- 1 Best Protein Powders And Shake Guide And Need
- 1.1 Healthy Protein Powder for Weight Loss
- 1.2 The Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss
- 1.3 Where to Buy the Best Protein Powders
- 1.4 Chocolate Protein Powder
- 1.4.1 Chocolate Protein is not the same as chocolate
- 1.4.2 Sweeteners do add calories and potential fat storage
- 1.4.3 Chemicals can solve the added calorie dilemma but are no better for you overall
- 1.4.4 A healthy alternative to sugar
- 1.4.5 You can always add your own chocolate
- 1.4.6 There are some great mixes out there that are enjoyable
- 1.5 Hemp and Hemp Protein Products
- 1.6 Protein Powder for Bodybuilding
- 1.7 Why Choose Healthy Protein Powders
- 1.8 How to Get Enough Protein
- 1.9 Low Calorie Meal Replacement Shakes
- 1.10 Protein Powder Buyer Beware
- 1.11 Hemp Protein Powder
- 1.12 Plant Proteins
- 1.13 Understanding Protein and Which Protein is best for you
- 1.14 The Best Protein Shake
- 1.15 Why Vega One Protein Powder
Best Protein Powders And Shake Guide And Need
Healthy Protein Powder for Weight Loss
If you are sincerely interested in loosing weight you need to take a long term approach to your weight loss as well as your health. You are aiming for ultimate body functioning vs. a quick fix like a diet. Nothing will truly make you look like a super model overnight. The way to high level functioning is directly through a truly healthy diet of whole foods that work for your body.
The reason that you are aiming for ultimate body functioning is because that is what provides for us to be slim and strong and have consistent energy. Less calories can be a part of the solution, but more likely then not your body needs an improvement in it’s operating system.
Think of young children you know. Their bodies are less toxic then your typical adult and they typically don’t have digestion issues, water retention, bloating and excess weight as so many grown ups do. They are typically still functioning well at this younger age. That is what you are aiming for, more so then just weight loss.
Whole foods vs. Diet foods
The main reason that people chose diet foods is because they want results and they want them fast. Many people can muster up the stamina to commit to a diet for a week or two or three or four, but few people decide to make a life change to change their body indefinitely.
If you take a step back and consider the human body for a moment we all know that our bodies are created out of what we eat, drink, breath every single day. This sounds simple enough but the truth is that the great majority or what we take in we don’t pay attention to. So we end up constructing out bodies from chemicals, dyes and artificial foods, that may be “proven” to be safe for consumption but certainly have not been proven to create optimal body functioning.
For many centuries mother nature has had her way of supplying us with what we need and in the last century we started creating new ways of fulfilling our diet that are far different then anything ever known. There is a stark contrast between whole foods and the typical foods we are serving up today.
The Weight Loss Strategy
If you now recognize that you are building a long term strategy for health, not looking for a quick fix diet, and you recognize that whole real foods are the way to health and wellness then you are ready for the next step.
A – Z Getting the Good Stuff
Now you need to find ways to introduce healthy foods into your body along with managing your bodies current state. This is where protein powder and protein shakes come in to play in combination with whole food meals.
Satiation and Feeling of Consistent Energy
Protein powder is a wonderful way to manage your hunger and to satiate your body. If your body is getting all it needs and your blood sugar levels are more constant you are less likely to experience cravings and binge opportunities as opposed to when you are partially starving yourself on a diet.
A solid combination of protein, fat and complex carbs will burn slowly without any spike in blood sugar levels cause a blood sugar low later on. You can do this with other whole foods too, but protein powder is one of the few foods that will give you a convenient solution with little to no prep.
Pick a protein powder that has little to no sweeteners in it if possible. Then sweeten with whole foods like fruit. If you are too prone to sugars as it stands then choose a protein powder that is sweetened but make a commitment to use the protein powder to get your sugar fill rather then adding in other sweet treats.
Now round out your diet with three balanced meals. Breakfast, Lunch and Super with a protein shake in between each as needed. Because you will be eating more often you will not need large meals, but do eat enough whole foods to satisfy you. If you are not satisfied you run the risk of eating something unhealthy.
5-6 smaller meals is not required to lose weight. It does however, address the most typical North American dietary needs. Out of those who struggle with weight loss there is typically sugar and chemical addictions in the diet and these need to be the first things to go to make progress in the realm of health. Regular small meals and protein powder to sustain blood sugar levels can be extremely helpful in this situation.
The Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss
Conventions in Food
To really clarify the best protein powder for weight loss the first thing we need to do is get down to the foundations of diet. Weight loss in general relates to the bodies ability to metabolize what it takes in. There is very little about high quality protein or fat that is going to make you fat if your body is working well. This does not align with conventional beliefs around nutrition, but it does align with mankind’s not too distant past as hunters and gathers.
