The other day, I wrote about my team in the latest challenge I'm doing for the Northwest CT YMCA. Part of the requirements of the challenge is strength training. Many people do not get adequate protein, but body builders especially need extra protein in order to build lean muscle. Also, if someone doesn't have enough protein, they could lose some of the muscle they already have.
It's difficult to find the right balance of protein that you need. I've seen so many different guidelines but I'm listening to what my trainer advises, which is one gram of protein per pound of weight. Oftentimes, this means having a supplemental protein shake as it would be difficult to get enough protein from food alone.
If you have concerns over how much protein you need, you should consult your doctor on the best amount for you.
When selecting protein powders, you have to be careful about which product you buy. Too many of them are loaded with junk ingredients, especially sugar. If you just buy the first protein powder you see at Wal-Mart without reading the ingredients, you'll probably end up with a product that is loaded with ingredients. Remember, you don't want more than like five ingredients in anything you purchase. I singled out Wal-Mart, but all the big box stores are the same way. The best protein powders are found in the health food stores.
The other thing you need to think about is the source of the protein. There's whey protein, casein protein, soy protein and vegetable protein powders, among others. The one I prefer is actually one that Dr. Fuhrman, the founder of the Nutritarian diet, once suggested on his Facebook page. I was concerned about the whey protein as I knew he didn't like foods that were dairy or meat based. I don't want to overload my body with these foods, even though I still have small amounts of turkey and Greek Yogurt daily.
His solution was to try pea protein powder. This has become the one shake I use everyday after my workouts. I love the taste of it, and you'll never believe how healthy it is because it tastes so good. The one I use by Life's Basics is sweetened with stevia and has very few ingredients. The protein is derived from yellow peas and contains 25 grams per serving. I feel a lot better having this than whey protein. The problem with whey, at least for me, was that it didn't digest well.
I didn't go with the vegetable protein powder as I eat so many vegetables already that I thought it would be a bit too much. The pea protein powder seemed like the ideal choice.
I know there are some people who don't agree about Dr. Fuhrman, especially his views about meat causing cancer, but I would rather stay on the safe side than consume too many dairy products and meat. It's your choice what protein powders to use. But please, make sure you read the ingredients. You don't want to have something that's way to processed. It's better to look for healthier choices wherever you can.