Protein Powders seem to be the thing now. Everyone is using them to lose weight, build muscle or just because everyone else is using them. And yes, you can consume a good amount of protein from eating good old fashion real foods. However, most people pefer to get their protein boost from protein powders because it’s a quick and easy way to absorb a good amount of protein. Plus, using a quality protein powder in combination with leafy greens and berries in a morning smoothie, can be a great substitute for when you have no time to prepare and eat a healthy meal.

Why do you need protein?

Now the question becomes, what protein powder do you choose: whey, soy, casein, pea, rice, hemp…the list goes on.  Believe it or not selecting a protein powder to be complicated and to help you understand better, let me break down the various types of proteins used in protein powders.

Whey protein (Non-Vegetarian) – This is the most popular form of protein found in protein powders. Whey is derived from cows milk. It’s a “complete” protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids—the ones your body can’t make on its own. (5) 

Health Tip – If you prefer to use whey protein, try to select organic and 100% grass fed versions.

Casin (Non-Vegetarian) – Is the primary protein found in cow’s milk. It’s also a complete protien, meaning it contains both essential and non-essential amino acids. Atheleties love this form of protein powder becuase they feel it stays in the body longer and therefore works longer. 

Health Tip – If you choose casein protein, try to select organic and 100% grass fed.

Egg (Non-Vegetarian) – Dehydrated egg and processed into a powder. Honestly, you are better off eating a real egg.

Health Tip – If you choose egg protein, try to select organic.

Soy Isoflavones (Vegetarian) – Warning – do your best to stay away from soy. Foods with higher levels of isoflavones can potentially increase the risk of cancer. (1) The isoflavones can interact with hormones like estrogen and likely enhance the potential for all forms of cancer. Soy protein comes from ground soybeans that have been dehulled and defatted. Also, In the United States, the vast majority of soybeans, 87 percent, are genetically modified organisms, also known as GMOs, according to GMO Compass. GMO soybeans are thought to have potentially dangerous effects on the environment and on human health. (4)

Pea (Vegetarian) – Pea protein, stems from the yellow pea and contains an excellent amino acid profile. This form of protein is also a wonderful option if you are looking to lose weight loss because it can lower levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of the main hormones to stimulate hunger. (2)

Hemp (Vegetarian) – A derivative of the cannabis plant and no it does not contain marijuana. Hemp protein is one of my favorite because it is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains all of the 20 amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce. It contains essential fatty acid. It has phytonutrients, and it’s easily digestible.

Brown Rice (Vegetarian) – Comes from you guess it the brown rice grain family. Brown rice protein powder contains more than just protein. It contains a remarkable amount of other nutrients that can help improve your overall health. This source of protein is also an excellent choice if you are trying to lose weight. Research suggests that brown rice protein in particular includes unique peptides that reduce weight gain more than those in white rice protein or soy protein.(3)

My Top Favorite Protein Powders

I do believe that including a protein powder in your morning healthy smoothie is a quick way to get a high amount of protein without needing ample prep time for a full meal. And here are my top five favorite protein powders.

1-Raw Grass Fed Whey – Happy Healthy Cows 
2-Tera’s Whey Organic Weight Loss Products 
3-Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder 
4-Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Vanilla 
5-Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein 

Sources:

(1) Livestrong.com
(2) http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Ghrelin.aspx
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21913675
(4) http://www.livestrong.com/article/200114-what-are-the-dangers-of-gmo-soybeans/
(5) http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/complete+protein


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