This is why there is so much success with high protein diets. This is also why body builders concentrate on protein intake to ensure their muscle mass development. So if you are interested in weight loss then you want to look at the elimination of most carbohydrates that are not vegetables, or a least whole food. This foundation, for many people, is key to weight management.
We need carbohydrates that are full of minerals, vitamins and water, which is why vegetables are essential to our diets. We need protein to stay strong and constantly rebuild our ever-changing bodies, which are fully renewed every few months. Over and above this we need fat for protein and vitamin metabolism and long burning energy. But the one thing that we can live without, and not miss out on any essential nutrients, is carbs.
This main food source, complex carbohydrates and sugars, we should really only use when we are in need of calories that we can’t locate elsewhere. Now there are better carbohydrates then others (and this can be a long topic to cover) but over all you will find if you turn your body into a protein and fat burning machine you will not crave or feel the need for them assuming you have access to the foods that you need.
The Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss
With this in mind the best protein powder for weight loss is one that includes little to no carbohydrates and sugars. However, this can be easier said than done. It is possible though and I will explain your options.
You also want to choose a protein powder that has little to no chemicals or preservatives that would encourage water retention to dilute the stored toxins or decrease the efficiency of our body’s cleansing systems. This is easy to overlook as many of the chemicals permitted in our food are calorie free. So at first glance the nutritional profile of a food can be deceiving, which I will also cover.
Sweet, Sweet Protein
As a culture we like sweet…we actually love sweet!!! That is why even in the protein powders that have low sugar content we still find many chemical agents that give us a sweet taste. If you personally have a strong preference for sweet then read on…
Here is the personal part you need to consider. Ultimately, if you are really interested in losing weight and keeping it off reconditioning your taste buds to enjoy meaty foods, rich fatty foods, subtly naturally sweetened foods and loads and loads of vegetables is the best course of action you can consider. This is truly a long term solution to working with the body that you will be living with indefinitely.
If you do however have a lot of emotional attachments to the sweet taste and you are not yet willing to let go of this in your life you can decide on what you are willing to do and what the lesser of the two evils is. You could chose a chemical flavored/sweetened protein powder which will trick you body into thinking you have had sweet without the calories or you can chose a sweetened protein powder that will satisfy your sugar preference.
There is also one more option which is likely the best choice for sugar lovers that are being calorie conscious. The natural sweetener stevia is a decent choice that will minimally affect your blood sugar levels, will not likely be stored as fat and adds no extra calories to your protein well satisfying that sweet flavor. There may be other natural calorie free sweeteners out there, however I do caution you as marketing can be a tricky technique to reach consumers of all kinds.
Chemical Free Protein Powder
This is a really large topic and it could actually go on forever since we are always creating new chemicals to satisfy our desire to have our cake and eat it too. So I’m going to give you the short version of the story. 99% of the time if you can’t read the name of an ingredient and you don’t know what it is doesn’t buy it. It is really that simple.
Don’t assume that an ingredient is fine simply because it is in food. Whip out your phone and look up that mystery component. Currently companies are using chemicals that have been added to our foods for less than a couple decades and sometimes less than a couple of years. It is really hard to know what the long term consequences of ingesting these chemicals actually are so don’t risk it. If you are committed to a healthy, fit, slim body then stay committed to what you KNOW is good for it. Not what some marketing company making millions a year says is okay for you. It just makes good sense.
Where to Buy the Best Protein Powders
This is a nice and easy question to answer. Anywhere! Since diet and health such a huge societal focus it is relatively easy to buy protein powder in conjunction with your regular shopping. Those being said remember that Not All Protein Powders are Created Equally.
The most likely place that one thinks to buy food is the grocery store. This concept remains true for buying protein powder too, as most mid to large sized grocers carry at least a handful of protein powders. If you shop at a standard grocer that doesn’t have a particular emphasis on healthy eating, then the brands available will likely be relatively inexpensive and potentially widely recognized names/brands.
Although this option can be convenient it is not likely the first place you should look for protein powder. Check the pharmacy area or health food / organics aisle to find the protein powder selection.
Health Food Stores
Your local health food store is likely a place that can provide you with more options. The staffs are more likely to be informed about the products that they carry and as a consumer you may be able to get into the nuances of what you are looking for in a protein powder.
Many drug stores have a selection of wellness products. And by wellness I mean things to keep you healthy rather than things to make you better if you are sick. This is where you will most commonly find some protein powder options to choose from. This is particularly so in chain drug stores. Quality and price may vary.
If you are visual and tactile or don’t like to shop online you will have the most number of options available at a supplement store. The focus of the supplement store will determine the types of protein powders available. If the supplement store is very focuses on physical training you will find giant tubs of lower to mid quality protein powder from relatively cheap and up.
