I get asked a lot similar questions, so over the next month both on my Instagram (@fitchicnic) and on here, I’ll be going through the alphabet talking about some of the most common health and fitness related questions and topics.
P is for Protein
(A “Throwback Thursday” pic to a few weeks ago at Rhitrition’s book launch – Elton Johns piano at the Royal Albert Hall.)
Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients (along with carbs and fat), but Protein Powder should only ever be seen as a supplement to your diet, as they don’t have the variety of nutrients that whole foods do. Protein itself doesn’t make you gain muscle, it just aids it.
8 of the 20 types of amino acids that the body needs can only be supplied by the foods we eat, as our bodies can’t make them naturally. While animal sources of protein (chicken, etc) contain all eight, other sources like beans/whole grains don’t, which is why Vegans and Vegetarians are advised to eat a wide variety of protein rich foods to ensure they consume all the essential amino acids.
A little low down on the common Protein Powders:
🔹 Whey – Quickly absorbed into the body and digested. Made from cows milk.
🔹 Casein – Slowly released into the body. Made from cows milk.
🔹 Hemp – Good mix of essential fatty acids. Vegan friendly. Expensive.
🔹 Pea – Wide range of amino acids.
🔹 Protein Concentrate vs. Isolate: Protein is derived from various food sources and is “concentrated” by removing the non-protein parts. This results in the powder being up to 85% pure protein (the rest being 15%-30% carbs and fat), or it’s taken further with additional processing, and the remaining powder becomes up to 95% pure.