle building and repair. When looking at whey proteins an isolate has the highest ratio of protein to fat. Whey is a less expensive protein option and comes in multiple flavors.
2. Casein: Another complete protein from milk that is digested slower than whey. Avoid if you are dairy or lactose intolerance. Since casein takes longer to absorb, this type of protein is better for meal replacement and feeling full longer. It is not the best protein for post-workout recovery.
3. Brown Rice: A vegetable based protein that is easily digestible and also has fiber, complex carbs and vitamin B. Great choice for those of you with food allergies. Since it is not a complete protein there are some missing amino acids and should be paired with other proteins.
4. Soy: A complete vegetable protein. Great choice for vegans and those of you with food allergies. When looking at soy proteins an isolate is much better than a concentrate. High levels of soy may alter hormones in the body and has been linked to increased estrogens. This is not a protein for women who have had an estrogen positive breast cancer. Overall this protein is a good alternative that can be enjoyed in moderation.