If on the other hand, the supplement store is more of a health food supplement store offering natural remedies and products you will find that the quality of product goes up and the size of the product goes down.
Trainers and Gyms
Many gyms offer a few options in the way of protein supplementation. Chain gyms may have their own branding of products that they sell or they may offer others instead. Many personal trainers also carry a few of their favorite products for their clients.
This is by far the place where you will find the largest number of choices. As with many things in our lifestyle the internet has a breadth that can’t be matched. So if you have discovered that you want a very specific choice of protein powder this may be the best place for you to look.
Once you have used a protein powder a few times and discovered you like it and are going to continue to use it, then it may benefit you to order a large quantity if shipping costs are adding to the bottom line of your protein powder cost.
Network Marketing Companies
There are a handful of network marketing companies out there that offer protein powders. The delivery method of the product does not address the quality in any way. You can find great products and not so great product through this channel as well. The main difference is that there may be other steps to buying your product offer and above a straight purchase. But you may also be presented with an income opportunity in the scenario as well.
Chocolate Protein Powder
If you have a sweet tooth like me you may be interested in chocolate protein powder. After all who doesn’t want to make healthy food taste good, right? Chocolate is a substance that has an appeal to a great number of individuals. Who doesn’t love chocolate? I know you are out there non chocolate lovers, but you are few and far between. So for those considering chocolate protein here are a few thoughts of my thoughts.
Chocolate Protein is not the same as chocolate
Yes it tastes chocolaty for the most part, but it is not a snickers bar for sure. In fact if it does taste like a snickers I would be checking the ingredients to see how much corn syrup is in there. Tread carefully here.
Sweeteners do add calories and potential fat storage
If it is sweetened with sugar you are potentially causing your body more harm then good by consuming this product. In fact sugar is a far bigger concern for weight gain then fat or protein should be. So if you are watching calories or your belt line, do be careful of too much added sugar. How much is too much? Anything over a few grams for me personally is too much.
Also the sugar derivative is an important consideration. Natural sugars are easier for your body to handle then white sugar. So honey, maple syrup or agave nectar are a much better choice then corn syrup or white sugar although they are still sugar non the less.
Chemicals can solve the added calorie dilemma but are no better for you overall
You can always consider a protein powder that substitutes sugars for chemicals. I’m not fond of the idea of aspartame and other chemical options, but in some cases it may be a better choice to stay off sugar and replace the sugar with chemicals if you benefit from it. Sometimes weighing your options and your willingness are key to choosing something that works for you.
A healthy alternative to sugar
One choice that I recommend for those with a sweet tooth who are watching their waste line is stevia. Stevia is a natural product that has very little impact, if any, on blood sugar levels. It is free of calories and chemicals, so a great choice overall.
You can always add your own chocolate
If having a chocolate flavored protein drink is your preference but you find too many undesirables mixed into chocolate protein powders then I suggested buying plain protein powder and adding in a chocolate of your choice. You can go with cocoa, Hersey’s chocolate syrup or good quality hot chocolate mix could all do the trick depending on what you need. The benefit is control of what you are ingesting.
You may end up with the same amount of sugar in the end but perhaps less chemicals, additives, and perhaps a higher quality product. It’s your choice.
There are some great mixes out there that are enjoyable
If you are not into chocolate but love sweet flavors you will be able to find other great flavors that work. Strawberry, mixed berries, chai, vanilla and coffee are the more popular flavors on the market. You may be able to find a handful of other alternatives out there too if you have a strong preference to something in particular.
In the end you can always use creative ways to make your protein powder as you wish. Adding in real foods and spices that you love is a great way to get what you want while keeping the quality of product high.
Hemp and Hemp Protein Products
The reason I want to talk about hemp is because not only does it work great as a protein powder but it is also highly beneficial food all around. I have used hemp in its various forms for almost a decade now and thoroughly enjoy the many benefits. To this day I still pick hemp protein powder more often than other protein powders and my body has always been receptive to it.
It’s for that reason that I wanted to share with you a couple other ways to work hemp into your diet if you so choose. Whether as a whole food, for protein or for fat you may find a hemp product that serves you and your particular dietary needs.
Hemp Oil – use this in your shakes, on your salad, over steamed veggies, as a bread dip or even on toast. It has a very nutty flavor, so you will not want to replace something with it, but rather enjoy it for what it is, which is unique and nutty.
Hemp Butter – put this on your toast in the morning, in your baking and your favorite recipes that call for other nut butters. Use this ingredient below 350c so that the essential fatty acids stay intact. I often use this instead of butter, when I’m watching my dairy intake. It is green, which is a little hard on the brain at first, but after the initial visual impact it is actually really delicious.
