Whey protein is the one to take ideally. You could try casein, a protein which is absorbed by the body more slowly, but then you might as well use regular food as your protein source from my point of view. The great thing about whey protein is that the body digests the protein much more quickly, and has an abundant amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which stimulate protein synthesis (build muscle). If some of you are trying to lose weight and still asking why you need protein when you have no interest in building muscle, then let me remind you: because muscle burns more calories than fat, a leaner body mass creates a more shapely silhouette, and you won’t bulk up by building muscle (you bulk up by eating more calories than your body actually needs!). When you take whey, you can add water or milk to make the shake. Milk contains casein. Remember that casein is a slow-digesting protein. So if you are taking a whey protein shake specifically to get protein into the body fast, for example after a workout, then just add water. Whey is a by-product of cheese production of cow’s milk so anyone vegan or lactose intolerant could look into lactose-free whey proteins, spirulina, chia or even pea protein (and let me know what you think of them!). If you see the term “undenatured” whey, then this means that it has not been heated above a certain temperature that would cause damage to the nutrients your body needs (so if you can, go for undenatured).
Anyway, back to the “facts” ;) these are my favourites. I'm currently alternating between Solgar's Whey to Go in Vanilla and Nature's Best Strawberry Protein Shake:
This whey protein is gluten-free and low in fat. It is very easy to mix and 98% lactose free. The powder mixes very easily, so no lumpy bits. Whey To Go comes in Chocolate, Strawberry or Vanilla. All contain 20g protein, no more than 10g carbohydrate and 90–130 calories per serving with water. The vanilla’s a little bit tasteless in my opinion, especially mixed with water instead of milk. But the chocolate flavour does exactly what it says on the tin! #yum
Described as a 'delicious way to boost your protein intake in convenient sachets', which is really handy for when you are travelling or if you are always on the go. The strawberry protein shake contains 19g of protein and 115 calories per sachet (this goes up to 185 calories when mixed with 200ml semi-skimmed milk). This shake tastes just like a regular milkshake, even when mixed with just water. They cost just over £1 per sachet and you can buy them in packs of 6 or 12 here. #divine
The above protein shakes are made from Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). It is possible to buy whey in Isolated (less fat) and Hydrolysated (less allergenic, more expensive) forms, though I’m yet to find ones I can recommend personally. You can find whey protein isolate on www.myprotein.co.uk, and you can’t really go wrong with this place!
Organic lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish (particularly oily fish and get your Omega 3s on top!), organic/plain/greek yoghurt, eggs (one of the least expensive forms of protein and cheap on calories too if you only eat the white and toss the yolk), quinoa, nuts and seeds. Also milk and cheese but personally I like to keep my intake of these to the bare minimum (as to why it’s another article). The vegetables relatively high in protein are beans/legumes, artichokes, asparagus, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
If you’re looking to broaden your protein horizons, then give some of these a go:
2. Pea Protein Isolate and other vegan blends are available on myprotein.com. It serves 23.4g protein and 119.7 calories per 30g serving with water. Just to warn you, it doesn’t taste as good as a strawberry shake with milk. But this isn’t about taste, is it....
3. Bounce Natural Energy Balls. Gluten-free balls of convenient goodness, wrapped individually and easy to order in bulk online. There are currently 6 flavours available. The Peanut Protein Ball contains the most protein at 14g. The problem with these is that they taste so good. These small balls are filling, but at 160–210 calories each (depending on the flavour) don’t buy a box if you know you won’t be able to resist having more than one in one sitting. Of course on the other hand, one of these is far better than any chocolate bar and most other snack foods. Bounce’s Coconut & Macadamia Protein Ball is tasty too and contains 9g of protein for 160 calories
4. Spirulina is a complete (and ancient) source of protein that comes in powder form. You can simply add water or add it to juices and smoothies. Spirulina is a blue-green algae and, be warned, tastes like it! I don’t mind the taste of spirulina but newbies beware. You can buy it from most health food stores but I'd personally recommend Juicemaster's spirulina as the taste is far more palatable than other brands out there and has all the necessary benefits!
5. The word Chia comes from the Mayan language meaning strength and was once a staple food in Aztec civilization. It boasts 20% protein, 5 more times calcium than milk, and 8 times more Omega 3 than salmon. It is gluten-free and high in fibre. Chia is also a great egg replacement: just add water to form a gel, and it can be used instead of egg in most recipes.
Thanks for reading!
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