Protein powders can be divided into two categories:
Animal sources- such as whey and casein. Beef proteins and egg white protein. And Vegetarian Sources- derived from soy, rice, pea, hemp, sprouts, and seeds.
Rotating supplements is just as important as rotating food.
We want to be fuelling all our energy systems and feeding as many of our metabolic pathways with as much variety as we can, not bombarding the same pathways with the same nutrients all the time.
The same can be said for food- It doesn’t take long for your body to let you know it has had enough of receiving one type of food, symptoms of intolerance will soon show if you constantly eat the same foods. Bloating, flatulence, bowel changes, digestive issues, un-natural weight gain, acne or itchy skin, fatigue or lethargy- all these symptoms can be a sign of intolerance.
Your choice of protein powder should also be rotated since protein powders also have their own individual and varied nutrient profile.
Proteins are made up of 21 amino acids, 9 of which are considered essential ie have to be obtained from your diet, your body can make the rest itself. Amino acids serve as precursors for hormones and vitamins.
Know what your goals are before choosing your protein powder
There should be no less than 30grams of pure amino acid per serve to ensure enough leucine for muscle synthesis. Then it’s a matter of choosing the type of protein powders which suit your lifestyle.
Are you paleo, vegan, do you have intolerances to lactose?
Different protein powders will give you a slight variation of amino acids.
Protein Supplies Australia have an egg protein, named “Paleo Pro” - the preferred choice for many who follow a paleo diet with no dairy, no grains or legumes.
Protein Supplies Australia also make a great Whey formula, but If you are lactose intolerant you may prefer sources other than whey protein. The amount of lactose in whey protein is close to negligible, however it can still cause a problem. If you are not overly sensitive to whey, then whey protein isolate is a better choice than whey protein concentrate. Whey protein Isolate has been further processed to eliminate even more lactose.
Overall, Whey protein will give you more amino acids, however egg protein has more of the Branch Chain Amino Acids. BCC’s are the 3 amino acids are known to specifically activate muscle synthesis and growth, therefore body builders may do well to alternate whey and egg protein powders.
Just a small caution when it comes to Whey protein, whey has been proven to slightly elevate insulin levels, whereas egg protein does not, so those of you trying to lose weight- perhaps alternating a vegetarian source such as pea and egg protein is best for you
Pea protein! My favourite type of protein powder!
Pea protein is the only vegetarian protein powder that will give you all of the essential amino acids. Pea protein powder will give you a complete amino acid profile! Brands such as Vital or Nuzest are excellent quality products, with no artificial colours, flavours and no GMO’s.
Hemp Protein, another excellent vegetarian source of protein powder, which has all the amino acids, qualifying it as a complete protein. However, in some literature, you will read that hemp protein does not contain high enough levels of all the amino acids to qualify hemp protein powder as a “complete protein”.
Hemp foods Australia is my favourite hemp brand, and at TCPA, we also have “Hemp protein Smoothie” from Manitoba Harvest. Hemp protein smoothie is an excellent choice of hemp containing protein powder if your goal is a healthy detox. Manotoba Harvest Hemp Protein smoothie also contains organic greens to boost its nutrient profile and energise you.
Some formulas combine several proteins types in one- such as the Botanika Blends brand. Botanika Blends combines pea protein (a complete protein) & brown rice protein along with chicory root to prevent blood sugar cravings, coconut water to boost electrolytes and much more.
Soy protein powder- just don’t do it- the Japanese didn’t start to use soy until the process of fermentation had been introduced- fermented soy is fine such as Tempeh, Miso, Natto and Soy sauce. Apart from that – a wide berth is recommended. For more info-
At the end of the day, variety is the spice of life- and as with everything in life- variety is key. The same can be said for health, nutrition and your protein powders, have your favourite you like to come back to- but alternate!
Kylie McCarthy | Nutritionist