Hemp Powder – milled hemp seeds can be used like flour. You can replace up to 25% of almost any recipe calling for flour with this ingredient. Not to mention the high protein powder for shakes and smoothies. This is no different than hemp protein powder, the only variant is how much fiber is left in place versus extracted to leave the protein behind. Once within a certain range it is considered protein powder vs. hemp powder or hemp flour.
Hemp Milk – use this like regular milk for cereal and other milk dishes. I love it in smoothies, over cooked oats and even on its own as a refreshing cool drink. Very rich and creamy.
Hemp Seeds – you can add these on top of anything including cookies, baking, cereal, yogurt, salad or even casserole or veggie dishes. It is comparable to sprinkling sesame seeds or the like over something delicious for added nuttiness.
Hemp seeds were actually the first hemp product I ever used and loved. If you like nutty flavor I really recommend using this to balance energy and calories.
Keep in mind that hemp is made from the male cannabis plant and there are no mind altering effects in this plant vs. the female cannabis plant that is so notorious for being used as an intoxicant.
Protein Powder for Bodybuilding
Protein Needs of Body Builders
It is well known that body builders have higher then normal protein needs. They are aiming at gaining muscle, which requires large amounts of protein for the body. The protein powder most often recommended as an inexpensive and convenient way for body builders to satisfy these protein needs is whey protein.
Is Whey the Way?
You can find Whey protein in abundance at any health food or supplement store in bright containers with ripped men and/or women adorning the front of the container. It has been touted as the best choice for those in bodybuilding and the advertising is there to support it. You can find a Whey protein for almost any need and have a new one every day of the week if you wish. You can also find body builder magazines filled with advertisements for the next latest and greatest whey protein supplements.
The question is, is if whey protein is the most efficient/best source of protein available for building muscle? The answer is – it depends.
Most whey protein is not readily digestible by the body and leads to an increased waist line and bloating. It tends to build up in the digestive organs making it even more difficult for your body to absorb what it needs from other foods you consume. This is due to the added sweeteners and artificial flavors that are added into the mix. Not to mention preservatives, fillers and poor dairy sources to start with.
Does this mean that all whey is bad? No. But it is definitely worth being aware of so as not to defeat your goal.
The Pros and Cons of Whey
- One of the biggest reasons whey is widely chosen is simply because it can be found very cheap.
- It is easy to locate wherever you go and there is a whey product to cater to all preferences.
- It is popular and has been used by many body builders for quite a while. There is research to support its contribution to muscle gain.
- One of the worst protein powder choices for added sugars, chemicals and other non-foods.
- Highly processed whey (as with most highly processed foods) can cause intestinal toxemia. This is even more so a consideration with a dietary staple that you are considering using daily vs. a treat you indulge in once a week.
- Heavy, heavy advertising budgets from the companies that make whey/body building products.
Heavy advertising vs. the truth
If you want to make the best choice for your body it is essential that you do your research vs. buying into the advertising. There are loads of million dollar advertising campaigns that will lead you to believe you are doing the best thing possible for your body in using whey protein or any other product for that matter.
Advertising is simply not a great place to collect information. The best option you have is to do your research and use your own discernment. Learn how to read protein powder labels. Understand what you are purchasing. If you think about it for a while you may likely conclude that a whole food option is actually the best for your body, to give it what it needs to grow and be strong.
Why Choose Healthy Protein Powders
Your body’s PH level has a tremendous affect on overall health and wellness. Unfortunately the average person is DEEP in an acidic nightmare that’s destroying their health. And although its made to sound like it’s an issue of eating less calories, boosting metabolism, bad genes or other “illnesses” we may be plagued with, the truth is it’s mostly due to what we EAT.
The culprits are overly processed foods, added sugars, trans fats, denatured and chemical laden foods that are consumed too frequently. The liver and other organs can’t clear out the waste as quickly as we are bringing it in. Follow – excess weight, water retention and a body that doesn’t seem to be working quite the way it should?
In addition to added chemicals, sugars and trans fats most of these denatured foods have been processed at high temperatures which kills the enzyme functions and good bacteria in raw living foods. Further making it challenging for us to digest and assimilate.
The end result is that most of these overly processed foods and protein powders are deposited in your intestinal tract…never again to see the light of day and stuck in your several meters of intestinal track indefinitely.
The moral of the story? Eat good healthy foods.
Don’t be drawn in by exciting advertising for magical protein powder full of empty promises. Read the labels carefully and understand what you are putting in your body. In the end you are the only one who really cares if what you are eating is good for you or otherwise.
How to Get Enough Protein
People often ask me about the value of various kinds of proteins. They ask how protein powder should be analyzed. Now they bring up the eat meat vs. other protein debate. They ask what to consider if they supplement their diet with nuts and cheese to meet their protein needs. Of if they are vegan and eliminate all animal products from their diet then what and how much supplementation is needed and so on.
