What's all the fuss about PROTEIN, anyway...
Protein intake is essential to the development, growth, and maintenance of all parts of the body. It is responsible for boosting metabolism and increasing your body’s fat-burning potential.
Without adequate protein intake, you will most likely experience:
Difficulty losing weight
So, incorporating a dairy-free protein powder into your diet could be just want you need for that extra boost to lose those few extra pesky pounds and feel better altogether!
But isn't plant-based protein lower quality than animal-protein?
A common nutritional misunderstanding is that vegetable-based proteins don’t have the same effect on muscle growth and recovery as dairy-based whey proteins. However, studies have shown that vegetable proteins increased muscle thickness to the same capacity as dairy-based proteins! These plant-based proteins are also a great alternative for those of you with dairy, soy, and/or gluten allergies. You’ll also find that the list of protein powders below have benefits that expand beyond exercise:
Pea Protein Powder
Pea Protein Powder Contains several branched-chain amino acids which are effective in decreasing the amount of muscle breakdown that takes place after your work out. Pea protein aids in weight loss and enhances results the same way as hemp and brown rice proteins. However, there is a unique component of pea protein that makes this process even more effective—it lowers levels of the hunger hormone, gherlin, which is released by your stomach when its empty to let your know its hungry. Pea proteins produce a peptide that slows the emptying of the stomach and thus the secretion of gherlin—making you feel full longer. Research indicates that pea protein lowers high blood pressure, and over time decreases your overall risk of coronary heart disease, as well as chronic kidney disease. It also contains 5 more grams of protein per serving than whey protein, meaning you can reap the benefits of protein consumption in a smaller amount than usual, which could be easy on your wallet!
Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp Protein is made from the seeds of a hemp plant, contains at least 20 amino acids and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is the plant-derived omega-6 fatty acid found in hemp seeds. Foods rich in GLA, such as hemp seeds, have been found to help people with ADHD, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. There is a 3:1 ratio of the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids which aids in the promotion of cardiovascular health. These fatty acids naturally lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, and improve triglycerides. Hemp protein has also been linked with decreased risk of osteoporosis. Studies of women over 65 with osteoporosis, who took GLA supplements over a 3 year timespan experienced less bone loss than those who took a placebo! Since hemp protein is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, it acts as a natural colon cleanser as well. This fiber also supports the regulation of blood-glucose levels which will in turn reduce those sugar cravings! In addition to these amazing benefits, hemp seeds also contain edestin and albumin. These are amino acids that are responsible for the enzymatic functions in your blood plasma, as well as the formation of antibodies. These are two essential elements of your immune system, so supplying them with the proper nutrients they need to work effectively will help your body fight off illnesses.
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Brown Rice Protein Powder alone does not contain all of the 9 essential amino acids. However, many brown rice protein powders contain quinoa or chia proteins which provides a full amino acid profile. So when selecting a brown rice protein powder, make sure you check the label to ensure it contains either of those two in order to get the best benefits! Brown rice protein reduces blood sugar levels, much like hemp protein powder does. It is also a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants, such as brown rice protein, help prevent cell damage caused by oxidation, which commonly causes liver disease. Additional studies show that this protein contains peptides that help your liver to synthesize alcohol, which helps your body regulate your cholesterol levels! Research has also shown that vegetable proteins, as opposed to animal proteins, have shown a correlation with lower levels of toxins that build up in the blood of chronic kidney disease patients! The elimination of these toxins shows an increase in both heart and kidney health!
It is important that when you’re exercising you are consuming adequate protein in order to obtain optimal performance and results. Your daily intake of protein should average at about 0.5 grams per 1 pound of body weight, and increase to up to 0.75 grams when participating in regular exercise. Start off your day by adding this to a breakfast smoothie, as well as incorporating it into a post-workout snack to see best results!
Fitness Friday Guru + Nourish Intern