Protein Powders: All You Need to Know!

  • Nature's Source

Will I gain weight if I take protein powder? Will I build muscle? Where does the protein come from and what is the best type of powder? These are all questions that consumers often ask when choosing between different brands of protein powders.

The truth is protein powders haven’t really changed much since they were first introduced as a sports supplemental. Yet there are subtle differences between different brands of one the most widely used health products. Moreover, while at one time prescribed primarily to bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, protein powders have become an increasingly important health supplement for the general population.

In regards to the questions above:

  1. Yes, protein will make you gain weight. Though when people speak negatively of weight they are usually referring to body fat. This form of unwanted weight will only occur if you consume more than your body’s digestive system can handle. On average your body can process 30-35 grams of protein per meal with a three-hour gap in between each meal.
  2. Yes, you will build muscle. Muscle is what we want. I have heard many clients, male and female, claim they do not want to build muscle. Ok, I understand looking like a bodybuilder is not everyone’s goal. Yet the fact is almost everyone’s quality of life can benefit from building muscle tissue.. Protein is made up of amino acids that help to repair and build muscle as well as support antibodies, build nucleoproteins (DNA/ RNA), and fuel the enzyme and hormonal systems.
  3. Take away the water and about 75 percent of your weight is protein. This chemical family is found throughout the body in everything from muscle and bone to skin and hair. Proteins make up the enzymes that power many vital chemical reactions, like haemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood.
  4. Yes, there are in fact many different types of protein powders in the market. Nowadays protein powder sources include soy, hemp, rice, goat protein, pea protein, and most commonly whey protein. Whey has been around for years, and a lot of companies try to enhance the supplement by adding substances like creatine and other amino acids. While the need for these additives may vary based on your personal nutritional concerns, when purchasing whey protein, it is very important to ensure that it is New Zealand sourced as this is the highest standard in whey powder quality.

Popular alternatives to whey that have been gaining publicity in recent years are whole food protein powders such as hemp or pea protein. One of the great things about whole food protein powders are that they helps your digestive system. Yet one of the downsides to whole food protein powders are that they do not naturally have a full amino acid profile. Thus, in most cases whole food protein powders are supplemented with complementary sources of plant-based proteins for a complete amino acid profile. These types of proteins are two or more incomplete protein sources that when combined together provide adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids.

Ultimately the best source of protein depends on the person's needs and what works best for their body. Important factors always worth considering are digestive supports like enzymes or probiotics that help with the assimilation of the protein. As well it is always best to avoid artificial sweeteners or flavouring.

David Rees or is a Certified Personal Trainer with a Diploma from Humber College in Fitness and Health Promotions. He has been involved in the fitness industry for upwards of a decade. For further information or tips, David can be contacted at the Nature’s Source Toronto location or at davidreesor@natures-source.com.