The goal of all these questions is always the same – to ensure adequate protein for an optimal functioning, amazing looking body. I get it – cause I want the exact same thing.
Four parts to the the protein equation
- One – Protein source – commonly addressed
- Two – Protein quantity – commonly addressed
- Three – Protein bioavailability – meaning how much of that precious protein is available to you out of the 40 grams that you just ate.
- Four – Protein digestion – meaning what your body does with the available protein that you just ate.
All four of these areas are inextricably linked and there is no magic equation I can give you. Thankfully, we as humans happen to be built with the same driving intuitive forces that all our animal counterparts have. Meaning, we know what we need. And we need only pay attention to our bodies to get the message. How do you think animals know what to eat?
There is no one exact answer regarding protein sources that applies to everyone. Everyone’s body is unique and will react differently to different foods. That is why it is so essential to eat intuitively and to consume a variety of foods. With this at the fore front of your mind, here are a some facts that you can account for in your quest for the perfect protein.
The general rule of thumb used by nutritionists to determine our daily protein needs is to multiply your body weight in kilograms by .8 or in pounds by .37.
This will give you the number of grams of protein that your should be aiming for daily. According to this formula, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein daily (that is me), and a 200-pound person should eat approximately 74 grams daily, and a 250-pound individual should eat 92 grams of protein daily.
Protein Quantity with Exercise and Activity
Although up for debate, these needs are dramatically impacted by high intensity exercise and training that requires your body to rebuild muscle regularly. The more physically active you are the more upward potential this equation has.
If you fall in this category you can apply a formula such as this one to determine your daily protein needs. 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day if you are an endurance exerciser and 1.7 to 1.8 grams per kg per day if you are a strength trainer.
Protein Sources and Choices
Here is a quick list of the protein count of some of the more common protein sources out there, and the percent of protein they contain. Soybeans 35.0% Hemp seed shelled 31.0% Hamburger beef 27.1% Blue fish 26.0% Cheddar cheese 23.5% Chicken 23.5% Hempseed — whole 23.0% Almonds 18.3% Wheat flour 13.3% Egg 12.0% Tofu 08.0% Rice 07.5% Skimmed milk 03.7%
This is just to give you an idea of the variation in protein amounts found in different foods. If you choose to go so far as calculating the amount of protein you are taking in daily, or aiming to take in daily you can easily find protein amount readily on packaging, or online if you are looking up a whole food that is not labeled with that information.
Protein Sources – Blood Type
Another impacting condition can be blood type as certain blood types are more prone to require higher amounts of protein then others. Blood type “o”s are the originating blood type from our hunter gatherer ancestors and typically are drawn to source their protein from meat rather then plant sources.
I’m personally a blood type “o” and find that meat is an essential part of my diet, even though its not a large one.
The amount of protein found in various foods is one of three angles you need to account for in getting the necessary protein your body needs. The second is bioavailability. This is a measurement that reflects how available the protein is for absorption into the body.
The final piece of this puzzle is digestion. This is unique to everyone and based on many factors like how much you eat at once, how many different ingredients you are digesting simultaneously, how receptive your body is to that particular food and your overall digestive strength.
All things being equal you need enzymes to digest your food. If you have sufficient enzymes, you are less likely to get backed up and elimination is not a problem. If this is not the case you should consider some help.
Digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics can all be a big help in ensuring your protein is digested and getting turned into valuable muscle, body structure and essential enzyme activity. Without them you may just have expensive pooh.
Other helpful aids to digestion, natural laxatives, are exercise, fresh air, sufficient water, whole foods, and an overall healthy life style. If you have found yourself in a precarious situation where elimination is a challenge there are also therapeutic options such as colon cleansing and herbal remedies that can also contribute to the repair and functioning of this system. We will leave this topic for another day however!
Low Calorie Meal Replacement Shakes
If you are a calorie counter you will likely be happy to know about some low calorie count meal replacement shakes. You can literally start the base of your meal of with less then 100 or so calories of protein powder. This is really important for those who work hard to keep their calorie count lower for weight loss reasons.
Alkaline Foods to Lose Weight
If you want to add substance to your shake you can add a vegetable base to it as well, like spinach, kale, parsley or cilantro. Green foods are alkaline and an alkaline body is one that is far less likely to carry excess weight then an acidic body. Alkaline foods are primarily green vegetable foods, so getting these in your meal replacement shake can be very beneficial.
Keep your Shake Sweet
If you like a sweet flavor I suggest adding fruit as a natural sweetener. Although most sugars should be avoided when you are watching your waste line natural sugars are always superior to processed sugars. Another option that has zero calories and is NOT a chemical is Stevia. It delivers a sweet taste without the caloric or chemical consequences.
