Protein, Why do we need it? Why is it so important and how much of it do we need?
I was brought in on a conversation at my workplace regarding protein shakes and how one individual claimed it caused him to get Kidney stones, and another who thought ‘protein shakes are a load of rubbish’…!!
I appreciate everyone has different opinions, but I just wanted to share how Important it is to have adequate amounts of the right protein in your diet, and how Protein shakes can benefit you.
Protein is made of Amino Acids which are the building blocks for life….you name it..skin, hair, nails, hormones, enzymes, muscle, antibodies, DNA etc etc are all made of protein. Protein is used in growth and repair and cell replacement.
There are two categories of Amino Acids- Non-Essential Amino Acids’ which are made in the body and ‘Essential Amino Acids’ which your body cannot make, therefore you NEED to consume through diet.
If your daily protein requirements are not being met then Protein shakes are an ideal way of increasing protein intake in your daily diet, it can be added to a smoothie or homebaked foods to bring the protein content of the food up, or taken mixed with water as a snack or post-training beverage.
The protein we can buy these days come in so many different varieties and I must admit some of the quality of the protein isn’t the best, but High quality Protein can be very helpful to maintain a balanced, healthy diet. The key is to choose simple products that do not have many additional ingredients. If you find the ingredients on the container is more like a written chemistry report then maybe chose one with less added ingredients.
Personally I limit my protein intake to two scoops a day, I love the taste of it in my porridge at breakfast and also the second scoop mixed with water for a fast uptake of Branched Chain Amino Acids after training to aid repair and recovery. During competition preparation when my focus is drop body fat, I prefer to drop the shakes and eat food, as my daily consumption is lower than off season and I prefer to eat and feel fuller. The protein foods I love to consume are usually in the form of eggs, chicken, white fish, Lean minced beef and salmon.
REFLEX Natural Whey is one of my favourite protein shakes, its unflavoured but it still goes in my porridge and thickens it up, it is rich in Branched Chain Amino Acids and has No artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives etc free of all the sweeteners like aspartame and stevia etc (that are under health debate) , it has digestive enzymes which help with the break-down so no sitting in the stomach causing bloating.
Humapro is my favourite Protein, its NOT a Whey, its a ‘squash-like’ protein MATRIX– unfortunately they do not sell it in Dubai, but a friend has flown over 3 more tubs in his baggage this week for me! Apple sour mm! Humapro is a fraction of the calories of Whey protein and 99% absorbable so there is no waste, it mixes well, no bloating!, Many people have trouble digesting lactose products and so may be better off with an isolate protein which has five times less lactate. It allows you to stay tighter, and it serves as a great squash during the day! I think they have changed the game with this stuff!
As for causing kidney stones….TOO MUCH protein could contribute to the condition that supports kidney stones forming, but it’s not the protein shakes itself. Moderate amounts have NO side effects. The main cause of Kidney stones is not drinking enough water, other causes are –not enough calcium, too much animal protein, too much sodium etc.
More and more sports and endurance athletes are starting to use protein shakes to prevent loss of lean tissue, especially during periods of injury or high training, and also more protein based products (Protein bread, protein ice cream, protein yogurts etc) are being sold in supermarkets as we are becoming more aware of the consequences of the high carbohydrate diets (simple sugars) that are being consumed and causing weight gain, and lack of protein consumption to serve our needs.
As a general estimate you should be consuming at least 30-40% of your daily intake in protein (split regularly throughout the day.
If it’s safe and its useful then you can use it!
Thank-you for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great day! x