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  • Writer's pictureBrad Cunningham

PROTEIN - What, Why, When..?

It’s become an age old debate, should I have protein, or when should I have it..

In today’s blog we hope to clear up any confusion for you and give you a clear perspective on what’s best for you.

Firstly let’s look at what protein is;

Protein is a macronutrient along with carbohydrates and fats, providing us with energy, (4 calories per gram).

One of the most essential purposes of protein and why it’s so important to consume enough if you’re training regularly, is to help with repairing and building body tissue (muscle in particular), proteins are broken down in the body into Amino Acids, these and then used to assist with co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, cellular repair, and other molecules essential for life. Additionally, protein is required to form blood cells.

There maybe a few reasons why you would want to supplement with protein.

1 - Because you may find it difficult to get enough protein from your regular diet, or maybe just don't have the time, money or energy to get it all from real food and essentially just need a ’top up’ via a supplement.

2 - To assist in the recovery process and help you recover quicker between workouts.

3 - As a easy option when on the run, or when you’re not fully prepared with a proper meal.

The most important thing to remember about any supplement is that it’s designed to supplement an already good diet, if you’re eating crap, or too many calories, adding protein shakes in will do nothing but increase your calories and if you already have an excess in calories you will just encourage more fat storage.

Protein shakes do not directly cause you to lose weight, what helps you lose weight is a good balance of adequate sleep, hydration, recovery and the most optimal training and nutrition plan for your goals and lifestyle.

However, protein shakes or supplements can aid in your pursuit to reducing body fat if used effectively with the above variables considered first.

Here’s our recommendations:

When should I consider having protein?:

  • Ensure you have your current nutrition habits sorted, there should be a large focus on real, nutritious foods and a very small percentage of packaged or processed goods (canned food, food in packets or with labels) the majority of food you consume, should be as close to it’s natural form as possible.

  • When you’re training regularly and want to ensure you’re recovering well, and benefiting from your strength work, Remember, the more lean muscle you have, the more energy your body will expend maintaining it.

What not to do:

  • Do not substitute real food or a meal a protein shake, this should only occur every rarely in the case that you’ve forgotten to prepare something or there’s nothing else available.

What to remember:

  • Whenever you have a protein shake, always try to consume some real food with it, e.g. some almonds (if you’re having a snack) or with some fruit (berries or a banana) if it’s for post training. This will ensure your brain recognises you’ve actually consumed calories and not just water, by actually chewing something this will switch on the response to say you’re full, or at least that you’ve eaten something.

  • Always aim to use an organic or natural protein. gut health is vital for your wellbeing and weight loss results, consuming highly processed supplements is not ideal for your gut health, your skin and probably many other things. a natural protein will ensure your body can digest it properly and you can benefit the most from the nutrients in it. Side note, some natural products will obviously taste different to the highly processed and synthetic sugar injected products, but you must remember what a massive favour you’re doing your body by choosing the natural option.

Protein around training sessions:

  • If you can’t eat within an hour post training, we recommend having a shake, and have some kind of carbohydrate with it to aid in the recovery process.

What type of protein should I have?:

  • WPI (Whey Protein Isolate) is great for post training as it is more readily absorbed and can aid in the recovery process much quicker. WPI usually contains the higher percentage of pure protein. Whilst being lactose, fat and carbohydrate free - which means you can often regulate calorie/macronutrient intake much easier.

  • WPC (Whey Protein Concentrate) Is usually higher in fats or carbs usually in the form of lactose. It’s a much slower absorbing protein, so can be ok for a snack

  • CASEIN This type of protein make sup 80% of cows milk, is higher in carbs through lactose, and is slower absorbing, depending on your sensitivity to dairy, you may want to consider WPI. This type of protein is usually better to cook with and make protein goods such as protein balls and slices as it bonds better than the others.

Generally, unless you’re a very high level athlete, either one of these can serve a similar purpose.

However if your goal is fat loss, and you’re really only going to use it post training or as a snack on the run (occasionally) we would recommend a WPI, as we mentioned above the others will generally have a higher carbohydrate/sugar content, and if you’re snacking through the day or wanting a high fat/high protein breakfast (for a morning you haven’t trained), we want to avoid an insulin spike from consuming sugars, hence why WPI protein would be best.

Now we can appreciate that there’s a lot to consider when choosing a protein, and rather than causing you any headaches trying to search the wide web for the perfect product we have done the work for you and teamed up with TROPEAKA to offer all Fit Shop Family members a great discount on their very healthy and natural range of protein.

Click this link here: to purchase your first order.

Before we finish this article, we want to remind you of the golden rule… ENSURE YOU’RE CURRENT NUTRITION HABITS ARE GREAT BEFORE WORRYING ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS OF ANY KIND, be sure to touch base with our coaches to assist you with this.

We trust this was helpful!

- Coach Brad

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