Full Meal Replacement Shake
If you are replacing a full meal you may want to increase calories to make sure you have the energy you need to keep going. The best way to do this outside of the actual protein and without adding additional sugar is to add in healthy fats. Natural minimally processed fats like coconut oil, flax oil, hemp oil or olive oil can add in a good amount of slow burning calories. Fat also offers satiation to the body and its desire to eat.
Protein Powder Buyer Beware
As with everything in life we need to take full responsibility for what goes into our bodies and how they perform. We can attribute our reality to our genes and our past but if we want to have the power to make change now from where we are at we need to be aware and proactive.
One place this shows up time and time again is in our diets. We have been trained to assume that certain regulatory bodies have our backs and are making sure our food is not only safe but also good for us. The truth is that often these regulatory bodies have other interests as well, like funding and cushy jobs and those other interests can be in conflict with their primary goal which is to look after the consumer. That puts the ball back in our court.
The good news about protein powders is that it is often used as a product that is for health and many companies cater to health minded individuals. Because of this it is a product that can easily be found in an organic format, non-genetically modified and processed with mindful practices. That being said you may have to go out of your way to make sure that is what you are getting.
The bad news is that there are loads and loads of companies out there to make a quick buck. These companies use cheap resources to create either an inexpensive product or an expensive yet low quality product. So the final words of caution are this.
Read labels, know what you are looking for, don’t buy into advertising just the facts, and take responsibility for yourself, your diet and your health. And as the old adage goes buyer beware.
Hemp Protein Powder
What Does Hemp Have?
There is a reason why I choose hemp protein as my predominant protein supplement 50% of the time. I believe, through my research and use, that it happens to be one of the greatest sources of protein in the plant kingdom and here is why.
Protein and Nutrient Content
Not only is hemp the second highest, out of plant sources, in its protein content, but it is also equipped with the essential amino and fatty acids that we need to survive. It has other benefits as well such as living enzymes and healthy a broad spectrum of nutrients. In fact Hemp’s nutritional profile is pretty stellar for this little seed that is commonly associated with hippies and derelicts.
Inexpensive as Far as Protein Goes
The good news is that it is not actually that. It is not a drug and it will not get you high. At least not the hemp seeds I’m talking about. They will however keep you healthy. The other good news is that good quality, organic hemp is relatively inexpensive next to good quality whey or other protein combinations.
Fiber if I need it
The other good news, yes there is lots of good news on this page, is the fiber level. If you need real living foods that have fiber to cleanse your bowel you can find it in hemp protein powder. The fiber level of your protein is going to correlate directly with the amount of protein in your powder. As more of the fiber is sifted out of the powder the protein value by weight is increased. Hemp’s fiber is approximately 90% insoluble and 10% soluble.
The Healthiest Fats Around
Although the levels of fat vary you will find that the fat content of hemp protein is higher then other protein powders out there. This is okay as the fat is primarily essential polyunsaturated fat, about 80% and only 8% saturated. It is balanced in a 3:1 ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s, which is considered the ideal ratio for the human body and the best part is that it occurs naturally. It is not created by add ins, it actually is just that way!
Do not be shy of the fat found in this protein it’s good energy and will make your skin glow! Essential fatty acids like linoliec acid (LA), linolinec acid (LNA) and gamma-linolinec acid can’t be produced in the body so have to come from somewhere and that somewhere is your diet. Not too mention these are also found in ideal ratios just like our Omagas.
All these essential fatty acids are essential to metabolism, testosterone production, muscle growth and repair and a host of other functions in the body. And who doesn’t want a good metabolism with healthy strong muscles?
Hemp protein also contains large amounts of zinc, iron, and magnesium. All minerals that are often deficient in most of our foods today. The nutritional value of hemp also comes in the form of alkaline nutrition. This is helpful for the body as many of our foods are acidic, but us in an acidic state and making it very challenging to be healthy.
Your can eat lots of things but they are completely useless to you if you don’t digest them. We need friendly digestive enzymes to digest our food. We also need living foods that are not overly processed or instilled with endless chemicals. It is easy to find Hemp Protein Powder that meets these qualifications.
So this is about protein in general. Like fats we need certain proteins in our bodies. Our bodies can build some of these from other protein materials and yet others we need to intake from our foods. Hemp is about 65% globulin edistin which is building material for your body, highly usable by the body. In addition to that it contains all the essential amino acids we need. So all in all your proteins needs are being met.
What do proteins do? Everything. Seriously. They are responsible for a huge portion of activity in the body. Everything that happens in the body happens because of enzyme activity. Your eyes moving across the screen right now involve multiple enzyme functions to enable your ability to read. Cool hey!
