I’m definitely not going to cover everything there is to know about protein (because I don’t know everything about protein) but I thought I would share some quick facts/studies and findings that I’ve recently come across. I know a lot of people take protein supplements (in the form of powder or drinks) and so I think everyone needs to realize that not all protein supplements are equal. When it comes to protein – quality over quantity is actually very important. If your body isn’t getting the specific kinds of protein it needs…it slows the repairing process down and essentially waits until it does get what it needs. You can’t just overdose on crappy protein powder and assume the quantity will make up for its lack of content. So here’s what I think you need to know:
- You should probably avoid protein powder containing casein. What is casein? It’s the main protein found in raw milk. Then what’s the problem? Unlike whole milk caseins (native casein and cheese casein), all industrial caseins are protein isolates, most of which are extracted from ultra-pasteurized milk often via extreme acid/heat processing. The typical industrial casein is a deficient protein lacking the essential amino acid methionine and the conditionally essential amino acid cysteine, both of which are lost in processing. These sulfur-containing amino acids play key roles in sustaining your body’s immune system (source).
- Just because it has soy – doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. So many people jump on the soy bandwagon and believe that it’s a healthy alternative. I try to avoid it due to the fact that it mimics estrogen and we really should be focusing on soy that is properly fermented (like tempeh and miso). I recently read this article that hits some of those points.
- Big brands are the worst culprits when it comes to pushing bad protein. Brands like Muscle Milk push products that contain cadmium, lead, arsenic and mercury. Seriously. Read more here.
So what should you look for? Well know that whey protein is good for you! It’s been shown to help your pancreas-produced insulin to work more effectively, promote your optical intake of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals, support your immune system, help preserve lean body tissue and maintain blood pressure levels! When I do take a protein supplement, I buy the Warrior Blend powder. It’s raw plant-based protein and is soy/dairy/GMO free! I am willing to try the vanilla next time since this doesn’t taste…the best. But I’d rather avoid all that other crap!
What are your thoughts on protein? Do you feel like you get most of it via plants/meat? Do you supplement with powders/drinks?