Protein Powder — They are NOT Created Equal
The Lure of Protein Powder in our Modern Day Diet
The lure of protein powders is that they offer a very, convenient protein source that doesn’t require any prep or clean up and I definitely understand the appeal. There were years when I was in medical school and I loved the ease of protein powder to suit my caloric and macro-nutrient needs. I would blend it up with water, hemp seeds, chia seeds and vita mineral greens and be on my way! I love it still. Honestly, it is not a bad way to go but, over the years, I have learned that MOST protein powders on the market are not really high quality nutrition. With a few notable exceptions, most of them are not worth buying (my opinion, of course).
I know, they are super convenient! I still use them with frequency but, I do not rely on them to fuel my body and I am cautious of which brands that I choose. This is info that I share with all of my Naturopathic and HCG Diet patients.
THE ROLE OF PROTEIN IN OUR BODY
PROTEIN is a very important part of a healthy diet, but the processed powdered forms are not always the best option. There are times when I see patients who rely solely on protein powders and protein bars for nutrition. Maybe I am just a purist, but the thought of eating all food made in a factory makes me cringe a bit.
Proteins are the building blocks of life and every living cell uses them for both structural and functional purposes. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that are linked and folded into complex geometric shapes. There are 12 (non essential) amino acids that our bodies can produce and 9 essential amino acids that we must get from our diet!
When I look at a protein source, I always look at its amino acid profile. The best source will contain ALL of the essential amino acids in the correct ratios. The bio availability of these nutrients is dependent upon the proper form and ratio! The more processed, the less powerful the amino acids will actually be when they are in the body — despite the great amino acid profile and label claim. Don’t believe the hype. Marketing is powerful and often mis-leading.