Plant protein is an ideal protein in many ways. Plants are everywhere. They can be grown in large amounts, farmed and shipped easily. They reproduce seeds usually within a season or two and they produce chlorophyll the blood of the plant world. For economic, social, ecological, moral and other reasons plants are the tops as far as foods go.
It is far less energy intense to produce protein from plants vs. the conversion of ration of plants into animal protein. And although I personally do eat meat, there are those that choose not to and do well with out it.
But no matter which camp you are from the good news is that plant protein can and should have it’s place in your life. Green and good plant protein can serve any our bodies in a way that other foods simply can’t.
So what is the big deal with Plant Protein?
Plants have so much of what we need and equally as importantly they offer as alkaline nutrition that is hard to overdue, become addicted to or binge on. In fact if there is any food that should be considered the foundation of diet, despite bread winning the ‘staff of life’ trophy, it should be plants. End of story.
How do we get yummy plant protein?
There is protein in most common foods that people eat daily. It is just not in really large amounts the way it is found in meats. Beans, grains and veggies all offer protein in varying amounts depending on the item. Here are some examples:
- 1 cup of broccoli – 4 protein grams
- 1 cup of brown rice – 5 protein grams
- and 1 baked potato – 4 protein grams
- 1 cup of lentils – 18 protein grams
(Taken from USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005)
How to get even more yummy plant protein…
If you are looking to supplement your plant protein intake over and above your current diet you do have a handful of plant protein powder options. The proteins from these foods are removed and condensed into protein powders.
- Pea Protein
- Hemp Protein
- Rice Protein
- Soy Protein
Are all relatively common protein powders and readily available.
If you are looking for more greens to add into your diet you can readily find powdered greens. Similar to protein powder they come a convenient powder form. You can scoop the powder mix into any liquid and have a meal or snack on the go. To make greens powders greens of various kinds are dehydrated at low temperatures and then refined into a powder, packaged and delivered to supermarket near you.
Although not concentrated on protein specifically, greens powders can be an amazing addition to any diet.
Understanding Protein and Which Protein is best for you
First off protein is the name of a macro nutrient. So in fact it is the term we use for a combination of several packets of smaller nutrients together – namely amino acids. So when you sit down to eat a piece of Salmon at the dinner table there is no protein in your Salmon per se. But there are essential and non-essential amino acids totaling to protein, giving your body all the building blocks it needs.
All amino acids are essential to the body making the name essential amino acids are a bit of misnomer. The idea is that some essential amino acids can be produced in the body by using other protein building blocks and others can’t. The ones that can’t are the ones that we have termed essential. Really they should simply be called – essential to eat! And as you likely well know protein is absolutely essential to the mechanics and structure of the body.
When we take in various foods each has its own unique composition of amino acids. Even without meat, over a variety of foods, you will eventually gather all the amino acids necessary to create a complete protein. Or in others word all the building blocks needed to make protein structures and fulfill protein functions.
What are protein structures and protein functions….well just about everything? The whole of our bodies are made from protein which many people recognize. But a concept far less understood is that proteins are essential to enzyme function. Enzymes are the catalysts to over 4000 biochemical functions in the body relating to digestion, energy regulation, immune function, brain activity and dozens of other bodily activities.
So whether you eat meat or not is up to you because either way you can get what you need in terms of protein. The question is actually more about optimizing body functioning and of course preference.
Meat is the gold standard as far as conveniently wrapping up all the amino acids into a nice little package ready for our consumption. It also provides a very dense source of calories, essential fats, B vitamins and facilitates the assimilation of protein with the fats that it often offers. I chose to eat meat because I find my body most responsive to this type of food. I keep my meat to one serving a day and often a day or two a week without.
Vegetable and grain sources on the other hand offer more bulk relative to meat to meet a caloric intake that would sustain the body. They are less expensive to buy as well as produce. They typically have less quality issues than meat and many individuals feel they morally they are a better choice. For some vegetarian sources of proteins may be the best choice.
So how to know what works for you? Open your own mini laboratory with you as the primary test subject. Keep a food journal – record what you eat when and then follow it up with how you feel after you ate, within an hour or two after and so on. It can be a telling tale to monitor your body with the intent of seeing what works best for you.
If you are simply too lazy to do such things try going from intuition. Just don’t get intuition mixed up with cravings. When faced with hunger or a food choice take a few deep breaths, ask your body what it would most prefer for what it needs to do within a short time from eating. Listen close, usually the answer is right there.
The Best Protein Shake
By far the best protein shake you can get is one that you make with whole foods. Protein powder is incredibly convenient for purposes of getting what you need, adding extra protein to your diet and sheer convenience. But nothing beats whole foods. We are built for whole foods and evolution doesn’t occur over a period of a couple decades.
Using a blender to create a protein shake with whole foods and a high quality protein powder is an excellent choice. It can give you the calories and food qualities that you need and want for optimal functioning.
What To Add In
The best protein shake is balanced with fat, protein and carbs. You can find protein powders that already have a good balance of these components or you can ensure that you create this balance through what you add into your shake.
If you buy a good quality product, you can usually make sure your bases are well covered.
Generally if you add protein powder into a base of carbohydrates like fruit and/or vegetables and you can have a complete meal with very little time or effort. It is a super convenient option for anyone with a busy life or not.
When you are choosing a protein source look for a product that provides you with fiber, essential fatty acids, high available protein as well as real life energy. What I mean by real life energy is if it is basically whole living foods or if is overly processed, colored, chemically treated foods that have become useless to your body.
Prepare it as Needed
Protein powder is really super easy to use and can be as simple as adding it into a glass of juice for your mid-afternoon break. Alternatively, you can start your day out with a high protein shake which can be helpful to your brain and body moderating your energy through the day. Or maybe you are a late evening muncher and need a snack near bed time. All times of the day are suitable for preparing a quick shake as needed.
Adjust as You Go
The best thing about protein powder is that you can adjust as you go and it is incredibly versatile. You can start with recipes that you think you will like, but as you become more familiar with ingredients and their behavior in a shake you can easily adapt it to your preferences.
Why Vega One Protein Powder
Of all the supplement brands that I have tried over the years there is one brand that stands out heads above the rest and the best part is my husband agrees, which is always a win in our house. Vega was formulated by Brendan Brazier an Ironman triathlete and vegan. Yup, a super athlete that is vegan – definitely not the norm.
Vega’s success could be chalked up to good marketing, which they definitely have, but my belief is that they actually offer really well made quality products. I purchase their protein powder regularly and I will also buy the occasional food bar for hikes or backpacking trips. Vega makes great stuff and that is why I buy it.
The Vega products that I purchase the most are Vega One. Vega One is the name for their foundational products suitable for all occasions. This is in contrast to the many other products that they have created that serve specific purposes as pre and post workout supplements. Vega One has a breadth of macro and micronutrients in combination with digestion support making it an option that is “complete” so to speak.
What I like about it…
What I like about Vega products is that they are suitable for vegan and vegetarians, but you don’t feel like you are having a vegetarian product. Vague I know. I’m a meat eater and love hearty foods that make me feel full. Vega does this for me and probably for vegans too! The number of macro and micro nutrients that are worked into the products are significant making it a complete option for a meal and yet ethically minded since it uses plant sources.
- 50% of the daily-recommended vitamins and minerals.
- 15 grams of protein this approximately equal to two and a half eggs.
- 6 grams of fibre – hey, regularity is important 😉 .
- Greens – in my world this is one of the strongest qualities of the product for alkalinity and overall health.
- Probiotics – as someone who is always aware of digestion I appreciate this a lot.
- 5 grams of Omaga-3 fat, which is great cause we get loads of Omega-6s and too few Omega-3s.
How I use Vega One Protein Powder
This is my meal on the run. It is also my meal when I’m at home and want to eat light to save space for a big dinner or conserve my calorie intake for the day. It is also sometimes my pre-workout meal, if I don’t have enough time to digest solid food prior to contorting my body into crazy exercises that could easily make a meal come back up. That is about it. I use it when it works and facilitates another element in my life. I’m not one to use protein powder outside of that because I just enjoy food way too much to do so.
Who I Would Recommend Vega to
- Vegans looking for an option to whey protein powders.
- Those who are struggling with managing their blood sugar levels. It has no added sugar, but is sweetened with stevia, which will negligibly affect blood sugar levels but still gives a sweet flavor.
- Busy people who are skipping too many meals (it is never bad to miss out on a bit of food in North America but it can become habit) and won’t eat unless they have a quick solution.
- Anyone who would like to add a protein powder to their diet but aren’t sure which one and where to start. This is the perfect one to try.
If you are Flavor or Texture Sensitive
For those hesitant about protein powder due to taste or texture I highly recommend a blender and ice. When foods are new it can take a time or two for our taste buds to adjust. If you are finicky put your protein powder in the blender with some complimentary fruit and ice, maybe milk or something creamy if you like milkshake consistency and blend. You only need a few ice cubes to make a difference and cool it down a bit in temperature. Here is what I would recommend:
- Chocolate Protein – Banana goes really well.
- Berry Protein Powder – Frozen berries obviously.
- Plain Protein Powder – The sky is the limit. Tropical fruit works, peaches are great.
- Chai Protein Powder – I like banana (they are just so versatile). Almond milk goes really well too.
If you add in frozen fruit it will also cool down your drink to make a nice smoothie texture. It is always nice when healthy food tastes good too.