Whey Protein, do we really need it?

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I’m not a big fan of using products that substitute the real thing.  I especially dislike it when they trow in a health claim, it just adds insult to injury.  There are many products out there that claim to be a healthier alternative to the real ones, when in reality its just a money making scam.  Here are a few off the top of my head; vitamin water ( you are better off just drinking water and skipping the so called vitamins), cereals for fiber ( add more vegetables, fruits and legumes for extra fiber), margarine ( just use butter, seriously) and non-fat products (let’s just say they are loaded with artificial stuff, I could write a novel about this.)

Having said that sometimes a supplement can be beneficial.  But the quality and reason for taking are very important. Today I wanted to talk a little about whey protein. This is by no means an in depth analysis, just a brief note.  I use it, and sometimes put a little in Lucas milk, we call it a milk shake.  But I think it’s healthy to question our choices once in a while and so here is what I’ve gathered.

A lot of people use whey protein, not only bodybuilders. Whey protein provides all nine amino acids, making it a complete protein.  It is also believed to help maintain insulin levels stable, making it a popular aid for weight loss.  You can read more about its benefits here.  But beware, there are a few things to consider before adding this supplement to your diet.

Too much protein can be harmful to your liver by overtaxing it.  This can cause a lot of problems.  Everybody’s daily recommended protein intake varies.  You can use the chart in this page as a general guideline.  You can also use a protein allowance calculator.  This site is super useful in finding nutrition information about almost any food, you can use it to see how much protein you are already consuming.

Secondly not all whey protein is created equal.  Most protein powders out there are junk.  Not only do they contain tons of additives and sweeteners but they could contain trace levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury!  To top it all most commercial protein powders are processed in high heat, this denatures the protein.  You should take a look at this article by Consumer Reports to see if your protein powder is listed.

Here are some things I like to keep in mind when selecting whey protein.

Is it organic

Is it GMO free

Is it free from acid or bleach treatments

Is it cold pressed

What is the whey source, if from animal source are the cows grass feed and not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.

Does it have fillers

Does it have added sugars or artificial sweeteners

 

This type of research is not hard to do using the internet, that way you can visit the brands website and get more details about what you are consuming.

It might seem like a lot, but when it comes to what goes into my body and more importantly to my kids, I try not to take any shortcuts.

After a little research here is one I would use, Source Organic.

Bottom line, if you are not a hardcore athlete chances are you do not need to use whey protein.  But as far as I am concerned it is not a bad idea to have one available and use it occasionally (ex: if you are about to skip your egg breakfast for serious lack of time)  If you are a vegetarian or trying to eat less meat, a high quality whey protein can be beneficial.  But remember quality is everything.  And when it comes to your children be safe, and use the highest quality available or don’t use it at all (you can also use organic egg yolks in a smoothie to boost their protein intake).

If you are not into protein powders and are interested in adding some protein to your or your kids smoothies you can use these natural ingredients:

Egg yolk

Peanut, almond or sunflower seed butter

Chia seeds

A high quality gelatin ( I use Grate Lakes Gelatin )

Yogurt (duh 🙂 )

 

Hope this was helpful!  And keep up the good work 😉

 

 

 

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