In this day and age, everyone is talking about protein. Wherever I go on my travels, I am asked routinely about protein. Let me preface by saying I will be addressing this from a protein supplement standpoint, not food.
What kind of protein should I use?
When selecting a quality protein, here are a few things in which to look. A quality protein supplement consists of:
- A source that has a high biological value, is very complete in its amino acid profile
- Is non-denatured-native (i.e. very low processed and as close to its original state as possible)
- Easy to digest and assimilate
Some examples of this include: year-round grass fed, non-denatured, low heat processed whey protein concentrate, miceller casein (a great non-denatured, slowly digested protein source), egg white or whole egg powder. There is also beef protein concentrate, but it can be difficult to stomach because of the taste. I utilize a non-dairy pea protein at times as well. This protein is created using organic non-GMO yellow peas.
It is often (absent any allergic responses) a good idea to alternate the types of protein you use to keep your body on its toes. These proteins can be alternated by day, week, or bi-monthly.
Protein to Avoid
Here are a couple of sure fire signs to know you may NOT be getting the best protein supplement: If the number one protein source in the product is soy concentrate or isolate, sodium caseinates, wheat protein (which is basically gluten!), these would be products to strongly avoid.
Also, avoid very low cost whey protein products. They are likely produced from poor quality sources. These may be inferior quality protein sources at best, and at worst, may actually cause health issues with certain individuals.
How much protein should I consume?
In determining how much protein in which to use, I utilize the following formulas based on my most recent research (these would be used ABSENT any unusual issues as diagnosed by your personal physician, nutritionist, or dietician):
Light Activity Level (dedicated exercise less than 3 times /wk)
Multiply your body weight by .6 to get the grams of protein needed per day spread throughout 4-5 meals.
Moderate Activity Level (dedicated exercise at least 3 times /wk for the past three months)
Multiply your body weight by .7 to get the grams of protein needed per day spread throughout 4-5 meals.
High Activity Level (dedicated exercise more than 3 times /wk)
Multiply your body weight by .8 to get the grams of protein needed per day spread throughout 4-5 meals.
Recommended Protein Powders
There are three protein powders I recommend to my patients: